The Big Story Blog

Local races dominate Election Day stories

Posted at 6:20 AM on November 8, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Education, Politics

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MPR Photo/Nate Ryan

Today, all politics is local.

Minnesota's biggest political decisions this Election Day will all come at the city and school board level. We don't have a race for governor or U.S. senator. But more than 120 school districts are asking voters for new or renewed levies or money for buildings.

Besides the school votes, here are some of the other decisions we'll be watching today.

Virginia hospital vote. Voters there will decide the fate of their local hospital.

"City leaders say it won't survive unless voters allow it to affiliate with a larger health system. But many residents are deeply suspicious of Duluth-based Essentia Health, the leading candidate," MPR News reporter Dan Kraker writes.

pillsbury.jpgHistory and schools? In Owatonna, voters are being asked to spend money to preserve part of the town's history, the old Pillsbury Bible College campus.

Voters are being asked today to back a $23.8 million package with about half the money going to renovate the college campus and the balance for the district K-12 schools.

But it's not an easy sell, MPR News reporter Elizabeth Baier writes that Owatonna voters have rejected three recent ballot initiatives.

8th District forum. MPR reporters and editors will be online at 11:30 CT hosting an online forum with 8th Distrtict DFL challengers to incumbent Republican Chip Cravaack. Join in on the discussion.

Ranked voting? St. Paul tests ranked voting in today's city council races. MPR News reporter Laura Yuen writes.

Voters can pick the candidate they most want, but also select second and third choices, and so on. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and those votes are redistributed to the voters' second choice. The process, also known as instant runoff, continues until someone gets a majority.
Ranked voting is also the subject of MPR's Today's Question.

Which races or ballot questions are you following today? See anything we're missing? Post below or contact us directly.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.