Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 04.05.2012

April 5, 2012

Today’s Program | Transformational Technology (Hillmann and C. Richardson)

Birthdays: Beth Bergmans (4/2)

Next Week: Camilo Presents (O’Neill)

Last Week:

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says the proposed constitutional amendment that would require photo ID at the polls is misnamed. Instead of the Voter Photo ID Amendment, he said, it should be called the “Chaos Amendment.”

The Photo ID label distracts us from the more problematic aspects of the proposed constitutional change, the Secretary said. It would eliminate same-day registration and replace it with provisional voting. Eliminating same-day registration, he said, could prevent a half million people from voting. Provisional voting is a cumbersome process. Where it currently exists, a third of the provisional votes are never counted.

Secretary Ritchie predicts controversy if the amendment moves forward. He noted that recently Maine voted 61 percent to 38 percent to keep same-day registration in place.

Constitutionally, the Secretary of State serves as the state’s chief election officer. He and his staff supervise elections, providing computer backup for clerks in townships and cities and auditors in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties. He serves on the State Canvassing Board and has a front row seat if there are recounts. And there have been recounts.

Minnesota has one of the country’s highest voter turnouts — 78 percent in the last presidential election. Secretary Ritchie is proud of that. But he said more should be done to encourage others to vote.

He is inspired by a common theme he has heard from those who do actively participate in the public process. He said they are patriotic and good stewards of the values that underpin our freedoms. They’ve told him: “We’re taking care of the things we love. Voting is part of that.”

Mini Classification

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroguin was born and raised in Guatemala. He came to Minnesota in 1992 and later that year married his wife, Amy. He has lived in Minnesota ever since. They settled in Northfield in 2006, and Reggie spends his time working to reshape our current food production and distribution system into a more sustainable, affordable and accessible industry. Reggie has known Secretary Ritchie for more than 10 years as both a mentor and a colleague.

Reggie and Amy have three children, Willy, Nicktai and Lars.

Guests:  Faye Caskey (Caskey), Leighton Hambrick (Fenton), Scott Arnson (Madigan), Peter Barney (Cogan), Jon Snodgrass (Weber) and our Exchange Students.

 Scholarship Enhancement: Candace Taylor

Jean Wakely and Lee Dilley thanked everyone who made the GSE team visit such a success.

Guest Leighton Hambrick invited members to volunteer for a pilot program he is developing for Laura Baker Services Association. It’s called Circle of Care and is designed to provide 36-hour respite for families that have children with developmental disabilities.

Scott Arnson announced the Tour de Red Wing Saturday, April 21, in Red Wing. Bikers can choose from a 10, 25 or 40-mile routes that begin at the Minnesota State College SE Technical in Red Wing. Proceeds will benefit Red Wing Rotary’s Strive program, a mentoring program for high school seniors.

Todd Thompson recently met with a Rotary club in Guatemala and returned with one of their club flags. He said he hopes to develop a partnership with them.

Rotary District 5960 will hold the District Conference and Assembly on April 14 and 15 in River Falls, Wisconsin.  Officers are encouraged to attend, but it’s open to all Rotarians and is a great way to learn more about Rotary

Coming Up:

April 12 –  Camilo Zuluaga Caicedo, Columbia (O’Neill)

April 19 –Michael McNally, “Center for Civic Engagement at Carleton” (Hargis)

April 26 – Mary Quinn Crow. Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer of Northfield Hospital & Clinics (Henke).