Only 2 counties, Dakota and Washington, in the 7-county metro area have March elections.
West Lakeland is the 3rd largest township by population in the 7-county metro area and 1 of only 2 townships in Washington County still hold March elections.
In a typical March election, only a small fraction of the eligible voters vote so the town election has historically been determined by a handful. November elections would greatly increase voter participation and our citizens’ voice in the town government while saving some money and administrative workload.
West Lakeland turnout for the Nov 2020 election was 91% but only 2% for the Mar 2020 election. Turnout has been as low as 1.2% within the last 10 years.
With Nov elections Baytown 14 times as many voters participated in supervisor elections.
Data shows voters prefer November elections. Denmark Township voters voted 88% - 12% in favor of November elections.
Moving town elections from March to November in even years does not change the town annual meeting on the second Tuesday in March.
Baytown cannot say whether annual meeting attendance was affected. Their data show no correlation between March election turnout and annual meeting attendance.
With the town hall as the polling place in March, people cannot stay after voting; they must leave until after polls close at 8pm and voting equipment & ballots are secured.
If elections are in November, town annual March meeting can be held earlier in the evening, encouraging more people to attend.
In 2017 Carver and Scott counties announced they would discontinue support of March Town elections.
The town board may start the process by passing a resolution designating the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of either the even-numbered or the odd-numbered year as the date of the town general election
MN 205.075 requires that supervisors go to 4 (or 6) year terms to match the every other year elections and that existing terms be shortened or lengthened for the transition. MAT recommends against shortening, so the resolution to move to November should lengthen terms. https://drive.google.com/file/d/11pmZD-MKOWsAEX6bcieVzzZEFO3o9pBm/view