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Your Vote Counts: Especially When No One Else Goes to the Polls

Buck the trend and get out to vote on August 12.

Buck the trend and go to the polls on Tuesday, August 12.

You can be a powerful political influencer on Tuesday, August 12.

How?  Just go to the polls and cast your ballot in the Minnesota primary.

Your vote will be extra valuable because such a low turnout is predicted — just 9 percent, according to Humphrey School of Public Affairs Professor Larry Jacobs.

So, when you hear candidates saying “your vote counts,” they won’t be kidding.  If just 200,000 Minnesotans go to the polls statewide, you will have considerable influence — especially in local and hotly contested races.

Significant Races for All Parties
Whether your politics fall hard to the right, hard to the left or somewhere in-between (research shows the majority is in the middle), you have a lot of good reasons to vote in this primary.

For instance, four Republican candidates are fighting an extremely tight gubernatorial race, each hoping to win the bid to face off against DFL incumbent Mark Dayton this fall.  And in a surprising political twist, DFL-endorsed Secretary of State Rebecca Otto is being challenged by a self-financed foe.

And those are just some of the statewide races. You may live in a state House district in which the primary outcome will be determined by literally a handful of votes — including yours.

Where and How to Vote
The Minnesota Secretary of State’s MNvotes.org website is the go-to place for all things election-related.  You can find your polling place, look at a sample ballot and even click through to candidate websites . . . including the ones for those hard-to-remember judicial contenders.

To quickly sort out which major candidate best matches your own political views, you can also check out MPR’s Select A Candidate tool.  For the Republican and Independence races for U.S. senate and the Republican race for governor, you can plug in your answers to key issue questions and rate their relative importance for you.  The tool will then tell you which candidate is your likely pick.

No Excuses
And remember, “I’m not registered” is not an excuse.  Same-day registration at the polls is still an option in Minnesota.

So wield your influence and step into the voting booth on Tuesday!

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