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Good Questions: Your Ballot Questions Answered

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Every Friday, Heather Brown takes a look at some of the Good Questions viewers have submitted recently. This week, she's taking on your election ballot questions.

On Minnesota's ballot, Donald Trump is listed first and Hillary Clinton is listed second. Beatrice from Cambridge asks: "How is candidate order determined on a ballot?"

According to the MN Secretary of State's Office, for the Republican and DFL presidential candidates, it's listed in reverse order of last election's vote. For example, because Minnesotans voted for President Barack Obama in 2012, the Republican is at the top of the ballot in 2016. For candidates from what the state considers "minor" parties, it's by lot. For any nonpartisan candidates, the order is randomly determined by an algorithm according to Minnesota law.

This election cycle, some states are taking a stand against ballot selfies. So, are they legal?

"Yes, in Minnesota, that answer is yes," Julia Dayton Klein, an election law attorney at Gray Plant Mooty, said. "It's very different by state."

A ballot selfie that's posted online can include a filled-out ballot in the photo in Minnesota.

"The only thing that Minnesota law, with respect to this issue, prohibits you from doing is from sharing who you intend to vote or who you just have voted for while you were in the polling place itself," Dayton Klein said.

She says the legal area on ballot selfies posted while inside a booth are gray, so recommends waiting to post any ballot selfies once you're outside the polling location.

Jenna from St. Paul wants to know: "Why do we vote for unopposed candidates?"

The Secretary of State is required to put the office on the ballot and count the votes.

"Just because a candidate is unopposed doesn't mean they don't have to run for the office," Hennepin County Elections Director Ginny Gelms said. "Even unopposed candidates compete against write-ins."

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