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Polls closed; primary voters decide who runs in November

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Minnesotans took to the polls Tuesday for the state’s primary election, where voters were choosing which candidates will represent their political party for governor, U.S. Senate and state auditor in the Nov. 4 general election.

As expected, turnout at most polling places was low. Only 200,000-300,000 people were expected to cast votes.

Elections officials in Minneapolis put in place unprecedented security precautions for Tuesday's primary at several polling places due to a tense Minneapolis House race. Officials posted sergeants-at-arms to maintain order and make sure voters weren't intimidated or interrupted while casting their ballots.

The Pioneer Press says not only will Tuesday's primary decide which candidates will represent their party in the November election, but it will also test the value of the Republican party's endorsement. The newspaper says if the GOP-backed candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, wins, "the party's stock will rise." But if he loses, the value of having the party's backing "will continue to erode."

Key election dates

  • Aug. 12: Primary election. Absentee ballots for the primary election are due.
  • Sept. 12: Absentee ballots are available for the Nov. 4 general election. For the first time this year, Minnesotans don’t need to provide an excuse. Voters can request an absentee ballot here.
  • Oct. 14: Pre-registration deadline for the Nov. 4 general election. Voters who miss the deadline can still register at their polling place on the day of the election, but may face long lines.
  • Nov. 4: General election

The Minnesota Secretary of State is calling this year a significant election year because Minnesotans will decide a U.S. Senate seat, all of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats, every state House seat, as well as governor and other state offices.

Many county commissioners, county sheriffs, county attorneys, auditors, treasurers and recorders are also on the ballot.

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