At Issue: July 8 - Early Voting Off to Strong Start in Minnesota; Election Judges Needed

July 08, 2018 04:25 PM

Early Voting Off to Strong Start in Minnesota

Early voting is off to a strong start in Minnesota ahead of the Aug. 14 primary elections. The Secretary of State's office says it has sent out nearly 17,000 absentee ballots in the first week of early voting, between June 29 and July 5. That's up more than 60 percent from the same period in 2016 primary elections. As of July 5, nearly 1,700 ballots have been returned. That's up nearly 30 percent from two years ago.


More than 40 percent of the ballots requested have come from Hennepin County, where there is a competitive DFL race for the 5th Congressional District. Election officials say competitive primary races for governor and state attorney general are also likely driving up early voting totals.

You can vote absentee - either in person or by mail - through Aug. 13.

State, Counties Step up Efforts to Recruit Bilingual Election Judges

More than 30,000 Minnesotans are needed to serve as election judges at 3,500 polling places during the 2018 primary and general elections. Judges are trained in everything from greeting and assisting voters to overseeing ballot counting machines and compiling voter statistics at the end of Election Day. Counties are specifically looking for judges who can speak more than one language, such as Spanish, Hmong, Vietnamese, Somali or a variety of African languages. 

To serve as an election judge, you must:

  • Be eligible to vote in Minnesota.
  • Be able to read, write and speak English.
  • Attend a summer election judge training session in your city our county.

Students ages 16 and 17 can apply to be election judge trainees. State law also allows you to take time off work to serve as an election judge without penalty.

Click here to learn more about how to serve as an election judge in Minnesota.


Amanda Theisen

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