An Echo Press Editorial: Make an informed decision before you vote
By the Echo Press Editorial Board
It’s 62 days until the Nov. 8 election.
Early or absentee voting starts Sept. 23.
Are you ready?
Some big decisions await voters in Douglas County. In addition to the statewide races for governor, secretary of state, attorney general and a U.S. representative race in the 7th District, Douglas County voters will select office holders for school board, city council, Douglas County Board, Minnesota Senate and Minnesota House.
These are choices that shouldn’t be made lightly. Voters should make a true effort in finding out as much as they can about the candidates and how they stand on issues. They should read newspaper stories about the election, watch debates, visit candidates’ websites, check their facebook pages, read election-related letters to the editor and have respectful conversations with others about the election.
We also encourage readers to check out the Echo Press’ online resources by clicking on the “ELECTION 2022” link at the top of the page. The Echo Press will also publish a Voter’s Guide section in October that will contain questionnaires that were sent to the candidates.
To bring local voters up to speed, here’s a rundown of some of the key contested races in Douglas County:
Alexandria School Board. Position 2 – Vern Engstrom vs. Alan Zeithamer. Position 3 – Lynne Lommen vs. Shawn Reilly. Position 4 – Laura Knudsen vs. Sandy Susag.
Douglas County Board. District 2 – Tim Kalina vs. Jim Stratton. District 5 – Heather Larson vs. Shane Schmidt.
Alexandria City Council. Ward 4 – Nicole Mace vs. Ronald Sik.
Minnesota Senate District 12. Torrey Westrom vs. Kari Dorry vs. Ashley Klingbeil.
Minnesota Senate District 9. Jordan Rasmusson vs. Cornel Walker.
Minnesota House District 12B. Mary Franson vs. Jeremy Vinar.
Minnesota House District 9B. Tom Murphy vs. Jason Satter.
U.S. Representative District 7. Michelle Fischbach vs. Jill Abahsain vs. Travis “Bull” Johnson.
Remember, changes were made in the boundaries of the jurisdictions because of redistricting, which is done every 10 years to reflect changes in population. Some voters will be seeing names on their ballots that they’ve never seen before.
Here’s a quick way to find out who is on your ballot. Go to our website, www.echopress.com . Click on ELECTION 2022 at the top of the page. Or on your smartphone, click on the “hamburger” (the three short lines at the top left of the page) and then click on ELECTION 2022.
From there, you can type in your address to find out who will be on your ballot or browse through stories about the election and the candidates. You can also get answers to common questions such as, “What are the different ways I can vote?” “Who is eligible to vote?” “Can I register to vote on Election Day?” “Where do I vote?” “How do I report voter fraud?” “How can I check if I am already registered?” “What should I bring to the polls?” or “Who do I ask if I have a question about voting?”
As the election draws nearer, the Echo Press plans to do a story answering some of the common questions that the Douglas County Auditor’s Office is receiving about the Nov. 8 election. If there is something about the election that you’re wondering about, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.
The important thing: Get involved in the process and make informed decisions this election. It’s an important one. Listen to the wise words of Abraham Lincoln: “Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”