LWV Northfield Raises Concerns about the Special Election process

The following letter was sent earlier this month to newspapers in State Senate District 25 by the League of Women Voters of Northfield. In addition to raising its concern about the timing of the Special Election for the State Senate seat in District 25, the LWV is working to inform voters about options available for voting via Absentee Ballot, and the need for those who need to mail in their Absentee Ballot, to move with dispatch in getting that process underway in order that their completed ballot can be received in time to be counted in the election.

To the Editor:

To fill the District 25 state senate seat vacated by Sen. Tom Neuville, whom Governor Pawlenty appointed to a judgeship, the governor has called a special election on January 3rd and a primary election on December 18th.

The League of Women Voters believes that eligible voters have the right to be informed about candidates’ positions, the right to vote, and the right to have their vote counted. Scheduling an election immediately after a major holiday season protects none of these rights for many voters.

There is a real possibility that it may be difficult if not impossible for significant numbers of absentee voters to obtain and return absentee ballots by mail in time for them to be counted.

You are entitled to vote by absentee ballot, if you:

  • will be away from home on Dec. 18th or Jan. 3rd (for example, a senior citizen who has gone south for the winter, a student in transit to or from school, a person traveling over the holidays);
  • are ill or disabled;
  • are an election judge serving in a precinct other than your own; or,
  • are unable to go to the polling place due to religious observance or belief.

The easiest way to vote by absentee ballot is to do so in person, at your county auditor or city or township clerk’s office, as soon as ballots are available. Contact your county auditor for details. IF YOU MUST VOTE BY MAIL, YOU MUST OBTAIN YOUR BALLOT AS SOON AS IT IS AVAILABLE AND RETURN IT IMMEDIATELY.

Special elections scheduled because of an emergency such as the death of an office holder may be unavoidably ill-timed. But elections scheduled under other circumstances that give, or appear to give, one political party an advantage over another erode citizens’ confidence in our election process.

Kathy E. Tezla, President,

LWV Northfield


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LWV

Try as they desperately might to rally the absentee, uninformed, uninvested, de facto non-resident, non-taxpaying Democratic-leaning college student vote, the League of Liberal Women Voters will fail in its quest this year to install a DFL candidate.

I would love to see the same letter from the LWV for off-year school operating levy referenda. Not on your life.

LWV

Gee, and I was foolish enough to think that at least a few snowbirds might be interested in taking part in electing their representative too. Silly me.

Seriously though, what is it about some people that requires constant name-calling and innuendo aimed at whoever they see as their "enemy"? The usage of the term "Liberal" as a denigration over the past few decades for example. Calling someone "Conservative" contains nowhere near the loaded implication. Shades of McCarthyism!!!

Does wanting to ensure fair and full representation and opportunity for all automatically make 1 a Liberal? If so, I will wear that badge proudly, although I do find it a simplistic generalization that hardly represents the diversity of opinions held by myself or others I know who merely want to see as many people as possible take part in our democratic (note the small d there) process.

Here's hoping that we see an above average turnout for this special election, so that the winner will more truly be representative of the views of the he will serve, as well as a hope that the winner realize that those who voted for the other guy have concerns which are more than just "the absentee, uninformed, uninvested, de facto non-resident, non-taxpaying Democratic-leaning college student vote"