ST. PAUL — Super Tuesday? In Minnesota, it could shape up to be more like Super Size Tuesday. At least for Democratic-Farmer-Labor voters.
That's because the deadline to get on the state's presidential primary ballot is set to close next month, possibly allowing candidates to make the cut before the field of 17 presidential hopefuls thins out.
Three candidates have been added so far, a party spokesman said Wednesday, Nov. 6, but party guidelines set a pretty low bar for making the ballot.
“It’s pretty much anyone who sends me a letter requesting their name be put on the ballot by Dec. 10 is put on the ballot,” DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said. “I don’t have any ability to sort of play games with that.”
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden and former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., have submitted letters to be included in the party primary. And DFL spokesman Brian Evans said the party has reached out to all other Democratic candidates to remind them of the Dec. 10 deadline to submit.
Minnesota's laws outlining primary elections let political party leaders determine who makes the ballot.
Last week, Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan submitted to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office a ballot for the presidential primary that included only President Donald Trump's name. In the days since, Carnahan told Minnesota Public Radio she will include an option for GOP voters to write in other candidates.
Other Republicans vying to replace Trump said the move disenfranchised Republican voters. Carnahan, meanwhile, said it was a move aimed at winning the state's 10 electoral votes for the president.
The final deadline to submit candidates to the Secretary of State's Office is Dec. 31. And Minnesotans will be the first to cast their ballots in the 2020 presidential primary contests as early voting begins Jan. 17, ahead of the March 3 primary election.
Minnesota voters can participate in one partisan primary and while the state doesn't register voters, party officials will be able to access lists of voters that participated in each party's primary.