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Township annual meetings and elections look different this year

Schroeder resident Steve Schug casting his vote in 2020. Things look different this year. File photo by Rhonda Silence
Schroeder resident Steve Schug casting his vote in 2020. Things look different this year. File photo by Rhonda Silence

Tomorrow, March 9 is election and annual meeting day for our local townships--Lutsen, Tofte, and Schroeder. However, like so much else in this pandemic, it will not be business as usual. 
 
All three townships will be having in-person voting from 5 to 8 p.m., but some changes have been made to allow appropriate social distancing for voters and election judges. 
 
In Lutsen, voters are asked to enter the town hall in the newer, large hall. There will be screening tables there and after voting, citizens will exit through the fire hall doors. 
 
In Tofte, voting will take place at the Birch Grove Community Center as it has in years past, however, voters will be asked to enter via the west doors, by the playground. 
 
Schroeder has not changed its entry, but registration and voting booths will be in the large community space, not the smaller meeting room that has been used in the past. 
 
As far as annual meetings, that is different in each township this year. The meetings will convene when the polls close at 8 p.m. 
 
Lutsen will be holding its meeting completely by Zoom. However, Lutsen Clerk Sharon Hexum-Platzer said no voting on issues will take place because of the difficulties of properly identifying speakers in the online format. The meeting will be informational only. It will be continued, as it traditionally is, in August 2021. 
 
Tofte will be holding an in-person annual meeting in the gym at the Birch Grove Community Center. Clerk Kay Burkett said it is felt that there is room for adequate social distancing in that area. Participants will be asked to wear masks and follow the usual COVID protocols. 
Schroeder is also having a Zoom meeting as well, but Clerk Anna Green said it will be an extremely short session. The town board plans to convene at the town hall, approve the annual meeting agenda and then postpone discussion and voting on township matters until the August annual meeting continuation. 
 
Up for consideration for election to the town boards are the following: 
In Lutsen,  Treasurer Ashley VanDoren is running for re-election. Chris Homyak, owner of the Clearview complex is running as a write-in candidate for supervisor. 
 
Supervisor Sam Crowley is running for reelection in Tofte. Tofte Treasurer Dan Shirley did not file to run and is still hoping that someone will come forward to run for the treasurer seat as a write-in. 
 
And in Schroeder, Supervisor Bruce Martinson is running for re-election. There is an additional space on the Schroeder ballot to fill the vacancy created when Rick Anderson moved away from the township.  Lloyd Chase was appointed to fill that seat and he is officially running for that office. 
 
Treasurer Carla Menssen is running for re-election.
 
WTIP will share election results as soon as they become available on Tuesday. 
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