Absentee voting gets off to busy start - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Absentee voting gets off to busy start

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Absentee voting started Friday in Minnesota, and it's already off to a busy start. Many of the ballots are coming in by mail. In other cases, voters are showing up at city and county offices ready to vote early.

At the Hennepin County Government Center, the lack of crowds may be deceiving. Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith said the office has had "quite a bit of traffic" so far compared to the last presidential election -- but Smith said she's not sure what this means for overall voter turnout.

"We simply don't know at this point. It's simply too early to tell," said Smith.

The Minnesota Secretary of State's Office expects 10 percent of all Minnesota voters -- or about 300,000 people -- will vote absentee. That would be an average prediction for a presidential year.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told FOX 9 News the rush isn't here yet, though.

Ritchie said, "It'll be in a week or two that we really begin to see all of the television advertising that drives people (to the polls)."

Traffic is also picking up on the Secretary of State's website, where voters can find a sample ballot and track their absentee ballots.

Carrie Cornish said the decision to vote absentee was an easy one. She'll be out of town on Election Day.

"It's really important that I vote because there are a lot of issues, and I feel pretty strongly about some of the issues," she said.

In Minnesota, voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots if they'll be away from their precinct on Election Day, or if they have an illness or disability. It's also legal to vote absentee if a person serves as an election judge or if they have a religious observance. Voters are taken at their word.

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