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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

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opinion Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Local folks take voting seriously

After months of campaigning, dozens of mail flyers, weeks of front page stories and a barrage of broadcast advertising, people across the nation will go to the polls to cast their ballots in today’s election.

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During the last presidential election four years ago, Beltrami County residents cast 22,313 votes, including 1,888 absentee ballots.

In 2008, there were 25,237 registered voters on Election Day, meaning a whopping 88.4 percent of the county’s voters cast a ballot.

It’s clear Beltrami County residents take their right to vote seriously.

As of Monday morning, there had been 1,641 absentee ballots submitted, and more came in during the day – making it a cinch to surpass the 2008 mark.

Auditor/Treasure Kay Mack said her office is planning for a 94 percent voter turnout once all ballots are counted.

Presidential elections usually guarantee strong turnout. Add a slate of federal, state and local races, and local measures and constitutional amendments, and there’s plenty of reason to submit a ballot.

Voting is a referendum on who represents us in the legislative process, how we choose to be governed, which laws should stand and what values we hold dear.

Regardless of outcome, the people will have had their say.

Hunter safety

The Minnesota firearms deer season opened Saturday with tragic results.

Don Bixby, 64, of Bemidji, set out to enjoy a beautiful morning by enjoying one of his greatest passions.

A safety-conscious hunter, Bixby was struck and fatally wounded by another hunter’s bullet. It’s a sad and tragic reminder that firearm and hunter safety can never be overemphasized.

With much of the season remaining, hunters must remember to practice safety with firearms while transporting, carrying and shooting firearms. Be aware of surroundings and where other people are hunting. Shoot only if you are certain of your target and don’t take risks.

School spirit rings

Congratulations are in order for many Bemidji High School students, coaches and faculty members after a splendid weekend of achievements. The theater department’s presentation of “Into the Woods” was magnificent. The cross country teams did their school proud at the state meet. The football team captured its fourth straight section championship. And the volleyball team capped things off with its second straight section championship. You all made the community proud.

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