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Who is on the Ballot? Get Ready for the Upcoming Primary Election

By James Chang, YWCA Minneapolis Racial Equity and Public Policy Strategist
July 16, 2018
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Have you ever wished for a greater pool of political candidates from which to choose? If you have, then this may be the election year for you! With an open governor’s race and Minnesota’s entire federal delegation on the ballot (two U.S. Senate seats, eight congressional seats, the state Attorney General’s office and all 134-seats in Minnesota’s House of Representatives), there will be no shortage of candidates to choose from. 

Primary Election Around the Corner

The 2018 general election is still four months away but another important election date is right around the corner: the August 14 primary election. What exactly is the primary you may ask? Essentially, the primary is the election before the election. In the primary election, voters choose the candidates who will represent their preferred political party, such as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party (DFL), Republican Party (GOP), etc., in the November general election against other parties’ candidates. For the visual learners among us, YWCA Racial Justice and Public Policy team has created bracket-style visuals for a few of this election cycle’s races.

View a full list of candidates in all races

Governor Race

With DFL Governor Mark Dayton deciding not to seek a third term, both Democrats and Republicans have competitive primary races for governor. On the DFL side, there is a five-way race for governor, while the GOP has two candidates of their own.

Attorney General Race

In the attorney general’s race, there are five candidates on the DFL side and three on the Republican side.

Race for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District

Among the other competitive races is the one to replace U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District covering eastern Hennepin County, including the city of Minneapolis and portions of Anoka and Ramsey counties. The heavily Democratic district will see five DFL candidates vying to be the Democratic candidate in November, while the GOP will have three candidates competing to be the Republican candidate.

No-Excuses Early Voting

With the dizzying amount of candidates in so many different races this year, Minnesota could see an uptick in primary voting. If, like me, you prefer to avoid the crowds at the polls you are in luck with a relatively new state law which now allows “no-excuses early voting.” This means depending on where you live, you will be able to vote by submitting an absentee ballot or voting in person at select early voting locations. In Minneapolis, the Early Vote Center will be located downtown at 217 3rd St. S, one block from City Hall. To be eligible to vote in the primary, you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by August 14 and a resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days. If you have been convicted of a felony, you must have completed your sentence.

For more information about the August 14 primary or how to vote early, contact your local county election’s office or visit the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

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