by Jim Boyle
Sherburne County election staff completed tabulation of remaining absentee ballots on the afternoon of Nov. 5.
Unofficial election results for all 35 precincts and for all 21,454 approved absentee ballots are now available on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Election Results website.
“I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this challenging election cycle,” Sherburne County Auditor-Treasurer Diane Arnold said.
“Amongst a global pandemic, polarizing political factors, and unprecedented levels of absentee voting, we have been able to ensure that every vote cast in Sherburne County has been accurately counted.”
There were 60,410 registered voters when the polls opened on Election Day.
The number of votes in the presidential election so far total 55,580, including 36,205 votes for President Donald J. Trump and 18,056 for Joseph R. Biden.
That would put voter turnout at 92 percent, but the number of voters who registered on Election Day still has to be factored in.
Locally, the tabulation of results solidifies the reelection of the three Sherburne Board of Commissioner incumbent candidates in Tim Dolan, Lisa Fobbe and Barb Burandt over Anne Kostrzewski, Bryan Lawrence and Andrew Hulse, respectively.
Burandt had 4,417 votes compared to 4,181 votes for Hulse for District 1 after yesterday’s data dump onto the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Dolan had 6,164 votes compared to 4,439 votes for Kostrzewski for District 3 after yesterday’s data dump onto the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Fobbe had 4,762 votes compared to 4,229 votes for Lawrence for District 5 after yesterday’s data dump onto the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
The last big chunk of numbers also locked down Elk River City Council victories for Matt Westgaard in his reelection bid over Mary McDevitt Kraljic and Mike Beyer in his contest with Josh Hassing.
Westgaard had 1,900 votes compared to 1.186 votes for McDevitt Kraljic for the Ward 2 seat after yesterday’s data dump onto the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Beyer had 1,457 votes compared to 1,075 votes for Hassing for the Ward 3 seat after yesterday’s data dump onto the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
In Zimmerman, Mayor Nick Stay ran unopposed and was reelected. Incumbent Jay Whiting was reelected after finishing with the most votes in a race for two seats on the Zimmerman City Council.
Newcomer Michael Dahl unseated Sheldon Shepard in the race for the second spot.
Whiting had 1,444 votes as of the Nov. 5 data dump onto the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Michael Dahl had 1,226 votes
Shepard had 1,017 votes.
Election results remain unofficial and may continue to change slightly between now and final certification when the Canvassing Board meets Nov. 12.
This allows time for receipt of Absentee Ballots from U.S. citizens and military personnel living overseas, as well as other absentee ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 but received after Election Day.
These latter ballots are subject to a U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision.
“A special note of thanks goes out to Sherburne County’s incredible election staff and judges, as well as to our candidates, who have helped prove that democracy works best when we are all committed and invested in free, fair and competitive elections,” Arnold said.
The Star News will wait for confirmation from Wright County officials on the status of their absentee ballot tabulation.
Otsego Mayor Jessica Stockamp cruised to victory status with margins over her challengers Otsego City Councilwoman Tina Goede and newcomer Jacob Denman.
As of 4:38 pm. on Nov. 5, Stockamp had nearly 60% of the vote with 5,918 votes compared to 28% for Goede with 2,742 votes and 13% for Denman with 1,251 votes.
Here are the vote totals as of 4:38 p.m. on Nov. 5 for the Otsego Council race for two seats held by incumbents Corey Tanner and Jason Waremime:
Brittany Moores, 3472 votes (24%); Jeffrey Dahl, 3,295 votes (23%); Tanner (22%); Warehime, 2,011 votes (14%); Rayman James, 1,169 votes (8%); and Joel Cornell, 1,051 votes (7%).
Local legislative races, which are decided by voters in both Sherburne and Wright Counties have been handily won by the Republican incumbents.
Sen. Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, as of 4:38 p.m. on Nov. 5 had 35,457 votes or 67% of the vote over DFLer Diane Nyguyen, of Elk River, who had 17,596 votes (33%).
Rep. Paul Novotny, R-Elk River, as of 4:38 p.m. on Nov. 5 had 16,149 votes or 66% of the vote over DFLer Chad Hobot, of Elk River, who had 8,218 votes (34%).
Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, as of 4:38 p.m. on Nov. 5 had 18,460 votes or 65% of the vote over DFLer Brad Kovach, who had 9,890 votes (35%).