On Thursday, I voted in Eden Prairie. The process was smooth, pleasant, unhurried and safe. Before I was given an application for absentee voting (since I was choosing to be “absent” on Nov. 3), I was asked if I had requested a ballot by mail so there could be no duplication. I was handed a sanitized pen to use throughout the process, and asked to return it to be cleaned when I was done. The woman who processed my application checked everything carefully as she entered it into her computer. I was able to take my time with my ballot, ensuring that each circle was fully filled in. After I placed my ballot in the provided envelope, I used the available glue stick to seal it so I could keep my mask in place. When the poll worker received my finished ballot, she checked every line to ensure everything was correct. Then she stamped it with a bold black stamp so there could be no mistake it was valid. The whole process took less than 20 minutes.
The point is this: Vote now. It’s easy and safe. And it’s another reason why we can be proud to live in Minnesota, since not all states offer this privilege.
Robin Silverman, Eden Prairie
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Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson is correct in asserting that in-person voting should be safe (“Vote boldly, vote carefully, to ensure it counts,” Opinion Exchange, Sept. 25). Based on my 15.5-hour shift serving as a primary election judge, that’s true. Judges and voters wore masks, many judges wore gloves, 6-foot distancing was maintained, and we sprayed surfaces with sanitizer periodically. Anyone refusing a mask was offered service outdoors. My precautionary COVID test a few days later confirmed the safety of these precautions.
Voting in person is also safer because it alerts a voter to just the kind of voting mistakes that Anderson highlighted. The machine tabulator in use in many places alerts a voter when a ballot is poorly marked, or when she or he makes other common voting errors, such as voting twice in a contest when the voter is allowed only one vote. When a machine alerts a voter to such mistakes, an election judge can help that voter to obtain a new ballot and correct the mistake.
Steve Brandt, Minneapolis
If Trump loses, he must go
Of all the absurdities, distortions, outright lies and filling of the swamp with lower life-forms, the idea that you would not accept the results of a free and fair election takes the cake (“Trump won’t commit to honor votes,” front page, Sept. 25). Should you lose and not concede the office (like the 2016 popular vote winner did with grace and dignity) the American people will have a say about that.
The thing to remember is that in our pandemic-driven lives there is one property that will not be subject to a moratorium on eviction. It is a large white-colored singe-family dwelling on Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia.
Republicans, where is your outrage? If Barack Obama had uttered those words in 2012, your heads would have exploded. I know it is the season of hypocrisy and going back on your words of four years ago, but reality should really sink in at some point.
Paul Schultz, Ham Lake
It’s not contradictory to want less crime and better policing
The Sept. 23 editorial “Hypocrisy in the air at Mpls. City Hall” creates a false dichotomy with shallow journalism. Effective City Council members can walk and chew gum at the same time. They are attempting to do what good representatives do: communicating with residents and negotiating policy recommendations while considering the impacts. You can believe in dismantling or defunding the police at the same time asking them to do their job. The City Council is not being hypocritical; the Star Tribune is.
Your editorial also makes the baseless claim that “resources and support from the City Council have been depleted.” There has been no major “defunding” as of yet. Officers are choosing to leave. Why hasn’t your newspaper done real investigation into the motivation behind the officers that are leaving rather than making baseless claims without evidence about the declining morale in the department?
Dismissing the “minority of activists” for calling for a police-free community is divisive. The City Council should listen to the voices of all stakeholders throughout the city — activists, pragmatists, the apathetic and the police themselves. If they are in the minority then where is the majority? Why don’t you do your job and help us hear from Minneapolitans and not your wearisome, and heedless editorial?
Interview activists and the scared, the safe and the endangered. It’s your function to participate and promote the nuance and depth of these issues and not present a tired call for more “safety” and new leadership.
Peter McKown, Minneapolis
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Crime is out of control in the city and the number of police officers has declined due to medical leaves and also retirements. I certainly understand why some of the police no longer want to work in Minneapolis. They perceive that they will get no support whatsoever from the mayor or anyone else in city government. But instead of trying to expand the force to handle the crisis, the mayor proposes to cut the force by 100 people (“Frey plan envisions 100 fewer police,” front page, Sept. 24). If this keeps up you will see a large exodus from the city. What is needed is more law and order, not less.
Robert Sullentrop, Minneapolis
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The “Hypocrisy in the air at Mpls. City Hall” editorial was a refreshing plea for common sense in the discussion over reforming policing. Council members who denounce the police and try to abolish the force out of one side of their mouths while demanding police crack down on crime out of the other side certainly should not be given more power over the police force, or whatever to-be-determined entity might replace it.
Talk of dismantling the police force is not only distressing to law-abiding residents of the city, but it discourages residents of suburban and outstate Minnesota from visiting the core cities. Worse yet, by advocating dismantling and defunding the police, council President Lisa Bender and her radical colleagues, along with U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, play into the Trump campaign narrative about lawless cities mismanaged by Democrats. If Trump carries Minnesota, maybe some of the more rational council members will wish they had listened to calmer, less strident voices.
Donald Wolesky, Minneapolis
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Mayor Jacob Frey’s proposal for more money for housing and violence prevention jogged my memory back to decades ago. It was decided then to close most of the facilities for the mentally ill, committing only those who are violent. The others were returned to the community. It was pointed out that it would save a great deal of tax money. I remember seeing a couple of cases in which that seemed to be working. However, today there are fewer facilities for the mentally ill and funding for housing and the necessary number of social workers has not kept pace with the need.
If the mayor’s proposal means there would be individuals trained to work with people threatening suicide and others needing mental health services, it would allow the police to do the job they are trained to do, which is protecting our citizens. I for one, see hope in the mayor’s proposal, for increased safety for our residents and help for those with mental health needs.
Thomas G. Dosch, Mendota Heights
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