I Voted sticker election voting

Our news staff is fanned across the southwest metro area Tuesday to talk to voters and candidates. This is what they found. 

Click here to follow live results as they come in after polls close at 8 p.m. 

Update, 10:08 a.m. Nov. 7

Dean Phillips upsets Erik Paulsen

Southwest News Media caught up with congressman-elect Dean Phillips, who is the first DFLer to win the 3rd Congressional District seat since 1958. Supporters were cheering election night results, celebrating their victory and even gathered for a big group dance to the song “Love Train” by The O’Jays.

Phillips, an heir to Phillips Distilling Co., was posing for photos and would skip out for moments with the media. Accessibility, he said, is a priority.

He said Paulsen called him to concede the race. He called it “a very gracious call” and said they wished each other well. Phillips said he honored Paulsen for his 25-plus years of service. Paulsen took office in Congress in 2009 after having served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1995.

-Regional Editor Tim Engstrom

Update, 8 p.m.

Polls are closed

The polls have closed for the day. Those in line at 8 p.m. can still vote. 

Residents in the southwest metro will now await returns.

Here are a few scenes from Election Day in Chaska:

-Reporter Alex Chhith

Update, 7:28 p.m.

'No regrets'

Shakopee's incumbent Mayor Bill Mars, who is running for re-election, was voter No. 1,068 at the Community Center tonight.

Mars is being challenged by four other candidates.

"I feel good. We ran a great campaign," Mars said. "I have no regrets. It's about the residents of our community and moving forward in a positive way."

Mars' wife Corky joined him to vote. The two waited in line about 25 minutes before entering the ballot booth.

"I'm proud of my husband Bill," Corky said. "His heart belongs to Shakopee and makes our city a shining star."

Bill Mars

Shakopee's incumbent mayor, Bill Mars, votes at the Shakopee Community Center Tuesday with his wife, Corky. 

Update, 6:17 p.m. 

Jordan voters turn out

Jordan reporter Sarah Wynn hit the polls in Jordan Tuesday, talking to voters, including this woman who said health care was heavy on her mind as she filled out her ballot Tuesday.

Plus, we asked and you delivered. On a Facebook callout, we asked voters to send in their photos after leaving the polls. Jordan voters did not disappoint.

Jordan votes 1

Nicole Wessel voted Tuesday in Jordan. Voters headed Tuesday to the Community Education and Recreation Center to cast their votes. 

Jordan voters 2

Ron and Emily Lews were all smiles Tuesday, wearing their "I Voted" stickers in Jordan. 

Jordan voters 3

Emily Gilpin stopped to vote in Jordan before heading out to work.  

Jordan voters 4
Samantha Minter posted a photo of her four-year-old son Camden with an "I Voted" sticker. 

-Reporter Sarah Wynn

Update, 4:51 p.m. 

Election judges report high turnout

Election judges say they are seeing a high turnout this year. Faith Groff, an election judge at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Prior Lake said there had been double the number of voters compared to the primaries.

At Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, more than 730 people voted by 3:30 p.m. Election Judge Alexandra Matyja said she had seen a steady stream of voters since the polls opened.

"I haven't had a chance to open my book," Matyja said with a laugh, adding that in her time as an election judge, this is the highest turnout for a midterm that she's seen.

Prior Lake voters

Election judge Alexandra Matyja, right, said she has never seen midterm election voter turnout so high. 

Janet Misgen, an election judge at Prior Lake City Hall, has worked as an election judge for more than 25 years. She said there has been "tremendous turnout."

The Prior Lake City Hall had more than 800 voters by 3:50 p.m.

Misgen said she has worked as an election judge for so many years because "I take my U.S.A. citizenship very seriously and I want fair elections for all."

City Hall is also where Misgen cast her vote on Tuesday.

Prior Lake polls 2

Janet Misgen, left, an election judge at Prior Lake City Hall, has worked as an election judge for more than 25 years. 

"We want a good representation of voters," Misgen said. "We all have a voice and need to be heard."

Another voter, Kristopher Sweigart, said he was brought to the polls by wanting to put people in office who support President Donald Trump.

"(Voting) states your opinion on the matter," Sweigart said. "People in my office said that if you don't vote, you don't get to have an opinion."

- Reporter Maggie Stanwood

Update, 4:15 p.m. 

Poll worker registers 94-year-old voter

Around 900 residents had cast their ballots at Precinct 3 in Savage, at City Hall, by 3 p.m. on Election Day, averaging around 128 votes per hour.

A volunteer at Precinct 3 said she registered a 94-year-old woman to vote — the oldest in her experience as a volunteer.

Savage voter

Hundreds of residents cast their ballot at Precinct 3 in Savage, located at City Hall, on Election Day. 

- Reporter Christine Schuster

Update, 2:45 p.m. 

A family affair

Shakopee School Board candidate Christy Lewis voted with her family Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church.

Lewis' two children, Jaida and Cade, cast their own votes at the Kids Voting booth.

