1._5.1 average___ On a scale of (0)
strong disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) strong
agreement, is the ballot too long?
2. What specific offices, if any, ought to be filled in some other way
the general election ballot?
judges, soil conservation districts mentioned frequently; also see
3. _6.0 average___ On a scale of (0)
strong disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) strong
agreement, should ranked choice voting, also known as Instant Runoff
(IRV), be used so that every winning candidate would need to receive a
4. _6.7 average ___ On a scale of (0)
strong disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) strong
agreement, should voting times and locations be modified for the
5. What suggestions might you have for changing times and locations
see comments below
Richard McGuire (0) (7) (10)
Question 2: The judges, of course.
Glenn S. Dorfman (5) (10) (10)
A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which
is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable
creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by
the exertions of better men than himself. -- John Stuart Mill
Election day should be on a Sunday (24 hours) with broad-web-based
voting for 24 hours.
John R. Finnegan, Sr. (5) (10) (10)
Question 2: Judges
Vici Oshiro (5) (7) (10)
IRV is theoretically excellent but I fear a practical nightmare.
Expand early and mail voting. Eliminate requirement that voter has one
of 3 reasons for needing an absentee ballot. This requirement that has
been ignored by election judges in MN for at least as long as I've
been voting absentee. Some other states are much stricter.
Can someone figure out a way to count absentee and early votes at a
central location instead of in the precinct and still retain privacy
and security? I've been an election judge so am reasonably familiar
with procedures. So far I've not found a way to count early and
absentee votes separately and still allow absentee voters to replace
that vote with another on election day - something they can now do.
Robert J. Brown (6) (0) (0)
Question 2: Follow the Quie Commission's recommendations to eliminate
contested elections for judges - just vote on retention.
Question 5: More than enough options now - more choices just create
opportunities for confusion, duplicate voting, and mismanagement.
John Nowicki (10) (10) (10)
Question 2: Judges unless opposed, Soil Conservation Districts, I
would bet most voters do not know what this office does.
Question 5: Vote on the weekend like the rest of the western world
Dave Durenberger (5) (10) (_)
Question 5: Two-day weekend with 8 hours per day
Raise the money to pay the staff that makes the balloting and
ballot-counting process work or contract with a company to get it
done. If you do weekends, this opens up a lot of possible polling
places and increases costs , but anything that eases access and
accuracy must be done.
The most important change in voting would be to change how candidates
qualify to appear on the ballot; plus how they can appear by their
party affiliation with or without party endorsement.
Rick Krueger (10) (0) (10)
I believe the primary should become a mechanism that limits the
candidates for General Election to the top two vote getters (for
Minnesota Statewide and Congressional races). This would require us to
rethink political party primaries in Minnesota and make them into
something different than they are today.
The problem that I have with an instant run-off it that fundamentally
I don't believe a candidate who is a distant 3rd in a General Election
should jump into instant viability. To make that case seems a little
Besides, it might be more logical to argue that the 2nd place vote
getters in the Primary for the Democratic and Republican Parties are
more viable alternatives than a 3rd place finisher from a different
party. The reason is the Democratic and Republican Parties’ 2nd place
vote getters may have garnered 30% of the general popular vote and
therefore be better alternatives in an instant run-off than a
candidate who received 15% of the general popular vote.
In addition, I believe we face a bigger problem in the loss of faith
in the political process. I also believe that is self-inflicted by
candidates who often run against the institution of government that
they either serve in or are running to serve in. This is especially
true for incumbent members of the legislature and Congress who may
have served umpteen terms and still prefer to position themselves as
Another major problem is that the major political campaigns have
evolved into little more than mass media or targeted campaign
mechanisms designed to inflict character assassinations. Despite
strong dissent from some of my really close friends, it seems to me we
need to improve laws for political truth-in-advertising. For now, the
threshold of what is legitimate to run in advertisements is too low
and not serving the purpose of electing qualified candidates who
debate the merits of their proposals.
Pat Kessler on WCCO-TV with his Reality Checks offers probably the
best example of an in-state version of what I'm talking about by the
private sector. There is also FactCheck.org that does a great job of
examining campaign claims and rumors in national races. CNN has a more
limited version of either of these. But these efforts are relatively
meager versus the amount of campaign advertisements the public is
bombarded with. Somehow we need to get more citizens to pay attention
to these venues and at least be armed with some actual facts.
