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Mitchell City Council approves election results

The Mitchell City Council approved the results of the June 3 election, but not without first noting a problem with one of two poll books for absentee votes.

During a special meeting held Monday in Council Chambers at City Hall, the council canvassed the results of the June 3 election, making the results official.

The only city issue that appeared on the ballot was an ordinance allowing outdoor sidewalk wine service on downtown sidewalks, which voters approved with a vote of 1,215, or 60 percent, to 826, or 40 percent.

In the process of checking the poll books for that measure, Councilman Mel Olson noticed information missing in one of two poll books for absentee votes. Olson pointed out areas to be filled in by Davison County officials on the form that were left blank, including a line noting the county in which the election took place and a line where a Davison County official is supposed to sign as a witness to the oath.

While the poll book contained only 24 votes, not enough to change the outcome, Olson said it was careless of Davison County officials to not fill out the information.

"My concern is we've had some problems in Davison County, and this is sloppy," he said. "Elections should be run in a particular way, and this is not the way."

To avoid delaying approval of the results, City Attorney Carl Koch volunteered to notify Davison County officials of the city's dissatisfaction with the missing information in the poll book.

The council approved the election results with a 6-1 vote. Council President Jeff Smith was not present for Monday's meeting.

There were no contested races for seats on the council. Steve Rice, Dave Tronnes, Dan Allen and Susan Tjarks all ran without opposition and, with the council's approval of the election results, were officially declared elected.

When the results of the election were approved, the ordinance allowing outdoor wine service downtown officially took effect, according to Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson. She said any downtown businesses interested can apply for a permit, starting today.

The ordinance allows any downtown business making at least half of its total income from food sales to apply for a permit to sell and serve wine on adjacent sidewalks. No businesses had inquired with the city about getting a permit as of Monday afternoon, Wilson said.