Our Opinion: Pay attention to politics in spring

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It’s time to pay attention to political campaigns again.

Minnesotans tend to tune out during election years once school gets out and summer arrives. They tune back in after Labor Day, when school begins.

Yet tucked into the calendar is the primary election, held Aug. 12. People are up at cabins or away on vacations or busy with children participating in 4-H projects.

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That means if voters want to be informed when they cast their ballots on Aug. 12, now is the time to begin watching. Watching a candidate walk past during a parade won’t do much good. Learning about the candidates now, especially when the Legislature is in session, allows Minnesotans to become informed, then go enjoy summer activities.

That said, it would be prudent for Minnesota lawmakers to move the primary election up to the second week of June. Iowa holds its primary the first week of June. Iowa voters narrow down the candidates before they hit parade season. Iowans return in September and pay attention through the final stretch to the November election.

So if Minnesotans want their summers free of politics, as many would have it, pay close attention in the spring.