Mille Lacs County Auditor-Treasurer Eric Bartusch said that as of Friday, Oct. 2, the county auditor’s office has issued 3,350 ballots which includes all absentee, mail ballot and early in-person voting.

Of that 3,350, and as of last Thursday, 238 of them have been in-person votes. “The 238 would be individuals who requested their ballot and completed it all at the county auditor’s office,” Bartusch said. “When someone receives a ballot by mail and physically hand-delivers the completed ballot to the county or our drop box, it still goes in as a ‘mailing’ as far as how the system counts it.”

As of Sept. 25, statewide, 1,051,459 absentee applications were received. And in comparison in 2018, the state received 101,161 absentee applications and 78,216 in 2016.

Bartusch addressed a voter’s concern regarding the number of envelopes received for mail-in voting in a precinct which has always been a mail-in voting precinct.

The concern brought forward by a Mille Lacs County voter regarded a mail-in ballot from a township that has historically been a mail-in voting township.

The resident received two envelopes rather than the three envelopes with the third one being a white mailing envelope to protect voter privacy.

Bartusch said that counties have the option to choose two or three envelopes in the mail-in ballot voting.

“It is not required to have the third envelope, and the only we did it was in the presidential primary because there was a box to check for Democrat or Republican,” he explained.

T.A. LeBrun is the editor of the Mille Lacs Messenger and covers county government for the Union-Times. She can be reached at

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