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Voter surprise

THUMBS DOWN: It is hardly seesm fair for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to deal a last second change in the voting rules for absentee and mail-in ballots for the Minnesota election. The court struck down an earlier ruling on an agreement to allow mail in ballots, postmarked by Nov. 3, to be counted if they arrived at the county election offices by Nov. 10. Given the concerns about COVID-19 and the interest in the current election, it seemed a fair compromise.

But a group of Republicans challenged it, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “there is no COVID-19 expection to the Constitution.”

Those who mailed their ballots in the past few days may not be sure if their votes will arrive by the court’s 8 p.m. deadline. There’s not much they can do. Those who have not mailed their ballots yet should head to the Brown County Courthouse to hand-deliver their ballots. The election office will be open today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accept your ballot.

Community Friends

THUMBS UP: It is a tribute to the tradition created by the New UlmCommunity Friends — to hold a community Thanksgiving Dinner open to anyone and everyone — that we feel such a void at the announcement Friday that the Friends are canceling the dinner this year. COVID-19 strikes again.

The Friends considered having a drive-up meal where people could pick up their turkey and trimmings, to avoid the communal dining that brings everyone together. But it would still put the many volunteers required to prepare the meals at risk, and many of them are older, or have conditions that increase their risk.

So the Friends will not have a community Thanksgiving dinner this year. We thank them for all the fine meals and great community spirit they have provided over the years, and look forward to 2021, when we hope conditions will allow the dinner’s safe return.

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