UPDATED 11/1/2011: St. Paul will have city council and school board elections on November 8. We are publishing pre-election coverage today, and invite replies and responses from candidates and others. Check back here for later additions. Besides the coverage on our site, we have listed some other places to find information.
School Board Elections
By the numbers: Eleven candidates registered, one withdrawn, two incumbents, four seats open:
In a city where DFL endorsement weighs heavily, the four DFL-endorsed candidates are Louise Seeba, Keith Hardy, Mary Doran, and Anne Carroll.
SPNN — has a televised school board candidate forum available for viewing here.
See ST. PAUL NOTES | School board candidates and the achievement gap for TCDP coverage of the Committee on the Achievement Gap forum.
Ranked Choice Voting
St. Paul will use Ranked Choice Voting for the first time in this election, but only for the City Council races, not for the school board. That means you can vote for just one candidate in your city council race — or you can mark your first choice, and then rank the others as second, third, etc.
If one candidate gets a majority of the vote, that candidate wins. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote, then the rankings will be used to decide who the winner is. If that’s the case, it will take longer to count the ballots and figure out who the winner is, because the machines currently in use don’t tally the ranked votes, so a hand tally would be necessary.
Need more information? There’s plenty available. Ramsey County has a website with videos, pamphlets, FAQs, and sample ballots. Eric Blom filed a report on RCV for KFAI radio, and you can listen to that report here. MinnPost offers an explanation here.
City Council Elections
St. Paul Chamber of Commerce — “a one-stop-shop for information on candidates for city council races in the East Metro.” Not quite – a lot of the Council candidate are listed, and have page with photos, bios, and answers to a candidate questionnaire, but about one-third of the candidates have no listing at all. After this article was published, the Chamber sent a new and updated link and noted that, “our public affairs staff sent out requests for information to each registered candidate and followed up multiple times with all of them. … [O]n the left hand side index, all candidates are listed and those who chose not to submit information are noted as not yet received.”
SPNN — has televised candidate forums for Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 available for viewing here.
Ramsey County has a website with complete list of candidates in 2011 elections, and a precinct finder to identify your precinct and ward.
We have candidate interviews with some of the city council candidates:
Ward 2 – Dave Thune
Ward 3 – Chris Tolbert and John Mannillo
Ward 5 – Lee Helgen and Amy Brendmoen
Ward 6 – Bee Kevin Xiong
For more on all of the candidates, check out their websites:
Ward 7: Kathy Lantry (incumbent, city council president, running unopposed)