It’s time to make a plan to vote! Minnesotans have 3 options:
- Vote in-person on Election Day (Tues., Nov. 3)
Find your polling place (they do change from time to time): https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/election-day-voting/
You can register to vote / update your registration on Election Day in Minnesota. Bring ID and proof of current address (such as current utility bill). More info here: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/register-on-election-day/
- RECOMMENDED: Vote in-person before Election Day
Find your early voting polling place options (county election offices and many city halls): https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/find-county-election-office/ and https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/cities-and-towns-with-in-person-absentee-voting/ Locations vary, but it’s generally business hours until the day before the election, plus Saturday, Oct. 31 from 10 AM – 3 PM. Drop by during those hours to vote. Wear a mask to protect yourself and others.
Bloomington City Hall is open for Bloomington residents to vote early, M-Fri 8-4:30 until Nov. 2 and Sat., Oct. 31, 10-3 PM. https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/cl/voting-information
All Ramsey County residents can vote early at Ramsey County Elections – St. Paul, 90 Plato Blvd W, Saint Paul, MN 55107, and at the Ramsey County Library in Roseville https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/elections-voting/voters/vote-election-day/vote-person
- Vote by mail, and either postmark or drop off your ballot by Election Day
You can avoid in-person voting entirely by voting absentee by mail, but you need to work ahead.
First, request an absentee ballot here: https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx You can do so even if you are not yet registered to vote.
Once received, complete your ballot right away, and do so carefully. It is important that you use the same ID number under which you applied for the absentee ballot, follow instructions about use of the privacy envelope, and sign your ballot. However, previously registered voters do not need a witness for your ballot, as that requirement has been waived due to the pandemic (https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/vote-early-by-mail/, https://www.startribune.com/what-happens-to-your-minnesota-mail-in-absentee-ballot-after-you-mail-it-votes-counted/572029141/ ) .
Then, either mail your ballot ASAP or drop it off at your early voting polling place. For example, Bloomington City Hall has a dropbox in the parking lot. You cannot bring it to the polls on Election Day. Technically, absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, but if election day is nearing, I recommend dropping it off (or switching to in-person voting).
You can check the status of your absentee ballot here (https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx) and make sure it was counted.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I requested an absentee ballot. I haven’t mailed it yet, because now want to vote in person instead. Can I do that?
Yes. I recommend voting early, as discussed above. If you’ve received it already, bring it along when you vote in case it’s helpful for the election judges to see that you didn’t mail it yet. If you haven’t received it, you can go ahead and vote early. https://vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/vote-by-mail/vote-by-mail-faq/
Another option would be to fill out your absentee ballot and, rather than putting it in the mail, drop it off in the designated boxes at one of your early voting polling places.
Q: Doesn’t that mean someone could vote more than once, either by mailing in multiple absentee ballots or voting in person and mailing an absentee ballot?
No. Votes are tied to the individual voter’s ID, so the Secretary of State disqualifies those double votes (https://www.startribune.com/what-happens-to-your-minnesota-mail-in-absentee-ballot-after-you-mail-it-votes-counted/572029141/). Just because votes are mailed doesn’t mean they are counted.
Q: How do I find out more about the down-ballot races and questions?
These races are so important! Here’s how to find out what’s on your ballot: https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us/
One overlooked race that all Minnesotans will vote on is on the back of your ballot.
Q: Am I eligible to vote in Minnesota?
You must be at least 18 on Election Day, a citizen of the U.S., have resided in Minnesota at least 20 days before Election Day, and have completed all parts of a sentence for a felony conviction.
Q: I have to work!
Minnesota law requires employers to allow employees time off from work in order to vote, without losing pay or leave time. Or, perhaps you could vote early, including on Saturday, Oct. 31!
Created by Jen Randolph Reise, JD (St. Louis Park, MN), Visiting Professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Not affiliated with any candidate.