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Morrie Lanning, Moorhead, Published November 04 2013

Letter: Vote ‘no’ on election change in Moorhead

On Tuesday, voters in the Moorhead city election are being asked to change the schedule for electing city officials from the long-established odd-numbered year to an even-year cycle. The city’s Charter Commission put this issue on the ballot even though most of the current city officeholders opposed the measure.

The City Council was right, and I urge Moorhead voters to vote “no.” Changing to even-numbered year elections would require candidates for city election to compete for attention and support with partisan presidential and statewide candidates. As someone who has been on the ballot in both odd- and even-year elections, I can attest to the difficulty in getting the voters’ attention and support when the interest and concern is more focused on presidential and statewide candidates.

Elections held in even years are based on partisanship while odd-year city elections are nonpartisan. Combining partisan and nonpartisan elections is not a good idea. At a time when people are frustrated with excessive partisanship in national and state campaigns, now is not the time to run the risk of city elections becoming more partisan. Some additional cost and difficulty in securing election judges are not sufficient grounds for changing a process that has served Moorhead well for decades.

Moorhead city elections should continue to be held in odd-numbered years. Please vote “no.”


Lanning is a former Moorhead mayor and former state legislator.