It was said that Minnesota election season began when the State Fair was over. That changed when the Legislature moved the primary election to the second Tuesday in August. This year, primary elections will be Aug. 14.

As in past years, St. Thomas’ McNeely Hall will be a polling location for Ward 4, Precinct 6. This means that the eastern section of Parking Lot K will be closed for voter parking from 2 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Statewide redistricting has changed precinct boundares from previous elections. Ward 4, Precinct 6, is now bounded by Marshall Avenue on the north to Summit Avenue on the south, and Cleveland Avenue on the east to Cretin Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard on the west. (See precinct map.)

Students and neighbors who live on the south campus or in the neighborhood immediately south of Summit Avenue are in Ward 4, Precinct 7, and vote at Groveland Recreation Center, 2021 St. Clair Ave. Ward 4, Precinct 7, is bounded by Summit Avenue on the north to St. Clair Avenue on the south, and Prior Avenue on the east to Cretin Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard on the west. (See precinct map.)

Those who live elsewhere in St. Paul can find their precincts on the Ramsey County Elections Precinct Finder.

A state primary election serves a purpose different from a general election. For partisan races a primary election narrows the field of candidates for the three major political parties – Republican, Independence, and Democratic-Farmer-Labor – to those who will be on the general election ballot. Primary voters also narrow the field of nonpartisan candidates in contests for judicial, county and local offices. Voters will elect those who will represent them in public office during the general election held Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Minnesota has an “open primary,” which means that voters are not required to register with a political party; however, primary voters cannot vote for candidates in more than one political party.

As the result of the 10-year restricting that took place earlier this year, some polling places have changed along with ward and precinct boundaries.

Voters statewide can find their voting locations, a map to the locations, information about voting districts, and candidates appearing on ballots by entering their addresses into the Polling Place Finder application at http://www.mnvotes.org.

Most polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 14. Minnesota has Election Day registration, which allows voters to register at the polls. For more information about voter registration and candidates appearing on ballots, visit the Secretary of State Office’s voter information website at www.mnvotes.org.

Unofficial primary election results will be posted on election night after the polls close at 8 p.m. on the Secretary of State Office’s website at www.sos.state.mn.us.