I’ve been an election judge for almost 20 years. One of the most common questions people ask me is, “Do I have to vote for every office?” The answer is no! You don’t have to vote for any office. You can get your ballot and walk over to the ballot box and drop it in and it should be counted as a legal ballot.

Why would anyone do that? What is the purpose of going to vote and not voting for someone or on some issue?

The Republican Party has told the Minnesota secretary of state of its decision to limit the primary ballot to only list President Donald Trump and not allow for a write-in candidate (“MN GOP keeps Trump rivals off ballot,” Nov. 1). If you don’t want to support Trump in the primary and don’t want to vote for any other presidential candidate, leave the presidential box blank. In the 2020 general election, for example, this would clearly show the Republican Party that their only candidate did not win support from people who came to vote and didn’t check the president box — but did vote for other Republican offices.

Often when a candidate doesn’t win an election, political parties say their supporters just didn’t bother to vote and that’s why the candidate didn’t win. However, if people go vote but don’t check the box for a particular candidate, it would be very clear that people did bother to vote but just didn’t like the candidate the party ran. What political parties do with that information is up to them, but for voters who didn’t check the box, their voices will have been heard.

I strongly encourage everyone to vote, and I strongly urge everyone to only cast votes for candidates they want to be elected. Don’t feel you have to vote for someone you don’t know or don’t want to be in office. No one has to vote for anyone just because their name is on the ballot. It’s your choice!

Dale Trippler, Blaine

MEDICARE FOR ALL

Did someone forget to tell Warren?

As a current Medicare beneficiary, I am rather incredulous when I hear Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders talk about their health care panaceas labeled as Medicare for All. Warren’s proposal apparently calls for totally free health care with no individual payments of any kind (“Warren proposes $34T health plan,” Nov. 2).

Maybe someone should explain the current Medicare system to Warren and Sanders. It was never designed to pay for all medical expenses. Why else would all the additional insurance programs exist to supplement Medicare?

Every Medicare beneficiary pays a minimum monthly premium for Medicare B ($135.50 in 2019) and more for higher earners. Both A and B have deductible provisions that are usually covered by their other health plans. And the mandate that was a part of the original Affordable Care Act is alive and well in Medicare: You pay a penalty if you don’t sign up for Medicare B when you are first eligible, and likewise for the Part D (drug) plans that are provided by private insurers.

Medicare beneficiaries are generally well served by the current system even though we are subject to deductibles and co-payments. Help exists for those who need it, but the rest pay their way.

Remember, even the current Medicare system is under financial stress. I’m afraid that Medicare for All sounds like the left’s version of Make America Great Again.

Fred Olson, Eden Prairie

UKRAINE WHISTLEBLOWER

Trump’s reactions don’t add up

President Donald Trump demands that the whistleblower come forward to explain why his account of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president was so inaccurate, suggesting the account may even have been fraudulent (“Whistleblower willing to answer Republicans’ questions,” Nov. 4). In fact, Trump stated that his phone call with the president of Ukraine was “perfect” and now says he may hold a “fireside chat” during which he will read the transcript of the call. If this is true, why did people who were listening to the call immediately express concern about what Trump said? Why did Trump’s lawyer respond to their concerns by having the transcript placed on a highly classified server and restricting access to it? Why is Trump continually trying to stop people from testifying who have firsthand knowledge of his administration’s interactions with Ukraine?

Why would a “perfect” call result in this sort of a response?

Roland Hayes, Shoreview

TAXES

Some might move to avoid taxes, but that approach has it all wrong

I see our president is moving his homestead address from New York City to Florida, allegedly to save on taxes (“Trump claims Fla. residency,” Nov. 1). I understand also that he is called a billionaire.

I was educated in Duluth public schools, as was my wife. I attended the University of Minnesota Duluth through graduation. Our three kids went through school attending highly rated Minnetonka public schools.

Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I could easily spend six months at our Arizona home and six months in Minnesota, as some of our friends do to avoid the Minnesota income tax. But I gladly pay my Minnesota taxes since Minnesota educated me pretty much for free at public schools and for a very inexpensive college education at UMD. And then Minnesota public schools gave our children a very good education in the Minnetonka school district.

Last time I thought about the end of life, I noted that shrouds don’t have pockets. I am forced to believe our president thinks otherwise.

Jim Waldo, Duluth, Minn.

REVENGE PORN

There’s one easy way to avoid it

I was amazed at the front-page headline on Saturday’s Star Tribune, “Senator: I’m revenge porn victim,” given its horrible inaccuracy. There are victims in Minnesota Sen. Scott Dibble’s adventure, his husband first and foremost. Also victims are the people who clicked on the e-mail attachments featuring Dibble. The senator, however, is anything but a victim.

The article quotes another state senator, Susan Kent, saying that “this can happen to anybody.” But it seems likely that if a person does not take pornographic photos and films of themselves, this would never happen to them.

Tom Anderson, Coon Rapids

ENVIRONMENT

When this kid speaks, let’s listen

When a fifth-grade kid named Elliot speaks with such passion and common sense, we adults must humble ourselves and listen (“Make Minnesota nice to bees,” Readers Write, Nov. 4). Nature’s complex web of intact relationships supports our very existence on this planet. Yet we are blindly destroying Earth’s ecosystems at an alarming pace. Our lawns, gardens and farms have become killing zones for pollinators and many other life-forms. Monoculture planting along with herbicide, pesticide and fertilizer applications not only kill bees and cause serious human health problems — these actions also make the soil unable to sequester the climate-changing carbon dioxide we spew into the atmosphere.

Elliot wisely suggests some solutions: doing a different kind of agriculture, not using pesticides and planting flowers that bees like. Let’s listen to him.

Laurel Regan, Apple Valley

 

 

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