Sogge has been an election judge since 1971

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 03/04/97.

With the annual township elections next week, Eden Lake Township Clerk Norvald Sogge, and township clerks across the state are busy preparing for the election.

Sogge has served an election judge in Eden Lake Township ever since he was elected in 1971. ďThe only years I havenít worked as an election judge are the years I was up for re-election,Ē he said. Besides the township elections, Sogge has also served as an election judge for state and national elections. Some years, like last year, he worked as an election judge five times.

Over the years he has noticed some changes, not always for the better. ďThe state keeps saying they are going to make things simpler for township clerks. But instead, we are now required to fill out more reports instead of less,Ē Sogge said.

When he first was elected clerk, the clerk could take the election results home and do the work in their leisure. Today everything has to be done immediately, then double checked. ďEach year there are more state and federal reports required making the job more complicated and sophisticated,Ē he added.

He recalls they have had only two elections with a big 1967 or 1969 when a planning and zoning issue was on the ballot and in 1992 when the hospital district was voted down. Otherwise, most townships are lucky to get more than 30 voters to turn out for the township election, he said.

Eden Lake Township, like many small townships counts all their ballots by hand. ďIt doesnít take long when you only have a few voters,Ē he said. For township elections, three election judges are required. Besides Sogge, LeRoy Mackedanz and Joe Gruenes will serve as judges this year in Eden Lake Township.

Besides serving as an election judge, Sogge keeps the minutes at the township meeetings, makes reports to the state and county, submits legal information to the newspapers. He is also in charge of keeping track of special assessments for the township. Sogge has also served as an officer for the Township Officer Association of Stearns County since 1976.

Township voters going to polls Tuesday
Township residents across the state will be going to the polls Tuesday, March 11 to elect their officers. Township government is truly ďgrassroots governmentĒ as it is the only government that authorizes authority to its citizens to set finances.
Norvald Sogge, Eden Lake Township clerk, said ďthis is the one election people should vote at, because at the ďgrassrootsĒ they have the most impact.Ē
Locally, incumbents filed for re-election in almost every area township except two: Munson and Irving Township treasurers LeRoy Gertken and Howard Powers, did not file for another term.

Filing for election were:
Paynesville Township: Incumbents Johnnie Olson, supervisor, and Sharon Wendroth, treasurer.
Eden Lake Township: Incumbents Loren Eull, supervisor, and Don Schlangen, treasurer.
Union Grove Township: Floyd Wait, incumbent supervisor, and Donald Kelm, Sr. No one filed for the treasurer position.
St. Martin Township: Incumbents Clarence Olmscheid, supervisor, and LeRoy Garding, treasurer.
Munson Township: Daniel Holthaus, incumbent supervisor, and Dick Behnen for treasurer.
Zion Township: Incumbents Duane Burg, supervisor, and Carol Wegner, treasurer.
Irving Township: Incumbent Harlow Olson, supervisor. No one filed for treasurer position.
Roseville Township: Incumbent Foster Hudson and Vernon Soine for the supervisor position, and incumbent Terry Schaefer, treasurer.
Lake Henry Township: Incumbents Gary Olmscheid, supervisor, and Ray Loxtercamp, treasurer.
Manannah Township: Incumbents, Luverne Becker, supervisor, and Jeanine Shepersky, treasurer.

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