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Minnesota: Early voting is skyrocketing, especially near the site of George Floyd’s murder.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota – David Schultz, a professor at Hamline University here, recently gave students in his introduction to the American politics class a lecture on the history of the franchise.
In an interview outside of the classroom, he noted how many Minnesotans were already exercising those rights – by Friday more than 1.1 million early votes had been accepted, far exceeding 2016 totals.
“The Democrats have been very mobilized to come out and vote this time,” Schultz said. “Republicans show up more on Election Day, but a high turnout should bode well for Joe Biden.”
The divide in Minnesota between Democrats who vote early and Republicans who plan to vote on Nov. 3 is consistent with what has been seen in other states. Returned vote rates were particularly high in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, which are home to the Democratic-leaning Twin Cities.
Jennifer Carnahan, the president of the Minnesota Republican Party, agreed in an interview that a large number of Republican voters would turn up on election day.
“For a lot of people, it’s about tradition,” she says. “I did not ask for a postal vote. I have always voted in person. There are a lot of people like me there.
Both sides are hopeful that a large turnout can help them in the state, which Hillary Clinton won by a surprisingly slim margin in 2016. “Nobody takes anything for granted,” said Ken Martin, Chairman of the Democratic Party. Labor peasant from Minnesota. version of the Democratic Party. “We are not resting on our laurels.”
Many voters here, where snow has already blanketed parts of the state, decided to vote early or by mail to avoid crowds during the coronavirus pandemic. Election officials said turnout would be further facilitated by Minnesota’s voting rules, including early voting that began Sept. 18, increased number of ballot drop-off sites and daytime registration. even the ballot which requires little more than the word of a neighbor for approval.
Colleen Moriarty, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the League of Women Voters, said she hopes young voters will turn out in large numbers, which would be a good indication that the advocacy to get out the vote is having an impact. “I’m in my 60s and can’t remember an election where there were so many messages to vote on from so many different sources,” she said.
The organization made a special point to encourage voting in the city’s eighth and ninth wards, which converge at the intersection where George Floyd was trapped below the knee of a Minneapolis police officer before his death. In the three polling stations immediately surrounding the site, which many now call the George Floyd Memorial, 42% of the roughly 6,000 registered voters had already voted by Friday – 20 percentage points higher than the total anticipated turnout in 2016.
“We are the community that led to the murder of George Floyd, and we want to make sure that everyone has a voice and that those voices are protected,” Moriarty said. “Right away at George Floyd’s site, we had voter registration tables and we focused on areas where there was a lot of civil unrest.”
In Schultz’s classroom, a student urged his classmates to vote.
“I can’t vote, but I would say immigration is one of the main issues in this election,” said Bryan Rodriguez Andino, 21, a Nicaraguan immigrant who sat in the front row. He is trying to become a naturalized citizen so that he can vote in the next election.
“I’m counting on you guys to make a good decision,” he told the class.
The New York Times Magazine
Win or lose is Donald Trump’s Republican Party.
Republican voters are essentially the same people who voted Republican before Trump; party politicians are still mostly the same people, mostly hiring the same strategists.
But their relations with the party now pass through one man, who never offered a clear vision of his political program beyond its immediate expansion.
Whether Trump wins or loses in November, no one else in the official party ranks seems to have one either.
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