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Good Question: ‘Reply All’: Politics Edition

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hard to believe that the election is almost here. I’m gonna miss the ads.

But, seriously, do politicians get a good deal on TV ads?

The Federal Communications Commission requires TV stations to give a good deal to legally qualified candidates. So if you’re a candidate on the ballot in the 60 days before a general election, you get a deal.

You get the lowest rate the station has charged for a similar ad in the previous year.

But the third-party ads, the ads that don’t end with “and I approve this message,” those guys don’t get any special deal. Supply is tight, demand is high, and prices can be whatever the market will bear.

Can I get time off of work to vote?

In Minnesota, not only can you get time off work, but you get paid time off work.

The state law is specific: an employer can’t directly or indirectly refuse or interfere with your right to vote. Employers can’t tell you when you can leave, but they can – and should- request that employees let them know ahead of time.

They can also ask you to coordinate with your coworkers, so everyone doesn’t leave the workplace at the same time.

Who decides the order the candidates appear on the ballot?

It’s set up by state law.

The major parties are listed first. And it’s in order of least to most average votes cast in the previous election. So, this election the ballot will always list the Independence Party first, then the Republican Party, then the DFL. If there are minor parties in the election, the Secretary of State draws names, like a lottery.

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