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Early voting to start this week in city election

Early voting will start this week for two City Council races and the question of whether Mitchell should hire a city manager. City Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson said early voting must be allowed at least 15 days before an election, but it can st...

Early voting will start this week for two City Council races and the question of whether Mitchell should hire a city manager.

City Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson said early voting must be allowed at least 15 days before an election, but it can start before that date if ballots are available.

"You can do it earlier," she said. "As soon as we get it ready, we'll have it available."

That will be sometime this week, Wilson said. She will announce when voting will begin through the local media.

The city election will be held on Tuesday, June 7. Early voting must open by May 23, according to state law.

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Early voting is only permitted at City Hall, 612 N. Main St. Voters are asked to bring a driver's license or some other form of photo ID with them, Wilson said.

On Election Day, voting will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School.

The decision by voters on hiring a city manager tops the ballot, as all voters in the city will be eligible to vote on that question. If votes approve the proposed ordinance, a city manager would begin work on July 1, 2012.

The city would still have a mayor, and eight members of the City Council would be elected from four wards. The city manager would be charged with the daily operations of Mitchell.

Wilson said she's not sure how the ballot question will impact turnout.

The last time a city election was held that was not tied to any other vote, the turnout was 13 percent, she said.

"I would hope it would be larger than that, but I am not sure what to think," Wilson said.

Mitchell voters will choose between two candidates in Ward 2 and three in Ward 4.

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Incumbent Dan Allen and challenger Tim Moon are competing for the Ward 2 seat.

Marc Bernard, Deb Skibsrud-Bueber and Greg McCurry are running for the Ward 4 seat.

In two wards, there will be no race for a council representative, because the candidates are unopposed.

Former councilman Ken Tracy will return to the council representing Ward 1. Philip D. Carlson was unopposed in Ward 3.

Three members of the Mitchell City Council chose not to run for second terms: Ward 3 councilman Scott Houwman, Ward 4 representative Geri Beck and Doug Backlund of Ward 1 all bowed out.

Mitchell school board member Dana Price was unopposed for a third three-year term, so there will be no school board race on the ballot.

The deadline to register to vote is 5 p.m. Monday. Registration is available at the Davison County Auditor's Office in the Davison County Courthouse.

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