Commissioners from Cass County and the City of Fargo, separately, have rejected proposals to each group that would have added a polling site to the June Primary election.
At the Fargo City Commission meeting, Commissioner Tony Gehrig says citizens have been asking when the City would be announcing where the polling places are, so they know where to go vote. He says there are ‘a lot of people out there still don’t know we’re mail-in only.’
The mail-in only process is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“When you go into a polling site, there is no social distancing,” Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir told the Fargo City Commission.
Gehrig made a motion directing City Attorney Erik Johnson “to amend the City Ordinance to allow one polling place, in Fargo, for the June 9th election.” The motion died due to lack of a second.
Fargo City Attorney Erik Johnson says that, by city ordinance and state law, a change to the election now is not allowable.
Fargo City Commissioner John Strand says the Commission should look at evaluating the policies regarding elections.
In an e-mail to WZFG News, Montplaisir, who oversees elections for the county, says it would be hard to make a polling location happen nearly a month before the election is scheduled. The county would have to find a space, train workers and test equipment.
“It would be a very time-consuming venture on our part when we are trying our best to process absentee applications and eventually ballots,” Montplaisir says.
At the county level, commissioners rejected their proposal.