Finally, as the former President of the Minnesota High Tech
Association I know that we have better information technologies (IT)
available that can really provide mechanisms to truly inform voters.
However, it is with much chagrin that I see campaigns expertly using
that very IT to bring more targeted misinformation to voters.
Obviously, campaigns have throughout history frequently used
questionable claims (or worse). However, the problem today is
magnified by the pervasive nature and the targeted manner in which the
campaigns can now reach voters...
Question 5: Investigate a method for Internet voting. (We have
security systems strong enough to manage financial transaction
integrity). Allow early voting as in other states.
John Milton (5) (10) (10)
Question 5: Have it on a two-day national holiday, as is several more
countries than ours . National system of voter registration with back
up data trail so that
first ballot per person is the only one that counts. Elimination of
the irregularities that allow people who don't want everyone to vote
to keep them out.
Bill Frenzel (0) (0) (5)
Question 1: I vote in Virginia. Had but 4 choices - 3 federal offices
& 1 bond issue.
Question 3: I used to be neutral on IRV, but the more I think about it
the less I like giving the losers a second vote.
Question 5: If times and locations are restricted, they should be
modified. Minnesota, with walk-in registration, is too convenient now,
so I see no need to become more so.
Charles Lutz (5) (8) (8)
Anonymous (3) (0) (0)
Question 1: You should see it in some other states.
Question 2. Judge. Water & Soil districts.
Question 4: It's already too convenient to vote.
Question 5: Even if absentee/early voting were restricted (which it
should be), the only change I'd suggest is opening earlier (say, 6:00
Ray Schmitz (2) (9) (3)
Question 2: SWCD officials. I suspect that even the most nerdy among
us cannot remember why they were originally put on the ballot. Moving
judicial offices back to the county they serve rather then district
Question 3. I am somewhat haunted by the specter of being governed by
everyone's second choice, but then we have been for eight years.
Question 5: I think that we seem to be doing all right, but the
ability to vote early would facilitate the process.
David Broden (6) (0) (0)
Structurally--the system is fine from a timing standpoint. The cycle
and timing of events is well suited to the responsiveness of the
people. The Minnesota caucus system and schedule when it works fits
well into the national picture when a presidential year and is very
good for a state election cycle. Moving the primary to June vs.
September has no benefit from my point of view and in fact will lead
to greater spending, more unnecessary and adds a further lack of
clarity. The candidates have the exposure time as the party
endorsements proceed and it is up to them for do what they think is
best. We could over structure the system without adding any benefits.
The form and organization of the ballot and how each race or issue is
presented perhaps could be improved and if the recount shows lots of
error perhaps a new way of marking ballots to clarify a bit could be
Question 1: Yes it is often too long but we have many elected
positions in a republic/democracy and we need to cover all of them.
The more appropriate issues is how should the ballot be structured
Question 2: the dialogue on judges at all levels and soil and water
conservation district board etc. needs to continue. Some other form
may be appropriate at some time for these.
Question 3: The idea if IRV just does not fit into the style of
government that we have making good decisions and leaders. The ranking
is what our candidate selection process in about and the start of a
new party will at sometime evolve to joint the others. We have a great
system that IRV will weaken--people need to make decisions.
Question 4: Voting is a responsibility. A republic/democracy requires
responsibility. We have the ability for absentee voting etc. That
takes care of the location when that situation arises.
Chuck Slocum (8) (5) (10)
Question 2: I am supportive of the Quie Commission recommendation for
judicial retention elections, allowing a qualitative review and up or
down vote on each judge, based on performance. While the current
elections for judges are often ceremonial, the potential for special
interest mischief remains high. We do want to minimize partisan
elections and special interest involvement in the selection of our
The ballot election of conservation district and parks positions on a
countywide basis ought to be handled by the county boards. The
election of library board members ought to be handled in by
appointment by the oversight jurisdiction.
Question 3: We should test this concept locally before implementing it
The opportunity for non major parties to participate ought to be
Question 5: Include more extensive mail-in-ballot opportunities and
invest in the
development of a secure system for off-site electronic voting.
