POSTED: 11/08/2012 12:01:00 AM CST
Election Day: by the numbers
A generational divide? Election-data number crunching highlights the role of young voters in the defeat of the marriage amendment:
A Pioneer Press analysis of precinct data found that young communities -- those with a median age under 30 -- tended to oppose the amendment, with an average of 60 percent of voters in those communities voting no, according to a report by reporter Frederick Melo.
"Older" communities (emphasis is Opinuendo's) -- those with a median age over 46 -- tended to favor the marriage amendment, with an average of 60 percent voting yes. Cities falling between those two age groups tended to be more evenly split on the amendment.
It looked like a sure thing: On an election night filled with surprises, none was more stark than the shift in public support for the state's voter ID amendment. Polls once showed backing for the measure as high as 80 percent.
In the end, voter ID finished with less support than the amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman. Voter ID failed with 46.3 percent of the vote, as did the marriage amendment, with 47.6 percent support.
Women winning: Of 88 women candidates endorsed by Women Winning, which backs pro-choice candidates of all political parties, 62 won races across the state.
"On election night, we saw women change the balance of power in our state," said a statement from Lauren Beecham, the group's executive director.
With candidates running in some of the most highly competitive races, the group's recruitment program yielded its "strongest class of pro-choice women candidates in the 30-year history of our organization."
Erin Dady, chief of staff for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, is the group's board chair.
A record: Minnesotans cast a record number of ballots in the presidential race -- an estimated 2,938,947 -- with 99.9 percent of precincts reporting
The record number of voters is about 76 percent of Minnesota's estimated eligible voters, according to the office of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. By comparison, 2,921,147 voters cast ballots in the 2008 presidential election.
An old record: With their decision Nov. 6, Americans have elected three straight presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama) for two terms each. The last time they did so: 1820, when our fifth president, James Monroe, was elected. He followed Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
On Sunday, Veterans Day, we'll honor all who volunteered for military service and those who answered when the nation called them to arms.
A St. Paul-based group will join the commemoration -- and use the occasion to draw attention to its cause: recognition for forgotten Hmong soldiers who served on behalf of the United States in Vietnam.
They are members of Hmong Special Guerrilla Units -- soldiers recruited, trained, armed and directed by the CIA, the group's website says, who were critical to America's war effort in Vietnam and saved the lives of American troops.
The group -- SGU Veterans and Families -- will tell the soldiers' story at its event from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Buasavanh Banquet Hall at 7324 Lakeland Ave. North in Brooklyn Park.
About 60,000 Lao-Hmong individuals served in the units, suffering "tremendous casualties through their service on behalf of the United States," the group says. Learn more at sguvfd.org.
The nonprofit, with 1,000 members in 32 chapters across the nation, also advocates for congressional recognition and benefits for the Hmong soldiers. "As more of them pass away, the need for such action becomes more pressing," the website says.
Area businesses and governments units, including the city of St. Paul, were honored this week with Commuter Choice Awards for innovation in helping people get to work without adding to traffic congestion. Awards, presented by Metro Transit and the region's Transportation Management Organizations, also honored four individual innovators:
-- Commuter of the Year Russ Boverhuis, who has tracked and published bicycle commuting statistics for co-workers at Travelers in downtown St. Paul and wraps up the biking season by organizing an event at work to honor bicycle commuters.
-- Mike Madden of St. Paul, co-founder of Neighborhoods First, an organization that promotes multi-modal options on Ayd Mill Road. He owns a painting business and commutes by bicycle to worksites, carrying materials on a homemade trailer attached to his bike.
-- Charlie Stark of Northfield, winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award for his advocacy of vanpooling. He was the driver of a vanpool from Northfield to the Twin Cities that saved more than 1 million vehicle miles over 10 years.
-- Melissa Wenzel, a staff member of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in St. Paul, who has been car-free by choice for four years and is known as a resource for others who want to change their transportation habits.
Further, turning in after turning out, Opinuendo sayeth not.