Mail-only ballots discussed for presidential primary election
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota political party leaders along with state and local officials are considering mail-only balloting for the 2020 presidential primary, a dramatic change from past practices in which citizens made their selections in party caucuses.
The state will switch to a more straightforward primary system beginning in 2020 that allows voters to cast ballots for their preferred choice for president. Officials hope the move will be less chaotic than the caucuses, which take place in classrooms and community centers across Minnesota.
The switch to a presidential primary means the state would have three elections in 2020: the presidential primary in late winter, the primary election in August and the general election in November.
Supporters of a mail-only ballot say it could make administering the presidential primary easier and less expensive than opening polling places around the state, The Star Tribune reported.
The state typically has to use more than 30,000 election judges to run a statewide election. Many of the judges are older and retired, and may spend their winters in warmer climates, which could make running polling places in the winter difficult, said Ann Lindstrom, a lobbyist for the League of Minnesota Cities.
“If you can switch it to mail balloting, it will make it more efficient,” she said, adding that may also attract more voters.
Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said she isn’t sure about changing the current process, especially because many voters enjoy going to the polls to cast their ballot.
“We have a democratic republic, and I think we should exercise caution about transforming the system that we know,” she said. “We should keep the process that people are familiar with.”