Election 2010 – the wait is almost overAfter weeks of campaigning, electioneering, debating and soul-searching, the 2010 General Election is only days away. Many of this year’s local, regional and state contests are being hotly contested – in some cases, more than at any time in recent memory – and with today’s challenging economy, the stakes are high.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
After weeks of campaigning, electioneering, debating and soul-searching, the 2010 General Election is only days away. Many of this year’s local, regional and state contests are being hotly contested – in some cases, more than at any time in recent memory – and with today’s challenging economy, the stakes are high.
The only steps left untaken are to make those final decisions on which candidates will get your vote and then go out and vote next Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Here are some things you need to know before you vote:
If you’re still undecided on the candidates and issues, you’ll find a comprehensive Voters’ Guide in this issue of the Pine Journal. In the interest of providing enough space for candidate responses, only the contested races for school board, city council, mayor, Sixth District Court judge and local legislators are featured, along with information on the county’s two excess levy school referendums in Carlton and Moose Lake.
If you’ve done all your homework on the candidates and are ready to vote, be sure to know when and where to go to the polls.
If you’re voting absentee, your ballot must be cast in person at the office of Carlton County Auditor/Treasurer Paul Gassert on the second floor of the courthouse in Carlton no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1. If you’re voting by mail, your ballot must be received at the courthouse before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Most local polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (the only exception is Lakeview Township, where polls open at 10 a.m.).
Polling locations for cities are as follows:
Barnum – Barnum Community Center, 3753 Front St., Barnum; Carlton – Carlton Fire Hall, 100 Fourth St. N.; Moose Lake – Moose Lake Civic and Community Center, 313 Elm St.; and Scanlon – Scanlon Community Center, 2801 Dewey Ave. Cromwell, Kettle River, Thomson, Wrenshall and Wright vote by mail ballot only.
The city of Cloquet’s polling places include: Ward 1, Precinct 3 – Gospel Tabernacle Church, 1400 Washington Ave.; Ward 2, Precinct 4 – Garfield Community Center, 302 14th St.; Ward 3, Precinct 5 – Cloquet City Hall, 1307 Cloquet Ave.; Ward 4, Precinct 6 – Cloquet Armory, 801 Highway 33 S.; Ward 5, Precinct 1 – Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 515 Skyline Blvd.; and Ward 5, Precinct 2 – Fond du Lac Head Start, 105 University Road.
Polling locations for townships are as follows:
Atkinson – Carlton County Transportation Department, 1630 County Road 61, Carlton; Automba – Automba Town Hall, 6956 County Road 6, Kettle River; Barnum – Barnum Fire Hall, 3842 Church St., Barnum; Blackhoof – Blackhoof Town Hall, 3148 County Road 5, Barnum; Lakeview – Wright Fire Hall, 1426 Third St., Wright; Mahtowa – Mahtowa Fire/Town Hall, 2790 County Road 141, Mahtowa; Moose Lake – Moose Lake Civic and Community Center, 313 Elm St., Moose Lake; Silver – Kettle River Snowmobile Club, 5585 County Road 12, Kettle River; Silver Brook – Silver Brook Town Hall, 401 Alcohol Road, Wrenshall; Skelton – Skelton Town Hall, 3502 County Road 157, Barnum; Thomson – Thomson Town Hall, 25 E. Harney Road, Esko; Twin Lakes – Carlton County Transportation Building, 1630 County Road 61, Carlton; Eagle – Cromwell-Wright Public School, 5624 Highway 210, Cromwell; and Perch Lake – Perch Lake Town Hall, 2779 Big Lake Road, Cloquet. Beseman, Clear Creek, Holyoke, Kalevala, Split Rock, Wrenshall, Corona, Progress, Red Clover and Sawyer townships vote by mail ballot only.
If you haven’t already registered, you can do so on Election Day by showing a Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, identification card (or a receipt for one). If your driver’s license still bears a former address, you will be asked to present a recent utility bill that displays your name and current address.
Other voter registration options include presenting a U.S. passport along with a recent utility bill; a U.S. military photo ID card with a recent utility bill; a tribal photo ID; a prior voting registration from the same precinct; or, if none of this documentation is available, bring along a registered voter also living in your current precinct who can confirm your address in a signed oath.
Students are allowed to use a student photo ID with a valid address in the precinct or a current student fee statement.
If you’re still uncertain about the registration procedure, or you have concerns over whether you’ll be allowed to register, go to mnvotes.org; call Gassert at 218-384-9127; or contact the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office at 877-551-6767 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.