Welcome to the Byron Area Chamber of Commerce
Our mission statement:
To connect and promote businesses serving Byron, provide networking opportunities and assist our members in achieving continued prosperity in the community.
Would you like to host a Contacts and Cocktails at your business? Please let us know!
With the help of our members, each year together we host annual public events. These events are a great way for our members to connect with our community.
At the Byron Area Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn on Aug. 31, Luke Turner, Olmsted County Elections Manager, spoke to the audience about changes to the election process in Olmsted County partially caused by bills passed during the 2023 legislative session.
Voting rights for felons have been restored. Once a felon is released from incarceration, they are eligible to vote.
Automatic voter registration will be coming into effect next year. This means, when a person has paperwork to prove their citizenship – for example – to get a driver’s license, that information is automatically sent to the election department to register them to vote. Before the next election, their address will be verified.
Pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-old students has begun. When one of these students apply for a driver’s license, for example, that information is sent to the election department to pre-register them. When they turn 18, they will be registered. Again, the address must be verified before the election. County staff sends out post cards to assure residence.
The election office will offer extended hours during the week and will be open two Saturdays and one Sunday before general elections.
Voters can elect to be ‘permanent absentee’ voters.
No ballots are ever sent out without an absentee application having been received by the election department.
Civil and criminal penalties have been approved for persons intimidating and interfering with election judges or other election officials.
Write-in votes only count if there are enough to change the election results.
Luke also talked about the accuracy and security measures that are in place to safeguard ballots. He explained that the voting equipment is not connected to the internet so it cannot be hacked. All machines are tested for accuracy before and after the election. This includes public accuracy tests where a sampling of some precincts’ ballots is hand counted in front of members of the public.
Luke also noted that Olmsted County does not have unstaffed ballot boxes.
For more information, visit https://www.olmstedcounty.gov/residents/elections-voting