The cities of Brainerd and Baxter would be merged if it were up to the general public, according to an informal Dispatch poll.
Since Tuesday, Dispatch readers were asked to vote either for or against a merger in an informal survey at The Dispatch's online Web site, www.brainerddispatch.com, or by calling The Dispatch Extra Access line.
As of 9 a.m. Friday, 384 people voted on The Dispatch Extra Access line -- 195 voters were in favor of a merger and 189 voters were opposed to merging Brainerd and Baxter.
At The Dispatch Web site, 140 people voted with 74 in favor, or 53 percent; 49 people were opposed, or 35 percent; and 17 people, or 12 percent, said they didn't care either way.
The online results mirrored a similar online poll The Dispatch ran on its Web site for two weeks in January. During that poll, 606 people voted with 319 people in favor of a merger, or 53 percent; 215 people were opposed, or 35 percent; and 72 people said they had no opinion, or 12 percent.
This was not a scientific survey. There is no way to know whether people voted more than once and the poll was not limited to Brainerd or Baxter residents.
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