MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The last-minute filing frenzy has election officials bracing for higher than normal turnout in this summer’s primary.

Only seven-percent of Minnesotans voted in the primary two years ago, but analysts believe that number could spike in August with so much at stake.

On Tuesday, the candidates waded past cameras to file for office, including U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who now wants to be Minnesota’s attorney general.

That sparked an avalanche of people filing for Ellison’s seat, including State Rep. Ilhan Omar, former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, and Minneapolis school Board member and Ellison’s ex-wife, Kim Ellison.

“This is going to be an enormously important primary,” said professor David Schultz, of Hamline University.

Nowhere is the August primary more important than in the 5th Congressional District, which Ellison has represented for 12 years. It’s one of the most Democratic districts in the country.

“In many ways, the primary decides who will be the next member of Congress,” Schultz said.

In Minneapolis officials have already begun getting computers and voting stations ready.

“We are already in the process of recruiting our election judges and our seasonal workers, training them and getting ready for the first day of early voting,” Minneapolis City Clerk Casey Carl said.

Early voting for the primary starts statewide on June 29.

Esme Murphy

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