ed. note: Gov. Dayton signed the bill into law on May 22.

May 21, 2016

Secretary Simon: Presidential Primary will increase access and opportunities to vote for many Minnesotans

Simon has long supported moving to a presidential primary system

SAINT PAUL — Secretary of State Steve Simon hailed the final passage today of bipartisan legislation moving Minnesota to a presidential primary system beginning in 2020, highlighting the increased access and opportunities to vote for many Minnesotans, including those serving in the military, the elderly, and the disabled.

The bill, which still maintains caucuses for all other elected offices, was a top priority of Secretary Simon’s this legislative session and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

“Today Minnesota took an important step toward making it easier for eligible Minnesotans to make their voice heard in the presidential nomination process,” said Secretary Simon. “Instead of having just one hour on one night to vote, Minnesotans will now have access to many of the benefits they’ve come to expect from our regular election process, including no-excuses absentee voting, same-day registration, and opportunities for those serving overseas. I’m particularly pleased that those serving in the military, the elderly, and the disabled will now be able to have a stronger voice in supporting their choices for president. Minnesota’s election system is one of the best nation, and today’s decision by the legislature reinforces that.”

Secretary Simon has long supported moving Minnesota to a presidential primary. He testified on behalf of the bill (SF2985 [Rest]/HF3594 [Sanders]) several times in both the state Senate and House this year. Secretary Simon also authored a presidential primary bill (HF1776) in 2007 as a state legislator.


Contact: Ryan Furlong
Minnesota DFL
May 21, 2016

DFL Chairman Ken Martin Statement on Minnesota Presidential Primary Bill

DFL Chairman Ken Martin champion for presidential primary bill, looks forward to more Minnesotans taking part in election process
Thanks to a bipartisan effort, the Legislature has passed a bill to move Minnesota to a presidential primary beginning in 2020. Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin has been a champion for is pleased that more Minnesotans will have the opportunity to take part in the election process.
“This year, more than 200,000 Minnesotans came out and voted in our Presidential Preference Poll but the long lines, short voting window and shortages of ballots and registration sheets made for a very confusing and dispiriting experience,” Martin said. “We were told thousands more Minnesotans were so frustrated that they left without participating in the process. 
“It became clear that the Presidential nominating process in Minnesota needed to be reformed.”
Martin said many others wanted to take part in the Presidential Preference Poll but could not attend their precinct caucuses because of work schedules, family commitments or illness. Martin said this no way to make people feel welcome to the election process or to guarantee their right to participate and make their voices heard.
Early in the 2016 Legislative Session, Martin reached out to legislative leaders in both parties to indicate his support for a Presidential Primary system which ensures that those who want to vote in Minnesota’s Presidential nominating contest can do so in a more convenient manner throughout the day and via absentee ballot if they so choose. As of today, a bill is making its way to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature to do just that.
“I appreciate legislators were willing to work together to pass a bill to ensure the broadest participation possible without disenfranchising people,” Martin said. “The Presidential Primary will make the process inviting, accessible, fair, and open to all eligible voters in Minnesota.”
Republican Party of Minnesota
May 23, 2016

RPM Chairman Issues Statement After Presidential Primary Bill Passage

(Minneapolis, Minn.) – Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman issued the following statement after Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill continuing Minnesota’s caucuses while having the Secretary of State administer a statewide presidential nominating primary.

“Keeping our caucus system while adding the presidential primary will increase participation and at the same time protect the important features of caucuses. This is good for voters and the parties. I want to thank DFL Chairman Martin, Representative Sanders, Senator Rest and legislative leaders for working closely with us and honoring the requirements we had for making this change.”