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Growing up in a family that didn’t shy away from discussing politics at the dinner table, I was excited to vote in my first presidential election in 2016. There was one problem: I was living in Chisinau, Moldova. After my Russian host mother wrote down our address for me in her loopy Cyrillic script, I dutifully requested my absentee ballot. After receiving and filling out my absentee ballot, the next step was to actually mail it. To vote overseas, voters can submit absentee ballots to the U.S. embassy. A few days later, I approached the embassy’s security guard and conveyed in Russian why I was there. Once inside, I waited in line for my turn and handed my ballot over the counter. The woman behind the desk passed the ballot to a man walking behind her who glanced at it and said, “Hennepin County! That’s where I’m from, too!” There I was, halfway across the world, and I happened to meet a dependable Minnesotan.

Fast-forward to two weeks ago when I received a letter detailing elections I had previously voted in. And there it was: presidential election 2016. My vote had counted.

This year I also voted by mail, but from my home in Medina. While circumstances are different this year, I am confident that our poll workers and mail carriers are doing their utmost to protect our right to vote and ensure that everyone is able to vote safely.

The system works. Let’s use it.

Marie Kieval, Medina

THIRD DISTRICT

Kendall Qualls is the man for the job

I am very proud to support Kendall Qualls — Republican candidate for Minnesota’s Third Congressional District (“Third District’s Dean Phillips deserves another term,” endorsement editorial, Oct. 14). Qualls served admirably for years in the U.S. Army — including five years on active duty as an artillery officer. Kendall grew up in the Harlem housing projects and an Oklahoma trailer park. Despite his humble roots, he went on to work with Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Roche Labs. Most recently, he was an executive at a health care startup that uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to help cancer patients.

Qualls wants to protect our families, our jobs and our communities by funding the police and implementing any needed reforms. We need a representative who is not afraid to stand up to organizations that riot and destroy property costing $500 million in property damage.

Minnesota and our country are both hurting after the death of George Floyd. We need the reform and perspective that Qualls can bring to the table. He has personal experience with the most pressing issues and will help address these problems nationwide.

Harry Weingartner, Edina

BARRETT HEARINGS

The real sham was Klobuchar’s questioning

Regarding “Klobuchar urges vocal opposition to ‘sham’ hearings, threat to ACA” (Oct. 13), I listened to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Tuesday afternoon questioning of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

If by “sham” Klobuchar meant Webster’s definition, a trick or imitation meant to deceive, I believe those concerns and questions are hypocritical and one-sided based on her own questioning of Barrett.

Klobuchar’s efforts to corner the judge to give a prejudiced view or opinion on major historical cases is very shallow and shows her own single-mindedness. Her bringing up several examples regarding COVID-19 victims does not bear on the legitimacy of this potential justice’s ability to hear cases and make decisions on the Supreme Court.

I was very impressed by Barrett’s responses to those questions and others. However, I would expect more from former prosecutor Klobuchar, but she truly disappointed me this time.

Al Muerhoff, Bloomington

RACE IN AMERICA

Read what this teenager has to say

Thank you to Marcus Hunter II for the riveting opinion piece, “Imagine you are a Black male teen ...” in the paper Oct. 13. This should be mandatory reading for every American. The terror of being a Black teen in America has never been more candidly or concisely presented. In a voice that lacks self-pity or finger-pointing, Hunter takes us for a walk through his life. As a pediatrician, reading his description of his daily reality made my heart race and my eyes well with tears. There are those who deny “white privilege” or simply don’t understand what “systemic racism” is about. The phrases conjure up defensiveness and anger in many. But what separates us from other animals is our capacity for empathy, to walk in another person’s shoes.

Take the time to walk in Marcus Hunter’s shoes. It is a necessary journey for all of us to make.

Kelly Delahunty, Hudson, Wis.

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