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Major Implications for Minnesota's Midterm Elections

IMAGE: Minnesotans are being urged to do their homework on candidates for the 2014 midterm elections, with in-person absentee voting starting Friday. Image credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr.
IMAGE: Minnesotans are being urged to do their homework on candidates for the 2014 midterm elections, with in-person absentee voting starting Friday. Image credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr.
September 18, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. - As the airwaves fill up with political ads ahead of the midterm elections, Minnesotans are being urged to look beyond the soundbites and get to know where each candidate stands on the issues.

In addition to various local races this fall, Minnesota voters will decide on a U.S. Senate seat, all eight U.S. House seats, as well as governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor and all 134 seats in the Minnesota House. With that significance, Will Phillips with AARP Minnesota says voters need to be active participants.

"Seek out the information, and that if they're not hearing detailed plans from candidates about important issues, show up at events and ask questions," says Phillips. "Or e-mail the candidates, call the candidates and ask questions. Make sure they're getting the need to make an informed choice."

Phillips says another way voters can do their homework on candidates is via the Your Vote page on the AARP website, which has a voters guide with statements from those vying to be governor, along with all of the Minnesota candidates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.

With about half of Minnesota's registered voters over the age of 50, Phillips says it's important for federal candidates explain their stances on programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

"We want to make sure they're spelling out their plans, so people that are either in retirement or near retirement have an understanding that they can count on those programs to contribute to a secure retirement going forward," says Phillips. "At a state level, there are certainly things that Minnesota can do to ensure that people are well prepared for a financially secure future."

The election is in six weeks from this coming Tuesday, while Friday is the first day that Minnesotans can vote early with an absentee ballot in person at their local county elections office.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN