The Top 10 Things You Need to Know to Be a Primary Voter

By Katie Gjertson

Katie Gjertson
Katie Gjertson
MNA Political Coordinator

MNA Political Coordinator


Minnesota’s Primary Election is right around the corner! Eligible voters from every corner of the state will have their chance to cast their ballot in support of the candidates they believe line up with their values, their issues and their vision for the future of Minnesota. Primary elections are our opportunity, as voters, to shape the ticket to reflect what we want it to be in November. Let’s get out the vote for the 2018 Minnesota primary!

Never voted in a Primary Election before? Here are the top ten things you need to know before you head to the polls.

  1. This year’s Primary Election Day is Tuesday, August 14. Tie a ribbon on your finger to remember.
  2. You can vote early and register on site, if you moved or are a new voter. Early voting is available at county election offices during normal business hours on weekdays and from 10am – 3pm on Saturday, August 11. Some cities and towns may provide additional voting locations, too. Check here for more information about voting early in person.
  3. On Primary Election Day, August 14, you can register to vote on site. Just like in the general election in November, you can register to vote at the polling location on the day of the election. Minnesota is only one of 11 states (and Washington D.C.) with same day voter registration[i]
  4. Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on August 14. If you live in a smaller locale (#smalltownpride, I’m from International Falls), double check that your polling location doesn’t open up at 10:00 a.m. You can find out more here.  Go here to find your polling location!
  5. Your polling place is the same location you show up to vote in November, in most instances. Check here for your polling location and Google Maps for driving directions.
  6. You must vote on one side of the ticket – either all Democrat or all Republican. Unlike the general election in November, you have to vote for all candidates on one side of the aisle, as this is the election that narrows the field for November.
  7. You can wear political and issue-themed clothing but not candidate names. Due to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Minnesotan’s ban on political apparel in polling places was ruled to be too broad. The court did not rule on whether t-shirts or buttons with candidates’ names were allowed, so we recommend covering or leaving those home to be safe.[ii]
  8. You get a red “I Voted” sticker! Just like in November, they give them out to Primary Voters, too! You can secure your virtual sticker and other cute social media graphics here, thanks to our Secretary of State, Steve Simon.
  9. Save the date for Minnesota’s General Election in November: Tuesday, November 6. You did it once, plan to do it again! It’s the vote often part of the cliché.
  10. Did you know a Nurse is running for Governor? That’s right! Registered Nurse, educator, labor leader, and legislator Erin Murphy is running for Governor! MNA has endorsed Erin Murphy because she stands with nurses and patients. To learn more about who Erin Murphy is and what she stands for, visit here.

And that’s all you need to know to be a voter in MN’s Primary Election on August 14!

Way to be a voter!