Petitions gathering signatures and a proposed resolution will try and change the way Faribault County votes are cast and tallied Nov. 8 and in future elections.
Brenda Baldwin of Blue Earth is spearheading the effort to have the paper ballots counted by hand instead of the optical scan machines currently used.
“The machines are open to fraud, even without knowledge of anyone in the auditor’s office,” says Baldwin.
In a letter to the editor in the Faribault County Register, Baldwin says she has the utmost respect and confidence in the County Auditor and election officials.
“I am confident that they do this thankless job with fairness and integrity,” she says. “However, when it comes to the machine themselves not so much.”
Baldwin cites reasons why she believes the scanning machines could be hacked.
The petitions have been placed throughout the county at 21 locations in 13 cities.
“I don’t know how many signatures we currently have because there are multiple people out getting signatures,” she says. “I do not have a number we need, but we’re shooting for 600.”
Baldwin plans to present a resolution to the five-member County Board for a vote at their Oct. 4 meeting.
To deter the potential for fraud in elections, the resolution proposes all votes must be cast in person, except for authorized/verified absentee ballots, and cast on the same day as the election.
That means that mail-in ballots would be eliminated and there would be no drop boxes and curbside voting.
If the resolution is approved, scanning machines could return if they can be guaranteed as being secure and unhackable.
Also, same day voting would have to continue, absentee ballots authorized and verified, and the cast vote record publicly available when requested.
“This resolution may be rescinded, and voting/tabulation machines may return upon the request of the Board of Commissioners of Faribault County, to and with the approval of the citizens of Faribault County,” the resolution says.
Baldwin says a compromise may be to use the scanning machines and also have the votes counted by hand. That way, the results could be compared.
Anyone having any questions may contact Baldwin by calling (507) 525-2305.
Locations to sign a petition include:
- Blue Earth — Bomgaars, Breen’s, Parts City Auto Parts, Prairie Chic
- Bricelyn –—- American Legion
- Delavan –—- Stauffer Stop & Go
- Easton –—– Sonnek’s Service
- Elmore –—– Jerry’s Tire, J & J Recycling
- Frost –——– Julie’s
- Guckeen –—- Derby Inn
- Huntley –—– Huntley Café
- Kiester ——- Kiester Market
- Minnesota Lake — Murphy’s Convenience Store
- Walters —– Kroneberg Repair
- Wells —— VFW, American Legion
- Winnebago — Roerig Hardware, John’s Auto, Bago Feed Store, Dollar General