State of Minnesota changing its presidential nomination primary voting process

Voters must declare which party they will vote for

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) – Winona County resident Lana Neyers prioritizes going to the polls.

“I was told and raised and told that ‘if you don’t vote, you can’t complain,'” Neyers said.

Neyers herself is a veteran voter.

“34 years,” Neyers said.

But she and other voters will be going through a new process for the presidential nomination primary.

“This is the odd duck of the three (elections) that we plan to have this year,” Winona County auditor/treasurer Sandra Suchla said.

Before going to the booth, voters will have to fill out an application ahead of time that asks which party they plan to vote for.

“I have to know which ballot to grab,” Suchla said. “So, on our application, it states do you want a Democratic ballot? Do you want a Republican ballot?…They are just being asked to choose which parties’ ideals they most assimilate with.”

Voters would send the application to the place they’ll go for the election.

“We have to keep it a secret,” Suchla said. “But, yeah that’s where you declare is on that application.”

Therefore, election officials know which ballot to pick out.

“With this March presidential nomination primary, the ballots are separate,” Suchla said.

Voters are then free to cast their ballots for candidates from the party they choose on their application.

Neyers says she feels satisfied with the new voting process.

“It’ll just be faster for me, easier, because I’m one party, boom that’s it, straight down the line,” Neyers said.

Minnesota’s four major political parties will see which party each voter selected, but not the candidate.

With President Trump being the only Republican candidate, the GOP’s ballot has a write-in option. The Democrats have 15 candidates listed without a write-in.

The state’s primary takes place on March 3rd.