Be a voter and leader
October 6, 2022 | Linda Wedul, CAE
Do you know what that number represents? It is the percentage of eligible Minnesota voters who voted in the 2020 election. That was the highest turnout among all states, a common occurrence for the North Star State. Nationally in 2020, two out of three eligible adults voted. Minnesota has another opportunity Nov. 8 to show up and lead the way for voter participation again. Let me share why this matters.
Every Minnesota state senator, representative, state office holder (governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor) are on the ballot, along with our eight congressional representatives and any number of locally elected city, county and school district officials.
With the impact of many retirements and redistricting throughout the state’s 201 legislative districts, the political mix will change at the Capitol with many new faces taking office in 2023. Your vote will decide what changes. Will Minnesota remain the only state in the country with a split Legislature led by different parties? How will incumbents fare? How will priorities shift? Your voice and vote matters in deciding those questions.
Encourage those around you to participate
We can’t make people vote, but we can manage some of the barriers:
- Excuse No. 1: I don’t know the candidates.
It has never been easier to find candidate information but choose your online sources with critical thought. A sample ballot can be downloaded and reviewed in advance of voting.
Find your sample ballot
- Excuse No. 2: My vote doesn’t make a difference.
In local elections, the number of eligible voters is smaller, which means final results can be decided by votes in the single digits; ties have even been known to happen. The impact of state and local elections is not as well understood or draw the same allure as national or statewide elections, but sometimes they are more impactful to everyday life. Decisions to improve infrastructure like school buildings or stoplights at a dangerous intersection, maintain clean drinking water and improve roads and streets are made at the local level. Additionally, many initiatives start at a local level and then grow to become part of the national discussion.
- Excuse No. 3: I don’t have time.
To all the employers: Encourage your employees to vote. Communicate and support the most fundamental action individuals make in a democratic society. Minnesota requires time off to vote without penalty or deduction from salary or wages. Employers are an influential element in moving people to vote, so do you part. While it’s important to advocate for your employees to take advantage of their voting rights, employers may not influence how employees vote. That will land those employers in hot water.
- Excuse No. 4: I don’t know where to vote.
Use the polling place finder to determine where you vote. Where you last voted may not be the same place it is this election, especially after redistricting following the last U.S. Census.
Polling place finder
Let’s keep Minnesota in the lead
Let’s lead the nation in voter turnout and show that Minnesota values the right and privilege to vote. Put voting on your calendar, prepare by reviewing a sample ballot, getting to know the candidates and knowing where to vote. Be a voter!
Topics: Legislative & Government Affairs, Government
Linda Wedul, CAE
Linda Wedul is president and CEO of the MNCPA. She’s usually spotted at MNCPA events, introducing herself to members with a warm smile and memorable laugh. Mixed among the Footnotes, accounting journals, leadership books and three monitors in her office, you’d be surprised to see a dog kennel. Her unpaid job is volunteering as a foster family for service dogs in training through Can-Do-Canines. She and her husband have two adult children and live in Farmington. Linda can be reached at 952-885-5516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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