Exclusive: Breaking down the June primary election with Cass County Election Coordinator DeAnn Buckhouse

Photo by: Cass County Government
Photo by: Cass County Government

(Fargo, ND) -- With the primary June election and several local races just days away from wrapping up, WDAY Midday managed to catch up with Cass County Election Coordinator DeAnn Buckhouse to talk about all the ins and outs of the process of collecting and counting votes.

Buckhouse, who has spent several decades working with the county government, says to this point things have run fairly smoothly in the election process. She also adds turnout has been 'about average' for what she normally sees in a primary election circuit.

The election coordinator did give some insight into what you will experience when stopping by a voting booth either early, or on election day itself Tuesday.

"We encourage our judges to give every voter the option of either voting a pre-printed ballot or using the express vote," said Buckhouse. "But it should be up to the voter weather they want to use the computer or not." This comes after some residents had sent messages to WDAY Radio issuing concerns about being pressured to use the express vote machines, something Buckhouse says is only encouraged if voters have issues and have had to have multiple ballots thrown out due to errors.

Buckhouse also noted that a good number of absentee ballots have already been turned in as the days wind down to the June primary.

"We've sent out about just over 6300 absentee ballots," said Buckhouse. "To this point we've gotten about 2550 back. We'll see a lot more returned and a lot less going out at this stage of the game."

So, what happens after the votes are cast? How are they counted? DeAnn says the process is fairly simple.

"We load our results into a machine that's not connected to anything on except for power and printer, so it's not connected to the Internet or the other network in any way shape or form is completely standalone so there is no possibility of it being hacked because it's not connected to anything," said Buckhouse. She adds that no matter how you vote, be it paper ballot or through the new voting machines, votes will be counted in the same timely fashion. Buckhouse believes that overall this election will be on par with similar primaries in the past, despite having a record number of local Fargo candidates for multiple races.

To learn more about the candidates in the June 2022 election, click here.

Original Air Date: 
Friday, June 10, 2022