The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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Editorials

November 4, 2013

Our View: Not too late to think about voting Tuesday

Why it matters: The ballot may be thin, but some school levies, boards and city councils offer a reason to vote Tuesday.

If you haven’t registered to vote for Tuesday’s election, you are out of luck if you wanted to try out Minnesota’s new online voter registration; the deadline was Oct. 15. That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, though. Minnesota still has same-day voter registration at the polls.

Some of you may be saying, what election?

Although it’s a quieter election year with no presidential, congressional or legislative races, quite a few school districts in the area have issues on the ballot. Voters in the Mankato district are being asked to vote on whether or not to approve a $69.5 million bond referendum that would fund building a new middle school and renovating other school building sites. Other area districts, including Maple River, Nicollet, Butterfield-Odin, St. Clair and Springfield, are either requesting renewal or an increase in their district’s operating levy.

Also on the ballot will be school board candidates in the Mankato and St. Peter districts. St. Peter also has city races for two council seats and the mayor’s spot.

Generally polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. If you need to register to vote when you get there, bring along your driver’s license or Minnesota ID card. (If you are a citizen and don’t have either of these, visit the secretary of state’s website for a list of alternatives: http://www.sos.state.mn.us. )

And if you don’t know where your polling place is — and some, indeed, have changed — the state’s website (http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/) or your county elections office can direct you to the location.

Although the ballot is skimpy this election, the issues and races deserve attention. Whether you have kids in public school or not, tax dollars pay for education efforts in our communities. And in a democracy, local levels of government are where the real work begins. Many of those candidates in state and national races coming up in elections down the road got their start at the local level.

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