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An unusual primary

Peterson and Fischbach, Smith and Lewis top choices for Lyon County primary voters

Photos by Deb Gau Concerns about COVID-19 led Marshall election organizers to take extra safety precautions during Tuesday’s primary. Election workers sat behind clear plastic barriers, and voting stations and booths were spaced out to allow for social distancing.

MARSHALL — Tuesday’s primary elections had some pretty clear leads in area races, and by and large Lyon County voters weren’t making different choices than voters statewide, according to unofficial vote totals.

According to vote tallies posted online by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office on Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson led Lyon County votes in the Democratic primary for Congressional District 7, while former Minnesota state senator and lieutenant governor Michelle Fischbach topped candidates in the Republican primary. In the Senate primary, Lyon County voters showed strong leads for Sen. Tina Smith among Democratic candidates and Jason Lewis among Republican candidates.

Statewide, the Secretary of State’s Office reported Smith and Lewis took the lead in their respective primaries for U.S. Senate, with both Smith and Lewis getting the majority of votes. Peterson and Fischbach were also leading in their respective primaries, in Congressional District 7.

In Minnesota State Senate District 22 primary, Sen. Bill Weber was the only Republican candidate on the ballot, facing two candidates from the Democratic-Farmer Labor Party. District-wide, DFL candidate Shawna Marshall had a strong lead over Roger Elgersma.

Lyon County results – U.S.

Representative, District 7

In Lyon County, Collin Peterson received 817 votes, compared to 174 for DFL candidate Alycia Gruenhagen and 92 for DFL candidate Stephen Emery. In the Republican primary, Michelle Fischbach received 871 votes, with Dave Hughes receiving 191; Noel Collis receiving 125; William Louwagie receiving 166; and Jayesun Israel Sherman receiving 19.

In the CD7 primary, Slater Johnson of the Legal Marijuana Now Party received 16 votes, and candidate Rae Hart Anderson of the Grassroots — Legalize Cannabis Party received 8 votes.

U.S. Senate

In Lyon County, Tina Smith received 947 votes. DFL candidate Steve Carlson received 51 votes; Paula Overby received 44; Ahmad R. Hassan received 29; and Christopher Lovell Seymore, Sr., received 14. In the Republican primary, Jason Lewis received 1,002 votes. John L. Berman received 128 votes; Cynthia Gail received 96; James Reibestein received 66; and Bob Carney Jr. received 45.

In the U.S. Senate primary, Kevin O’Connor of the Legal Marijuana Now Party received 19 votes, and Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis candidate Oliver Steinberg received 9 votes.

State Senate District 22

In Lyon County, Bill Weber received 344 votes in the Republican primary. DFL candidate Shawna Marshall received 171 votes; and DFL candidate Roger Elgersma received 58 votes.

Brian Abrahamson of the Grassroots –Legalize Cannabis Party received one vote.

Tuesday’s vote tallies were unofficial, and may change when the votes are canvassed on Friday, said Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg. Mail-in and absentee ballots postmarked Tuesday or earlier will still be accepted today and Thursday, he said. It’s not known how many ballots might still arrive before Friday.

Tuesday’s primary was an unusual one for a few reasons. Partly due to concerns over COVID-19, more Lyon County precincts than ever before switched to using mail ballots only. Only seven in-person polling places were open — three in the city of Marshall, and one each in Cottonwood, Minneota, Russell and Tracy.

While organizers in Marshall weren’t sure what kind of turnout to expect on Tuesday, participation by absentee and mail-in ballot was up for the primary, Moberg said. On Monday, the county had already received and accepted over 1,600 primary ballots — more than double the county’s turnout for the 2016 primary election, Moberg said.

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