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With Labor Day over and another State Fair on the books, it’s time for Minnesotans to get serious again. And, this being an election year, you can bet your mailbox is about to get hit with a serious flood of political mailings of all kinds: from candidates, from indpendent expenditure committees, from shady cabals.

While you might prefer not to get all this unwanted mail, your friends here at MinnPost would very much like to get a look at it. That’s why we’re asking our readers (and our readers’ friends and families!) to take those political mailings, snap a photo of both sides, and send the photos (along with your name and the city you live in) to mailers@minnpost.com. We’ll keep your personal information private, of course.

Why are we so interested in this stuff? When it comes to political spending, especially in state and local elections, postal mail is still where the action is. These mailers can tell us not just what issues candidates and committees are emphasizing with voters, but also just the basic question of which groups are spending in the election. Campaign finance disclosure laws being what they are, it could be months before that information on groups active in the election becomes available from official sources. If we can see what mailers our readers are getting right away, we can shine a brighter light on spending during this election.

So again, if you get a political mailing at any time during the course of the fall campaign, please snap a photo of both sides and send it to mailers@minnpost.com.

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