Ken Tangen, Jim Danielsen, Dar Landa, Russell Hanson, Doug Fagerlie and Francine Gilmour, Moorhead, Published October 26 2013
Letter: Changing of election policy a legitimate issue for ballotThe Moorhead Charter Commission considered two issues when placing on the November ballot the changing of odd-year city elections to even-year elections along with state and federal elections. One: The cost of odd-year elections on average is more than $16,000. If prorated out over the next 10 years, this would be at least $80,000. Saving that amount might help to stop the small fees (taxes) such as street lamp fees. The average cost per voter in odd years is $3.94. In even years, the average cost is $1.65.
The second issue is the increasing difficulty in securing volunteers. City staff have to take time away from their duties to work at the polling places. This year, many people who volunteered are calling the city office to back out for various reasons.
There are 55 Class 2 cities in Minnesota. Moorhead is one of them. Of this number, 43 are using even-year elections primarily because of the cost and difficulties in securing poll workers.
There has been talk that politics were involved in this decision. We six commission members want to be clear that there were no political considerations in making our decision. The commission voted 7 to 1 to place the issue on the ballot.