More people voted absentee for the primary election this year than have done so in two decades, despite a change in date from mid-September to Aug. 10.
The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office accepted 26,211 absentee ballots as of this morning, easily surpassing the 21,160 ballots that passed muster in 2008. In-person absentee balloting continues today until 5 p.m.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the number shows an awareness of the new primary date.
“I am pleased to see so many Minnesotans planning ahead to ensure their voices are heard,” he said in a news release.
The only other primary in the last two decades that came close was in 1998, when the DFL had a big-name race between candidates like Hubert Humphrey, Mark Dayton and Ted Mondale . That year 25,257 people voted absentee in the primary.
It’s unclear whether a large influx of absentee ballots will translate into more people at the polls tomorrow. The Secretary of State’s office is still anticipating low participation, in the 10 to 20 percent range.