What is the Presidential Nomination Primary (PNP)?

A presidential nomination primary (PNP) is a type of primary in which only presidential candidates are nominated. Results of the PNP are used to “bind” delegates for each party’s presidential nominating conventions. In 2016, the Minnesota legislature passed a law authorizing the use of a PNP, beginning in 2020.  In contrast with a caucus, a PNP is run by election administrators rather than the political parties, which means that processes for voting are nearly identical to regular elections (e.g. voters can go to their regular polling places, and voters can vote by absentee ballot).   Precinct caucuses run by the political parties will still occur, but won’t deal with nominating candidates for president.  

When will the presidential primary take place?

March 5, 2024.

Will all parties participate in the presidential primary?

No, only major parties will participate.

Will all parties be on the same ballot?

No, each participating major party will have a separate ballot.

Who decides which candidates will appear on a party’s ballot?

The chair of each party will submit a list of candidates for the party’s ballot no later than 63 days before the date of the presidential primary (January 2, 2024).

What if a candidate drops out before the primary?

Once a party’s list is submitted, changes will not be made to candidates that will appear on the ballot.

Will there be a place to write in a choice or vote for “uncommitted”?

Only if it is requested by the party chair. Party chairs will need to submit names of write-in candidates to be counted seven days before the primary.

Will any other offices be on the ballot?

No, only presidential candidates from a major party will appear on the presidential primary ballot. Other offices with a primary will be on the primary ballot in August.

Who can vote in the presidential primary?

Any voter registered in Minnesota. Voters can pre-register through February 13, or register at the polling place when they vote. Note that voters must turn 18 years old by March 5 in order to vote in the presidential primary.

How will I be able to vote in the presidential primary?

Registered voters will be able to vote at their polling place on presidential primary day or by absentee ballot in the 46 days before presidential primary day (starting January 19, 2024). A voter must request the ballot of the party of their choice. If a voter refuses to select a party, they will not be able to vote in the presidential primary.

Will other people know which party’s ballot I request?

A voter’s choice of party ballot will be recorded and is private data. However, a list will be provided to the chair of each major political party of voters who selected that party. How a voter voted on the ballot will be secret.

Will parties have to abide by the primary results?

The presidential primary results must bind the election of delegates in each party.

Who will pay for the presidential nomination primary?

County and municipalities will be reimbursed by the state for the primary costs.

How much will the primary cost?

In 2020, the cost to administer the presidential primary was $9.6 million. Counties and municipalities will be reimbursed for their costs of administering the Presidential Nomination Primary following the election.

Will there still be precinct caucuses?

Yes, precinct caucuses and local and state nominating conventions will still take place to conduct other party business.

Will there still be an August Primary Election and a November General Election?

Yes, the State Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, August 13, 2024 for offices other than President.  The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2024.  

Is the presidential nomination primary the same as the presidential primary?

Yes, the official name of this election is "presidential nomination primary" but it is most commonly known simply as the presidential primary.

Show All Answers

1. Can I vote early if I'm not a registered voter?
2. What is the Presidential Nomination Primary (PNP)?
3. What happens after my absentee ballot is returned?
4. How can I serve as an election judge?
5. Can I place my absentee ballot directly into a ballot counter at city hall?
6. Where can I return my voted ballot I received through the mail?
7. How do I know if my absentee ballot has been counted?
8. Where can I return a voted ballot for someone else?
9. I already completed and submitted an absentee ballot, can I change my vote?
10. Who should I contact?