Voting and Election Information
2010 Election information:
The 2010 Election in Minnesota will include:
Information on candidates for the 2013 Election specific for your address.
The Road to Election Day
DVDs may be ordered for $6.00 each
Contact the LWVMN Office to order.
Watch on YouTube:
General voting and election information:
Voter's Bill of Rights - modified by the 2005 Legislature
Latino Voter Participation Toolkit - from the 2004 Election - Courtesy of Centro Legal, Inc.
Information from the Minnesota Secretary of State:
Important dates for the 2013 election year:
* Call your City Hall to confirm where you may cast an Absentee Ballot.
** Polling place hours may vary in rural locations.
To vote you must be:
You can not vote if you are:
When can I vote on election day?
Most polling places will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Some township's (with population under 500) polling places may open at 10:00 a.m. Check with your town clerk for details.
But I have to work...
Minnesota law allows you to take time off from work to vote during the morning of the state primary and state general election. The idea is to encourage people to vote early in the day.
Where do I vote?
We vote close to where we live. Your city clerk or county auditor will have a list of polling places. The phone numbers for your city clerk and county auditor are in the blue pages of your phone book.
About voter registration:
You need to be on the official list of voters before you can vote. If you are not already registered, you can add your name to the list by filling out a Voter Registration Card. When you fill out the card, you must give the address where you are living at the time of the election. If you are a student living at school, you can register either at home or at school (but not both!) depending on your residence. It is illegal to vote at a former residence because the new occupants vote there.
It is strongly recommended that you bring proof of identity when you vote.
You can get a Voter Registration Card:
Mail in or drop off the completed card at the office of your city clerk, county auditor or the Secretary of State. To ensure that you application can be processed, include a copy of your Minnesota Drivers License or ID.
You can register to vote on election day:
If you miss registering before the election, you can still vote by registering on election day at your polling place. All you need is one of the documents listed below that shows your current address in the precinct where you live:
If you are a college student you can use:
If you are already registered and move within the same precinct, you may re-register at the polling place as well.
Registration in Minnesota is permanent. You need to register again only when you change your name or address, or fail to vote in four years
If you need help:
All polling places in Minnesota have an AutoMark ballot marking device to assist voters who need its accessibility features.
You can ask for help to read or mark your ballot at the polling place. If you like, you can have a friend do it.
All polling places should be fully accessible. Accessible doors and parking spaces should be clearly marked.
If you can't easily leave your car, you can ask for the ballots to be brought out to you in your car.
If you are confined due to illness or disability, you can vote by absentee ballot. Call your county auditor or city clerk for details. See blue telephone pages for such numbers.
If you have limited vision, you may ask your county auditor for voter registration and absentee ballot instructions in large print or on cassette tape.
And if you are hearing impaired, every county and most cities will have a TDD device for questions.
Absentee Ballot Application Form (English)
You can vote by absentee ballot if on election day you are:
Check with your county auditor or municipal clerk to find out how and where to apply.
Apply and vote during normal office hours before the election. You can do this on the Saturday before the election from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., or on the Monday before until 5:00 p.m.
Apply early so you can mail back or deliver your absentee ballot before election day. Call, write or fax for an application. In some places you can return your application by fax.
In the military or outside the U.S.:
Vote based on where you last lived in Minnesota. You or your parent, spouse, brother, sister, or child (at least 18 years of age) can apply for a ballot for you.
Permanent Absentee Ballot:
People permanently unable to go to their polling places may request to be put on a permanent absentee ballot recipient list by completing a Permanent Absentee Ballot Application.
What if I vote by Absentee Ballot and then change my mind and want to vote for someone else? What prevents me from voting both by Absentee Ballot and in person?
Absentee ballots are put in two envelopes, one inside the other. The outer envelope has the voter's name and identification on it. The inner envelope, which contains the actual ballot, is blank to protect the voter's privacy.
On Election day, the name on the outer envelope is compared to the Roster at the voter's polling place. If the voter signed the Roster, indicating that he or she voted in person, the absentee ballot is rejected. If not, the Election Judge enters "AB" on the signature line for that voter, and the envelope is opened revealing the second, blank envelope. The blank envelopes are saved in a pile, opened later, and the ballots are put in the optical scanner or counted.
In many precincts, the Absentee Ballots are processed during quiet times in the afternoon on Election Day. If you vote by Absentee Ballot and then change your mind and want to vote for someone else, you should go to the polls early in the day to do so.
Political Contribution Refund Program:
Minnesota voters who contribute gifts of money to candidates for state office or to a state political party may be able to apply for a refund of all or a portion of contributions made during the calendar year. The maximum refund is $50 for an individual and $100 for a married couple.
Details on this program are available on the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board website.
For further information:
For further information, please call the Election Division of the Minnesota Secretary of State, (651) 296-2803 or the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, (651) 224-5445. You may also call your County Auditor or City Clerk. See the Blue Pages in the Phone Book.
The Secretary of State has certified the ES&S AutoMark ballot marking machines as compliant under the Help America Vote Act. This equipment will allow voters with disabilities, especially those who are blind, to vote independently and privately. Most voters will continue to vote with paper ballots that are counted by optical scanners. Those who use the AutoMark will mark their ballot on the electronic machine which will then be inserted into the same scanner for tabulation.