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Politics finds Ely, thankfully without presidential candidates

The Nov. 8 election is still weeks away but a candidate from one of the higher profile races made a campaign stop in Ely.
Republican Stewart Mills is again trying to beat Democrat Rick Nolan for the Eighth District House seat.
Mills was in Ely briefly on Wednesday and stopped in the Ely Echo office on Chapman Street. We expect to see Nolan soon, as he’s been a more frequent visitor to Ely.
This race is attracting plenty of “outside” money with 99.9 percent not going to newspapers. Yet newspapers are exactly where politicians turn to get their message out.
Now into a second election campaign,we’re still waiting to see a political ad from Stewart Mills. At this point we’ve probably got a better chance to get one from Mills Fleet Farm.
Nolan did advertise with the Ely Echo and other Range newspapers in 2014. That could very well have been the difference in his win over Mills.
With all of the attention on the presidential race battlefield, our local races have been very quiet. There is a candidate forum for the Ely city council seats set for Oct. 26.
Crickets are chirping for the Ely school board race. No forum is scheduled and yet there are six candidates in the running, including a former superintendent who was placed on administrative leave amid allegations that she created a hostile work environment, used retaliatory practices, and misused sick and vacation time.
Voters are also being asked to renew a referendum to maintain current spending for the school district. A crucial component for funding our children’s education and yet there has been little promoted thus far.
We’re three weeks away from election day but already a number of people have cast their ballots. With absentee voting rapidly growing in popularity, if you wait too long to get a political message out, you may miss out. Over 120 people have already voted in Ely alone, and over 90,000 in the state.
This trend of making it easier for people to vote is going to continue. In 2016 we’re seeing just the start. How long will it be until there is a form of online voting? The issue of hanging chads already seems like eons ago.
After suffering through two presidential debates that at times were anything but presidential, the rate of election burnout among the electorate will surely climb.
And yet, what a great country we live in where the people choose who will make the laws and serve as our leaders. No kings, no queens, no dictators for the U.S.A. Our system is far from perfect but it’s still much better than whatever is in second place.

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