“It is a great dress rehearsal for 2022,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

 Voters began casting ballots across the U.S. early Tuesday in the first wave of elections to test new Republican restrictions on the ballot and give elections officials a chance to counter a year’s worth of misinformation about voting security, AP reports.

Officials said demonstrating secure, consistent and fair practices could help reassure those who still have doubts about last year’s presidential election as they begin preparations for next year’s midterms.

“It is a great dress rehearsal for 2022,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Much of the attention will be on Virginia and New Jersey, where voters are casting ballots for governor and other statewide races. For the rest of the country, voters were making selections on a variety of local races, ranging from mayor and city council to school board and bond measures. Voters in Maine, New York, Texas and a few other few states were considering ballot initiatives on a wide array of topics.

For some, the voting experience will be different from last year, when officials implemented pandemic-related changes to make it easier for voters to avoid crowded polling places. Some states have made those changes permanent, while others have rolled some of them back.

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