Minnesota’s election season is well underway and the Aug. 14 primary election is just over a week away. Primary voters will determine which candidates move forward to the general election on Nov. 6.

While voting in the primary election is an important way for Minnesotans to participate in the democratic process, only a fraction of voters choose to exercise their ability to vote in the primary. MREA urges members to get involved and to especially take a closer look at the candidates for governor. The governor drives the state legislative and budget processes, which have a major impact on a school district’s budget.

How to Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved this election season and to build bridges with potential legislators.

Campaigns certainly require a lot of fundraising in order to remain viable, but donating money isn’t the only way you can participate. Campaigns also need a lot of volunteers willing to make phone calls, knock on doors or otherwise help the visibility of their preferred candidate. Putting a lawn sign in your yard is a simple way to participate as well.

Candidates, especially those for major offices like U.S. Senate seats or Governor, typically have well developed websites that include links to policy positions on various issues if you want to learn more about them. Helping out with election activity can help you build bridges with people who you may find yourself lobbying for support of your issues when the legislative season rolls around.

Connect with Candidates

To find the Major Party Candidates for Governor and their education position statements:


Tim Walz’s position statements on education

Erin Murphy’s position statements on education.

Lori Swanson’s position statements on education.


Jeff Johnson’s position statements on education

Tim Pawlenty does not have education position statements on his campaign website

For those looking to vote in the primary, Minnesota has tried to make it easier and you can vote early with an absentee ballot at your local elections office. If you are not registered, you can do so in person if you show proof of residence.

Voting Locations

All voters have at least one location where they can vote early in person with an absentee ballot. Depending on where you live, there may be additional locations.

  1. You can vote in person at your county election office.
  2. In addition to your county election office, some cities and towns offer in-person absentee voting. Check with your city clerk’s office for more information.

Voting Hours

For most elections, absentee voting locations must be open during their normal business hours starting 46 days before the election. In addition, locations offering absentee ballots for federal, state or county elections must be open:

  • The last Saturday before Election Day (10 am — 3 pm)
  • The day before Election Day until 5 pm
  • This does not apply to school districts holding standalone elections.

Some local jurisdictions may provide additional absentee voting days or hours beyond the above required days and times. Call your jurisdiction for more information.

2018 Early Voting Dates


First day to vote early in person: Friday, June 29

Last day to vote early in person: Monday, August 13