MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Election officials in Minnesota say early voting in the state is “off the charts” ahead of the midterm elections, with more than 300,000 absentee ballots requested.
“Minnesotans are early voting even more than they did in the 2016 presidential election,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, in a Thursday press release.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: 80-Degree High Expected Monday; Summery And Damp Week Ahead
As of this week, at least 301,107 absentee ballots have been requested by voters since early voting began in late September. Of those requested ballots, 159,660 have been accepted by officials.
The election is set for Nov. 6, which is now less than three weeks away.
During the 2016 election, which pit then-candidate Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton in the race for president, there were 281,532 absentee ballots requested in Minnesota as of mid-October.READ MORE: Minnesota National Guard Mourns Master Sgt. David Greiner, Killed In I-35 Head-On Crash
This year’s race has no presidential contest but is already outpacing the 2016 election by 20,000 ballots.
“This level of participation is off the charts,” Simon said in the press release, adding that Minnesota is already the No. 1 state for voter participation.
The record turnout this year comes amid several high-profile state races, including those for governor, attorney general and contested seats on Capitol Hill.
So how does early voting work?MORE NEWS: Sheriff: Inmate Jesse James Crabtree 'Walked Away' From NERCC
Minnesotans can vote from home via “no-excuse absentee voting,” or they can visit their local county election office and do in-person absentee voting, which is commonly called “early voting.”