Bloomington’s primary election is Aug. 8, but you can vote now

It’s not exactly the heart of a campaign season, but voting is available for Bloomington’s upcoming primary election.

Voters are being asked to narrow the field down to two candidates in two Bloomington City Council races on the ballot this fall. Four candidates filed for the council’s District 2 seat and the at-large council seat on November’s ballot. Polling places across Bloomington will be open Tuesday, Aug. 8, to eliminate two candidates from each race.

The District 2 candidates are Lenny Klevan Schmitz, Cheryl Lewis, Shawn Nelson and Eldon Spencer. Spencer was appointed by the council to fill the vacant seat earlier this year, and the winner of November’s election will serve the final two of years of the current term.

The at-large seat candidates are Michael Arulfo, Nathan Coulter, Kim Vlaisavljevich and Susan “Hofmeister” Woodruff. Vlaisavljevich was appointed by the council to fill a vacant seat last year, and the winner of November’s election will serve four years, as Vlaisavljevich is completing the current term.

And in the days leading up to the Aug. 8, qualified voters may cast a ballot in advance at Bloomington Civic Plaza.

In person voting is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the city clerk’s office of Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road. The clerk’s office will also be open for voting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, and until 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 7. Primary voting at Bloomington’s 32 precinct polling places will be available 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 8.

To vote in the primary election, residents must be U.S. citizens, be at least 18 years old, be a Minnesota resident for at least 20 days as of Election Day and maintain a residence at the address on the voter registration application. Voters must re-register if they have moved to a different address, changed their name or have not voted once within the past four years.

Pre-registration for primary voting on Election Day is available through July 18 by completing, printing and mailing a form to the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, as well as submission in person at Bloomington Civic Plaza and the government center.

Registration at the polls is also available during the primary and general elections. To register at the polls on Election Day, voters must have an authorized proof of residence, such as a valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit or receipt of either with a current address located in the precinct. Also accepted as proof of residence is a valid Minnesota identification or receipt with the voter’s current address in the precinct, a registered voter from the precinct who can vouch for the applicant, registration in the same precinct indicating a previous name or address, a mailed notice from the registration office indicating late registration or a tribal identification with the name, address, signature and picture of the applicant.

Voters may also register with a photo identification and a current bill. Accepted photo identifications include a Minnesota driver’s license or identification, a Minnesota post-secondary student identification, a tribal identification, a U.S. military identification or a U.S. passport. Current bills, such as a utility bill, rent statement dated within 30 days of the election or a current student fee statement, are accepted if they show the voter’s name and address in the precinct.

Candidates advancing in next month’s primary election will appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot, and will be joined by candidates vying for the city council’s District 3 and 4 seats, as well as candidates for the Bloomington Board of Education. The filing period for the school board is Aug. 1-15.

Voting and election information, including links to the absentee ballot application, is available online at Candidate and additional voting information will appear in the July 27 Sun Current.


Follow Bloomington community editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.