Voting early for the presidential primaries

Voters in Olmsted County are some of the first in the country to cast a ballot in this year's presidential primaries. Now - residents can vote early by mail or in-person.

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 11:31 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -

Everyone loves a big wedding. Those who have planned such a grand celebration know just how difficult it can be to orchestrate. Heather Bestler organizes and administers the election.

She compares planning a marriage to the presidential primary.

"I just had a wedding so I can speak for experience, it's like planning a wedding, there's a lot of moving pieces, you want to make sure everything is right, you spend a lot of time pining over those details," Bestler said.

Minnesotans - I caught up with tell me they already know who they want in the White House.

"I'm a Trump supporter all the way," Eric Bridge said.

Eileen disagrees.

"If they vote Democrat, it's important," Eileen said.

And it's Bestler's job to make sure things go smoothly at the polls for constituents.

"I think Olmsted County voters are really proud, they really turn out to vote, we have some of the highest turnout in the state," Bestler said.

There are estimates that 20-30 percent of voters turn out for the primaries and 85-90 percent turn out for the generals.

Tabulating the county's votes is not an easy feat.

"When it comes to processing absentee ballots, we can start opening those and running them through our tabulators the week before our election, it takes us about the entire week to open those ballots and get them fed into a tabulator," Bestler said.

This election will be a tough one to calculate.

"Cause if you don't vote, you can't complain," Bridge said.

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