Time to vote, already

Lori Sturdevant // Published September 9, 2008 in Minneapolis Star Tribune

In a state that's still reeling from the heady experience of hosting a national political convention, it doesn't seem possible that it's time to go to the polls on Tuesday.

That's this Tuesday, Sept. 9 -- the return of Minnesota's poorly timed primary election. This newspaper isn't a fan of Minnesota's second Tuesday in September primary schedule. It devotes too much of the election-year calendar to intraparty warfare and doesn't allow enough time for the general election showdown. It also separates the candidate selection process into two distinct phases -- party endorsement in the spring, primary campaign in the summer. Those two ought to be melded, so that party leaders can watch and choose among candidates whose public campaigns are already in progress.  

We prefer a June primary. We also are intrigued with instant runoff voting, the vote-by-rank-order experiment that the city of Minneapolis proposes to run for the state in next year's city election (provided it isn't derailed by the courts). In non-partisan elections, instant runoff voting would make Tuesday's low-turnout, high-cost election unnecessary. One ballot in November would do it all.

All those options are for another day. This Tuesday, please vote. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. To bone up on the choices you'll find on your ballot, visit the "My Vote" section of startribune.com/politics.