Absentee voting in the 2009 Minneapolis municipal elections begins on Friday, October 2. This election will determine the Mayor, City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board. The general election will be November 3.
Because of Ranked Choice Voting, the actual ballot will look different this year, but the process for getting and returning it will be the same as before. (Click on the PDF at the bottom of the article to see a sample ballot.)
To receive a ballot, individuals have to fill out and return an application. The application and instructions can be printed from the internet or picked up at city or county election offices. Applications for absentee voting are accepted year round.
The form requires the voter to provide their legal and mailing addresses and to indicate the reason they need to vote absentee. There are four reasons that qualify: absence from the voting precinct on Election Day, illness or disability, religious discipline or holiday observance, and planned service as an election judge in another precinct.
If the application is returned by mail, a ballot will then be mailed to the voter for completion. If the voter is not pre-registered, registration materials will be sent with the ballot. The City of Minneapolis website says to allow at least seven days between requesting an absentee ballot and completing the voting process.
To be counted, ballots must be returned on or before Election Day by mail or hand delivered by a person, other than the voter, to a city or county election office by 3 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots may not be returned to polling places.
Absentee voting can also be done in person at Minneapolis City Hall, 350 Fifth Street S., Room 1B, for 30 days prior to an election. The voting location is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Saturday before the election, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Minneapolis residents will use Ranked Choice Voting to determine the 2009 election winners. The ballot will still be paper, with voters filling in small ovals alongside candidate’s names by hand. Ranked Choice Voting takes the place of primary elections. Instead of narrowing the field through primaries, all candidates appear on the general election ballot. Voters can choose their first, second and third choice for each position.
All of the first choice votes will be counted and the other selections used in case no candidate has reached a clear victory. Detailed instructions for completion, with examples, will accommodate all mailed absentee ballots and be available at the voting location in Minneapolis City Hall.