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Election Day With 1A Across America: The View From Minnesota

Volunteers process absentee ballots at Ramsey County's absentee ballot count center in St Paul, Minnesota. Last week the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that all mail-in ballots received  in Minnesota after 8 p.m. on Election Day are to be set aside.
Volunteers process absentee ballots at Ramsey County's absentee ballot count center in St Paul, Minnesota. Last week the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that all mail-in ballots received in Minnesota after 8 p.m. on Election Day are to be set aside.

Election Day is finally here.

While millions of Americans across the country have already voted, it’s estimated that nearly 150 million voters will be casting their ballots. And experts say this election will see the highest voter turnout since 1908.

As part of 1A’Across America partnership, we’ve teamed up with Minnesota Public Radio to share what you’re seeing at the polls this Election Day. Minnesota is no different when it comes to expected turnout. In 2016 the state had the highest turnout in the nation.

“I think we’re poised to shatter our modern-day record [of voter turnout], people are just fired up to vote on all sides, across the political spectrum,” Minnesota Secretary of State Scott Simon told us. “There is an energy, there is a determination, you can feel it.”

For many, it’s a sign that this election is actually one of the most consequential in modern history.

It has prompted efforts to ensure that every vote is counted even during the pandemic. Still, some election experts say a final voting count could take days, if not weeks to know. It’s led some experts to caution against any victories that could be announced prematurely.

In Minnesota, a federal appeals court ruled that all ballots must be received by Election Day in order to be counted. As a swing state, that ruling could drastically change its final count while shifting the outcome of the presidential election and much more.

Alisianna Ruiz voted in Blaine, a Twin Cities suburb, on Tuesday.

“I want to make sure my voice mattered, my vote counts,” Ruiz told MPR. “It’s definitely a different type of environment this election. There’s been one or two where I haven’t voted. I’ll never make that mistake again.”

A high school senior, Nagmo Amoud turned 18 one month before Election Day.

“It was really exciting, voting for the first time,” Amoud told MPR. “And my vote makes an impact, you know? That’s really exciting.”

Secretary Simon told us they were ready for record numbers of voters this year.

“We frontloaded the process quite a bit, we had record numbers of people in Minnesota who voted before today even started either by mail or in person,” Simon told us.

Here’s the final NPR Electoral College map analysis. According to it, Democrat Joe Biden has an advantage, while President Donald Trump “has a narrow but not impossible path through the states key to winning the presidency.”

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