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What you need to know about Tuesday's election in Minneapolis

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: November 4, 2013 - 1:44 PM

Planning to vote tomorrow? Here's what you need to know.

WHY VOTE?: This is the most competitive election to occur in Minneapolis in over a generation. The outcome will impact the daily life of every city resident, whether it is in the form of property taxes, neighborhood crime or new development. Your vote will have a much larger impact than in presidential and other state/federal elections, since turnout is expected to be substantially lower. Consider that one City Council candidate won with just 1,131 votes in 2009 (though it was a much sleepier election).

BALLOT: First, take a look at your sample ballot. Notice that there are 35 mayoral candidates listed and you can rank three of them in order of preference. You will also be voting for City Council, Park Board,  Board of Estimate and Taxation and a charter change.

RANKED CHOICE: Regarding ranked-choice voting, remember that your ballot will be allocated to your first-choice candidate until they are no longer in contention after a series of elimination rounds. Here is a static graphic, interactive graphic and article explaining ranked choice voting.

REGISTERED?: To determine if you are registered to vote, use this tool from the Secretary of State's office. If you have moved, for example, your registration may be out of date. You can register at the polling place on Election Day. Here's what you will need to bring.

POLLING PLACE: Where will you vote? Click here for a tool to determine your polling place. The polls will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. Alternatively, you can still vote absentee at City Hall until 5 p.m. Monday.

MAYORAL CANDIDATES: While there are 35 registered candidates for mayor, only eight have structured campaigns. We have information on each of those candidates (as well as the broader field) at startribune.com/mpls2013.

COUNCIL: In aggregate, the outcome of City Council races could prove to be just as important as the mayor's race. The City Council, after all, carries much of the power at City Hall. Seven of 13 council wards feature competitive races. To find out who's running in your ward, click here to see our ward map and read coverage.

PARK BOARD: The Park Board is an independent body that sets a separate tax levy and spends funds to operate the city's parks. We've written a story about the candidates running for three citywide at-large Park Board seats. To determine your individual Park Board district, see this map. The candidates for each district are listed here.

BOARD OF ESTIMATE: The Board of Estimate and Taxation sets the maximum tax levy in the city each year. Two of its six members are elected citizens. The incumbents in those roles are David Wheeler and Carol Becker.

CHARTER: Voters will also weigh in on what's been billed as a "plain-language rewrite" of the city's charter. The change has been in the works for 11 years. It would make the document more readable for a modern audience, but some top City Hall officials have also expressed concern about unintended consequences..

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