Voting begins for Minnesota's 2023 election
Early voting for Minnesota's Nov. 7 municipal elections began Friday.
Driving the ballots: Contests for local offices such as city council, school board, and mayor in dozens of communities and school districts.
- Plus: Voters in several cities, including St. Paul, will decide whether to increase sales taxes to pay for local projects, and dozens of school districts are seeking approval for funding-related measures.
Why it matters: The outcome of these off-year local races will shape everything from property tax rates to the money spent on police staffing and fixing potholes.
- Turnover in St. Paul, where four of seven wards have no incumbent running for re-election, could usher in an even more progressive — and diverse — council. It's also possible that all seven seats will be represented by women next year.
- Minneapolis progressives, meanwhile, are looking for a win in the open Ward 12 seat.
- Council President Andrea Jenkins, an ally of Mayor Jacob Frey, is also facing a challenge from the left.
Yes, but: It appears unlikely that they will secure a veto-proof majority (which is nine) on Minneapolis' 13-member council. At least one member of the progressive bloc, Council Member Jeremiah Ellison, is facing a repeat challenger.
- Plus: Strong mayor systems in both cities limit the council's overall impact.
What to expect: Lower turnout than presidential or midterm elections, when other state and federal races are on the ballot.
- About 55% of registered Minneapolis voters participated in 2021 when the mayor and a police overhaul measure were on the ballot. In 2017, it was just 42%.
For comparison, close to 80% of registered voters statewide went to the polls in 2020.
What else is on Minnesota municipal ballots in 2023
The Duluth mayor's contest is shaping up to be one of this year's hottest races. Mayor Emily Larson is facing a challenge from Roger Reinert, a former DFL state senator and council member.
- Reinert trounced Larson, who has the DFL endorsement and backing from many state leaders, in the primary.
St. Louis Park voters will decide whether to elect the state's first Somali mayor. Council member Nadia Mohamed and Dale A. Anderson are running to succeed outgoing Mayor Jake Spano.
Minnetonka voters are weighing whether to abandon ranked-choice voting and go back to a more traditional general election. The city's residents just approved the switch in 2020.
Bloomington is asking residents to approve a new half-cent sales tax to build a new community center and renovate an ice rink and nature trail.
- In Golden Valley, proceeds of a 1.25% local sales tax on the ballot would go toward a new headquarters for the city's police, fire, and public works departments.
Contested school board elections across the state are attracting attention and cash.
- Races for seats in Mounds View, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan, and South Washington have 10-plus candidates, per MPR News.
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