November 15, 2023

Just My Opinion - by Mary Kilen

ND Voters: “Independent-Minded” On Issues Going Into 2024 Election
This week, the first of the stories from the new North Dakota poll are hitting newspapers across the state. For a little background information on the poll, the ND News Cooperative sent out information on how the poll was conducted.
With election day a year away, voters in North Dakota are already forming strong opinions on many issues, according to the North Dakota Poll (ND Poll), a new statewide survey released by the North Dakota News Cooperative (NDNC).
The survey of eligible and likely voters tested a wide range of subjects - from the presidential election to upcoming ballot initiatives to the state’s new abortion law. The poll also asked voters to rate the job performance of various officials and political institutions.
“We found that North Dakota voters are independent-minded heading into the election year,” said Steve Andrist, NDNC co-chair. “Their positions on key issues differ significantly from the positions taken by their elected officials. Whether the upcoming campaign changes those views remains to be seen.”
The poll of 517 voters in North Dakota, conducted between November 5-7, 2023, has a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent. 
“One year from now, the voters of North Dakota will be facing many of the issues we tested in the ND Poll. This benchmark survey helps us understand what voters are thinking as the campaign season kicks off,” said Jill Denning, Gackle, co-chair of NDNC.
“We also want to thank the three founding sponsors - Forum Communications Co., the North Dakota Broadcasters Association and the North Dakota Petroleum Council - who joined with the North Dakota News Cooperative to make this important public opinion survey possible,” said Andrist. “They understand the importance of bringing public opinion into the election cycle from the very beginning.”
You will find the first of the stories based on the results of this poll elsewhere in this week’s paper. There will be more stories in the coming weeks.

Intentional Acts Of Kindness
Monday, Nov. 13 was World Kindness Day. First introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, World Kindness Day offers an opportunity to highlight good deeds in the community and the common thread of kindness.
In Stanley, the Stanley Park District and Mountrail County Health Foundation/Health Center have returned this month with Intentional Acts of Kindness Month. They have purchased gift cards in different amounts from businesses and are asking volunteers to hand them out. Each volunteer was given a packet with a date on it. That is their date to either hand the card to someone they feel deserves it or to place it somewhere within the community for someone to find.
Inside the Red Glasses Movement envelope, the recipient will find their gift card and also a list of ideas for 30 Days of Blessing.
They include random acts that you can do to bless others during November.
Each day, the Health Foundation’s Facebook page also has small tips and thoughts about how to spread those acts of kindness with a main theme of “In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind”.
As we draw closer to Thanksgiving, now is a time to be thankful for everything we have and also a time to share that with those around us. It takes so little to be kind to someone. You never know when you can make a major difference just with a smile or a random surprise.