A “Vote Here” sign directs voters at Hiawatha School Recreation Center in Minneapolis on Election Day November 8, 2022. Mshale Staff Photo by Jasmine Webber
A “Vote Here” sign directs voters at Hiawatha School Recreation Center in Minneapolis on Election Day November 8, 2022. Mshale Staff Photo by Jasmine Webber

Today, Friday September 22, is the first day Minnesotans can start voting early for the November 2023 election. This November it is all about local elections as there are no statewide or federal races on the ballot.

This will also be the first election where those on parole or probation can also vote, as long as they are not in a correctional facility. If one has a felony conviction, they can vote while on work release, home monitoring or probation or parole.

In Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, there are no city council elections, but voters in those two cities will be voting in school board elections.

All 13 Minneapolis City Council seats are on the ballot as is the case in St. Paul for all its seven wards. In Minneapolis, first term Ward 2 Councilwoman Robin Wonsley is running unopposed.

The candidate filing period for municipal and school district races closed on August 15 most cities unless a primary was required in which case it would have been May 30.

In St. Louis Park, the city has a chance in electing Minnesota’s first Somali mayor should they elect Nadia Mohamed as their new mayor. She has one challenger for the open seat.

In Bloomington, businessman Isaak Roble is seeking to represent District 4 on the City Council and could become the first Somali to do so should he prevail in November.

Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park are in Hennepin County and all three use Ranked Choice Voting. Ranked voting in Minnesota is only allowed for municipal elections and it eliminates the need for primaries.

Where to vote early

Before Election Day you can vote early at your city hall, or other community accessible locations your county might make available.

Go to the links below for Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties for information on how and where you can vote early.

Also visit the Minnesota Secretary of State website on information on how to register to vote, or to check or update your registration.

About Tom Gitaa Gitaa, Editor-in-Chief

Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

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