Who’s running in local races on Election Day - part 1

Louise Oleson
DLJ editor
Mark E. Olson and Goldie.

Before you know it, it will be November and we’ll be voting on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Besides the national races, like who will serve as President and Vice President for the next four years, there are some local races to participate in.

There are three seats up for election in the Ramsey County Commission, who will serve as head of ND Soil Conservation and adoption (or rejection) of the Home Rule Charter for Ramsey County will all be on this year’s ballot.

Ramsey County Commission race: Mark E. Olson is running for re-election. This will be Olson’s fourth term serving the people of Ramsey County if he is successful. Olson is known as someone who listens and learns rather than doing a great deal of talking at commission meetings. He says “Opinions count,” when asked about how and why he votes on various issues, sometimes being the lone voice to disagree with his fellow commissioners. Like on the mandate to have a county-wide rule for everyone to wear masks. On the Home Rule Charter, Olson opposes it, although the other commissioners favor it.

He says sometimes you need to just stand your ground and not let people walk over you. He was first elected in 2008. During his years Olson says he is proud that as a commissioner he has tried to maintain our way of life in Ramsey County. He has always wanted to keep property taxes at a fair and reasonable rate. In his years on the commission, he says the rural roads and bridges are much better than in past years, with repairs and replacements on a maintenance or replacement schedule.

The challenges ahead for the county commission, as he sees them, will continue to be the lake, itself - whether to pump or not to pump, keeping property taxes as low as possible while still accomplishing the county’s responsibilities and maintaining the county’s roads, especially the farm to market roads.

Why run for another term? “I owe it to our community. It is a small price to pay when you’ve lived here your whole life and love this community,” Olson says. He’s seen a lot of changes in his years on the commission and he sees great potential in the community to be even better than it is now.

Olson is married to Eva, Aug. 31 it will be 19 years, and together they own and operate Mark’s Greenhouse and Floral, which includes a thriving seasonal Christmas tree lot and 4th of July Fireworks stand.

Three other individuals are also running for the three Ramsey County commission seats up for vote: Incumbents Lucas Wakefield and Jeff Frith and newcomer, Blaine Volk. Their stories will be included in up coming issues of the Devils Lake Journal.

The election: According to the Ramsey County Auditor’s Office, as it stands today, there will be both absentee voting and in person voting for this election. In person voting will take place in the Memorial Building, as has been done normally for elections, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, Nov. 3, provided conditions allow for in person voting. The Governor of North Dakota and/or the Secretary of State would make that call, depending on the risks to voters and election workers.

If you filled out a request to have all ballots sent to you for voting absentee, then you should be getting one through the U.S. Postal Service sometime the first part of October. You have until Nov. 2 to get that ballot filled out and mailed in, it must be postmarked no later than Nov. 2.