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ELECTION DAY: When and where for Tuesday

BEMIDJI--Election Day is down to just a few days away, but there's no calm before the storm. Across the state of Minnesota, election workers are setting up booths and residents are either voting early or doing some last-minute studying. According...

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BEMIDJI-Election Day is down to just a few days away, but there's no calm before the storm.

Across the state of Minnesota, election workers are setting up booths and residents are either voting early or doing some last-minute studying.

According to Kay Murphy, Bemidji City Clerk Kay, the latter is one of the most important things citizens can do before Nov. 8.

"It's important to get your polling location so you know where to vote. We encourage people to do their homework," Murphy said.

In total, Bemidji has five polling places for each of its wards. The locations include:

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• American Indian Resource Center, 1630 Birchmont Drive NE (BSU Campus) for Ward 1.

• City Park Multi-Use Building, 1224 23rd St. NW for Ward 2.

• Boys and Girls Club, (East Entrance), 1600 Minnesota Ave. NW for Ward 3.

• City Hall, council chambers, 317 Fourth St. NW for Ward 4.

• Northwest Technical College, 905 Grant Ave. SE for Ward 5.

"Once they get there, if they're already registered to vote, we get their names, go through the roster and they don't need an ID," Murphy said. "If you're not registered to vote, you'll need a driver's license with a current address or other identification. There's a variety of things that can be used, like a utility bill from within the last 30 days with the name and address."

The polling places, open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, will likely have a constant, steady level of voting going on throughout the day. Murphy said the process shouldn't take too long, though, as there's been a high amount of early voting.

"It's also not too big of a ballot. If you're not registered to vote, you want to plan on extra time, otherwise, it should go pretty rapidly," Murphy said. "Once they're ready, it shouldn't take long to vote and we have all of the booths the city owns spread out at every location."

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Murphy also said that voters will be able to get to a booth, even after the polls close at 8 p.m.

"The doors close at 8 p.m. Once you're in the building, though, you're in to vote. Anyone who's in the building at 8 p.m. can still vote," Murphy said.

Murphy said recent trends in Bemidji show that the turnout will be high.

In 2008, 88 percent of the voting population turned out, and in the next general election in 2012, the number hit 94 percent.

"I'd say this year we'll be around 90 percent or higher," Murphy said. "I've been seeing a good turnout at the nursing homes where we assist with early voting."

 

Early voting and registration

Early voting has been an indication turnout could be high across the state and the nation.

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As of Thursday, nearly 416,000 voters in Minnesota had already sent in absentee or mail-ballots, equaling about 13 percent of residents who are registered. The number greatly exceeds the total from 2014, when 150,000 Minnesotans voted early.

At the national level, as of Nov. 3, more than 30 million votes have been cast across 38 states with early voting, according to CNN.

 

Election Day FYI

City of Bemidji polling places

• Ward 1: American Indian Resource Center at 1630 Birchmont Drive NE (BSU Campus)

• Ward 2: City Park Multi-Use Building at 1224 23rd Street NW

• Ward 3: Boys and Girls Club, (East Entrance), 1600 Minnesota Avenue NW

• Ward 4: City Hall, council chambers, 317 Fourth Street NW

• Ward 5: Northwest Technical College, 905 Grant Avenue SE

For more information

• Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's election website at www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/. Also, city residents can call Bemidji City Hall at (218) 759-3560 or county residents can call the Beltrami County Auditor's Office at (218) 333-4175.

Related Topics: ELECTION 2016
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