Posts Tagged ‘voting’

Lizard People ’08

Lizard People

Lizard People!

Oh hey, the Lizard People. Of course! However, you don’t have to write them in, as they allegedly are already on the ballot. [via]

I Voted — now what do I get?

Participating in your civic duty and earning a priceless “I Voted” sticker not giving you enough satisfaction? Lots of national and local businesses are looking to cash in on electoral fever….


Local Incentives

I snagged most of the list above via Alexis, who did her homework and also suggests you check out the thread for info on election day parties and other specials.

From a quick Google search, it seems MSP is falling behind in the “I Voted” freebie department.

In Dallas, a local tattoo parlor is offering “Free Tattoo Removal with Proof of Vote.” Lots of local restaurants in major cities are offering free burgers or a glass of champagne, car washes are giving away red, white and blue (soap) specials, and in New York, handbag and clothing boutique Hayden-Harnett is giving voters 20 percent off and free wine at the door.

Maybe the best yet — an adult bookstore in Seattle is rewarding voters with a sex toy called The Maverick.

Forget your “I Voted” sticker and still want to cash in on the freebies? Go for it anyway.

According to federal and state laws, offering incentives or remuneration to reward people for voting or not voting is illegal. Since these laws were created to prevent any form of bribery through free food, alcohol or money, retailers will have to go by the honor system or face a visit from Mark Ritchie.

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  • The Daily Planet has the scoop on what Minneapolitans need to know about education issues. School board candidates, a referendum on changing how school board members are elected (Councilmember Cam Gordon says vote yes), and a referendum on a property tax increase for school funding. I promise, you can stop all the cramming on candidates and issues in four days. Hang in there.
  • CM Gordon also had the deets on reorganization in the city government that will better engage residents on the neighborhood level. “Last month, the Council voted to establish a new Department of Neighborhood and Community Relations and a new Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission. These lay the foundation for what will likely be a similar, but significantly different, neighborhood revitalization program and a potentially much more effective City community engagement system in the future.” Sounds like the exact future of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program is still unclear.
  • Amy Rea recently visited the James J. Hill House for a social studies assignment. I don’t know what her kid’s homework looked like, but Amy’s looks pretty good.
  • Buy the Change (building community through commerce) wants you to truly put your money where your mouth is. They have the following goals: “To help people connect with their neighbors and people who share their values while supporting the organizations and businesses they care about.” AND “To raise awareness of the power of individual purchasing decisions and to provide tools that harness this power as a force for social change.” This video explains how it works. This better video explains how it works. They have larger goals, geographically speaking, but right now they’re heavily focused on Twin Cities neighborhoods. [Buy the Change blog] (via @MNWINwebmaster)
  • Ban the Ban Minnesota is “a nonpartisan, non-profit organization dedicated to helping the people and independent small businesses in the state by providing advocacy, education and data, and information dissemination regarding smoking bans so that the real heart of the matter can be addressed; namely the issues of rights, essential liberty, and our ability to live our lives and run our businesses as we so choose. We demand that we be treated like the responsible adults that we are and be free of busybodies who think that we need to be forcibly protected from ourselves.” Those crazy Libertarians! [facebook group]
  • This MnIndy item is ancient news now, but I still think it’s hilarious. “This [I Will Vote] sticker was observed Oct. 21 stuck to the parking lot surface at the K-Mart in Minneapolis — clear evidence that ACORN has been illegally registering inner-city blacktop to vote.” Why’s it gotta be blacktop?
  • Leif reports that the downtown Target is now has groceries and a deli, meaning they have beaten the Lunds and Whole Foods projects to the punch (somewhat) and have probably made a whole lot of downtown residents pretty happy.
  • Are you planning to take Election Day off? You work that out with your employer (they’re required by law to at least let you out to go vote). If you feel a need to declare more formally your intention to sit on the couch with CNN all day, RSVP on facebook to TAKE ELECTION DAY OFF, hosted by The Campaign for Change (Ellison, Obama, and Franken). And should you get hungry or thirsty at some point in the day, The Herkimer will be having 2 for 1s all day and all night and will also have election-type stuff up on the big screens.
  • Minneapolis has a fire fighter museum? (via @g_rote)
  • Growing Communities of Science is a blog chronicling one local teacher’s use of computers in his science classroom. (via Conner McCall)


The all-Twitter version.

  • The James J Hill Library is on Twitter: @jjhill_library. Blogging, too. Matt the Librarian is doing an awesome job. Interesting insight as to how a business research library works.
  • ThriftyLocalHipster’s website is still not operational, but they are putting all the happy hours and various events that they would post if they had a website on Twitter: @localhipster.
  • You tell me whether @MPRMemberDrive is as annoying to read as it is to listen to. It does have some quirky behind the scenes stuff. I guess I don’t ever think about what it’s like to sit/work inside a radio studio. And official tweeter Jacquie Fuller (On-Air Fundraising Manager at MPR) has a sense of humor.
  • The PiPress folks are using @MNvotes to attract election day votecasting stories. Tweet ’em your tales of polling place folly/woe/appalledness/crowds/whatever. You could probably tell ’em how pleasant and stress-free your early voting experience was, too. Use the hashtag #mnvotes. They’ve got some useful tidbits and factoids, too. And a terrible retweet from @MayorRTRybak (because the original was a terrible tweet).
  • Jason DeRusha turned me on to Second Act, a store in Eden Prairie that sells discounted fancy TVs. I was perusing their website looking at electronicals that I really have no good reason to buy and I noticed that they are twittering at @secondact. That fact alone made it so much more likely that I would personally shop there. They’ve got some small business behind-the-scenes stuff and the occasional deal. And, apparently, their own fantasy football and baseball leagues. Guess what the prizes are….
  • The Link is the latest local non-profit to jump into the social media fray with @thelinkmn. They’re still pretty new (to Twitter), but so far they have some tidbits about non-profits in general, issues specific to their mission (“Our mission is to build a supportive community network that links youth and their families to their inner strength through life skills, education, advocacy, supportive housing, and a dynamic network of social services to transform lives.”), and some things about what people in their organization are actually doing as part of their jobs. If they keep that up, I’d say it’s a great example of helping people to get to know their organization. (via @lisa_ray)
  • Speaking of non-profits, the Nonprofits Assistance Fund (@NAFund) has certainly been a leader in using Twitter and teaching other NPs how to do the same.

