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Election ushers in new tech

'22 primary results for Carlton County

Low voter turnout and new voting machines led to a speedy turnaround for Carlton County election results in Tuesday's primary election.

County elections staff were finished tallying the votes by 10:40 p.m., something Carlton County auditor/treasurer Kevin DeVriendt said was a pleasant surprise.

"Things went very smoothly - well, as smooth as can be with all new equipment and many people doing a role for the first time," he said.

The county had new DS200 ballot scanning machines at the polling places, made by Election Systems and Software in Nebraska, along with Omniballot adaptive voting devices, which marks the ovals for the user, most often people with visual disabilities. Most exciting for him, he said, was the new DS450 central counter, which the county auditor's office uses.

"It's the fastest counter we've had in the last 20 years or so," he said.

Tuesday marked DeVriendt's first election as county auditor/treasurer, although not his first election as an employee of the auditor's office. He credited chief deputy auditor/treasurer Kelly Lampel for running the show. "Kelly is the brains of the operation," he said.

But it takes a team.

DeVriendt praised the elections staff at the county and the election judges at the precincts, along with all of the election administrative staff at each township and city.

"Elections don't happen by just a few folks," DeVriendt said. "It is literally hundreds of dedicated citizens in the county to pull off a free and fair election with integrity. I am so impressed by everyone's efforts."

Low turnout

According to the unofficial tallies - the canvassing board will certify results Thursday - turnout for the primary election was low, with 3,966 Carlton County residents casting ballots out of 22,401 registered voters (as of 7 a.m.). That's 17.7 percent, not including voters who registered on the day.

That is not terribly surprising for a primary election in a non-presidential year, DeVriendt said.

"We traveled around to all the polling places earlier and the consensus was that turnout was definitely lower than 2020, but not that low for a primary," he said, adding that early voting was also down compared to two years ago.


The only truly local race in the primary was for Minnesota Senate District 11, where the DFL party's endorsed candidate John Peura, of Moose Lake, lost to Michelle Boyechko, of Tamarack, by a total of 838 votes. State Senate District 11 includes all of Pine and Carlton, and portions of St. Louis, Kanabec and Chisago counties.

Once votes were tallied for the entire senate district, Peura received 1,380 total votes (38 percent) to Boyechko's 2,218 (62 percent). In Carlton County alone, Boyechko got 1,127 votes in Carlton County to Peura's 735. Boyechko advances to face Republican incumbent Jason Rarick in the General Election Nov. 8.

Peura extended his thanks to everyone who voted and those "who believed in the person behind the campaign." Boyechko didn't respond to an email from the Pine Knot News before presstime.

Find primary election vote totals for Carlton County below. Totals are for Carlton County only, except for the State Senate and U.S. Representative races.

U.S. Representative District 8


Harry Robb Welty - 170 (5,074 districtwide)

Pete Stauber - 1,719 (51,404 districtwide)


John Munter - 261 (6,199 districtwide)

Jen Schultz - 1,642 (38,536 districtwide)

Governor and Lt. Governor


Scott Jensen and Matt Birk - 1,589

Joyce Lynne Lacey and Kent Edwards - 150

Bob "Again" Carney Jr and Captain Jack Sparrow - 100


Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan - 1,834

Ole Savior and Julia M Parker - 89

Grassroots - Legalize Cannabis

Darrell Paulsen and Ed Engelmann - 1

Steve Patterson and Matt Huff - 6

Legal Marijuana Now

Chris Wright and L.C. Lawrence Converse - 4

James McCaskel and David Sandbeck - 7

Secretary of State


Erik van Mechelen - 623

Kim Crockett 1,144


Steve Carlson 713

Steve Simon 1,137

Attorney General


Sharon Anderson - 241

Doug Wardlow - 685

Jim Schultz - 886


Bill Dahn - 233

Keith Ellison - 1,669

State Senator District 11


Jason Rarick - 1,719 (4,718 districtwide)


Michelle Boyechko - 1,127 (2,218 districtwide)

John A. Peura - 735 (1,380 districtwide)

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