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Published August 17, 2010, 09:05 PM

Early Voting For Grand Forks County Approved

The Grand Forks County Commission approved early voting in a meeting this afternoon and, for the most part, people say it's a good move.

The Grand Forks County Commission approved early voting in a meeting this afternoon and, for the most part, people say it's a good move.

There was early voting in Grand Forks County in 2008 and some people say the turnout is better with more time to turn in that ballot.

People in Grand Forks County have an extra week and a half to get out and vote.

"The people that will really benefit are voters who might not have time to vote on election day and now instead can go during a lunch break from work or while they are running errands on a Saturday." early voting supporter Jamie Selzler said.

Early voting was approved at a Grand Forks County Commission Meeting today. People from the community talked about how important it is when you're living a busy lifestyle.

"For students we have a test or full-time work one day we may have the opportunity to vote early is something that will greatly increase voter turnout I think." UND student body president Matt Bakke said.

County Officials say they will save more than 3-thousand dollars by holding early voting in the County Office building, instead of the Alerus Center, this year. The cost is just more than 14-thousand dollars, and people say that is the only negative they hear about.

"The only argument people make is really cost-related, but I think when it comes to voting, I think it's partially the duty of the county commission to absorb some of those costs and make sure voting is as easy as possible." Selzler said.

Officials say the more people who take advantage of early voting, the more money they save by not having to send out absentee ballots or hire more people.

"I'm very happy they passed it. I think this will give the opportunity for students to get out and vote." Bakke said.

"In 2008 at the Alerus Center we saw it was wildly popular with almost 30-percent of people in Grand Forks County going there to vote as opposed to voting election day or voting absentee. So this is clearly something people loved two years ago and they want to have it again." said Selzler.

Those opposed to early voting at the meeting today say it's because of the cost and the fact that absentee ballots are available at anytime for those who can't vote on election day.

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