Marianne Curry (8) (10) (10)
Question 2: Voting for judges is like a stab in the dark without some
form of effective evaluation of performance. I believe it is a sham
for voters to make blind judgments on judicial candidates, who are
best selected by a special panel.
Question 3: To avoid third party candidates from becoming "spoilers",
we need to seriously consider IRV. This would ensure a place for third
party candidates in the electoral process but would probably eliminate
Question 5: Standing in line endlessly does not make sense for many
harried working people with children. I believe the absentee ballot
option should be opened up to anyone without screening for "valid"
reasons defined by law.
Connie Morrison (__) (10) (__)
Larry Schluter (3) (3) (5)
I don't believe I saw a sample ballot in any newspaper, local or metro
to look at all the positions that we need to vote on. In the past we
used to see this. In the future this should be available at least
online by specific precinct since this vary by so many different
Question 2: I think this is as good as time to vote for all positions
available. As I indicated above, I don't think people are aware of all
of the positions they need to vote on and need to have a sample ballot
Question 5: I believe we need to take a look at voting on the weekend
Donald H. Anderson (3) (6) (5)
There appears to be some question if electronic voting is accurate,
perhaps only the old method without electronics would be adequate
Question 2: Judges, soil conservation commissioners and similar
Question 5: There is adequate time to vote. It wasn't a problem when I
started voting and I see no reason to change at the present.
Question 1. Yes the ballot is too long. At least here in CA we totally
abuse the initiative process as the legislature and the County
supervisors refuse to do their job and in fact they themselves add
initiatives for the people to vote on directly. Then they run to the
courts to invalidate the vote if they don't like the result.
Question 2. Good grief, this depends on the community. Do we still
vote for dog catcher? I do not understand why people have to run for
seemingly purely administrative offices (district attorney, sheriff,
tax collector, state insurance commissioner, etc.) -- how the heck
could a voter tell if the guy is a good manager or not? His employers
and employees would know, not the average voter. Why do we vote on
judges; what is the criterion for them -- their batting average on
Question 3. No IRV, please. Ever. You can't possibly foresee how you'd
choose, without knowing your choice first.
Question 4. Yes, sure. More time, more places.
Question 5. Recruit more polling place volunteers, so you could run
them in shifts. Recruit more polling places, and keep them open
longer. Give people half-day off to go vote, if they work too far from
home. Run truly non-partisan drives to encourage people to volunteer
their facilities (store fronts, garages) and their time (as poll
workers and poll watchers) -- and to vote.
Pam Ellison (_) (10) (10)
I think that the Office of Sheriff in all of the Counties, should not
be an elected position. Where counties have a charter governing their
county, the charter can be changed to make that office an appointed
position. My growing concern is that currently our cities have the
Police Chief that is appointed by the City. This is the way to go with
Police and Fire Chiefs in my opinion because they directly affect the
Public Safety. In situations where positions such as this are elected,
there is really no easy way to replace the official except a recall.
In these particular situations, a person directly involved in the
Public Safety may need to be disciplined and possibly dismissed, the
only way to do so is with a recall. In these cases, the numbers of
petition signatures to do so, is horrendously high. I think that when
these positions are appointed, there is an ability to FIRE the person
in the position in the case of poor conduct. As an example, a recall
in Ramsey County would require 50,000 + petition signatures to recall
his position. In the case of concern of violations of the public trust
that would be a long and convoluted process to engage in, when the
person has committed a heinous offense in office. Any position that
directly affects the public safety directly, should not be an elected
office, in my opinion. If you look at the State Commissioners of the
state departments, the Governor appoints and dismisses or fires those
positions, they are not elected. I would say that in the County and
Municipal Structures this should also be the case.
There has been great discussions on whether judges should be elected
or appointed. I sometimes think that they should be appointed IF and
only IF this would cause judges who perform poorly are dismissed. If
there will be little chance this would be overseen and actually done,
then the public should still weigh in with their vote. We need to
provide more information about judges and their experience in a voters
guide, so citizens can review credentials and vote with some
Question 4: I think we should offer up a range of days where people
can cast their vote. Traditionally in Minnesota we have not had much
trouble with the election process, however, the fact that Florida and
Ohio elections from the 2004 election as well as the 2000 election
were in question and the Ohio election issues have still not been
resolved by a Congressional inquiry, I think we need to make certain
every vote is counted. I also worry about votes that come from our
military service people from overseas location, how can the general
public be assured that all of these absentee votes have been counted.
