ST. CLOUD -- We all know next year is a big year for elections, but voting will actually be here before you know it. Here in Minnesota, we can start voting for who we want for President already next month.

Stearns County Auditor-Treasure Randy Schreifels says absentee voting for the state's presidential primary begins on January 17th.

The people when they come in the thing they'll see different from a normal election is that they'll have to tell their party preference, so you'll get the ballot based on your party preference, and that information is private information, but the party chairs will get that information.

The parties will know which party you voted for, but not which specific candidate.

You could potentially be choosing between four different parties since Minnesota now has four major political parties: Democratic-Farmer-Labor, Republican, Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis, and Legalize Marijuana Now.

Voting in a presidential primary is new for most of us, the last time we had a presidential primary in Minnesota was in 1992. Other year's we've picked our candidate through the caucus process.

The actual presidential primary date is Tuesday, March 3rd. Minnesota is part of what has become known as Super Tuesday with as many as 14 states holding presidential primaries that day.

Later in the year, we'll have another primary election for other races in August, and then the general election in November.

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