Should public officials be allowed to cast votes remotely?

Dennis Blankensop, a councilmember from the northeast Minnesota town of Cohasset has for the past couple months been “virtually” attending council meetings via Skype software from his condo in Palm Springs, Calif. Today’s Question: Should public officials be allowed to cast votes remotely?

“My thinking is, it’s the 21st century; let’s do this,” said Cohasset Mayor Greg Hagy.

“I don’t think it’s really appropriate to say that somebody sitting in an apartment or condo in California is accessible to the public,” Minneapolis media attorney Mark Anfinson said. Anfinson wonders if this could lead to the rise of a “snowbird caucus” where Minnesota’s local governments are run from Florida and other warmer locations in the winter.

“If (constituents) want to talk to me, then all they have to do is come to the council meeting, and interact with me via Skype,” Blankensop said.

Note: Atty. Anfinson has represented MPR.