homepage logo


You still need to vote in November

By Staff | Jul 31, 2016

Now that both the Republican and the Democrat national conventions are over, I have a question for you.

After watching some, or all, of the conventions, did you make up your mind which candidate you are going to vote for? Or did you already have your mind made up before the conventions?

Or, are you like me; not sure before the conventions which candidate you will vote for, and still not sure now which one should be president.

Because, I still think the answer is neither one. The question come November is will I be able to physically make my hand mark that box (or fill in that circle) next to either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Donald J. Trump’s name?

Or will I have to mark the box or circle next to “None of the above?” I’m kidding, of course. There isn’t such a name on the ballot. But, perhaps there should be.

For us independent voters, it is a dilemma. And, according to all the political pundits, it is precisely voters like me who are going to decide who is going to be the next president of the United States. That is a heavy burden to put on us “undecideds.”

The other option is to not vote at all. Skip this election. But I really don’t want to do that either. And I won’t.

There are those, however, who say they may not vote this fall, for the first time in their adult lives. I am hoping they mean they may not vote for a presidential candidate and they do not mean they are skipping voting altogether.

You see, there are going to be a whole lot of other choices on this fall’s election ballot than just a choice for president especially on the local scene. You will have choices for U.S. Congress, state senator, state representative, school board, city council and more.

And, those are important choices to make.

So, even if you don’t want to vote for either Hillary or Donald, I hope you still go and vote this fall.

So does Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Simon was in Blue Earth last Thursday as part of his mission to visit all 87 counties in the state before November. He wants to visit with election officials and to unveil his plans for promoting voting in the state of Minnesota.

He is passionate about voting. Very passionate.

You see, Minnesota used to be No. 1 in the nation when it came to having voter turnout. We had the highest percentage of registered voters show up to vote for nine elections in a row.

But, in the last general election, we fell, as a state, to No. 6. And that sticks in Simon’s craw. He wants Minnesota to be No. 1 again in November.

So, to do this, he has developed several programs that will help with getting out the vote. Those include a new “Pledge to Vote” program designed to register hard-to-reach voters; “Minnesota Students Vote 2016,” Minnesota’s first ever statewide mock election for high school students; “Minnesota College Ballot Bowl,” a new voter registration competition where campuses across the state see who can register the most students.

Simon also plans on expanding the number of foreign languages supported for key voter fact sheets, instructions and application. He wants to provide all Minnesotans with important voter information as they head to the polls on Nov. 8.

Faribault County has a long history of high percentages of voters turning out. Hopefully that will continue this fall. It is doubtful it will continue this month, however, for the election on next Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Yes, there is an election next Tuesday; the primary election.

Since many people don’t know about this election, and most don’t care about it, even Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon admits he expects a very low voter turnout for that one.

You can see sample ballots for the primary election elsewhere in this issue of the Faribault County Register.

And, while you may skip the primary, please don’t skip the general election in November.

Maybe by then one of our presidential candidates will have done something or said something to make all of us undecideds make a decision and want to vote for him or her.

However, I am not holding my breath.

You might see a lot of coin flipping going on in the voting booths this November.

At least in mine.