To comply with new federal regulations, Minnesotans vote in their first ever August primary – Tuesday, August 10th. Experts concerned with how expected low voter turnout could impact the general election results in November.
September primaries have been a tradition in Minnesota since 1939, but passage of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act forced state lawmakers to move to an earlier date. This law helps ensure that votes cast by military members and other US citizens living abroad have time to be counted back home. All states must now provide at least a 45-day window between the primary and general election to accommodate absentee voting.
Some political experts predict the change in date will negatively impact voter turnout with some expecting a turnout as low as 12%. The two main reasons given for why the expectations are lower this election are a decreasing sense of party loyalty and August being the most popular time of migration to cabins and lakes.
In Paganistan many of our community members are at the Sacred Harvest Festival. The festival opened Saturday and attendance appears to be higher this year than last year.
According to Justin Lindquist, “I got there right at noon on Saturday and there were already more tents set up than last year. Definitely more people are attending this year.”