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National Guard soldiers returning to Willmar on Saturday after 10-month deployment

Updated: Election polls open in Minnesota, strong voter turnout expected

Lee Byberg, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in the 7th District, voted Tuesday at the Willmar (Minn.) Community Center.

Update 11:30 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS - Election polls opened Tuesday in Minnesota where experts predict voter turnout could top 60 percent.

In Willmar precincts, Ward 1-Precinct 1, 185 voters had voted by 10:30 a.m., Ward 2-Precinct 2 had 104 voters as of 9 a.m. and Ward 4-Precinct 2 had 85 voters as of 9 a.m.

The weather isn't expected to keep voters away from the polls with a forecast of seasonal temperatures and dry conditions most of the day.

Races for governor, Congress and the Legislature are expected to draw Minnesotans to the polls. Nearly 3.8 million people are eligible to vote in Minnesota.

University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs says the competitive race for governor, plus closely watched congressional races involving Reps. Jim Oberstar, Michele Bachmann and Tim Walz could push turnout beyond 60 percent.

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