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201 4th Street SE
Room 135
Rochester, MN 55904 (Map)

Phone: 507-328-2900
Fax: 507-328-2901
TDD: 507-328-2900

Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

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Step 2 to Voting: Learn

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Learn what you need to vote

Voting should be easy. These resources are designed to help you prepare to cast a ballot in any of the three elections occurring in 2020.

March 3 is the Presidential Nomination Primary. Voters have the opportunity to participate in the process for two major parties in Minnesota - the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) and Republican Parties - to select the presidential candidates who will be on the ballot for the November 3 General Election.

Sample Ballots

The ballot at each of the 52 voting precincts in the City of Rochester is different, with races differing based on address in some elections, and with a different order for candidates appearing on the ballot in many offices.

A sample ballot, or practice ballot, lists all the candidates running for office and any ballot questions, just as the ballot for your precinct will appear when you go to vote. A sample ballot is an excellent resource for preparing to vote. You can bring your sample ballot with you as a reference when you go to vote at either an in-person early absentee voting location or at your polling place on Election Day.

You can view and print a sample ballot on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website starting 45 days before each Election Day. 

How can I learn more about the candidates running for an office?

There are many resources available to learn more about specific candidates who may appear on your ballot. When you download your sample ballot through the Office of Secretary of State, you can also access a list of all the candidates appearing on your ballot along with links to their campaign websites, if that information was provided when the candidate filed for office. Visiting these websites can help you learn more about each candidate, including their positions on issues that may be important to you.

Another excellent source of information about different candidates and their views and positions can be different media sources. Local publications and news sites often compile candidate profiles, in addition to writing stories about different races and aspects of the election and candidates. Social media sites also sometimes provide this sort of information. Look for sites by or about candidates or campaigns you are interested in learning more about, as well as those from political parties, and different organizations that may work on issues and topics that are important to you.

Know what's on the ballot in 2020

Federal Offices:

Each of these offices will appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot. The Presidential candidates for participating major parties will be voted on in the March 3 Presidential Nomination Primary, while candidates for senator or representative will appear on the Aug. 11 Partisan Primary Ballot if more than 2 candidates file for a single major party. 

President & Vice President
United States Senator
United States Representative

State Legislative Offices

Each of these offices will appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot, and will appear on the Aug. 11 Partisan Primary if more than 2 candidates file for a seat for a single major party.

State Senators from each district in Minnesota 
State Representatives from each district in Minnesota 

Judicial Offices

Each of these offices will appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot, and will appear on the Aug. 11 Non-Partisan Primary if more than 2 candidates file for a seat. 

Supreme Court Associate Justice (2 Seats) 
Court of Appeals (6 seats) 
Third District Court Judges

County Offices

Each of these offices will appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot, and will appear on the Aug. 11 Non-Partisan Primary if more than 2 candidates file for a seat.  

County Commissioner (4 seats - Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7)
Soil and Water Conservation Officers

City Offices

Each of these offices will appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot, and will appear on the Aug. 11 Non-Partisan Primary if more than 2 candidates file for a seat.  

Council President
Council Members (3 seats - Wards 2, 4 and 6)

School Board

Each of these offices will appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot, and will appear on the Aug. 11 Non-Partisan Primary if more than 2 candidates file for a seat.  

Board Members (Seats 2, 4, 5 and 6)