What can you do if you voted early and your candidate has dropped out?

Three Democratic candidates dropped out following the New Hampshire primary.
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Three candidates dropped out of the Democratic presidential race after Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, but what should Minnesotans do if they already voted for them?

In the wake of Tuesday's vote, Andrew Yang, Michael Bennet, and Deval Patrick announced they would be ending their campaigns.

The decisions come after the start of Minnesota's early primary voting, which got underway Jan. 17. The same goes for John Delaney, who abandoned his campaign on Jan. 31.

So is there anything you can do to change your vote before Minnesotans go to the ballots on Super Tuesday, Mar. 3?

Actually, there is. 

Typically, votes in primaries are counted discretely, with the Secretary of State's Office reporting on all the votes candidates get even if they've dropped out, and from there it's up to the parties to determine how to treat the votes.

However, there is a little-known option for those who have voted early for, say, Andrew Yang, or any other candidates who drop out of the race in the coming weeks.

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These voters can request from their county's auditor or clerk that the ballot they have already submitted be "spoiled" and ask for a replacement ballot.

This must be done up to the close of business seven days before Election Day, per Minnesota statute.

The request for a replacement does not need to be made in writing, but the county's administrator must be satisfied they are talking with the person who cast the original ballot before replacing it.

It'll vary from county-to-county, but administrators should be able to accept both in-person and phone requests, provided the caller can confirm their identity in the latter instance.

The only instance where it becomes a little more tricky is if you want to vote for another party. In this case, you need to fill out another absentee voting application and another ballot.

Click here for a full list of county contact numbers across the State of Minnesota.

You can find more details on Page 41 of the 2018 Absentee Voters Guide.

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