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Voters across Minnesota will head to the polls Tuesday to vote in the state's primary elections.

Here's a lowdown on where and how to vote, and the races to keep an eye on:

Where and how to vote

Most polls allow voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you're in line by 8 p.m., you are still allowed to vote. In order to vote, you must meet the following requirements, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office:

  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day
  • A resident of the state of Minnesota for at least 20 days
  • Not currently serving a felony sentence (including probation, parole or supervised release)

You do not have to bring a state ID unless you are registering to vote, or updating your registration.

Minnesotans can also register the day of the election at polling places. Bring in an approved document that proves your current address or have another registered voter in your precinct vouch for you. To check your registration status, visit the Secretary of State's website.

The state has a poll finder available online, where you can enter your address to find your polling location. You can find your polling place here.

The city of Minneapolis announced that its 311 hotline is staying open longer Tuesday to help voters find their polling places. The phone number will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you have unmailed mail ballots, at this point don't mail them in. Either vote at your polling place with a newly issued ballot, or drop them off by 3 p.m. to the election office that issued your ballot. In Minneapolis, you can return them to the Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services at 980 E. Hennepin Ave, or Hennepin County Government Center at 300 South 6th Street.

Races to watch

5th Congressional District DFL primary

Rep. Ilhan Omar is being challenged by Don Samuels in the Fifth Congressional District, which covers Minneapolis and much of Hennepin County. 

Omar has the Minnesota DFL endorsement and receives progressive support from the likes of Minnesota AG Keith Ellison. She has built an effective organizing coalition on the ground in Minneapolis and inner-ring suburbs, but could face her toughest primary opponent yet in Samuels, who is supported by centrist Democrats including Mayor Jacob Frey and has out fund-raised Omar thanks in part to corporate Democratic donors.

Omar, 39, is looking to win a third term in office. A member of the progressive "Squad" of 2018 then-rookie women Democrats, she has been a proponent of fighting climate change, expanding abortion rights, canceling student loan debt, and overhauling policing.

While her first year in Congress saw Omar under scrutiny for some comments she made criticizing Israel that was criticized for containing antisemitic tropes, prompting an apology, more recently she has been involved in some major legislative successes.  

Chief among them was co-authoring the MEALS Act with Sen. Bernie Sanders, which ensured the nation's schoolchildren could continue getting free school breakfasts and lunch during the depths of the pandemic, and allowed school districts to make it universal. After it was included in the pandemic-related CARES Act, it has since provided food to an estimated 30 million children.

A popular target for attacks from Republicans, she has also been criticized by some moderate Democrats for backing the ultimately unsuccessful effort to replace Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety department following the murder of George Floyd, since when state investigations have identified a culture of racism and discrimination within the department.

Samuels, a former city council and school board member in Minneapolis, was involved in the campaign against replacing MPD, and backed the move to give more power over city politics to the Office of Mayor Jacob Frey via the successful "strong mayor" amendment. He has also called for increased police funding.

The 73-year-old Jamaican immigrant began to organize against gun violence over two decades ago when a bullet hit his north Minneapolis home. He is pushing himself as someone who can achieve compromises in Congress on things like gun control, which is heavily opposed by Republicans.

His candidacy has not been without controversy, however. In March he posted a tweet that made light of the drowning of Isaac Childress III, a 6-year-old who died while in Samuels' care in 2020. Samuels wrote "can't swim, can govern" in response to a post on Twitter, which he later deleted. Opponents have also highlight his previous support for private school vouchers, writing a foreward on a report for the conservative Center of the American Experiment, which counts the Koch Brothers among its funders, and while a city councilor in 2007 he ws

1st Congressional District special election/GOP primary

After the death of Republican Jim Hagedorn, the First Congressional District House seat will be filled by one of three candidates.

A special election will take place, pitting Republican Brad Finstad and Democrat Jeff Ettinger against each other to finish out the remaining two months of Hagedorn's term. However, Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal), is challenging Finstad in Tuesday's primary, which will determine who is on the ballot in November.

What initially looked like a straight run between Finstad and Ettinger was thrown into turmoil when Munson u-turned on his decision to abide by the Minnesota GOP's endorsement of Finstad.

