There is a lot more to this upcoming Nov. 6 election than just electing a president and vice president of the United States.
Oh sure. That is a biggie.
And, it has become pretty exciting, with most political pundits now saying the race is a dead heat virtually tied at 47 percent apiece.
At least for the popular vote.
But, as noted last week, it all comes down to electoral college votes.
You might also be startled to see on your ballot that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are not your only two choices for president. There are 10 names to choose from, and that does not even count the choice of "write-in, if any."
However, as important as the vote for the nation's leader is, there is much, much more on the ballot for local voters to decide.
Races for U.S. Senate, Congress, State representative and State senator are all contested, with at least two names to choose from.
Our local races in Faribault County will also need decisions by voters.
Mayor is a popular office this year.
While there is only one choice in Frost, Walters, Blue Earth and Wells, there are contests in Elmore, Bricelyn, Easton, Kiester and, count them, four who want the job in Minnesota Lake.
A write-in candidacy for mayor in Winnebago means that office is now also contested.
Of course, then there is Delavan where no one is running, and "write-in, if any," is the only choice.
Five persons are running for two open seats on the Bricelyn City Council.
Well, sort of, anyway.
One of them, Dawn Haskins, has moved from Bricelyn to Kiester and so has withdrawn from contention. However, it was too late to remove her name from the ballot, so it will still be there.
There are also contested council races in Blue Earth, Winnebago, Easton and a special one in Wells to fill an unexpired term.
Both the United South Central and Blue Earth Area School Boards will involve a choice for voters to make. In both cases, four persons are running for the three open seats on the board.
Voters will also decide things other than electing a person.
There are those hotly contested State Constitutional amendments. On those, if you decide to just skip them, you are actually casting a 'No' vote. It says so, right on the ballot.
Blue Earth residents will have a chance to vote on changes to their own 'constitution,' called the City Charter, and decide if councilmen should be elected at-large, and whether it should take more than a 51 percent vote to change the charter, as it does now.
In that case, if you skip it, it will not count as a 'No' vote. It will be a 'Non' vote.
Residents of Kiester Township also have a decision to make. The question there is whether residents should remove rocks and weeds from the township roads adjacent to their own property.
Somehow that seems a whole lot easier to vote on than deciding if marriage is between one man and one woman or whether you need a photo ID to vote.
Perhaps the residents of Kiester Township needed something to vote on, since their choice for township clerk is just "write-in, if any."
If you want to study the ballot before you go in to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, check out last week's Faribault County Register (Page 19) or go to the Secretary of State's website.
If you want helpful information on the local, county candidates involved in contested races, check out the Register this week and next week for interviews and photos.
Due to space limitations, we concentrated only on the races which are contested.
But, as noted above, there are quite a few of those in the county.
It does not mean, however, that they are the only ones.
There are many other positions that will be elected on Nov. 6.
There are positions on the United Hospital Board, township offices, City of Blue Earth Public Works board. Most of those are persons running unopposed.
Then there are those famous judicial offices, where judges are running.
Not all of these are judges running unopposed. Some are, but a few are facing an opponent.
Of course, you will be able to tell which ones are the incumbents and which are the challengers, as the incumbents are listed as such the only time that is allowed on a ballot.
One last note:
Get informed, then go vote.