What you need to know about Minnesota’s Tuesday primary & special election

It’s the Minnesota Primary Election Day, which means voters will choose their candidates for the November general election.

In southern Minnesota, voters will also head to the polls to cast their ballots for a special election.

Voters in the U.S. First Congressional District will pick their representative to serve the remainder of deceased Congressman Jim Hagedorn’s term. Former Minnesota Rep. Brad Finstad is running for the GOP against DFL candidate Jeff Ettinger, the former CEO of Hormel Foods.

Things get more complicated in southern Minnesota, because Tuesday is also the primary for the actual election.  State Rep Jeremy Munson is on the primary ballot to become the GOP nominee in November. Munson lost the primary for the special election in May to Finstad by a slim margin. Ettinger is considered the frontrunner for the Democrats.

Also on the ballot are non-partisan races at a local level, including county sheriff, city councils, school boards, county commissioners, and more.

Here’s what you need to know about voting in the 2022 Primary:

What hours can I vote?

Minnesota’s polling locations are usually open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where do I go to vote?

The Minnesota Secretary of State has a Polling Place Finder where you’ll enter your zip code or county of residence along with a street address to learn your polling location.  Minnesota was recently redistricted, so it’s important to check your voting location for this election.

I’m not registered to vote in Minnesota.  Is it too late?

No!  Minnesota allows Election Day registration.  An ID with a current name and address is required, along with a photo ID and a document with a current name and address.  A list of approved photo IDs and documents is on the Secretary of State’s website.

A registered voter in your precinct who can confirm your address can also go with you to the polls and sign an oath vouching for your address.  You can find a printable list of Election Day Registration information on the website.

If you registered within 20 days of the election, you may have received a Notice of Late Registration in the mail.  You should bring it to your polling place and use it as your proof of residence.

I will need assistance at the polls.  Can I bring someone to help me?

Absolutely!  You can bring a family member, friend, or neighbor to help you vote.  There is one exception: you can’t get help from someone from your employer or from your union.  Helpers are not allowed to influence your vote or tell others how you voted.  You can also show your ballot privately to an election judge to check that it is correctly marked.

I can’t get off work to vote.  What do I do?

Voting is your right.  Your employer cannot refuse or interfere with this right, including what time you choose to vote.  You have the right to time off work to vote in all elections, state and federal, and your employer must pay you for the time you need to vote if it falls within your scheduled work time. Workers can print a letter from the Secretary of State’s office to give to their employer.

I voted early by absentee ballot.  How do I know my ballot made it in time?

Minnesota’s ballot tracker can help you determine the status of your ballot.  Voters will enter the same information they used to request their absentee ballot to determine whether their ballot was accepted or rejected.

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