Having just cast my “ranked votes” for mayor of Minneapolis, the biggest difficultly was finding the names of the three people I reluctantly voted for among the 35 on the ballot. Why “reluctant”? Because most voters, including me, can devote limited time to assessing the character, political positions and leadership qualities of candidates for office. By accident, I met one of the mayoral candidates (Cam Winton) and engaged him in a meaningful, 10-minute discussion about vital city issues. Cam was one of my three choices. My other two, Jackie Cherryhomes and Betsy Hodges, were decided based on my assessment of their character and positions gleaned from a WCCO candidate forum and from published articles and interviews I found on the Internet. None of the many fliers I got in the mail were helpful, because none provided detailed, objective information.
I believe that Minneapolis should require a $300 entry fee to register as a candidate for mayor or City Council. The city should return to a primary election in which the top three vote-getters would then appear on the general election ballot. The current system forces voters to rely on impersonal mailings, newspaper articles, Internet stories, video clips and interviews. Is this what our democratic election system has morphed into?
WILLIAM S. SEELEY, Minneapolis