Note: This announcement is about the August Primary Election and is not about the November General Election.

An ASL version of the following:

Voting in August – what’s that about?

In Minnesota you will have two chances to vote this year – first this summer. Second this fall.

The summer election is called the Primary and it’s kind of like the semi-finals. It’s the chance for voters to decide which candidates will continue on and have their name listed on the ballot in November in the General Election.

At the Primary, you won’t get to vote for President. Why? The political parties have already chosen their candidates for the General Election.

But there are other races that will be decided at the Primary, so it’s still important to vote. Exactly which races you’ll get to vote in at the Primary vary depending upon where you live.

Some people will get to vote on candidates for U.S. Congress, the Minnesota State Senate or the Minnesota State House. Candidates in these races are like the presidential candidates in that they run as either a DFL candidate or a Republican. If these races are on the ballot, you’ll be able to vote in either the DFL race or the Republican one, not both. The ballot will have a line down the middle and the names of the Republican candidates will be on one side and the names of the DFL candidates will be on the other. Be sure to vote in just one column or the other, or else the machine will reject your ballot.

On the back of the ballot, there will be other races, like judges, and maybe mayor, city council, or school board depending upon where you live. In these races, the candidates are not with a party – they are “nonpartisan”. The votes in the Primary will determine which candidates will be included in the General Election ballot. You may be able to vote for more than one candidate.

So, how do you find out what’s on your ballot? It’s easy! Go to the Secretary of State’s website at http://mnvotes.org. Select “What’s on my ballot?” Then “View your sample ballot”. Type in your address, following the directions and you will get a list of the candidates who will be listed on your Primary ballot. If the candidates provided the Secretary of State’s Office with a link to their website, you can find it there to research the candidates.

There is also a link to a copy of what your actual ballot will look like.

When can I vote?
You can either wait until Primary Election Day, Tuesday August 9th and go to your normal polling place to vote or you can vote early either by mail or in person.

There are lots of ways to vote. What’s important is just that you do it!

Again, if you don’t know how to start, visit the Secretary of State’s website: http://mnvotes.org

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