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Voters head to the polls for Minneapolis elections

Voters will be casting ballots for Minneapolis mayor and Yes 4 Minneapolis public safety amendment. 
Image by Ethan Fine
A voter fills out their ballot at the Brian Coyle Neighborhood Center on Nov. 2.

Voters headed out to polling booths Tuesday morning to cast their ballots for the Minneapolis mayoral and municipal elections. 

Enthusiastic canvassers turned out at 8 a.m. with campaign signs and hot tea at the Brian Coyle Center in Cedar-Riverside, while voters in Ward two at Grace University Lutheran Church turned out at a much slower rate. 

More than 28,800 people voted early, which is a record in any Minneapolis municipal election. Nearly 4,000 of those voters came from Ward three, which includes Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown. 

Northrop Auditorium

Students crowded around Northrop Auditorium on Tuesday at midday to vote for the Minneapolis mayoral election and Ward two city council position. 

University student Siri Vorvick, 20, said she voted for Robin Wonsley Worlobah for Ward two and A.J. Awed for mayor as he is a local voice from nearby Cedar-Riverside. 

“Voting was so important in the national elections, but I think that local elections also carry a lot of weight, especially as it’s more applicable to my life,” Vorvick said. 

Student Jason Wessel said he voted “no, yes, yes” for the three city questions, referring to a short slogan that several activism groups and mayoral candidates use to refer to rejecting the mayor as chief executive and passing the public safety amendment and rent control ordinance. 

“I don’t really see the point in consolidating power, it seems like the opposite of what I would like to do,” Wessel said.

Brian Coyle Center 

Campaign supporters waved signs and gathered by the Brian Coyle Center as voters appeared to cast their ballots on the chilly Tuesday morning. One supporter passed out hot tea to keep people warm as they waited outside with their signs. 

Mohamed Mohamed decorated his car in “Vote A.J. Awed” signs and said he planned on canvassing until 8 p.m. when the polls close. 

“He understands the problem of Minneapolis and also what’s going on in our community, especially the young people,” Mohamed said. 

Law student Fionna Ek said she voted “no, yes, yes” on the city questions, meaning that she supported shifting funds away from the Minneapolis Police Department and enacting a rent control ordinance. Ek said she voted for Sheila Nezhad and was hoping for “more equitable policies for homeless encampments and getting people connected to stable housing.” 

Supporters for both Ward six candidates, Jamal Osman and Abdirizak Bihi, showed up in the early morning to wave signs and vote. 

Hawa Hashi took off work on Tuesday to support Bihi’s bid for the Ward six position.

“I’m volunteering to support Abdirizak Bihi for the safety of the community, for the safety of African Americans,” Hashi said. “I think he will be a good leader.”

Grace University Lutheran Church 

College students and other voters trickled into the church building Tuesday morning to vote for the mayor and the Ward two City Council member. 

University of Minnesota student Mairin Torgerson said she was excited because this was her first time voting, and she planned to vote for Ward two candidate Robin Wonsley Worlobah. 

“She [supports] a lot of good things that I like about rent control, because living here is really expensive.” Torgerson said. “As a college student, it’s definitely pretty important to me that I can afford to live here.”

For University student Shehrose Charania, it was her first time casting a ballot in Minnesota. She said she voted for Sheila Nezhad for Minneapolis mayor because her values aligned with Nezhad’s campaign and she wanted to see a woman of color in a leadership position. 

“I identify as a woman of color so voting for another one was easy for me,” Charania said. 

This is a live story and will be updated throughout the day.

Ellie Roth, Karisa Erickson and Hanna Van Den Einde contributed to this report.

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