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Online tool puts Farmington, national candidate info in one place

Want to know a little more about the candidates you'll be voting for in November? A new link on the city of Farmington's website can help.

Called "My Ballot," the link is posted through the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, but it's located right on the main page of the city of Farmington's website. With just a few clicks of a button, My Ballot enables voters to check out the names - and, in some cases, the bios and websites - of every candidate who will be on their ballots in the November election.

"It's very handy to learn about the people you need to vote for," said city of Farmington executive assistant Cindy Muller, who runs Farmington's election process.

The link is listed on the city's main page, Currently posted under the Latest News category, the My Ballot link is easy to access. Users click on the link, then enter a zip code or county. From there, they are asked to enter their home address. When they do, a list of candidates - from those running for President of the United States to mayor of Farmington, or from U.S. Senator to the Dakota County Soil and Water District representative - comes up.

Some of the candidates have websites, some do not. Those who do are linked to the My Ballot program, so voters can do a little online research about those candidates. The two constitutional amendments are also listed on My Ballot.

At the bottom of the page, there is another link that will bring up a sample ballot. Under the link to the sample ballot is a link that will bring voters to their polling location, based upon the address they submitted.

"It even provides a map showing you exactly where your polling place is located," Muller said. "It's a very nice feature the secretary of state has provided for voters."

Farmington voters are reminded that several of the polling locations in the community have changed this year. Anyone who has voted in a school building in the past will be voting in a new location this year. Only Precinct 1, which votes at Rambling River Center, and Precinct 5, which votes at Bible Baptist Church, will remain the same.

Precinct 2 has been relocated from the Instructional Services Center to Faith United Methodist Church. Residents who live in Precinct 3 and voted at Meadowview Elementary in the past will be asked to vote at the Farmington Maintenance Facility. Those from Precinct 4, who voted at Akin Road Elementary, will now vote at Farmington Lutheran Church. Finally, residents of Precinct 6, who voted at Dodge Middle School in the past, will now vote at Farmington City Hall.

A voter registration tab is also on the city's website. Listed under the Elections tab, the voter registration information needs to be filled out by anyone who has not voted in Farmington before, or who has, but has moved to another part of the community outside the precinct where they previously voted. Those who have not voted within the past four years will also be asked to register.

If they choose, those voters can go online and print out the voter registration information and fill it out ahead of time, Muller said. The form can be mailed in or dropped off at city hall prior to the November elections.

"In order to save time at the polling places, they can do that before Oct. 16, which is the preregistration deadline," Muller said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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