It’s a gorgeous fall day in Central Minnesota so, after voting, I drove around to a half-dozen polling places in St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park to unofficially observe the proceedings.
In addition to the presidency, U.S. Senate and House, City Council, School Board, commissioners, judges and more, voters here are choosing between incumbent Sen. Jerry Relph, a Republican, and Democrat Aric Putnam in District 14, an extremely tight race that could determine control of the Minnesota Senate. Relph prevailed in 2016 by fewer than 150 votes.
Republicans currently hold a 35-32 advantage in the Senate, with about five incumbent Republicans in close races.
Others are voting in a competitive U.S. House race, where Michelle Fishbach hopes to end Rep. Collin Peterson’s 30-year reign in western Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District.
I spoke to a smiling elderly lady as she departed my home precinct this morning.
She said, “where are these lines I read about?” and relayed she’s never waited in lines in 50 years of voting, including when she lived in New York City.
She also claimed, “it’s time to raise the voting age to at least 21, maybe 25.”
Outside another polling place, a 26-year-old man explained to me he’s never voted before.
“I wasn’t going to vote for Trump, because I think he’s a clown,” he said. “But after I saw how Biden is on television, I got registered and just voted for Trump.”
Check back for more election updates throughout the evening.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.