Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Vote in primary!

Due to a rare set of electoral circumstances, the race for Minnesota Supreme Court is the only statewide contest on the Minnesota ballot in 2016. Three candidates have filed for this seat. Though there will be primary contests in some local and Congressional races around Minnesota, the absence of any high-profile state or federal races from the ballot suggests that statewide turnout for the August 9 Primary Election may be very low. And a low-turnout scenario increases the risk that the race for Supreme Court could have aberrant results.

If MSBA members vote in the primary—and each of them secures commitments from 10 more people to vote—then collectively these voters could help to ensure that qualified candidates reach the General Election ballot. You can request an absentee ballot now by visiting the Minnesota Secretary of State’s “Request an Absentee Ballot” page at

Please take a moment today to fill out the application. Absentee ballots must be received by August 8. Absentee ballots require a witness, who can be either a registered Minnesota voter or a notary. Your witness must sign the signature envelope and list their address. Notaries should write their name and title, sign the signature envelope, and affix their notary stamp. You can also vote early at your county election office through August 8. If you are not registered, bring proof of residence.

All candidates for the contested Supreme Court race were asked to submit information to the MSBA to help educate our members and the public about their background and qualifications. You can find this information at If you would like to volunteer to assist in our Get Out the Vote effort, please contact MSBA staff Nancy Mischel at or (612) 278-6331.

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