David Ross: Ensure that a few don’t speak for everyone Aug. 10For the first time in Minnesota, the primary election day will be moved forward to Aug. 10. This change, from what would have been Sept. 14, may have a profound impact on the election results.
By: David Ross, Budgeteer News
Our local election season is unfolding early this year. For the first time in Minnesota, the primary election day will be moved forward to Aug. 10. This change, from what would have been Sept. 14, may have a profound impact on the election results.
Parents with children in grade school and high school may still be enjoying summer vacations in August. Many of our beloved community’s 20,000-plus college students most likely will not have arrived on campus by Aug. 10 for the September start of the college year.
When Aug. 10 arrives, many of our community members may not even realize the primary ballot day is no longer in September.
It is easy to imagine how our historically low primary election turnout, of approximately 25 percent of registered voters, will drop to a frighteningly low percentage. Local elected officials are predicting a voter turnout of 15 percent for the Aug. 10 primary. Minnesota Secretary of State officials are predicting an alarmingly low voter turnout of 10 percent.
With such a low number of voters taking part in the primary, those who show up and vote will have a powerful impact on which candidates survive the primary election. If we don’t vote in the Aug. 10 primary, the candidate of our choice may not be on the general election ballot come Nov. 2. They may have been eliminated by the 10 percent of us who voted in the primary.
You can either take comfort in knowing, or be alarmed when considering, that local special interest groups have their eyes on the prize — the Aug. 10 primary election. The political machinery will be prepared for and participate in the primary election. Will you?
Only 80 individuals gathered in the Arrowhead Place Building in downtown Duluth last week to determine which candidates were endorsed by the local Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. I applaud those who attended. They are keeping their eyes on the prize: the primary election. For those of us who did not make this DFL endorsement event, or the other political party endorsement events, our chance to have our presence felt is the Aug. 10 primary election.
Never before will so few decide for so many — unless we engage in the political process. Vote on Aug. 10. Vote by absentee ballot, prior to Aug. 10, if you know you will not be able to vote in your precinct on primary election day.
Our beloved Emerald City on the Hill is a remarkably compelling community. Our elected officials should be equally remarkable and compelling. Let’s vote to ensure it is so.
David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751 or firstname.lastname@example.org.