Early voting wraps up with some looong lines

Election officials say some Minnesotans waited as long as three hours to vote Monday

Even people who vote early can be procrastinators.

Far more Minnesotans than ever before cast their ballots in advance of Election Day this fall. Some who waited until the last day to do their early voting wound up standing in long lines.

A Minneapolis election official told GoMN that on the city's south side some people waited as long as three hours to cast their votes.

While early voting was especially popular in Hennepin County, it was a statewide phenomenon. This was the first presidential election in which Minnesotans could vote ahead of time without having to explain why they couldn't do it on Election Day.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon's office oversees elections.

That 568,000 number is about 17 percent of Minnesota's registered voters, the Pioneer Press says, and Hennepin County led the way with 23 percent of voters casting early ballots.

The lines seemed to get longer as Monday evening's deadline for early voting drew nearer, but there was plenty of waiting over the weekend, too.

So, is there anybody left to vote on Tuesday?

Probably so. Four years ago Minnesota's voter turnout was 76 percent, which was the highest in the nation.

So even if 17 percent voted ahead of time, don't expect to be alone at your polling place Tuesday.

And if you're not even sure where your polling place is, you can get the answer at the Secretary of State's polling place finder page. There's also a tool there that shows you what names will be on your ballot.

You don't need to be registered – you can do that at the polling place, as long as you have an ID or other proof of where you live.

Under Minnesota law you're allowed to take time off from work to vote without getting docked any pay.

St. Cloud and Mankato are among the cities where transit systems are offering free bus rides to your polling place. And some YMCAs are offering free child care to help give parents time to get to the polls.

The polls are open until 8 p.m. but anyone who's in line by that time will be allowed to vote.

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