Anyone who qualifies for an absentee ballot can vote now—today—at the county auditor’s office in the county of their residence. Voting for the November 4 election has already begun. In Minnesota, voting started on October 3.
You may cast an absentee ballot in person, at your county auditor’s office and in many cases your city or township clerk’s office, starting 30 days prior to Election Day. This option is available on weekdays during business hours. In addition, the county auditor’s office must be open for absentee balloting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Saturday before the election and until 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Contact your county auditor for more information. To find contact information for your county auditor, click here for an Election Official Directory.
Who can vote by absentee ballot?
In Minnesota, you can vote by absentee ballot if you:
• will be absent from your precinct on Election Day
• have an illness or disability
• are serving as an election judge in another precinct
(There’s also a provision for absentee voting in case of a state emergency declared by the governor or a quarantine.)
College students and people serving in the military are among the people likely to be absent from the precinct on Election Day.
For special instructions for people in the military and their families, see the special instructions on the Secretary of State’s web site.
Aaron Bacon, a 20-year-old college student, has put together a college student’s guide to absentee voting across the country.
• If you live at home while attending school, you vote at your hometown polling place.
• If you live at college, you may vote either at your hometown polling place (as long as you still have a permanent residence there) or at the polling place in the neighborhood where your dorm or off-campus residence is located (but not at both places). If you choose to vote at your hometown polling place, but are living out of town, you can apply for an absentee ballot.
Getting an absentee ballot
APPLY NOW. The election is less than 30 days away.
You can get an absentee ballot from your local county auditor. Or you can download an application from the Secretary of State web site. Fill out an Absentee Ballot Application and send it by mail, fax, or email. (If you want to apply by e-mail, print the application, sign it, scan it, and attach to an email as a .pdf). Your ballot should be mailed to you within a day or two of the time your application arrives.
SEND YOUR BALLOT BACK PROMPTLY.
1. Mail back your ballot in the pre-paid envelopes provided by your county auditor.
2. Up until 5 p.m. on the day before the election, you may deliver your ballot in person to your county auditor.
3. You may also have someone else return your completed ballot, sealed in its envelope, to your county auditor until 3 p.m. on Election Day. Persons delivering ballots may not do so for more than three voters.