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MnDOT’s kicks off Name-A-Snowplow contest

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An election free from campaign speeches, rallies and partisan politics got underway Tuesday as the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s kicked off its fourth annual Name-A-Snowplow contest.

Voters will have until Jan. 28 to select names they want to see appear on MnDOT snowplows through the popular contest being held online. Participants will be limited to one vote, but will be allowed to select up to eight names from the list of 50 finalists with nods to pop culture, sports, history and the state’s indigenous population.

Those include “Beauty and the Blade,” “Alice Scooper,” “Taylor Drift,” “SKOL Plow” and “Waipahiƞte,” the Dakota word for snow plow.

Names that get the most votes will be declared the winners, with one name assigned to one of the big orange trucks in each of MnDOT’s eight districts.

MnDOT solicited suggestions from the public during December and more than 8,000 names were submitted, said spokeswoman Anne Meyer. Agency staff winnowed the list down to 50, and considered uniqueness, frequency of submissions, ideas specific to Minnesota, and names that would be easily identifiable and understandable to appear on the ballot.

Previous contests designed to bring a bit of levity to winter have resulted in names being applied to 24 plows statewide. MnDOT staff also gave names to three additional plows, Giiwedin-The North Wind; Goonodaabaan-Snow Vehicle, and Icamna-Blizzard in acknowledgement of the highways the state plows adjacent to tribal lands.

Winners will be announced in late January, the agency said. Go online to https://www.dot.state.mn.us/nameasnowplow/ to vote.

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