I think the process needs to be much more transparent and explained to
voters than possible.
Question 5: I favor actually, a National Holiday on election day for
one. So that everyone has the day off and can allow everyone to easily
vote without having to leave their place of business to cast their
vote. I would also suggest a Saturday prior to the Election day. These
two would allow people a choice, but would make it more accessible to
everyone. I also think that the County Offices could accept votes the
week prior. Of course the public would need to be assured that all
votes done ahead of time will in fact be counted. Results of the
several days of voting would not be finalized until the night of the
actual Election Day, so as not to cause people to think that the
election is already won, when in fact it is not.
Ellen Brown (0) (10) (10)
Question 2: It is really hard to vote for judges. I always have to ask
some respected person for whom to vote.
Question 3: If this Senate race doesn't move the arrow on IRV, it will
be unbelievable. I mean really. Do we want to elect a U.S. Senator
with 42% of the vote? Not to mention the other plurality races.
Question 5: More encouragement for absentee/early voting.
Carolyn Ring (10) (3) (1)
As the head judge in a precinct I find election day registration and
especially "vouching" an invitation for fraud. This is the view shared
by many judges, no matter what party, but is strongly acclaimed by the
very liberal majority we now have in the legislature.
Question 2: Judges, watershed districts, library board
Question 5: There is no perfect time. MN law allows up to 4 hours off
from work to vote. Back in the dark ages when I started voting, in
1948, I was working at Investors and we had election day off. Many
people took it as a day of vacation to do anything they wanted. The
next day people were telling each other about what they did and the
fact they didn't vote. I'm not sure human nature has changed much. I
would have to see some very definitive research on changing voting to
Saturday or Sunday as a way of increasing voter participation. We have
the most liberal laws in the nation for eligibility to vote. We long
ago eliminated having a notary sign an absentee ballot, and actually
anyone can vote absentee. It is difficult to find any reason why
someone cannot vote with the present time and places in Minnesota.
Rick Wilhoit (0) (6) (0)
I have been curious for some time as to how and who makes arrangements
for residents, sometimes referred to by me as inmates, of nursing
homes to vote. Who oversees their voting? How do we know that those
who vote are legally competent, or if legally competent, are
sufficiently informed to vote. I think there is much opportunity for
hanky panky. Is this an unsupervised opportunity those with their own
agendas, to create mischief? A client of mine who is a resident of a
St. Paul care facility voted in early October. Someone at, or through
the nursing made arrangements for her to obtain an absentee ballot.
This client is fully competent, but how many from the home who voted
may not be competent. Query--What is the level of competency that is
required to vote?_If a person is signing a Last Will the level of
competence is quite low. Is voting similar?
Question 2: Soil and Water Conservation. I have no idea who were the
Question 5: Minnesota seems to me to be very flexible, particularly
since voters may vote absentee or early voting.
Tony Solgård (10) (9) (8)
Question 2: Judges; soil & water conservation district board members.
Question 3: For single-winner offices to which we are accustomed, I
strongly agree that every winning candidate should receive a majority
through Ranked Choice Voting. For example, 14 of the last 20 statewide
offices were decided by less than a majority of the voters. That's got
to change. But I don't think the Georgia-style two-round runoff is a
better option than what we have now. Instant Runoff Voting would
accomplish the purpose without the drawbacks of a second election.
My nuance on this question is that the multi-winner version of Ranked
Choice voting would elect legislative bodies by proportional
representation. More voters would elect representatives and majority
rule would be assured. However, the threshold for winning would be
reduced as the number of winners to be elected within a district
increased. So, I would be opposed to a proposal that literally would
require every winning candidate to receive a majority of the votes.
Question 5: Election Day on a weekend, more than one day of voting,
greater allowance for "absentee" ballots (whether absent or not),
vote-by-mail, and someday even internet voting. Regarding locations,
given the strong preference for paper ballots, I don't see any way to
get around voting in a designated precinct.
