MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People across the state head to the polls on Tuesday to vote in Minnesota’s primary election.

It’s a vital step in the 2012 campaign as the results will decide which match-ups we’ll see on the ballot in November.

This marks only the second time the state is holding a primary in August. It used to come after Labor Day, but two years ago lawmakers decided to move it to August to give members of the military and overseas voters more time to vote in the general election.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is predicting voter turnout to be less than 15 percent statewide. It’s expected, however, to be higher in two races for U.S. House.

Up north, people in the 8th Congressional District will decide who will run against Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack, who beat out long-time incumbent Jim Oberstar two years ago. Three Democrats each hope for the chance to unseat him. Jeff Anderson, Tarryl Clark and Rick Nolan are all in the running.

We are also keeping a close eye on what happens in the first district, along Minnesota’s southern border. Republicans Mike Parry and Allen Quist both want the chance to challenge Democratic Rep. Tim Walz.

If you’re not sure where to go to vote, there’s a polling place finder on the Secretary of State’s web site. All you do is enter your zip code and address. Then, it will give you a map to the place you’re supposed to go to vote.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. in most places and close at about 8 p.m. In some townships, polls don’t open until 10 a.m.


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