St Paul (KROC AM News) - Minnesotans have really embraced early or “no-excuse absentee” voting since it was adopted by the state in 2014.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon says as of Thursday more than 301,000 absentee ballots have been requested by voters around the state since voting for the 2018 statewide general election began September 21.

Steve Simon Press Kit via stevesimonmn.com/

Simon says, “Minnesotans are early voting even more than they did in the 2016 Presidential election. This level of participation is off the charts! Minnesota is already the envy of the nation.”

Simon says the rate of absentee ballot requests is an increase of 170 percent over the same time in the 2014 (last statewide non-presidential election) calendar.

Simon says as of last Monday, Olmsted County was leading all counties - even Hennepin and Ramsey - in the number of absentee ballot requests. A county elections spokeswoman says as of Thursday, her staff had handled requests for more than 11,000 ballots and about half had been returned so far.

In-person early voting in Olmsted County is taking place at Graham Park Monday-Friday from 8:00 - 5:00.

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