Crazy Candidate Filing Day Might Spur Primary Turnout

June 06, 2018 09:30 PM

A total of 94 candidates walked through the revolving doors of the Minnesota State Office Building on Tuesday to file for political races - including for governor, attorney general and a suddenly open congressional seat.

"Maximum crazy," is how Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon described the scene on Tuesday - the deadline for filing for office.

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"I have never seen anything like this. I have never seen anything like this in the Secretary of State's office or in Minnesota politics."

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The question now is what impact it all might have on voter turnout in the Aug. 14 primary elections.

"It's August in Minnesota and what do Minnesotans do in August?," Simon asked rhetorically. "They try and squeeze the last few drops out of summer."

That means they're not usually focused on getting out to vote when the lake or cabin beckons.

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From 2010 to 2016, August primaries have ranged from a high of 15.94 percent of voters in 2010 to just 7.42 percent in 2016.

However, some of those elections had only a few low-profile races. Simon said that won't be a problem this year.

"The fact that it's competitive tends to be a driver (of voter turnout)," he said. "Nobody knows as of this day who is going to win several of these high-profile races."

KSTP 2018 Election Page

Simon said there's also no excuse not to vote, even if you won't be in town on Aug. 14.

With Minnesota's absentee voting system, you can begin casting ballots as early as June 29. So you don't need to be in town on primary election day.

"We now have no excuses absentee voting," Simon said. "You don't even have to be physically be present to vote any more like you had to be say five years ago."

For more information on elections and voting in the state, go online to the secretary of state's office elections information page.

 

Credits

Tom Hauser

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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