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State fair survey asks about clean water amendment

The League of Women Voters Minnesota brought the following question to voters at the fair: What is your favorite stop at the Minnesota State Fair?

Animal Barn won with 105 votes out of 650 ballots cast. International Bazaar (95) took second and the Food Building (87) placed third.

League of Women Voters Minnesota sponsored this fun election to promote its State of Democracy Project. There were also two more serious questions on the ballot: "What is proposed in the Constitutional Amendment on the ballot this November?" and "What key issues will influence your vote on November 4?"

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment proposes a 3/8th of 1 percent sales tax increase to fund all of the following: protect our drinking water, restore fish, game and wildlife habitat, preserve our arts and cultural heritage, support our parks and trails, and protect and restore lakes and rivers. There were 482 voters who correctly answered "all of the above" when presented that list of projects.

The top issue for voters was the economy, with 304 votes. Close behind were health care (272), education (232), war in Iraq (198) and environment (184). Other important issues were energy (148), taxes (114), foreign policy (100) and Social Security (99).

LWV Minnesota volunteers enjoyed the opportunity at the fair to educate the public on the Constitutional Amendment and spark thinking about positions on issues when voting. League of Women Voters encourages all citizens to become civically engaged, and is looking forward to a high turnout in November's election. League of Women Voters Minnesota's non-partisan Online Voter Guide is now available at The printed edition will be available at all Target stores in October.

The Fair poll was sponsored by LWV Minnesota's State of Democracy project, funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation. The goal of the project is to identify Minnesota's political systems' most significant shortcomings and engage a broad group of stakeholders to develop strategies and best practice to lay the groundwork for real reform. The work is overseen and guided by a group of civic and "good government" leaders in Minnesota, and is conducting public forums and hosting an annual conference as part of its efforts.

League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan group founded in 1919 to raise public awareness of important civic issues and good governance. LWV Minnesota includes 42 local leagues serving communities throughout the state.