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Don't forget to vote Tuesday

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 12, when Barnum voters will decide the fate of a bond referendum for renovations and an addition to the high school along with energy-efficiency upgrades district wide. Elsewhere in the county, voters will whittle down the number of local candidates to two for the Nov. 4 General Election. To find out more about County Board and Cloquet candidates see the local election guide on Pages A8-A9 and watch Cloquet Mayor and City Council candidate forums on Cat-7 cable access TV, which is running the forums every day through Monday at least once a day, or on

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Voters also will decide which candidates will represent their political party statewide in the Nov. 4 General Election. Polling places are the same as usual.

In Minnesota partisan primary elections, voters do not need to publically declare affiliation with a party — they are free to vote for any one political party on the ballot. Voting for candidates from more than one party voids all votes in the party portion of the ballot.

The front of the ballot will have a column for each major political party and their candidates. The backside will include nonpartisan races for local and judicial candidates that are not affiliated with political parties. For these races, voters can choose any candidate — and in some cases multiple candidates — in as many races as they prefer. Primary ballots do not allow for write-in votes.

Voters can check out sample ballots at, clicking on sample ballots and answering a few questions about where you live to get the correct ballot.

Get Ready to Vote at

Minnesota voters are encouraged to get ready to vote by visiting to check their registration status, view their sample ballot, find their polling place, learn how to register at their polling place, and more.

Voters still have time to request an absentee ballot at to vote early, or do so at their local elections office before Primary Election Day.

For the first time, Minnesota voters do not need an excuse to vote absentee, such as being ill or out of the precinct. Voters can also use the website to track the status of their absentee ballot to learn when it was mailed, and if their completed ballot was received and accepted by their local elections office. Mail ballot voters may also use this tool. Absentee ballots must be returned on or before Election Day, depending on the delivery method.

A significant election year for the State

This year, Minnesota voters will head to the polls to decide a U.S. Senate seat, all of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats, as well as governor and other state officers, and all Minnesota State House seats. The 2014 election will also include many county commissioners, county sheriffs, county attorneys, auditors, treasurers and recorders.

2014 Key Election Dates

  •  Aug. 12 — Primary Election Day.
  • Sept. 19 — Absentee ballots will be available for the Nov. 4 General Election.
  •  Oct. 14 — Pre-registration deadline for the General Election. Voters are encouraged to pre-register to vote to avoid long lines and waits at the polling place. Voters who miss this deadline may still register at their polling place on Election Day, Nov. 4.
  •  Nov. 4 — General Election Day.