As the Nov. 3 election approaches, the Star Tribune Editorial Board is hard at work discussing political endorsements in key statewide, congressional and local races.

We expect to begin publishing our endorsement editorials on Oct. 11. That's a little sooner than usual for us in a presidential election year, but it still might be late for some who are voting early, which could be done in person at local election offices, or by mail, beginning last week.

Why not publish even earlier? The Editorial Board has always stressed that campaigns matter, and we want to see them play out as fully as possible before reaching our conclusions. That's true even amid a pandemic with fewer candidate forums and public events in state and local races. If our endorsements are important to your decisionmaking, you'll still have at least two weeks to vote after they're published.

Our endorsements will be based on interviews and other research by Editorial Board members, who operate independently from the Star Tribune newsroom. No newsroom editors or reporters will be involved in the endorsement discussions or selection process.

The Editorial Board encourages voters to do their own research. A good place to start is the Minnesota secretary of state's "What's on my ballot?" feature, along with the Star Tribune newsroom's election guide.