2018 Elections Are Upon Us!

That’s right, everybody - it’s election time again. On Tuesday, November 6th, 36/50 governors, 87/99 state legislators, 35/100 senators, and all 435 congresspeople will be on electoral ballots. There are various ways to see who is running in your area, mainly by checking your State’s Secretary of State’s website. Also, many states have been purging voter rolls and/or enacting voter suppression laws, so be ready. Republicans are been working to prevent minorities from voting, including using voter ID laws (which are bad for many Americans). This is very important to be prepared for - even College Humor has made a video about it (embedded above). Know if you can do early voting, know what your rights are for voting, know if you can or cannot register same-day, know if you can get a provisional ballot if you get turned away, and know who is running. You can see if you have been purged from a voter roll at vote.org. Here are some helpful links for preparing to vote:


While midterm coverage is largely focused on the parts of Congress that do very little, vital (and bizarre) midterm elections are going unexamined. State legislators pass a lot of bills, and some of that efficiency is thanks to a group called ALEC that writes legislation for them. It's as shady as it sounds!

Now remember, local governments get more done than the federal government; however, people tend to not focus as much on what is happening locally. As I said in 2017: It is important to vote and to know who you are voting for, because you are voicing your opinion on how things should be run. Your elected officials work for you - they are not your leaders, but the reverse. You are the leaders, and you need to be informed. From State Governor to District Court Judges, you are deciding what elected officials are enforcing, legislating, and ruling on. Be informed, and make it count. If you're not involved, you may find that your city has placed you in, as John Oliver puts it, "the fuck barrel."

In Minnesota, we will be voting for Federal, State, County, and Judicial Offices statewide. Also, some municipalities will have Mayoral, City Council, and School Board elections (looking at you, Eden Prairie), and even some Charter Amendments (looking at you, Minneapolis), which I will not get into here (I may look into some areas if I receive requests). Before we get into that, know where your polling place is. This link will tell you where to go on Election Day and who is on your specific ballot. You can also vote early by mail or by going to your municipal offices (check first to make certain that you are going to the right one). As Election Day is not a federal holiday, it may be a good idea to vote early. AND KNOW WHAT IS ON YOUR BALLOT.

Courtesy of https://mnnicethevote.com/

Minnesota is one of the states that does same-day registration as well as early voting. Minnesota does not provide provisional ballots. If you arrive at your polling place and show up as not being registered to vote, you can have a registered voter at your polling place vouch for you, use your ID with your current name & address, or use a photo ID and a proof of your current address. And if you are living at a facility or a shelter, you can have an employee from there vouch for you, and if you are homeless or are transient, someone who is registered and can vouch for where you regularly sleep can vouch for you. So get out there. Provide rides if you can, as transportation is still a limiting factor for many. Remind people to vote. And vote.

Let’s take a look at who is running in Minnesota. The political party abbreviations that will be used are the following:
GOP - Republican
DFL - Democratic-Farmer-Labor
LMN - Legal Marijuana Now
MGP - Minnesota Green Party
IPM - Independence Party of Minnesota
GLC - Grassroots - Legalize Cannabis
LIB - Libertarian Party of Minnesota

Federal Offices - Senate

Senator (term expiring January 3rd, 2025):

Jim Newberger (GOP)
Amy Klobuchar (DFL) (Incumbent)
Dennis Schuller (LMN)
Paula M Overby (MGP)

Senator (Special Election - term expiring January 3rd, 2021):

Karin Housley (GOP)
Tina Smith (DFL) (Incumbent)
Sarah Wellington (LMN)
Jerry Trooien (Unaffiliated)

Federal Office - U.S. Representative

District 1:

Dan Feehan (DFL)
Jim Hagedorn (GOP)

District 2:

Jason Lewis (GOP) (Incumbent)
Angie Craig (DFL)

District 3:

Erik Paulsen (GOP) (Incumbent)
Dean Phillips (DFL)

District 4:

Betty McCollum (DFL) (Incumbent)
Greg Ryan (GOP)
Susan Pendergast Sindt (LMN)

District 5:

Jennifer Zielinski (GOP)
Ilhan Omar (DFL)
Les Lester (MGP) (Write-In Candidiate, not on ballot)

District 6:

Tom Emmer (GOP) (Incumbent)
Ian Todd (DFL)

District 7:

Collin Peterson (DFL) (Incumbent)
Dave Hughes (GOP)

District 8:

Joe Radinovich (DFL)
Pete Stauber (GOP)
Ray Sandman (IPM)

State Offices - State Representative

All 134 House Seats are up for election in Minnesota. I’m not going to list them all here, but fortunately Ballotpedia has them all listed. What I will do is list ones that people request.

District 46A:

Luke McCusker (GOP)
Ryan Winkler (DFL)

District 48B:

Jenifer W. Loon (GOP) (Incumbent)
Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL)

State Offices - Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom (GOP)
Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan (DFL)
Chris Wright and Judith Schwartzbacker (GLC)
Josh Welter and Mary O'Connor (LIB)

State Offices - Secretary of State

John Howe (GOP)
Steve Simon (DFL) (Incumbent)
William Denney (IPM)

State Offices - State Auditor

Pam Myhra (GOP)
Julie Blaha (DFL)
Michael Ford (LMN)
Chris Dock (LIB)

State Offices - Attorney General

Doug Wardlow (GOP)
Keith Ellison (DFL)
Noah M. Johnson (GLC)

There are 87 counties in Minnesota. I am not going to look up and list them all here - use the Secretary of State Voter Information Portal to find out what’s on your specific ballot or go to the Minnesota Elections on Ballotpedia to see what’s happening in your area. I will add specific county races upon request.

County Offices - County Commissioner

Hennepin County District 2:

Irene Fernando
Blong Yang

Hennepin County District 3:

LaDonna Redmond
Marion Greene (Incumbent)

Hennepin County District 4:

Peter McLaughlin (Incumbent)
Angela Conley

County Offices - County Sheriff

Dave Hutch
Rich Stanek (Incumbent)

County Offices - County Attorney

Mark Haase
Michael Freeman (Incumbent)

All of the judicial seats in Minnesota, save for two, are running unopposed, and so I will not list them here. Know who your judges are, as they have to campaign to get your vote. Here are the two seats that have contenders:

The vast majority of US judges are elected, forcing many judges to pander to the electorate and accept campaign money in order to keep their jobs. This seems slightly troubling... Connect with Last Week Tonight online...

Judicial Offices - Supreme Court

Associate Justice 2:

Michelle MacDonald
Margaret Chutich (Incumbent)

Judicial Offices - Court of Appeals

Judge 2:

Anthony L. Brown
Lucinda Ellen Jesson (Incumbent)

More videos to watch:

Special districts spend more public money than all city governments combined. That's odd considering most of us don't know they exist. Connect with Last Week Tonight online...
Every American deserves an equal vote. But in some states, access to voting is becoming less and less equal. Connect with Last Week Tonight online...

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