The unofficial results are in from the state primary. Statewide, voter turnout from 2010-2018 for the state primary had an average of 13.12 percent. In local races, turnout ranged from about 25 to 30 percent of registered voters as of 7 a.m. on Primary Day.
In the Beltrmi County District 5 primary, incumbent Jim Lucachick received 866 votes, who will be joined on the ticket this November by Mike Bredon at 283 votes. Turnout for this district was 27.54 percent.
For the Bemidji Mayoral Race, Jorge Prince was first with 944 votes, with Michael Meehlhause in second at 428. Bemidj’s voter turnout was 29.79 percent.
For Bemidji’s Ward 1, Audrey Thayer received 50 percent of votes at 140, with Joe Gould joining her on the ballot at 67 votes. Turnout for this ward was 24.88 percent.
In Ward 3, incumbent Ron Johnson received 357 votes and challenger Greg Kuhn received 144. Turnout for this ward was 30.65 percent.
In Ward 5, incumbent Nancy Erickson received 239 votes, with Don Heinonen joining her on the November ticket at 163 votes. Ward 5’s voter turnout was at 30.09 percent.
In the special Ward 2 election, Josh Peterson won with 224 votes, beating out Jaime Thibodeaux, who had 140. Turnout in this ward was 27.70 percent.
Beltrami County Auditor Treasurer JoDee Treat said the primary went smoothly, and that absentee and mail-in ballots already received were counted last night.
Beltrami’s canvassing will take place on tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 13, so any remaining mail-in ballots postmarked from yesterday, Aug. 11, must be received today to be counted.
Treat also commented that there was a significant increase in absentee and mail-in ballots this year compared to the state primary in 2018, at almost 2,000 ballots.
Treat attributed the increase of absentee and mail-in ballots to nonprofit, non-partisan groups like “Get out the Vote,” which helped people apply for absentee or mail-in voting.