Record breaking day 1 absentee voting turnout

Today marked the beginning of absentee balloting for the 2014 Primary Election. City Hall became an active polling place this morning at 8 a.m., and by the time voting for the day closed up at 4:30, 418 voters cast an absentee ballot in person at City Hall. Another 29 Minneapolis voters cast their absentee ballots at Hennepin County, for a total of 447 Minneapolis voters voting absentee in-person today. For a sense of the scale of this turnout, in last year’s record breaking opening day turnout for absentee voting, 149 voters were served in-person. The year prior, in the 2012 Presidential General Election, just 15 in-person absentee ballots were cast on the first day of voting.

The turnout for absentee voting in this primary election is simply extraordinary. In addition to the voters who came to City Hall today to vote, more than 600 absentee ballots were mailed out to voters requesting to cast their ballots by mail. All told, today was a monumental effort coordinated by the Elections & Voter Services staff to transform the Rotunda into the City’s largest polling place. Our seasonal staff helping out with this election includes individuals fluent in other languages, including Somali, Hmong and Spanish. Having impartial staff who speak the languages our voters do is invaluable to our ability to more effectively serve all voters.

Plans are in place to be able to flex absentee voting at City Hall from now and August 11 between the Elections & Voter Services office in room 201 and the rotunda at City Hall as needed, depending upon turnout. This election marks the first time all voters in Minnesota can choose to vote absentee without providing a reason. The primary ballot includes federal, state, county, school board, and judicial offices to help determine the November General Election ballot.

Elections & Voter Services
City Hall, 350 S. 5th St., Room 201
Minneapolis, MN 55415