Jim Keller (0) (0) (0)
I believe we should not have same day registration unless we have
photo ID with address.
Question 2: None.
Question 5: I believe voting has been made very convenient; this is
not the problem with participation.
Victoria Ford (7) (10) (10)
I voted absentee in this election. It was surprisingly difficult to do
so, because of some complications of my personal circumstances.
Absentee ballots have to be witnessed, either by a voter registered in
your precinct or by someone with the ability to swear an oath (notary
public, justice of the peace, etc.). I went to a notary public, but he
refused to witness my ballot because the address on my drivers license
did not match the address at which I am registered to vote (I moved
out of my house and into temporary housing for a few weeks before
coming to PA, during which the September primary occurred, so I
registered to vote in my new precinct but did not change my Minnesota
Question 2: Judges. It is so difficult for voters to get information
about these candidates.
Question 5: Voting period extended from one day to one week (or more).
Official federal holiday for election day. Ability to choose to vote
at a location that is either in your precinct or close to your
workplace. Internet voting.
These two articles point out how a lie launched into the current media
structure can last for a long, long time.
Donna Anderson (5) (5) (9)
Question 2: increased understanding of and use of absentee ballot, and
realistic procedures for counting the ballots.
Question 4: Many polling places are located in crowded neighborhoods
and have architectural barriers (many steps), making it difficult for
persons with disabilities and physical limitations, young and older as
well as parents with young children.
Bill Hamm (2) (5) (4)
Question 1: Too long for whom, lazy citizens?
Question 2: Judges, the last thing I want to see in Minnesota is the
kind of ugly race we up here in the Duluth area saw next door in
Wisconsin. Judges are suppose to be appointed and I agree with the
process Al Quie was involved with where an independent review panel
recommends, who ever appoints, and then stand for election after that.
It gives the people the chance to remove a sitting Judge if needed. Of
course all opposition would also have to endure screening too.
Question 3: IRV has its place, (at large school board elections for
example), but for State elections it would only come into effect if
there were at least 3 candidates on the ballot. As someone who has
been a third party candidate twice now I am not convinced that IRV
could or would help me in any way.
Question 4: Considering voter turnout in my area of the state there is
no justification for any massive change. We have mail out ballots for
nearly half of District 3A where I ran. The down side is that it takes
12 days out of the campaign for those folks and really messes up
Question 5: Rather than time and location changes I would argue for a
five-year tax incentive for first time voters. We need to insist that
our education system teaches how our civic process works to all our
pre 18's; they have a right to know how to participate, and teachers
unions are standing in the way of that full force.
David Hutcheson (7) (4) (4)
Certainly don't have comprehensive or specific knowledge, but have a
general impression that getting a new generation of volunteers for
election judge is becoming progressively more urgent. How is this
going to be done?
Question 2: Soil and Water / some judges, depending on how we resolve
the question of judicial offices in general.
Question 5: Keep the current election day date and hours as is;
supplement it with some early voting times, perhaps a 6- or 8- hour
day on one or two Saturdays before the election day.
Brian Thiel (8) (0) (0)
Nothing is more important than having a public who has confidence in
the fairness of the election process where only one ballot from only
qualified voters will ever be fairly counted. Many of the recent
changes have not produced any improvement. Vote fraud is a much
greater problem these days than disenfranchisement.
I am very queasy about not requiring adequate evidence that people
appearing at the polls are who they say they are. Fortunately, in MN
because we do not have early balloting there is less opportunity for a
person to come back on subsequent days and pretend to be somebody else
when different poll workers won't recognize them. At least in MN there
is some chance they would be recognized as somebody who already came
to that precinct.
I am not convinced that ballot fraud is prevented by current MN policy
in the instance where somebody sends an absentee ballot and then
appears at the polls. Certainly the instance this year in WI proves
that it was very easy to commit voter fraud there. Is MN any better?
Show convincingly to a bi-partisan and technically savvy panel that it
cannot happen here.
Voter registration is so loosey-goosey these days it is almost certain
to provide plenty of opportunity for fraud.
Arguments that voting should not be intimidating are just plain silly.
Voting should be somewhat intimidating, at least enough to cause every
citizen to think a lot about what he/she is doing and to pay some
personal price (time and inconvenience) to do so. In sports we say,
"no pain, no gain." Same thing goes for citizenship.
