Voting by mail more popular for rural communities - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Voting by mail more popular for rural communities


BELLECHESTER, Minn. (AP) -- The practice by some smaller, rural precincts of mailing in election ballots has grown steadily in Minnesota since it was first allowed in 1987.

More than 500 mostly rural townships and small cities use the mail for elections. Minnesota is one of 17 states that allow mailed ballots for certain elections.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the state's rising number of mail precincts is part of a growing national trend of making the voting process more convenient and efficient.

The small Minnesota town of Bellechester, which straddles Goodhue and Wabasha counties, is considering closing the community center in the next election and casting ballots by mail. City Clerk Jill Buxengard tells the Star Tribune it could save the community of 81 registered voters at least $600.

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