MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota elections officials are anticipating a high voter turnout for Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Minnesota Secretary of State spokesman Ben Petok says as of Tuesday morning, elections officials had received nearly 615,000 absentee and mail-in ballots. That’s close to the more than 650,000 absentee and mail-in ballots received for the presidential election two years ago.
Petok says he has not heard of any major voting glitches. He says one precinct in Anoka County had problems starting up e-poll books, but quickly switched to a paper roster for signing in voters.
Minneapolis estimates nearly 70,000 voters have cast their ballots as of noon. The total is based on unofficial tabulator counts from 95 percent of all precincts. That means about 28 percent of all registered Minneapolis voters showed up to vote Tuesday morning. As of Tuesday morning, more than 51,000 Minneapolis voters cast early ballots. That number is expected to climb as additional absentee ballots arrive by mail.
Ramsey County elections manager Joe Mansky says turnout also is good in his metro county. Mansky says he visited some polling places Tuesday morning, and the judges all reported high turnout, with a line of voters waiting for one polling place to open. Mansky says absentee voting in Ramsey County through Tuesday morning was over 60,000. That compares with 64,000 during the presidential election two years ago.
It’s too soon to tell what impact the overcast skies, light rain and snow showers will have on voter turnout. Light rain didn’t seem to dampen voters’ enthusiasm at a community center in Minnetonka, a suburb west of Minneapolis Tuesday where about 15 people were lined up to vote as the three polling places opened.
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There is much at stake for this midterm election in Minnesota, including an open race for governor, two U.S. Senate seats, a hotly contested race for attorney general, several congressional races and control of the Legislature.
Polls close at 8 p.m. But, if you’re in line at 8 p.m. and haven’t voted, you can still mark your ballot.
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