Who's running for local races on Election Day - part 2

Louise Oleson
DLJ editor

As I said before, November will be here soon 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 Lucas Wakefield

Lucas Wakefield was elected to his first term on the Ramsey County Commission in 2016. At that time, he wanted to bring a future-focused vision to the challenges and opportunities facing Ramsey County.

Finding ways to streamline county spending, fostering relationships with non-profits and community organizations, and seeking efficiencies across county departments were his focus throughout his term.

Asked what he is most proud of having done for Ramsey County, Wakefield replied that leading the effort to draft a Home Rule Charter for the county’s consideration which was the most challenging and rewarding. Although the county ultimately voted down the proposed Home Rule Charter by a narrow margin in 2018, Wakefield remains optimistic about the future of Ramsey County.

Now, facing the prospect of a second term, pending the election in November, Wakefield feels that there is more work to be done to ensure that Ramsey County continues to grow and thrive. If elected to a second term, Wakefield promises to redouble his efforts with the added goals of strengthening the economic diversity of the county and working to ensure that Ramsey County is at the top of the list of places in North Dakota to start a business and raise a family.

Wakefield recently graduated from the University of North Dakota with a master’s degree in public administration. He is currently employed by Green Valley Foods in Devils Lake as its Chief Financial Officer.

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 Nov. 2. You could also drop your absentee ballot by the Ramsey County Auditor’s Office no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 2.

On Sept. 14 a notice will be sent out from the county to all those who did not correctly request absentee ballots earlier in the year, asking if voters would like to vote that way this time. Part 1 was published in the Devils Lake Journal on Thursday, Aug. 27.

You could also bring your absentee ballot in to the Auditor’s Office and vote right there, if for some reason you didn’t trust the Post Office with your ballot. That would have to be done before election day, however.

If you put your ballot away and for some reason don’t get it filled out and submitted prior to 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, then it might be better for you to shred it and go to vote in person on Nov. 3, instead. Absentee ballots will not be accepted to be handed in on Nov. 3.

Who can vote?

If you have been a Ramsey County resident for at least 30 days, you are eligible to vote in Ramsey County, North Dakota does not require voter registration. However, voters are asked to bring proof of residence with them if this is the first time they’ve voted in ND.

College students attending LRSC, for example, could vote in Ramsey County, if they are U.S. citizens and if they have proof they have lived in the county for 30 days, however, they cannot then vote in their home cities or counties, if they vote in Ramsey County. Be sure to bring a photo ID with you that has your current residential address on it.

Election workers ask, too, that you please wear a mask and practice social distancing when you come to vote in person.