Election 2020

While much of Aitkin County handles its ballots by mail-in voting, there will still be in-person voting at 13 sites in less than a week, as numerous races – and the equivalent of a referendum – will be decided.

Aitkin County Auditor Kirk Peysar issued a press release Monday to clarify the ballot situation in the county, as his office has been receiving calls from people who threw away or otherwise destroyed their mail-in ballots in hopes of voting in person.

Peysar said that his office has reissued ballots and sent out replacements, but “the timeline is getting short.”

Ballots can be dropped off  – and absentee ballots requested – at the auditor’s office at the Aitkin County Government Center. The office is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and will be open from Saturday, Oct. 31 to Monday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for voting.

Voters in mail-in ballot precincts can vote at the government center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Voters needing to register must provide verification of identify and residency.

“We encourage people to vote early as social distancing protocols will be followed at polling locations,” Peysar said.


In addition to the presidential ballot, considered to be a race primarily between the ticket of Donald Trump/Mike Pence and Joe Biden/Kamala Harris, numerous races are on the ballot.

In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Tina Smith is facing off against challenger Jason Lewis.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Pete Stauber is facing Quinn Nystrom for Minnesota’s eighth district.

In the State Senate District 10 race, incumbent Carrie Ruud is facing challenger Steve Samuelson. In the District 10B assembly race, incumbent Dale Lueck is being challenged by

Gaylene Spolarich.

Breaking the other area races down by county and municipality now. Due to space constraints, the Age is not listing uncontested races.


Two Aitkin County Board commissioner races are being contested Nov. 3 – District 2 and District 4.

In District 2, incumbent Laurie Westerlund faces challenger Gene Miller. In District 4, incumbent Bill Pratt – also currently the county board chairman – faces the man he defeated for the seat in the last election, Brian Napstad.

In addition, a late candidate entered the race recently. Also hoping to be elected to the District 4 seat is Jerry Demenge, who is trying to mount a successful write-in campaign.


While the city council race in Aitkin is uncontested, incumbent Mayor Gary Tibbitts is being challenged by newcomer Megan Workman.

There are also five candidates for the three available Aitkin School Board seats. Incumbents are Dennis Hasskamp, John Chute and Joe Ryan. Challenging them are Dawn Houser and Renee Kostick, an extension educator and state 4-H director.


McGregor has three running for its mayor position – Jerry Farley, Bruce Miller and Dake Olson, with Olson the incumbent.

For the city council, Shelly Brantner, Terry Hansel and Angela Owen are running for two open positions.


While Hill City’s city council and mayoral races are uncontested, a special election for one council seat is being held. Terry Christensen, Brenda James and Doug Taubert are vying for that seat.


In the city of Palisade city council race, Abigail Christian, Barb Packer, Rodger Lindgren, David Simon, Lynn Spolarich and Mora Dawn Weimer are battling for two positions.

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