ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

OUR OPINION: Landmark election demands your vote

On the calendar, it's just another Tuesday in June. But in homes and offices across North Dakota, especially Grand Forks, it's much more. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2594283","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","he...

2306633+vote.jpg
iStock

On the calendar, it's just another Tuesday in June. But in homes and offices across North Dakota, especially Grand Forks, it's much more.
 For throughout the Flickertail State, this coming Tuesday-Election Day-represents a potentially historic turning point. At the state level, it'll likely determine who'll be North Dakota's governor for the next four years; and the voters will be choosing between two candidates with vastly different leadership styles. At the state level, there's also Measure 1, which-if it's passed-will relax North Dakota's long-sacrosanct ban on non-family-owned corporate farms. That would signal "change is afoot" in some of the fundamentals of North Dakota's political character. And in Grand Forks, where June 14 is General Election Day, the election could be even more important. Will voters of a growing, financially strong city-"an obligor has 'very strong' capacity to meet its financial commitments," says Moody's Investors Service about its Aa2 rating, the rating most recently assigned to Grand Forks. "It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree"-replace a 16-year incumbent mayor with a self-described Tea Party conservative? That would be huge news if it happens-and not only on Wednesday morning, but for many years in Grand Forks to come. Making the contests all the more exciting is that fact that little or no independent polling has been done. There have been no public and independent polls, to the best of our knowledge, on either Measure 1 or the Grand Forks mayoral race. Moreover, the most recent public poll results in the governor's race were released in March. For one thing, a lot may have changed since then, given that both candidates say they're spending more than $1 million on their campaigns. For another, the March poll was commissioned by North Dakota's largest union of public teachers and employees. Such backing typically raises questions about a poll's credibility, just as it does when, say, the Greater North Dakota Chamber or North Dakota Petroleum Council release polls. All of which is a long way of saying this: Herald readers in North Dakota, do you want to shape history? Then get to the voting booth, because now's your chance. In a June election, turnout matters tremendously. In 2012, the June election saw a fight between Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk for the Republican nomination to Congress. That conflict drove a "record" turnout-of only 33 percent. In elections where only one in three voters goes to the polls, every vote has dramatic and outsized impact. It's not unusual, in such cases, for city or even statewide races to come down to margins of only five or 10 votes. Voters in Grand Forks and across North Dakota, take note. In Grand Forks, the Alerus Center is open for early voting Friday, and of course the polls statewide will be open on Tuesday. So take advantage of your birthright as Americans, especially in this, one of the most pivotal June elections in North Dakota memory. Vote.On the calendar, it's just another Tuesday in June. But in homes and offices across North Dakota, especially Grand Forks, it's much more.
 For throughout the Flickertail State, this coming Tuesday-Election Day-represents a potentially historic turning point. At the state level, it'll likely determine who'll be North Dakota's governor for the next four years; and the voters will be choosing between two candidates with vastly different leadership styles.At the state level, there's also Measure 1, which-if it's passed-will relax North Dakota's long-sacrosanct ban on non-family-owned corporate farms. That would signal "change is afoot" in some of the fundamentals of North Dakota's political character.And in Grand Forks, where June 14 is General Election Day, the election could be even more important.Will voters of a growing, financially strong city-"an obligor has 'very strong' capacity to meet its financial commitments," says Moody's Investors Service about its Aa2 rating, the rating most recently assigned to Grand Forks. "It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree"-replace a 16-year incumbent mayor with a self-described Tea Party conservative?That would be huge news if it happens-and not only on Wednesday morning, but for many years in Grand Forks to come.Making the contests all the more exciting is that fact that little or no independent polling has been done. There have been no public and independent polls, to the best of our knowledge, on either Measure 1 or the Grand Forks mayoral race.Moreover, the most recent public poll results in the governor's race were released in March. For one thing, a lot may have changed since then, given that both candidates say they're spending more than $1 million on their campaigns.For another, the March poll was commissioned by North Dakota's largest union of public teachers and employees. Such backing typically raises questions about a poll's credibility, just as it does when, say, the Greater North Dakota Chamber or North Dakota Petroleum Council release polls.All of which is a long way of saying this:Herald readers in North Dakota, do you want to shape history?Then get to the voting booth, because now's your chance.In a June election, turnout matters tremendously. In 2012, the June election saw a fight between Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk for the Republican nomination to Congress. That conflict drove a "record" turnout-of only 33 percent.In elections where only one in three voters goes to the polls, every vote has dramatic and outsized impact. It's not unusual, in such cases, for city or even statewide races to come down to margins of only five or 10 votes.Voters in Grand Forks and across North Dakota, take note.In Grand Forks, the Alerus Center is open for early voting Friday, and of course the polls statewide will be open on Tuesday. So take advantage of your birthright as Americans, especially in this, one of the most pivotal June elections in North Dakota memory. Vote.

Related Topics: ELECTION 2016
Opinion by Thomas Dennis
What To Read Next