Much of the focus on “the election” hasn’t been on next week’s off-year election, but that should not diminish the importance of getting to the polls and casting your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Local elections are important. They impact more of your day-to-day life than most national and statewide races because local elected officials (depending on the race) help determine countless things, such as how much you’ll pay in property taxes (or at least a portion of the total you’ll pay), the quality of your local schools, upkeep of local roads, policing and public safety, local ordinances, affordable housing … the list goes on and on.

In Eden Prairie, voters will be electing members to the Eden Prairie School Board. There are 10 candidates running for four seats on the Eden Prairie School Board. The School Board is a seven-member elected body that governs the Eden Prairie School District, approves the district’s budget and monitors its finances, hires the superintendent, and establishes a strategic plan for the district.

Sometimes local elections can be intimidating — they’re talked about far less than national and statewide races and often information about the candidates can be hard to come by. So don’t go into the polling booth without knowing some information about each candidate. The Eden Prairie News has published Q&As with all the Eden Prairie School Board candidates to help you get to know them before voting. You can find them at edenprairienews.com.

With all the talk about the 2020 election, do not forget about the 2019 election. Exercise your right to vote by heading to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and casting your ballot for whoever you believe best represents your values. If you’re still not convinced to get out and vote, just go do it for the “I voted” sticker.

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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