Brown County Auditor prepares for first election in new role

Lynn Heupel has only been the Brown County Auditor since September 8th, but she’s not new to the auditor’s office.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 6:29 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Lynn Heupel has only been the Brown County Auditor since September 8th, but she’s not new to the auditor’s office.

“I started out part-time back in 2011, and then in 2012, I became the chief deputy auditor under Maxine Fischer. I was in the office for about 10 years as chief deputy then,” said Heupel.

Heupel ran for the position of county auditor in 2018, but Cathy McNickle won the election. McNickle resigned in July, and Brown County was suddenly in need of a new auditor.

Heupel says her experience contributed to her being selected for the position.

”Having the experience was the main thing, because this isn’t a job you can just walk into off the the street and know what’s going to be happening, especially right before an election,” said Heupel.

Most first-time county auditors have two years to prepare for their first election, but Heupel stepped into the role just two weeks before absentee voting opened, and it hasn’t slowed down.

”We started absentee voting September 23rd, and it’s just slowly increased every week, every day. We were averaging around 20, then it went to 60, then over 200, and then over 300 and I think last Friday was actually over 500 by the time we were done for the day,” said Heupel.

For Heupel, some things are new, but she feels comfortable in the role of county auditor. She has even set herself goals to achieve.

“It’s just making sure that everybody gets their chance to vote, as long as they are registered on-time, and that it’s secure. Everybody gets their voice out there, and that’s one thing, is I really want to encourage people to get out and vote. Our percentage has kind of been low int he past, around 70%. I would like to get that up to the 90s, if not a little bit higher,” said Heupel.

In Brown County, residents can cast their ballot at any of the 11 voting centers in the county, which makes encouraging voters to show up on November 8th a bit easier.

”I’m hoping tomorrow is busy as well. I know the weather could play a factor with what they’re talking about it getting colder, but we have the polls throughout the county. So, anybody can go anywhere in Brown County to vote. They don’t have to go to a certain precinct like it used to be in the past, which is nice with the vote centers,” said Heupel.

Because she was appointed, Heupel’s term will end in 2024, but she has already decided she will run for re-election.