Elections are the final poll

We’re heading into prime time for the political season with a highly contested primary August 14 and a mid-term general election Nov. 14 where Minnesota will be in the national spotlight.
Wednesday, election officials from cities, school districts and townships in St. Louis County gathered in Clinton Township for training on this year’s primary and general elections.
Present were representatives from the Town of Morse, City of Ely and the Ely School District. And by the next day, the rules had changed.
The Supreme Court ruled Minnesota’s law liberally banning the wearing of political apparel and buttons in polling places was unconstitutional.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon will now be left with trying to interpret the ruling. He’ll pass that on to the 87 county auditors who will in turn pass it on to the same people gathered in a town hall off Highway 37 Wednesday afternoon.
Minnesota, like most states, has plenty of rules dealing with elections. Here’s a few:
• Election judges can be neutral and there can be many neutral judges as long as there are an equal number of Republican and Democrats.
• Townships will need to prepare for four elections in 2020. A Presidential Primary in March, Township election in March, primary election in August and general election in November.
• Since there are seven candidates for St. Louis County Commissioner in the Fourth District, those polling places will have double the number of test ballots to run through the machines.
Northeast Minnesota and the state in general are frequently in the top 10 for voter turnout and this year should be no exception.
Ely and Morse are again working on a joint election project this year, getting student election judges to go through a training session along with area veterans.
In 2004 the experiment was deemed a success after a training session held at the International Wolf Center.
The brainchild of summer visitor Cole Kleitsch, pairing up students and veterans could be used nationwide to up voter turnout for decades to come. The training will be held Monday, July 21 in Ely.
Area students age 16-17 and any area veterans interested in participating should contact Ely operations director Harold Langowski at 365-3224 or Morse clerk Nick Wognum at 365-3141.
“By inviting and including area veterans to the training, we link a generation that seeks to serve with one that knows something about it,” said Kleitsch, Director of Walking Civics.
“This is a great opportunity for the students and veterans to learn more about election law, whether they serve as an election judge or not,” said Morse clerk Nick Wognum. “Plus most cities and townships have aging election judges so training high school students will create a pool of future judges to serve wherever they may live in the future.”
There are sure to be more twists and turns in this year’s election cycle before voters cast their ballots Aug. 14 and Nov. 6.
In Ely, voters will see new vote counting machines. Election officials are bracing for a busy two days and nights this fall.
Early voting for the 2018 Primary Election begins on June 29. Be sure to cast your ballot, either in the polling place or via absentee ballot.