Von Pinnon: Learn about candidates, their positions, this week

"All politics is local." That's how Tip O'Neill, longtime speaker of the U.S.

"All politics is local."

That's how Tip O'Neill, longtime speaker of the U.S. House, summed up that the concerns and priorities of a state and nation are first born and conveyed through local leaders in cities, schools and parks.

If O'Neill is right, then wisely choosing our local leaders is among our greatest responsibilities.

In order to make wise choices, voters need good information.

Beginning in Monday's Forum and running through next Sunday, readers will begin seeing plenty of information about the candidates running for local offices June 8 in North Dakota.


The candidates for races we're examining:

  • Monday: West Fargo School Board
  • Tuesday: Fargo School Board
  • Wednesday: West Fargo mayor and City Commission
  • Thursday: Fargo mayor and City Commission
  • Friday: West Fargo Park Board
  • Saturday: Fargo Park Board.

On Sunday, June 6, we'll be rolling out some basic information that will help area voters know where and when they can vote on that following Tuesday.
In addition to stories about the candidates and their respective races, we're again rolling out what we call "issue grids" with each race. This allows readers to compare and contrast candidates by examining answers to similar questions posed to all.

If you can't wait for the print version of these issue grids to appear in the paper, all of this information is already available on our 2010 Local Voters Guide on the home page of our website, .

This online voters guide also has great interactivity. Users can type in their address, city and ZIP code and the program will only show them races they are eligible to vote on.

Or, users can browse all races in the system.

Furthermore, the online version also allows users to actively compare and contrast combinations of candidates and create a checklist of candidates for which they want to vote June 8.

If you're looking for more useful general information on the upcoming election in North Dakota, the secretary of state's website - www. - is another great resource.


There, you can find:

  • A list of candidates for federal, state, legislative, judicial, county, city and park boards
  • Sample ballots that match your voting address
  • Polling locations and hours, including early voting locations and hours
  • Absentee ballots and a system for tracking filled-out absentee ballots and mailed ballots
  • Videos demonstrating the voting process
  • Info about voter qualifications, voting options and identification requirements.

There is no reason to not be informed.


Von Pinnon is editor of The Forum. Reach him at (701) 241-5579 or

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