Our Opinion: If you haven’t already, go vote


Election Day is almost upon us.

In two days, those of us who have not already voted by absentee or mail-in ballot will head to our respective polling places and cast our votes.

This is truly a historic election, on so many levels. This year’s voting process is unlike any that have come before. This is uncharted territory for everyone, so we hope people will have patience to let the process proceed as planned.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we offer a few reminders for voters out there.

For those who plan to vote absentee or have not yet sent off their mail-in ballot through the postal service, we recommend taking it in person to their county election office as soon as possible. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, Oct. 29, in support of a pair of Minnesota Republican electors who challenged a state move to extend the date that officials could accept and count ballots by a week if the ballots were postmarked by Nov. 3. Barring an appeal, election officials will now have a hard cutoff on election night Nov. 3 in which to accept ballots.


Also, be sure to check out your polling location on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. Many have changed locations to better accommodate social distancing required during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Wednesday, Nov. 4, rolls around, Election Day may be over but, more than likely, the election will not be. At the Dispatch, the expectation is we will not have final vote totals on election night for some local, county, state and federal offices. As it stands now, there are just too many unknowns, and patience will be required.

We hope for a lot of things this election. We hope the myriad rhetoric -- potential violence, voter intimidation, unending lawsuits, losing candidates not peacefully transferring power -- is just that, rhetoric.

But most of all, we hope everyone has or will get out and vote. It’s one of our fundamental rights in this country, one that should not be taken for granted. Yes, our election process has been forced into changes because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the only way we lose out is if we don’t let our voices be heard at the ballot box.

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