The week that was
RELEASE THE VOTE TOTALS The election for Minot’s mayor this past week unveiled a noticable split among the voters who took the time to cast their ballots. Chuck Barney is the mayor-elect after receiving 1,327 votes, but there were also 1,033 write-in votes cast. Kevin?Mehrer ran the most well-known write-in campaign, but it won’t be known how many votes Mehrer or any other write-in candidate received until the official totals are reviewed by the canvassing board, and perhaps not even then. Ward County Auditor Devra Smestad said this past week that the canvassing board isn’t required to identify the vote count for write-in candidates unless the outcome of an election is in question. State law provides that a write-in candidate can request a count only in a very close election, but the mayor’s race was decided by nearly 300 votes. Still, we believe the canvassing board should absolutely release the final vote totals when it meets Monday. There’s more than simply a passing interest in the totals; there’s a definite feeling that many Minot residents want change in city government, and knowing which write-in candidates were most popular with voters is pertinent. Release the numbers.
OBAMA VISIT We’re glad President Barack Obama made a trip to North Dakota this past week, visiting with residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. We wish, however, that it hadn’t taken him six years to make a visit to Indian Country, considering he pledged to help Native Americans when he first ran for the presidency in 2008. We can only hope the president and first lady got more than a surface view of the problems on the reservation, where statistics show about 63 percent of able workers are unemployed. There are serious issues among the residents of reservations, and Obama’s visit will at least draw more attention to theose concerns. Whether or not any solutions are forthcoming remains to be seen.