By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s Minnesota’s first presidential primary in decades.

Turnout is expected to be much higher than under the old caucus system and presidential candidates from the President himself to Democrats like Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are campaigning here on the home turf of Amy Klobuchar. But with the new primary comes a new voting procedure and that is creating a major controversy.

In this primary, you will have to tell election officials whether you are voting either in the Republican or Democratic primary, whether you vote in person or absentee.

The state’s four major parties, the DFL, the GOP and two marijuana parties will then be given your information. The DFL Party Chair wants the legislature to pass a law when the session begins next month that would put strong limitations on what the parties could do with the information, but the Republican Party Chair says the law isn’t necessary and could suppress turnout.

Both party chairs were on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“It wouldn’t change anything for the voter right now, the only thing this new proposal would do is change what actually happens with the data after the primary election has already occurred,” DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said.

“There are restrictions in place on our side at the Republican party of Minnesota,” GOP Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan explained. “We have protocols, processes and legal contracts that restrict our use of the primary data to just our party for party building, grassroots development and towards the election in 2020,” GOP Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan said.

Minnesota’s Secretary of State Steve Simon is expected to introduce legislation next month that would limit what parties can do with your information, which includes not just your party choice, but your name address, and date of birth.

Without some Republican support, it will be impossible for that bill to pass the legislature.

Esme Murphy