Get to know the candidates

Voter's Guide

St. Paul Mayor Race

Melvin Carter, incumbent1) Priorities:Saint Paul today is larger, more diverse and more prominent than ever. As our community reinvents itself, so too must we be prepared to reinvent the services, …

Get to know the school board race candidates

School board member at-large4 year Elect 3 James Farnsworth1) Priorities: Three top priorities:1. Good Governance: Transparency and oversight, fiscal accountability and stewardship, and strong …

Offices on the ballot

Who is on the ballot in St. Paul in 2021?

• Mayor

• School  Board Member at large (ISD #625) - elect 3

• Special election for school board member at large (ISD #625)

A sample ballot will be available 45 days before the election on the MN Secretary of State web site.

Are you a candidate? Put the word out by investing in print and digital advertising. Email

Look for our print Voters Guide in the September and October editions done in collaboration with the League of Women Voters St. Paul.

Plan ahead

Key election dates

• Candidate filing:
July 27 - August 10, 2021
• Early voting period:
September 17 - November 1, 2021
• Early registration deadline:
Tuesday, October 12, 2021.  
Registration deadline is 5 p.m. if registering by paper and 11:59 p.m. if registering online. If you miss this deadline, you can still register on Election Day or through the mail voting process.
• Recommended deadline to apply for a ballot:
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
• Deadline to return your mail ballot:
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Ballots sent in the mail must arrive on or by November 2. 
Ballots dropped off in person due by 3 p.m.
 Ballots delivered using a service (Fed-Ex, UPS, etc.) due by 8 p.m. 
• Election Day:
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


League of Women Voters St. Paul

A non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in all levels of government, works to increase understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Just what is happening this election season? What do these elected officials even do? What are their job descriptions? Get informed at their site:

Vote 411

VOTE411 is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to successfully participate in every election. Whether it's local, state or federal, every election is important to ensuring our laws and policies reflect the values and beliefs of our communities. More at

St. Paul voting info

Get information on the city of St. Paul election at the Ramsey County voting site. Find election maps, polling locations, information on how to register to vote, details on ranked choice voting, how to file for office, and more. Go to:

Secretary of State

View sample ballots and get election results on the Minnesota Secretary of State web site. You can also sign up to be an election judge, learn about other ways to vote, and register to vote here. Information is available in multiple language, including Somali, Hmong, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Lao, Oromo, Khamer and Amharic. More here:


Rent stabilization ordinance

This fall, St. Paul residents will vote on a proposed rent stabilization ordinance that would put a 3% annual cap on rent increases. Housing advocates gathered enough signatures of the city’s registered voters to get the ordinance proposal on the ballot for the November 2 election.

More than half the city’s residents live in rental housing. Tram Hoang, campaign manager for the Housing Equity Now St. Paul (HENS) coalition, which led the petition effort, said the ordinance would benefit all renters, but especially low-income residents and people of color. According to HENS research, five states and more than 182 cities have some form of rent stabilization policy in place. The group’s effort was based in part on an indepth study on rent stabilization policies, commissioned by the city of Minneapolis and completed in February by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). The full text of the proposed ordinance can be found here.

Learn more about HENS here:

Get involved

Be an election judge

Serve the community and promote the democratic process.

Election judges staff local polling places for the primary and general election as well as during early voting. You can earn money, meet your neighbors and help ensure that elections are administered in a fair manner. Judges must be 18 years old or older. There are positions for student election judges who are 16 andd 17 years old.

Learn more here.

What's it about?

Local government

Did you know? Local government bodies make decisions on a lot of things we may encounter each day. There are local government offices at the county level, city level and school board. Voters will vote on representatives for their district, city or ward based on where they live. Here are a few of the decisions local government bodies make that affect all Minnesotans:  

  • County budget.
  • Roads maintenance.
  • Health and human services.
  • Public health.
  • Libraries.
  • Parks and nature preserves.
  • Recycling and refuse.
  • Elections and voting.
  • Veteran services.
  • Human services. 
  • Justice system.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Infrastructure.

Got questions?

Who gets to vote?

For the June LWVSP program, Who Gets to Vote?,  David Schultz and Tammy Patrick presented. David Schultz is a Hamline University Professor in the departments of political science, legal studies, and environmental studies, and a professor of law at the University of Minnesota. Tammy Patrick is a Senior Advisor for Elections for Democracy Fund and an adjunct professor at the Humphrey School for Public Policy's Certificate in Election Administration program. Both panelists shared presentations and discussed Americans' voting rights in an historical and modern day context. View the discussion here:

Equity and Accessibility in Voting

Pbysical Barriers to the Polls

LWVSP presents a three-part "Learn with the League" series on the difficulties voters can experience due to physical limitations, language, and other issues. Come hear a panel of advocates at this first online program focused on physical barriers to the polls. LWVSP's panel includes Marion McCarthy, advocate for successful aging, and Nikki Villavicencio, noted disability rights advocate and current Maplewood City Council member. Learn about current Minnesota state law and specific actions advocates can take to promote excellence in voting access for all eligible Minnesota citizens. More at:

St. Paul Wards and District Councils

Mayor job description


  • Executes official documents.
  • Makes official appointments subject to the approval of the council.
  • Presides at council meetings.
  • Manages the finances of the city.
  • Creates commissions to focus on community needs.
  • Establishes priorities for city departments.


  • At least 21 years old upon assuming office.
  • Eligible to vote in Minnesota.
  • Maintains residence in their district at 30 days before the general election.
  • Has not filed for another office at the upcoming primary or general election.

St. Paul School Focus Areas

School Board member job description


  • Develops and adopts policies for the operation of the schools.
  • Employs a superintendent to provide educational leadership for the district.
  • Provides materials, equipment, supplies and facilities to support an effective educational program.
  • Represents the views of the school district community on educational issues.
  • Provides equal educational opportunities for every child in accordance with state and federal statutes.


  • At least 21 years old upon assuming office.
  • Has maintained residence in their district for at least 30 days before the general election.
  • Has not filed for another office in the upcoming primary or general election.
  • Eligible to vote in Minnesota.
  • Has not been convicted of an offense for which they are required to register as a predatory offender under M.S. 243.166.


Ranked Choice Voting

Ranked voting allows voters to rank multiple candidates for the same office in order of preference.

Winning the election: A candidate wins the election by getting an absolute majority of first-choice votes – 50% plus one. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes on Election Day, a reallocation to determine a winner is anticipated to begin on Friday, November 5.

Reminder about school board: The Saint Paul School Board race, located on the other side of the ballot, does not use the ranked voting method. School board members will be elected using the traditional voting method.

Instructions: Pick your first choice by completely filling in the box next to that candidate’s name. If you have a second choice, fill in the box next to that candidate. Continue this process to pick your remaining choices, if you have any. Note: marking a candidate means that you would like them to receive your vote; there is a chance that any candidate you mark will have that vote counted toward their total. To learn more about the legal process for counting votes in the ranked voting method, visit the Ramsey County election results page for information on ranked voting reallocation.