As many times as we’ve written the catchy phrases—Vote as if your future depends on it, because it does; Those who don’t vote have no advantage over those who can’t; Voting is the great equalizer —they can start to sound trite. And while we’re hard pressed to wax originally eloquent on the finer attributes of democracy, we do have some suggestions that, if implemented, might help ensure that voting stays on everyone’s "to do" list, and gets properly crossed off when the job is done.
1. Make your whole-day plan for Nov. 6 now, and if you’re in a multi-person household, make sure everyone in the household participates and agrees. For most people, an agreed-to plan will trump all but the most serious emergencies. This means you not only decide that you’re going to vote; you decide when during the day you’re going to vote; you’ve confirmed where your polling place is (if there’s any doubt, go to pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us), and how you’re going to get there and back to your regularly scheduled chores. If the day is tightly scheduled and something has to be re-arranged, it’s easier to do that ahead of time than a few hours before the polls close.
2. Be sure you’re prepared for any kind of weather; so you don’t have to scramble for the winter coat, the hat and gloves, the umbrella, the sunglasses, or whatever needs our fine climate might create.
3. Make a "Plan B" in case some emergency spoils your original plan.Two often workable "Plan Bs" would be getting up in time to reach the polls by 7 a.m., and planning to be home and free by 7 p.m. that day, so that if the day gets away from you, there’ll still be time to get to the polling place before 8.
4. Check your voter registration to be sure it’s current. If there’s any doubt, go to www.sos.state.mn.us to check on your registration; and, if you’re not registered, to learn what you must do to register on election day. Pull that information together now, if you need it, and put it where it will be at your disposal on election day, such as in a wallet or in the glove compartment of the vehicle that will go to the polling place.
5. Voting time doesn’t have to come at the expense of family time. It can be family time. Show the kids how important it is by finding a way to include them in the process (not always possible, we know, but great if you can).
6. Do you have a friend, relative or neighbor who might have a hard time getting to the polling place? Make this the year you offer them a ride, or any other help they might need.
Our heartfelt desire for all eligible voters to do their civic duty (there’s another catch phrase for you) applies whether you agree or disagree with our endorsements. From the White House to your local schoolhouse, and every voter-supported venue in between, see to it that the world hears from North and Northeast Minneapolis on election day.