By John McLoone
Hastings area voters will face a lot of choices when they vote Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Many voters have taken advantage of early voting opportunities also.
There are races on the ballot for two at-large seats on the Hastings City Council, as well as a special election to fill an open seat on the Hastings School Board. There are races, as well, for state races to represent area residents at the Capitol in St. Paul, with House seat for District 41-B and District 41 Senate.
There is a race on the ballot for U.S. Representative District 2, as Democratic-Farmer-Labor incumbent Angie Craig is being challenged by Republican Tyler Kistner. Statewide, Gov. Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan (DFL) are being challenged by Republican candidates Scott Jensen and Matt Birk.
In Dakota County, District 1 County Commissioner Mike Slavik is running unopposed, as is Sheriff Joe Leko. County Attorney Kathy Keena is being challenged by Matt Little.
Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender is running unopposed. Vying for the councilmember at large seats are Tom Wright, Angie Haus, Dave Pemble and Ian Martin.
Challenging for the open seat on the Hastings School District Board are Todd Kullman, Pamela Onnen and Mark Zuzek.
In the District 41 State Senate race, Tom Dippel (R) and Judy Seeberger (DFL) are vying for the seat to represent the area. On the ballot for State Representative in District 41B are Shane Hudella (R) and Tina Folch (DFL).
Hastings Assistant City Administrator Kelly Murtagh said voter interest has been high.
“Absentee voting has been very steady and (as expected) busier than the primary. While more absentee ballots are in person or delivered through the mail, the ballot drop box is being utilized as well,” she said.
The city utilized grant funding to put the ballot drop box in front of city hall. It can be utilized 24 hours a day and is monitored by security camera.
Murtagh said voters who want an absentee ballot, should request one in-person at city hall.
“While ballots can be requested online, this is now discouraged due to the short time period before election day,” she said.
Absentee ballots can be delivered to city hall during business hours, mailed or dropped in the ballot drop box. Absentee ballots must be received by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The ballot drop box will also be available until 3 p.m. election day.
“From Tuesday, November 1 through Monday, November 7, voters who come in to city hall to early vote will put their ballot directly in the ballot tabulator,” Murtagh said.
City Hall Hours for Absentee/Early voting: Monday, October 31 through Friday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voters can also feed their ballots into a ballot counter at the Dakota County Administration Center in Hastings.
Register to vote
Go to MNvotes.org to check your registration status. Eligible voters who need to register may do so at the polling place on Nov. 8.