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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Election 2000:

Sun, Dec 24th, 2000
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One for the history booksBy Al MathisonMonday, November 13, 2000

Fillmore County voters turned out in large numbers last Tuesday, November 7. The auditors department reported that as of 7 a.m. on Election Day there were11,793 registered voters on the roll and that an additional 1,619 people registered during the day at their local precincts. Four precincts reported that they ran out of ballots and had to hand out a photocopied ballot to voters as a substitute. In total, 10,323 persons in Fillmore County (including absentee voters) cast their votes in the historic election of 2000.

In Preston at the courthouse, the tabulations of the vote lasted until 3:05 a.m. on Wednesday, when the results of the last precinct - Chatfield City - were tallied. According to court administrator Jim Attwood, the new vote-counting machine performed well. "It was a big improvement over the old one," Attwood said, "There were no technical glitches."

In the presidential election, Fillmore County residents chose the Gore/Lieberman ticket over Bush/Cheny by a margin of 48.46% to 44.97%. Green Party candidate Ralph Nader came in at 3.96%.

For US Senator, Mark Dayton prevailed with 48% of the vote over incumbent Republican Rod Grams, who took 46%.

US 1st District Representative Gil Gutknecht (58%) handily won over Mary Rieder (38%), who was challenging Gutknecht for the second time.

Both State Senator Kenric Scheevel and State Representative Greg Davids easily maintained their seats over their Democratic challengers.

Davids was pleased with the results of his race, but noted that the county had gone to Gore as it had to Clinton in 1996. "This county isnt a gimme for Republicans," Davids told the Journal." When asked about the coming legislative session in January, Davids responded, "I expect to be named Commerce Committee chairman again. Im looking forward to working with the governor and the Democrats. There will be no gridlock."

Scheevel spent election night watching the returns with other area Republicans in Rochester. "It sure was a rollercoaster of a night watching the presidential vote come in," he said. In the coming session Scheevel expects that education, property taxes and redistricting will be big issues. Redistricting is the redrawing of the boundaries of election districts due to population changes. It is done once every ten years after the results of the U. S. Census are calculated.

"Numbers are showing that two-thirds of the states population is in what is now called the expanded Metro area," Scheevel said. "This will have a tremendous impact on Greater Minnesota and it will be more of a challenge than ever to see that our interests outside the Metro area are represented." Scheevel noted that there was a balance of power in St. Paul with the House being controlled by Republicans, the Senate by Democrats and the governor being Independent. "Due to this fact, I think that we should be able to come up with a balanced redistricting plan that will be fair to each side," Scheevel said.

The big news in District 1 of Fillmore County was that Donald Boyum, a county commissioner for the last 25 years was edged out by Randy Dahl of Rushford by a margin of 112 votes.

In District 5, where there was an open seat due to the retirement of Commissioner Robert Underbakke, Marc Prestby of Canton won by 76 votes over John Ryan of Harmony.

By Al Mathison

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