Thanks to generous early vote laws, Iowa's northern neighbor, Minnesota, has the distinction of offering the first chance for any voter to appear and vote in the 2020 presidential campaign.
The results will not be released until the official state election day, March 3, also known as Super Tuesday, which takes place a month after Iowa's caucuses on February 3.
"Our state is emerging as a major battlefield in this election, and we are seeing voters across the state tuning in early and engaging in response to that," state Democratic Party President Ken Martin said.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Who expects a late raise to boost your presidential campaign, hosts campaign events across the state, while Congressman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota will campaign for Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Research is scarce in Minnesota. Most recent research, released by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Cook Political Report in early November, showed Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 25%, followed by favorite daughter Klobuchar at 15%, former Vice President Joe Biden at 14% and Sanders, which won the state presidential summits in 2016, with 13%.
Minnesota's early voting is a reminder that while most observers are counting down to Iowa, a few votes will be cast before that, no matter what strategies or surprises candidates and political fate may have in the coming weeks.
Some missing ballots for certain eligible voters may have been sent out even earlier, but Minnesota will offer the first chance for someone to vote early.
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Early voting has increased as more states offer the option to more voters, in addition to an expansion of voting by mail. The number of Americans who voted at the start more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, from about 10 to 24 million, according to the US Electoral Assistance Commission, a federal agency charged with improving electoral administration.
A handful of states will begin offering voters a chance to weigh in before Iowa. North Dakota will allow qualified voters to request ballots by mail on Saturday, which the state's Democratic Party has noted means that some voters will return ballots before Iowa.
"Early voting makes our committee more accessible and encourages the participation of new voters – both longstanding objectives for the Dem-NPL," said President Kylie Oversen in a statement, using the common name of the state party, officially known as Democrat from North Dakota. Party of the non-partisan League.
The most populous state, California, which votes on Super Tuesday, will begin sending millions of votes by mail the same day as Iowa caucuses. Some California officials even speculated that more people would vote in California than in Iowa on February 3, given its huge population.
If they change their mind or something changes in the coming weeks, however, the Minnesotans who voted earlier will have a chance to recover your ballots before Super Tuesday. Just in case.