With the election just four days away, we are officially in information overload. Every time you check the mailbox, it’s no longer just the usual bill or solicitation to start a magazine or newspaper subscription. With every visit down the driveway, there is a political flyer reminding us why a particular candidate deserves a chance or an additional term in office. And it doesn’t stop there.
Try counting the number of yard signs on your way to work. There are at least 10 along St. Joseph’s Minnesota Street in support of city council challengers and incumbents. It hasn’t mattered much where we are, candidates want our votes. While it can seem overwhelming at times, the constant mailings, random campaign calls and sign-filled yards mean one thing. It means your voice matters. Elected officials need votes to get in office. They are nothing without the support of the citizenry. They know that. And that is why they are trying so hard to make sure we don’t forget how important we are Nov. 6.
Not only are we tasked with selecting the next U.S. president, but we also have to select state representatives, members of Congress and local officials. Do your part. Don’t fall into the mindset that your vote doesn’t count. It does.
In the 2008 general election, there were about 3.7 million eligible voters in Minnesota. Voter turnout was about 78 percent, according to data from the Office of the Secretary of State. Minnesota was one of two states with the highest voter turnout rate in the 2008 presidential election, according to U.S. Census data.
In 2010, voter turnout shifted in the state, though there were more eligible voters. In the 2010 general election, there were close to 3.8 million voters in Minnesota. Voter turnout was about 56 percent.
The face of leadership could change on the St. Joseph City Council in four days. St. Joseph Mayor Rick Schultz is running unopposed. The chairs held by the men and women who serve alongside him could be filled with newcomers soon. There are two open four-year seats on the city council. They are currently held by Bob Loso and Renee Symanietz. Both are seeking re-election to the council. Loso and Symanietz face challenges from council hopefuls Troy Goracke, Matt Killam and Thomas Gustafson.
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on election day. For residents living in Precinct 1, which means those living west of College Avenue, their polling place is Kennedy Community School. The school is at 1300 Jade Road. Residents living in Precinct 2, those who reside east of College Avenue, will vote at the Community Fire Hall, 323 Fourth Ave. NE in St. Joseph. Township residents can vote at the St. Joseph Township Hall at 935 College Ave. S.