Find Your Sample Ballot, Study Up Now

If you’re anything like me, even if you don’t know who you’re going to vote for yet, you at least know who your options are for president/senator/congressperson, and after that it starts to get a little fuzzy. Suburban mayors and city councils and the bajillions of judges always confuse me.

If you want to do some studying and perhaps make up a cheat sheet before you actually go vote, go look up your sample ballot right now: [Hennepin County] [Ramsey County]

If you didn’t vote in September’s primary and still aren’t sure where to vote, you can find your polling place from there, too.


Keith Ellison Hosting Voting Rights Forum on Oct 6th

Congressman Keith Ellison will be having a forum on Voting Rights with a particular focus on Voter Re-Enfranchisement (i.e., ex-felons). Keith will be speaking about legislation as well as to hear from people on the ground what their concerns are as far as voting. Also, there will be 4 or 5 people on the panel to tell their story or discuss research they’ve done or programs that they are working on that pertain to voting re-enfranchisement.

Congressman Keith Ellison Presents a Voting Rights Forum

Learn about current legislation that affects your right to vote and discuss how to take action.

Joining Congressman Ellison will be a panel of dedicated individuals that are working hard to make democracy more accessible.

Monday, October 6th
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Powderhorn Park
3400 15th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Voting Rights Legislation Congressman Ellison has introduced:

H.R. 2457: To amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require states to permit individuals to register to vote in an election for Federal Office on the date of the election.

H.R. 4026: To prohibit election officials from requiring a photo ID as a condition for voting in a Federal election.

About that legislation…

Volunteer to Provide Free Rides to the Polls on Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov 4, 2008.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov 4, 2008.

The Minnesota Participation Project (MPP) is a “nonpartisan nonprofit voter mobilization program” sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

MPP will be offering free rides to the polls on Election Day, November 4! We will have six accessible vans and several other vehicles throughout the metro area, ready to give free rides. We’re looking for folks to volunteer to drive the accessible vans and receive the necessary training to do so, as well as folks willing to drive their own vehicles.

If you would like to request a ride, volunteer, or for more information, call 1-877-NOV-2008 (1-877-668-2008) or send an email to Please share the rides phone number and begin scheduling rides now!

MPP has a ton of info and some pretty neat tools for helping get folks registered to vote and get folks to the polls to do so. Like Voter Reg-in-a-Box which allows you to register people to vote at your nonprofit or community event (and training to go with it).

Step 1, cut a hole in the box.

Anoka is So Not Post-Racial

Minnesota Public Radio has a story on the secret racists of the Twin Cities and how they’re not comfortable voting for Barack Obama.

For those who don’t think race will be a factor in this year’s election – you only need to listen to George Ziegler, a semi-retired barber from Anoka.

“I wouldn’t vote for that n—-r,” he said. “I wouldn’t vote for him. No way in heaven’s name would I give him a chance to take my vote and go in there. I’m smarter than that.”

This is the kind of shit that makes me want to stay as close to the city center as possible. This is the kind of shit that you think, at the very least, that people have the good sense not to say out loud. To a reporter, no less! And so it still surprises me, and scares the shit out of me.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union rep Bernie Hesse has this to say about the membership. Note that his union officially backs Barack Obama.

I also think with some of the older members, it’s a thing of entitlement. And they don’t think of it as race but think of it as, how dare a young black person run for president? He hasn’t put his time in, and why is he entitled to this?

“Entitled”?! *head explosion*

So is it better for folks like George Ziegler to be up front about their racism or for folks to be sneaky about it? Ron Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland who studies race and politics, says plenty of folks are sneaky about their racism.

“People may have a racial motive, but they may say that Barack Obama lacks experience,” he said. “So they may use any pretext not to vote for him and support him when the real reason has to do with race and not something else.”

I never have a good answer to my question. And I’m staying the hell away from Anoka.

Minnesota Voter Registration Refresher

We, the residents of the Great State of Minnesota, are lucky to have same-day voter registration. This is one of only six states in which you can walk into your polling place on election day and sign up right then and there with proof of residence in hand. I did it last election cycle with my cell phone bill. So in case you forgot to re-register the last time you moved, it’s nice and easy for you. (Not coincidentally, we also have the highest voter turnout in the nation.)

So while that’s convenient, there will be a lot of people probably doing the same on November 4. You can save yourself a little time at the polls, which will surely be busy, by registering ahead of time.

All of this information is provided by the Minnesota Secretary of State, whom you can call at 651-215-1440 or 1-877-600-VOTE (8683).

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