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Presidential Primary 101: The Nuts and Bolts of this New Process.

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Name: Presidential Primary 101: The Nuts and Bolts of this New Process.
Date: January 23, 2020
Time: 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM CST
Event Description:
A Minnesota presidential primary has been held four times in our state’s history: 1916, 1952, 1956 and 1992. The state of Minnesota normally holds presidential caucuses instead. On May 22, 2016 Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill that will reinstate a presidential primary on March 3, 2020. (Early voting begins Jan. 17th)   The procedures for this presidential primary will be new to most of us.  To understand the “nuts and bolts” of this new system, please plan to attend the League of Women Voters’ program

Presidential Primary 101: The Nuts and Bolts Thursday, Jan. 23 at the
Northwoods Bank Community Room, Park Rapids. The program starts at 6 p.m.

League members will review the details during the program. Then there will be time for questions with a representative from the County Auditor’s Office as well as Hubbard County election judges who will be there.

While most voters think of the presidential election as happening in November every four years,  the process actually begins with state caucuses or presidential primaries. These will be held in some states starting in January and other states later leading up to the Party Conventions in the summer. The first official step in the process for Minnesota voters will be the presidential nominating primary.

The presidential nominating primary is part of the way that Minnesota voters decide which presidential candidates appear on their ballots in November. The presidential nominating primary is not a traditional election for a candidate. It is a process for the political party that looks and feels just like an election because local election officials administer it in the same way they administer an election. But it is not actually an election for a candidate.

Some things will be the same as in our other elections but there are differences. For example, the same information that is public when you register to vote and vote in a typical election will also be public if you vote in the presidential nominating primary.  But in our other elections, officials do not make your party preference public. However in the Presidential Primary, state law requires the Secretary of State to share your party preference with the chairs of the major political parties. This is because the political parties need to know who voted in their presidential nominating primaries. (Remember, the presidential nominating primary is a political party process, not a traditional election.)  How you voted, such as the candidate you voted for or if you submitted a write-in candidate, will not be public information and will not be shared with party chairs. Another difference is that only individuals eligible to vote (i.e., age 18 or older) on the day of the presidential nominating primary day (March 3), may vote in the presidential nominating primary. (Those under 18 but turning 18 by or on Nov. 2, 2020 may participate in the Party Caucuses.)

Minnesota made the change to a presidential primary to increase access and opportunities to vote for many Minnesotans, including those serving in the military, the elderly, and the disabled. Instead of having just one hour on one night to vote, Minnesotans will now have access to many of the benefits they’ve come to expect from our regular election process, including no-excuses absentee voting, same-day registration, and opportunities for those serving overseas.


Other Election Reminders:  

  • Precinct caucuses will be held February 25, 2020, one week before the Presidential Nomination Primary.
  • Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 11 for all other offices (early voting in June)
  • Vote by mail or in person June 26 through Aug.10.
  • Register in advance by July 21 to save time on Election Day

For more details on this primary election, please go to:lwvparkrapidsarea.blogspot.com  

League of Women Voters Park Rapids Area  (LWVPRA), a non-partisan volunteer organization, whose mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government and influence public policy through education and advocacy.  All our programs are free and open to the public.  Please direct any questions about LWVPRA activities, events or on how to join LWVPRA (not for women only) by emailing 
lwvparkrapids@lwvmn.org. Follow our activities, events on our website: lwvparkrapidsarea.blogspot.com/


Northwoods Bank
1200 First Street E
Park Rapids, MN
Date/Time Information:
January 23, 2020
Starts at 6 pm
Contact Information:
Carolynne White, communication chair
free to the public
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