New Ideas on How We Should Run State Elections

John Smith, Contributor

Just over a week ago, we found out the results from the 2022 midterm election on November 8th, 2022. Many of the results were unsurprising and the polls were very accurate in forecasting this year’s winners. 

In Minnesota, the election results were accurately predicted by the polls. The only thing is when you take a closer look at the election county by county there is a staggering trend. Metropolitan cities provide an overwhelming majority of the votes towards the Democratic candidates and thus determine the election from one populous point in the state. For the past 20 years, Hennepin county has been blue and the margins are steadily increasing in recent years. 

If this trend continues Minnesota will only elect a Democrat candidate even though all other countries have favored another. This is even more worrisome that 3 elections in over 100 years have been an election where a candidate has won Hennepin county and then lost. There is no reason why a single city should determine the political policy of an entire state with different economies and lifestyles. There were two ideas that came to mind that would benefit state elections. The first Idea is that Minnesota should shift toward an “electoral college” type platform for statewide elections so that every part of the state will have a voice. Another Idea for elections in Minnesota is that it should not disclose party affiliation on the ballot. 

Election Idea #1: The electoral college is the system used in our presidential election and it gives proper representation to states based on their population, but still gives the smaller states power in choosing the president. Doing this same system in a state election the process would be put into counties and each county would be represented based on population, but even the smallest population would be represented with at least one electoral vote. 

This would give the smaller counties a larger voice in the elections rather than one county having to decide who becomes a Senator or Governor. This would also give candidates a good reason to campaign around the whole state and meet more smaller-town Minnesotans. An electoral college would not dampen anyone’s vote but would give more of a voice to small-town Minnesotans. 

Election Idea #2: This idea out of the two I think is the most plausible, especially at a state level. In this day in age, many voters have a tendency to vote down the ballot for their party lines without considering who the candidates are. The party shouldn’t be the reason why you don’t vote for someone, it should be because you don’t agree with the candidate’s policy. A well-informed voter should be able to make these decisions and vote for the people that they know they like not just because they have Republican or Democrat labels on them. 

As said earlier an informed voter is important to an election because then a proper candidate will be picked. Having no party affiliation on the ballot will mean that candidates will have to get their name out to everyone and will have to educate voters about their platform. 

When asking students about this idea there were some mixed reactions. Sophomore Jack Christensen said, 

It would discourage people from voting because most people vote down the ballot and don’t want to put their research and stick with party lines.

— Jack Christensen

His differing opinion from mine made me think. Yes, with the movement to get people out to vote, it would not be good to have something that makes people less likely to vote. On the contrary, everyone should be able to vote in elections, but it would be even better if they had knowledge of each and every candidate before they go to the polls to cast their ballot. 

Another student at the University had a differing opinion on the idea 

It promotes getting to know who the candidates are and what you are voting for.

— Evan Fankhanel


There is no doubt that there are pros and cons to this idea, but I think before just having everyone vote because they can, it should be rather emphasized that people should know what they are voting for.