Social distancing and face masks are part of the process, but the vote must go on, and Bloomington residents will be welcomed to their polling places Aug. 11 for this year’s primary election.

Polling places will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11 for voters who have not exercised the option of voting early at Bloomington Civic Plaza or mailing in an early ballot. Voters are asked to wear face coverings at the polling places and observe social distancing while waiting to cast a ballot.

For many Bloomington voters, the ballots will present an opportunity to narrow down the candidate field for a U.S. Senate seat and the 3rd Congressional District. Both races have Democratic-Farmer-Labor incumbents being challenged within their party and Republican hopefuls seeking a slot on November’s general election ballot. For residents in west Bloomington who are part of Senate District 49, two Republican candidates for the senate district seat will also appear on the primary ballot, vying for a chance to face the senate district’s incumbent democrat in November.

The partisan ballot limits voters to choosing candidates from one political party only.

To vote in the primary election, residents must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, a Minnesota resident for at least 20 days as of Election Day and maintain a residence at the address on the voter registration application. Voters must re-register if they have moved to a different address, changed their name or have not voted once within the past four years.

Registration at the polls is available during primary and general elections. To register at the polls on Election Day, voters must have an authorized proof of residence, such as a valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit or receipt of either with a current address located in the precinct. Also accepted as proof of residence is a valid Minnesota identification or receipt with the voter’s current address in the precinct, a registered voter from the precinct who can vouch for the applicant, registration in the same precinct indicating a previous name or address, a mailed notice from the registration office indicating late registration or a tribal identification with the name, address, signature and picture of the applicant.

Voters may also register with a photo identification and a current bill. Accepted photo identifications include a Minnesota driver’s license or identification, a Minnesota post-secondary student identification, a tribal identification, a U.S. military identification or a U.S. passport. Current bills – such as a utility bill, rent statement dated within 30 days of the election or a student fee statement – are accepted if they show the voter’s name and address in the precinct.

Bloomington has 32 precincts. The polling locations for two precincts have changed since 2019. Residents in Precinct 17 will vote at Westwood Community Church this year, while residents in Precinct 24 will vote at Bloomington Lutheran School.

A map of the precincts and a list of polling places are available through the city’s website, tr.im/votinginfo. The Secretary of State’s website will identify which precinct Bloomington residents live in. Precinct and other election information is available online from Hennepin County at tr.im/vote20.

In-person advance voting is available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 10 at Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road. Advance voting is also available 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. Voting will be available until 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10.

Election results will appear online Tuesday night, Aug. 11, at current.mnsun.com, and in the Aug. 20 edition of the Sun-Current.

Follow Bloomington community editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.

Copyright © 2020 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

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