Due to the COVID-19 global health crisis and concern for the wellbeing of its members, Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative’s (DVEC) board of directors has decided to modify the cooperative’s 2020 Annual Meeting, to include only the election of directors by mail-in ballots, as permitted by the cooperative’s bylaws.

“We made this decision so that every member can vote for the director candidate of their choice, without endangering the health and safety of their family, friends and community,” explained Richard Schlosser, DVEC board president, who farms near Edgeley.

According to the cooperative’s bylaws, no other business can be conducted since the mail-in ballots count as a quorum for the purpose of the director election only.

There will be no open meeting or in-person voting, no complementary meal will be served, no financial reports will be presented, nor can any other business be held.

“As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision,” Schlosser said.

“Like you, we look forward to the annual meeting as an opportunity to share information about the co-op’s operations, share a meal and visit with friends and neighbors we haven’t seen for a while,” Schlosser added.

“This year, for the first time in the more than 76-year history of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative and its two founding rural electric cooperatives, RSR Electric Cooperative, Milnor, and James Valley Electric Cooperative, Edgeley, that will not be possible,” Schlosser said.

DVEC provides electric service to just over 4, 000 members in southeastern North Dakota, in a service territory that includes all of Dickey and LaMoure counties, and parts of Richland, Stutsman, Logan and McIntosh counties.

In mid-May, ballots will be mailed to each of the cooperative’s members whose electrical account is active.

The ballots must be completed and returned to the cooperative no later than 12 p.m. on June 4, 2020.

Voters can return their completed ballots in the self-addressed, postage-paid envelope included in the mailing, or if they prefer, put their completed ballots in a drop box at DVEC’s offices in Edgeley or Milnor.

Ballots will be counted at the cooperative’s Edgeley office on June 4.

The only people physically in attendance will be the tellers who will count the ballots, the cooperative attorney and limited office staff.

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