High Turnout Expected in Tuesday's MN Primary
Carol McCarthy | Aug 13, 2018 AT 8:23 am
MINNEAPOLIS - It's estimated nearly 50,000 Minnesotans will have submitted ballots ahead of tomorrow's primary election in Minnesota, a record number according to the secretary of state.
Voters will decide primary races for two U.S. Senate seats, three open House seats, the governor and several other races. Ginny Gelms is elections manager in Hennepin, Minnesota's most populous county. She said Minnesota historically has one of the highest rates for voter turnout in the nation.
"We are seeing really high turnout," Gelms said. "Our absentee ballots, we've already broken the record for the most absentee ballots we've ever seen for a primary election."
Nearly 400 candidates have filed to run for state and federal offices in Minnesota this year, the biggest spike in potential candidates since the early 2000s. Voters in Wisconsin, Vermont and Connecticut also go to the polls Tuesday.
Minnesota voters who want to view a sample ballot in their county, verify they're registered or search for other election information can go to mnvotes.org.
Since 2014, Minnesota voters no longer need a reason or excuse to vote absentee and can request a ballot and vote in person or by mail up to 46 days before an election. Gelms said Minnesota has a history of making it as convenient as possible for people to exercise their right to vote, including Election Day registration.
"Folks who haven't gotten around to updating their voter registration if they've moved, or people who've moved close to election day, or people who moved to the state close to the election day or something like that have the opportunity to register, even if they didn't do that ahead of time," she said.
A stronghold for Democrats, Minnesota has not voted for a Republican president since 1972, but in recent years has seen tens of millions of dollars spent by the Republican Party on advertising to elect more GOP candidates. The GOP now holds three of the state's eight seats in the U.S. House.