MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time in decades, Minnesota will hold a presidential primary March 3, and early voting begins January 17.
There’s a couple other big changes, also. When you vote on Super Tuesday, your secret ballot won’t be as secret as it used to be.
To be clear, no one will know who you voted for on Super Tuesday – but a lot of people will know how you voted.
A new Minnesota law will make public to the state’s political parties if you voted Democrat, or if you voted Republican.
When you show up to vote, you will be asked to choose a Republican ballot or a Democratic ballot. Which party you voted for will be turned over to four major political parties.
You read that right. Four political parties will get your personal voter data: The Democrats, the Republicans, and two new Minnesota political parties formed for the single purpose of legalizing recreational pot — The Legal Marijuana Now Party and the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party.
It’s already public information who you are, where you live and how often you vote. But parties will know now which party you vote for — to ask you for money, to volunteer, to remind you when it’s time to vote.
That data sharing “is of great concern” to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon. According to his office, he is preparing legislation to “restrict what parties can do with the data once they get it.”
Brian Evans, a DFL spokesman, says the Minnesota party is required by the national Democrats to collect the information, and, “the party’s chief priority is making sure the data is secure and to respect the privacy of voters.”
The Minnesota Republican Party referred questions to the Secretary of State.
Only political parties will be able to see how you voted.
An important point: It is only for the primary. In November, no one will see how you voted, or who you voted for.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday on whether President Donald Trump should be allowed to be the only candidate on the Super Tuesday Republican ballot.
Here are some of the sources we used for this edition of Reality Check: