2017 Voter Guide

The end of a long campaign season is fast approaching.

On Nov. 7, Minneapolis voters head to the polls to elect (or re-elect) a mayor, all 13 members of the City Council, all nine members of the Park Board and two members of the Board of Estimate & Taxation. Thanks to no-excuses absentee voting, hundreds have already cast their ballots.

The Southwest Journal Voter’s Guide is designed to help voters make well-informed choices when they rank their candidates on the ballot.

(Direct links: MayorWard 6Ward 7Ward 8; Ward 10; Ward 11; Ward 13; Park Board.)

Register to vote

All eligible voters must be registered to cast a ballot. Pre-registration for the Nov. 7 municipal election closed Oct. 17, but Minnesota allows voters to register at the polls on Election Day.

To register, voters must confirm their name and address using a valid Minnesota driver’s license, permit or a receipt for either; a valid state ID card or receipt for one; a tribal ID card; or a college ID card (for those residing in student housing).

A pre-registered voter may vouch, under oath, for another voter in the same precinct. Some residential facility employees may also vouch for residents. Voters may also provide a late notice of registration that has been mailed to their current address or evidence of previous registration in the same precinct.

Alternately, voters can present an approved photo ID card (driver’s license, state ID card, U.S. passport, etc.) and a document with their correct name and address, including a utility bill dated within 30 days of the election, lease agreement valid through Election Day or a current student fee statement.

Previously registered voters must re-register if they have changed addresses or their name since last registering or if they have not voted in four or more years.

Vote absentee

Minnesota law allows no-excuses absentee voting starting 46 days before each election. This year, voters began casting ballots in the Minneapolis municipal election Sept. 22.

To vote early in-person, go to the Early Vote Center at 217 3rd St. S., one block from City Hall. Hours are 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, extending to 7 a.m.–6 p.m. beginning Oct. 23.

The Early Vote Center will be open weekends Oct. 28–29 and Nov. 4–5. Weekend hours are 9 a.m.­–4 p.m. Saturday and noon­–5 p.m. Sunday.

On the ballot

Offices on the Nov. 7 ballot include:

  • mayor
  • all 13 City Council seats
  • two seats on the Board of Estimate & Taxation
  • all nine Park Board seats, including three at-large and four district representatives

Sample ballots are available for download at vote.minneapolis.gov.

The municipal election will use ranked-choice voting, allowing voters to rank up to three candidates for each office. Select a first-choice candidate in the first column, second choice in the second column and third choice in the third column.

There’s no advantage to selecting the same candidate in all three columns; that ballot would be counted as one first-choice vote. Selecting second- and third-choice candidates allows a voter to have a say even after his or her top choice is eliminated.

A candidate who wins more than half of all first-choice votes wins the office. If no candidate passes that threshold, the candidate with the lowest vote total and any candidates with no mathematical chance of winning are eliminated. Second-choice votes on those ballots are then added to the vote totals of the remaining candidates.

The process continues until one candidate reaches the 50-percent-plus-one threshold.

On Election Day

Polls are open 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

To find your polling place, go to vote.minneapolismn.gov or pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us.

About this guide

The Voter’s Guide was compiled with cooperation of the candidates and their campaigns, who in most cases responded to an emailed questionnaire asking for background information on the candidates, their top priorities and their pitch to voters. Some candidate gave their responses over the phone.

For more coverage of the 2017 municipal election, including candidate profiles, go to southwestjournal.com.