Happy Valentine’s Day. We just finished our first week of session, which focused primarily on receiving input briefings from various state agencies. Next week we begin hearing bills in committees.
Several constituents have contacted me about the presidential candidate endorsing process that is now underway here in Minnesota. It’s different than past years and probably needs a bit of discussion.
This year, Minnesota joined the other 40 other states that conduct a formal presidential primary election. In Minnesota, since 1992 political parties used a somewhat complicated caucus/straw vote/delegate process. At the urging of both of Minnesota’s major pollical parties, in 2017 the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton agreed to reinstate Minnesota’s presidential primary process.
This presidential election year citizens can vote directly for the candidate they would like their political party to endorse for president. That election will be Tuesday March 3, also known as “Super Tuesday.” As is the law for all our other elections in Minnesota, you may vote by absentee ballot or in person at your county courthouse up to 45 days before the actual election.
There have been several unfounded rumors circulating, including that everyone will be able to see who you voted for. That is not true. You will be provided a ballot from the political party of your choice. You can check the box for a candidate on that ballot or write in the name of an individual you would rather support. That information is not shared.
There have also been concerns raised about who has access to the fact that you voted in a specific political party’s nomination process. Just like the now retired caucus/straw vote process, the political party that you selected to vote in will know you voted in their presidential nominating process, but not who you voted for.
Regardless of your political party preference I urge everyone to participate in this important first step in selecting who will ultimately be on the general election ballot in November of this year. Minnesotan’s has always led the nation in voter turnout. This year the system is obviously a bit different and, actually, much more user-friendly than the old process. Please participate, it’s your right as citizen.