Now, Ettinger will run in the November election regardless of the outcome of the special election. If Finstad wins the special election and loses the primary to Munson, Munson will then be the Republican candidate pitted against Ettinger in November.

Ettinger is a former Hormel Foods CEO who is making his debut in politics. Finstad, a farmer and former three-term state representative, was previously appointed by then President Donald Trump as the USDA Rural Development director for Minnesota. 

While Finstad has earned endorsements from the likes of Minnesota U.S. Reps. Michelle Fischbach (R-CD5) and Pete Stauber (R-CD8), Munson – also a former state representative – obtained national endorsements from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio State Rep. Jim Jordan.

District 56 (Dakota County) Senate seat

Erin Maye Quade is running against Justin Emmerich to become the DFL nominee for state Senate District 56 in Dakota County, which represents Rosemount, Apple Valley and a part of Eagan.

Maye Quade withdrew from a DFL endorsement convention in April after she gave a speech while in active labor. Emmerich went on to get the endorsement, but Maye Quade's team said they had asked Emmerich to suspend the convention due to her going into labor, which Emmerich claims didn't happen.

Maye Quade has experience working at the Capitol as she served one term in the state House of Representatives from 2017-2019, while Emmerich has legislative experience working as a legislative assistant to Nick Frentz (DFL-Mankato). 

Both candidates, from Apple Valley, advocate for policies including abortion access, gun safety, and more school funding. 

GOP Attorney General primary

Since 1971, the Minnesota Attorney's General Office has been controlled by Democrats. Two Republicans — Jim Schultz and Doug Wardlow — are running in the Republican primary to go up against Attorney General Keith Ellison in November.

Schultz, a corporate lawyer from Minnetonka, won the GOP party's endorsement. Wardlow, an attorney for Mike Lindell's My Pillow, initially stated he would not run against the endorsed Schultz only to then u-turn, alleging that his opponents "brokered a back-room deal" to hand Schultz the endorsement. 

Wardlow won the party's endorsement in 2018 before losing to Ellison in the general election by four percentage points. The Minnesota GOP released a statement that Wardlow made in February, saying he would "absolutely" abide by the party's endorsement. Schultz said in response that he along with other Republican colleagues have "lost respect" for Wardlow.

Wardlow meanwhile has suggested that Schultz wouldn't go far enough to restrict abortion in Minnesota if he wins election in November.

Schultz has criticized Ellison for supporting the Minneapolis City Charter ballot question in replacing the police department with a new department of public safety. Wardlow still backs the unfounded allegation that the 2020 election was "stolen" from Trump.

Hennepin County Attorney primary

Mike Freeman is leaving his position, which means Hennepin County will be looking for a new attorney.

Freeman held the position for a combined 24 years, from 1991-1999 and 2006-2021. Seven candidates are running in the DFL primary: Martha Holton Dimick; Jarvis Jones; Tad Jude; Mary Moriarty; Paul Ostrow; Saraswati Singh and Ryan Winkler.

The Tuesday primary will whittle these candidates down to two.

  • Some notable names on this list include Winkler, who is currently the House Majority Leader. He received an endorsement from House Speaker Melissa Hortman, among others.
  • Moriarty served as the county's public defender for 25 years and also six years as the county chief public defender. She received endorsements from Attorney General Keith Ellison and Rep. Ilhan Omar.
  • Jude has been a judge in the state's Tenth Judicial District, with experience in Minnesota's legislature in both the House and Senate. He has been endorsed by former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
  • Jones is a vice president at a Fortune 300 company and was named the first Black president of the Minnesota State Bar and Hennepin County Bar Associations.
  • Holton Dimick has experience working as a recovery room nurse, in the Hennepin County Attorney's Office as a community prosecutor and adult provision division, and as a district court judge in the Fourth Judicial District. She has received endorsements from Mayor Frey, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Deputies Association.
  • Ostrow worked in the Blue Earth County Attorney's Office, with 12 additional years as a council member in Minneapolis. He also served as the council's president. Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson is among those who have endorsed Ostrow.
  • Singh is a prosecutor in the Adult Criminal Trial Division at the Ramsey County Attorney's Office. The Minnesota National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (Minnesota-NOW PAC) and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi have supplied endorsements.

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