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Deadline set for Great American Think-Off essays

NEW YORK MILLS—The Great American Think-Off is seeking essay submissions for its 27th annual philosophy competition.

This year's questions reads: "To vote or not to vote: does it matter?" Essays are due April 1.

This is a chance for residents to voice their opinion, insight, values and beliefs on the controversial topic and organizers encourage people to share their thoughts, a news release stated. It is free to submit an essay of 750 words or less. Individuals could win $500 cash and an all-expense-paid-weekend in New York Mills.

"There are many ways to go about expressing your collection of opinions on this contentious question," organizers stated. "Some may defend their values by saying something like 'I believe voting gets us nowhere, and I choose not to vote at all,' or another could express that "the only way change happens is to stand up for what you believe in.' What do you think? Is your response to this question easy to answer, or does it get a little muddy? Has your family instilled your beliefs or has your opinion shifted as you've grown?"

Four finalists will be announced May 1 to participate in the live debate June 8 to ultimately answer the question, determined by audience vote. People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to submit an essay.

Submit an essay online at, email it at or mail responses to Think-Off, c/o Cultural Center, P.O. Box 246, New York Mills, MN 56567. Essays must be submitted/sent/postmarked by April 1.

For ticket information, visit, or call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339 or visit its website at