Everything you need to know to cast your ballot in Minnesota's presidential primary

Polls opened at 7 a.m. on Super Tuesday, and some rules are different from other state elections.

Minnesotans head to the polls on Tuesday, along with voters in 15 other states, to cast their first ballots in the 2024 presidential race.

The results of Super Tuesday will decide how much support candidates get at national conventions this summer. It's the single day the most delegates are up for grabs across the country and could help candidates clinch the nomination.

"There's no question that this election year will be among the most intense in history," Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said. "The presidential candidates will likely inspire strong feelings, people will be passionate, and that's OK. We are, after all, electing the most powerful person in the United States and probably the world."

In Minnesota, it's only the second presidential primary after decades of using the caucus system. Some of the rules are different from voting in the state's regular August primary election.

Here's what you need to know about how it works, who will appear on the ballots and how to cast your vote on March 5:

Do all political parties participate in the presidential primary?

No, only those with major party status in Minnesota will participate: the DFL Party, the Republican Party and the Legal Marijuana Now Party.

Are there any other races on the ballot?

Unlike other elections in the state, the only contest on the ballot on Tuesday is the presidential primary.

Will all parties be on the same ballot like in the August primary?

No, each major party has a separate ballot in the presidential primary. You need to request the ballot for the party whose primary you wish to vote in this year.

Which candidates are on the party ballots?

The chair of each party submitted a list of candidates to the Secretary of State's Office. For the Democratic Party, the ballot has nine candidates: President Joe Biden, Californian Eban Cambridge, software developer and Californian Gabriel Cornejo, New Yorker Frankie Lozada, Maryland entrepreneur Jason Palmer, California educator Armando "Mando" Perez-Serrato, Minnesota U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, Turkish-born political commentator Cenk Uygur and spiritual author and speaker Marianne Williamson.

The Republican ballot lists five candidates: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former President Donald Trump.

The Legal Marijuana Now ballot also lists five candidates: Edward Forchion, Krystal Gabel, Rudy Reyes, Dennis Schuller and Vermin Supreme.

Wait, haven't some of those candidates already dropped out of the race?

Yes, Christie, DeSantis and Ramaswamy dropped out of the Republican race in the days leading up to and following the Iowa caucus, but changes cannot be made to the ballot once a party's list is submitted. Obviously, avoid candidates on your ballot who have dropped out. Gabel said she was put on the Legal Marijuana Now Party's ballot without her consent and is asking people not to vote for her.

What if I want to vote for someone who's not listed?

The Democratic, GOP and Legal Marijuana Now presidential primary ballots will have a write-in option, as well as an "uncommitted" option on the Democratic ballot.

Who can vote in the presidential primary?

Any voter registered in Minnesota can also cast a ballot in the presidential primary. Voters who didn't register in advance can register in-person at their polling place on Election Day. Voters must be 18 or older by March 5, a resident of Minnesota and a citizen of the United States to register to vote. While individuals recently released from incarceration can now vote, those still in prison cannot.

Do I need to register as a member of a certain party?

Minnesota doesn't have party registration. However, voters must attest that they generally support the principles of a specific party in order to get that party's ballot in the presidential primary contest. If you're voting early by mail, you need to check a box on the absentee ballot application attesting to the party's principles.

How do I vote in the presidential primary?

Registered voters can request an absentee ballot to vote by mail up to 46 days before the election. Cities will also have in-person early voting locations — usually a local elections office — though hours will vary from county to county.

On March 5, you can find your polling place and vote anytime between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The main difference for the presidential primary is that you must request the ballot for the party of your choice. Voters who don't select a party will not get a ballot.

Is any of my voting information public?

The chair of each major political party gets a list of voters who request their party's ballot, data they can use to help with get-out-the-vote efforts. That's a change from four years ago, when party chairs got the lists for all the other major parties too. The information is not posted anywhere publicly, and the candidate you select is secret.

How much will this cost, and who pays for it?

Local governments cover the costs of the presidential primary, but they are eventually reimbursed by the state. Simon's office estimates it will cost between $12 million and $14 million to administer the March 5 election.

Is my ballot secure?

Yes, the state conducts machine testing and other security procedures in the presidential primary, which it does for all statewide elections.