Early presidential primary voting begins

Early Primary Voting Open in Minnesota

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(ABC 6 News) – On March 5, Minnesotans will choose who they want to see on the ballot in November.

“There’s only one contest on the ballot and that’s president of the United States,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

The secretary says game day may be in March, but Friday, Jan. 19 is when voters can start casting their ballot early.

“Anyone in Minnesota, who is eligible to vote, can vote starting today in any one of the presidential primary contests. Either on the Democratic side, the Republican side or the Legal Marijuana Now side,” said Secretary Simon.

One way you can do that is by mail. And despite concerns of mail-in ballot safety the secretary says the state has the right safeguards in place.

“Only if that ballot is returned with that exact form of personal identifying information and the voter signs it and a witness signs it. Only if all three of those things are true, not two of the three. Three out of the three. Only then is it counted,” said Secretary Simon.

Another way to vote is at your county’s election office. Here in Olmsted County, officials say the in-person option is much like on a normal election day.

“It will look the same no matter where you’ll go. The one difference on election day and for us is you will need to indicate your political party to participate in this. As far as everything else we expect minimal lines for the next couple of weeks,” said Luke Turner the Olmsted County Elections Manager.

Although only 20% of voters in Olmsted County voted in the last presidential primary in 2020, but it was a much a different story for the general election when we saw a 93% voter turnout.

The message is, primaries are also important.

But people we spoke with in Olmsted County say they do take their voting seriously.

“It’s a basic right and an obligation we have as a citizen,” said one voter.

“I vote. Why? Because my vote counts. So, get out there and vote,” said another voter.

For more information on how to vote Click Here.