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Voting in August and Why We Should Vote

Minnesota's Primary Election

8/2/2018 10:33:48 AM

ASL version

If you are DeafBlind or prefer to watch the video in a slow-paced, high contrast format, watch the DeafBlind friendlier ASL version instead.

English version

In Minnesota, you will have two chances to vote this year – first this summer.  Second this fall. This video focuses on the summer election. You have to decide if you will vote Democrat or Republican, not both. We will explain more in this video.

The summer election is called the Primary. The Primary helps voters decide which candidates will continue on and have their name listed on the ballot in November in the General Election.  

Exactly which races you’ll get to vote in at the Primary vary depending on where you live.  

All voters will be able to vote on 

  • Governor / Lt. Governor 
  • U.S. Senator (two seats) 
  • U.S. Representative 
  • Secretary of State 
  • State Auditor 
  • Attorney General 
  • State Representative 
  • Judicial offices 

Candidates in these races are like the presidential candidates in that they run as either a Democrat or a Republican.  If these races are on the ballot, you’ll be able to vote in either the Democratic race or the Republican one, not both.  The ballot will have a line down the middle and the names of the Republican candidates will be on one side and the names of the Democrats will be on the other. If you both for both Democrats and Republicans, your vote won’t count! The machine will reject your ballot.

On the back of the ballot, there will be other races, like judges, and maybe mayor, city council, or school board depending upon where you live.  In these races, the candidates are not with a party – they are “nonpartisan”.  The votes in the Primary will determine which candidates will be included in the General Election ballot. You may be able to vote for more than one candidate. 

So, how do you find out what’s on your ballot?  It’s easy!  Go to the Secretary of State’s website at  

Select “What’s on my ballot?”  Then “View your sample ballot”.  

Type in your address, following the directions and you will get a list of the candidates who will be listed on your Primary ballot.  If the candidates provided the Secretary of State’s Office with a link to their website, you can find it there to research the candidates.  

There is also a link to a copy of what your actual ballot will look like.

When can I vote?

You can either wait until Primary Election Day, Tuesday, August 14, 2018, and go to your normal polling place to vote or you can vote early either by mail or in person.  

There are lots of ways to vote.  What’s important is just that you do it!


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