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The political season is upon us

Filing period opens May 16

Considering a run for political office? The filing period for state and local offices — only those that could require primary elections in August — will be open May 17-31.

The city of Cloquet has four positions up for election in November, including the mayor and council seats for Wards 1, 2 and 3. All are four-year positions.

Carlton County also has a number of positions up for election this year, including county commissioners for District 2 (Thomson Township area) and District 4 (including the Wrenshall, Carlton and Mahtowa area and parts of Barnum).

Countywide, the Carlton County sheriff is up for re-election, as is the county attorney.

The Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District has two board supervisor seats open, for Districts 2 and 3. District 2 includes Cloquet; District 3 includes Scanlon, Carlton, Thomson and Wrenshall.

Candidates for state senate and state representative will also need to file May 17-31. Locally, House District 11A and Senate District 11 seats are up for election this year.

Minnesota’s primary election day is Aug. 9.

Kelly Lampel, Carlton County chief deputy auditor/treasurer, said other local races that don’t hold primaries (e.g., school boards, townships and many of the smaller cities) have a later filing period for candidates, Aug. 2-16.

The general election will be held Nov. 8.

Lampel said voters will be using new voting machines this year, but she doesn’t expect people to notice much of a difference. The new machines still use paper ballots and print out a tape with results, and they are not connected to the internet.

“So there are paper ballots to recount if you need to,” she said. The county will also offer the new omniballot, an off-the-shelf handicap-accessible ballot marking device used in polling locations for voters with disabilities this year.