Question 2: I favor the appointment/retention election process for
judges and that alone would simplify (shorten) the ballot.
Question 3: No, this is a bad idea. It greatly increases the
complexity to the voters who already are complaining of too many
choices. Neither does it scale with how many voters regard their
candidate options. In a ranking system the presumption is erroneous
that a voter's #1 choice is only marginally preferred than his/her #2,
who is only marginally better than #3, etc. A recent Senatorial
election should remind us this is a very real concern. For example, an
election has 3 candidates. I want to vote 100% for A and 0% for B or
C. How do I vote for that? I want to vote 50% for A and 25% for B or
C. How do I vote for that? Until every proponent of such arrangements
understands the statistical complexity of multivariate analysis, and
can devise a way to explain it to the rest of us they need to be told
to keep their ideas back in the lab.
Question 4: Anybody has a 12 hour time span on election day or can
file an absentee ballot.
Roger Heegaard (_) (8) (10)
I think the whole process is way too long.
Question 5: Establish a national holiday or, if that won't "sell"
change elections to weekends.
Sheila Kiscaden (4) (9) (9)
Question 2: Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Judges: should
follow Quie Commission recommendations.
Question 5: Expand early voting/absentee options.
Jackie Underferth (7) (0) (10)
Question 2: Judges! Soil and Water Commissioners.
Question 5: Election Day should be Saturday. I also think absentee
ballots should be allowed with no reason given. My cousin lives in
Pleasanton, CA and her ballot is mailed automatically to her every
year. Very convenient and with the size of their ballots, they need
all the time they can get to look at all the propositions. Thankfully,
we don't have that in Minnesota.
George Pillsbury (10) (10) (10)
Question 2: Park Board etc.
Tim Utz (5) (10) (10)
What we need are informed, educated voters willing to vote a
conviction at the ballot box based on research of candidates positions
and or voting records, not mass celebrity voting or voting for who a
voter thinks can win.
Question 2: I understand the ballot holds constitutionally elected
positions. If I am correctly understanding, I am 100% against changing
how we elect by constitutional rule of law.
Question 4: We need people to grow up and take serious personal
responsibility for our constitutional privilege to vote.
Jim Olson (10) (10) (10)
Jody A. Hauer (1) (3) (9)
Absentee ballots ought to be available to any registered voter who
cares to use them.
So much of our lives are managed digitally these days. I pay my bills,
reserve my library books, and purchase clothing and groceries online.
It seems that voting online should be feasible.
Question 2: Offices with very low visibility, such as the soil and
water conservation board members, where candidates do little
campaigning and voters have little useful information on which to base
Question 5: Online voting should become the norm or at least be made
Wayne Jennings (5) (8) (10)
Question 2: Water board, library board, etc. or other local boards
other than schools.
Question 5: Weekends plus traditional Tuesday plus more use of
absentee ballots. Use
schools which are widely disbursed in all communities.
Barry Hickethier (2) (1) (0)
Question 2: None, other than perhaps things like soil/water
commissioner that could be appointed. This would be better if we had
more of a city manager structure in Minneapolis.
Question 4: Aleady ample time. Multiple days, early voting, etc. open
the door for more fraud. If same day reg were eliminated and official
photo id were required it may be possible to accommodate a longer
voting period. Multiple days would also make it more difficult to find
sufficient number of election judges, poll challengers for each party,
Question 5: Should eliminate same day registration so that lines move
faster. Also, require an official state id when checking in.
Chris Brazelton (3) (10) (8)
There were many absentee ballots in our area not counted because the
clerk failed to write down identifying information on the outer
envelope. There needs to be a process in place so that clerical errors
don't disenfranchise voters.
Also, spoiled ballots should be rejected by the counter and the voter
given the opportunity to go back and correct their error.
Question 2: None
Question 5: Voting could run for a week and be available at malls and
other locations with ample parking.
Tom Swain (2) (8) (5)
Question 2: Water, soil conservation, district judges
Lyall Schwarzkopf (10) (0) (3)
Question 2: Unopposed judges, and city or county or special district administrative
positions like County Treasurer
Question 5: I believe our present system is fine.