Christy Lewis
Shakopee School Board candidate Christy Lewis and her family at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Pictured from left is Lewis' husband Kristopher, Lewis, Cade, and Jaida.

"My kids were so excited and so proud," Lewis said in a text message. "I am honored to be a role model to all kids. I am humbled by the support and excited to make an impact for the community, students and teachers."

Pictured from left is Lewis's husband Kristopher, Lewis, Cade, and Jaida.

-Reporter Amanda McKnight

Update, 2:30 p.m. 

Babies at the polls 

Incumbent State Rep. Drew Christensen (R-Savage) tweeted about his Election Day trip to the polls today along with his wife and their 3-week old son. 

-Reporter Christine Schuster

Update, 1:45 p.m.

Steady stream of voters

plymouth election precinct 4

Plymouth’s fourth precinct saw high voter turnout on Election Day.

Two people cast ballots at Plymouth's fourth precinct, located at Plymouth Covenant Church, 4300 Vicksburg Lane North. The precinct's head election judge Harold Onstad said it was busy in the morning, and they've seen a steady stream of voters all day. As of 11:30 a.m., 353 people had cast ballots on Election Day at the precinct.

excelsior selfie voting

Voters in Precinct 1 in Excelsior could take selfies in a designated selfie spot.

At Excelsior's first precinct, elections officials set up a selfie spot where voters can take selfies to show off that they voted. A sign next to the poster encourages voters to share the selfie on social media with #votingmatters #excelsiorvotes @hennepincounty

Excelsior election

Former Twin Cities newscaster Don Shelby, right, votes at Excelsior’s 1st Precinct on Nov. 6, 2018. 

Head election judge Jane Bauman said 382 people had voted by just after noon, noting 30 people were lined up before the polls opened this morning. City Clerk Ann Orlofsky noted the precinct has had a "steady" stream of voters all day and she expects the turnout to be "high." Orlofsky did say the lines forming at the precinct are shorter than in years past, but she's not sure if that's because more people voted early or if the process is just going more smoothly this year.

-Reporter Melissa Turtinen

Update, 12:37 p.m. 

Sticking to the issues

Shakopee mayor candidate Jeffrey Thom was voter No. 401 just before lunch at Eagle Creek Elementary.

Thom said it was a little strange seeing his name on the ballot, but he's happy to have reached the finish line.

Jeffrey Thom

Shakopee mayor candidate Jeffrey Thom, left, and his wife, Crystal, swung by Eagle Creek Elementary Tuesday to vote. 

"I'm just glad how it all went," he said. "We all stuck to the issues. We all have a common goal to make Shakopee better."

Thom's wife, Crystal, voted with him. As they left the polling place, she joked to him, "Oh your name was on there?"

- Reporter Amanda McKnight

Update, 10:10 a.m.: 

'A historic day for my family'

Shakopee mayoral candidate Mike Luce was voter No. 233 Tuesday morning at West Middle School.

Luce is a city councilor and one of five candidates for mayor.

"It's a historic day for my family," Luce said after casting his ballot. "It'll prove to my grandkids if you really want something and you stick to it, you can do it."

Mike Luce

Mike Luce, a Shakopee city councilor and one of five mayoral candidates, was voter No. 233 Tuesday morning at West Middle School. 

Luce said a vote for him is a vote for putting the city in a "slightly different direction."

-Reporter Amanda McKnight

Update, 9:57 a.m.: 

Braving the rain

Voters continue to flock to the polls throughout the morning hours. 

Eden Prairie election, 2018

George Magdal, left, voted at Grace Church shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Eden Prairie residents of precincts 19A and 19B cast their ballots at the church.

Some proudly shared photos with "I Voted" stickers after leaving the booths. 

Update, 9 a.m.: 

It's finally here 

It's Election Day. Polls are open until 8 p.m. If you're still unsure how to find your polling location, check out the Minnesota Secretary of State website, where you can plug in your address and look up where you should cast your ballot. 

To get things started, voters across the southwest metro braved the rain to cast their votes Tuesday morning. 

Eagle Creek Voters

Voters fill out ballots at Eagle Creek Elementary School in Shakopee. 

Shakopee mayoral candidate Joseph Ditto cast his vote Tuesday morning at Eagle Creek Elementary.

Ditto is one of four candidates challenging incumbent Mayor Bill Mars.

As he waited to hand in his ballot, a woman approached Ditto and proclaimed, "I voted for you, good luck."

Joseph Ditto

Shakopee mayoral candidate Joseph Ditto poses for a photo alongside his daughter, Destiny, after casting their ballots. Destiny voted in the Kids Voting election. 

Ditto said voting for himself didn't feel much different than voting in past races, though this is his first time on the ballot. He's just excited to have campaign season behind him.

Ditto's daughter, Destiny, pictured beside him, voted in the Kids Voting election.

-Reporter Amanda McKnight

Digital content coordinator

Rachel Minske is a regional editor and digital content coordinator at Southwest News Media. She's passionate about in-depth reporting and digital audiences. She's a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and enjoys exploring Minnesota.


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