Sample ballots now available for the Aug. 9 Primary

The Minnesota Office of Secretary of State now has all sample ballots loaded for voters throughout the state through their My Ballot online tool. Minneapolis voters can access the tool and download their own sample ballot from our What's on the ballot? page. A sample ballot is identical to the ballot you as a voter will see when you go to vote.

When using the My Ballot tool to get your sample ballot, you will enter your home address where you are or will be registered to vote. You are then able to download the ballot used in your precinct, based on your address. Minneapolis has 132 different voting precincts, and the ballot will be different in each of those precincts because of both different offices being on the ballot in different areas of the city and because the order candidates appear on the ballot is rotated when ballots are prepared for each precinct. That means that although the same office may be on ballots throughout the city, a candidate will be listed first in some precincts, but then second in others, and so on.

A sample ballot is a valuable resource for preparing to vote. It can also be called a practice ballot, because it allows you as a voter to see your ballot before you go to vote, research any offices or candidates you may not be familiar with, and practice filling out the ballot before you go to vote. You can take your sample practice ballot with you when you go to vote, either at the Early Vote Center during absentee voting or at your polling place on Election Day. This can help you save time by being prepared for what you will see on your ballot and determining how you would like to vote.

Sample ballots are now available for the primary election, in advance of early voting starting this Friday, June 24. A primary election determines which candidates for a particular office will be on the ballot in the November General Election. There are two kinds of offices on primary ballots in Minneapolis in 2016: partisan offices and nonpartisan offices.

In partisan offices, candidates file as part of a political party to appear on the ballot. All state and federal offices are partisan offices. When more than one candidate files for a single party in a partisan office, that office is included in the primary election to determine which one candidate will be on the ballot for the party in November. Minnesota has two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Partisan candidates for offices in the primary are listed in two columns on the front side of the primary ballot. One column lists Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidates. The other column lists Republican Party candidates. You can only vote for candidates from one political party in the primary. In Minnesota, voters do not have to publicly declare which party they wish to vote for or which party's primary they want to participate in. Both parties have their primaries on the same ballot so the voter can select to vote in either party's primary in private, but voters must be certain to only vote in one party's primary by only voting for candidates within that party's column on the ballot.

In nonpartisan offices, candidates do not run as part of a political party. Nonpartisan offices will be listed on the back side of the primary ballot. You can vote for any candidate. The candidates who get the most votes will be on the November General Election ballot.

Partisan offices on some or all Minneapolis ballots
  • United States Representative (District 5)
  • Minnesota State Senator (Districts 59 and 62)
  • Minnesota State Representative (Districts 59A and 60B)
Nonpartisan office on all Minneapolis ballots
  • Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice (Seat 6)

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