In 2016 legislation was passed establishing a presidential nomination primary. The current election law specific to the presidential primary is in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 207A and Minnesota Rules Chapter 8215. Common questions about the presidential primary are answered below.
March 3, 2020.
No, only major parties will participate. Two major parties, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and the Republican Party, have submitted candidates for the ballot. Two other major parties, the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party and the Legal Marijuana Now Party, have notified this office that they will not be participating.
No, each participating major party will have a separate ballot.
The chair of each party will submit a list of candidates for the party’s ballot no later than 63 days before the date of the presidential primary (December 31, 2019). The Republican candidate list was filed 10/25/19, and the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate list was filed 12/17/19.
Once a party’s list is submitted, changes will not be made to candidates that will appear on the ballot.
Only if it is requested by the party chair. Party chairs will need to submit names of write-in candidates to be counted seven days before the primary.
No, only presidential candidates from a major party will appear on the presidential primary ballot. Other offices with a primary will be on the primary ballot in August.
Any voter registered in Minnesota. Voters can pre-register through February 11, or register at the polling place when they vote. Note that voters must turn 18 years old by March 3 to vote in the presidential nomination primary.
Registered voters will be able to vote at their polling place on presidential primary day or by absentee ballot in the 46 days before presidential primary day (starting January 17, 2020). A voter must request the ballot of the party of their choice. If a voter refuses to select a party, they will not be able to vote in the presidential nomination primary.
A voter’s choice of party ballot will be recorded and is private data. However, a list of who voted in a presidential nomination primary and the political party each voter selected will be provided to the chair of each major political party. How a voter voted on the ballot will be secret.
The presidential primary results must bind the election of delegates in each party.
County and municipalities will be reimbursed by the state for the primary costs.
The Office of Secretary of State surveyed all 87 Minnesota Counties and, based on that survey, estimates that the cost to administer the Presidential Nomination Primary will be $11.9 million. The Secretary of State has certified this estimate to the Commissioner of Management and Budget. Counties and municipalities will be reimbursed for their costs of administering the Presidential Nomination Primary following the election.
Yes, precinct caucuses and local and state nominating conventions will still take place to conduct other party business.