Absentee and early voting begin in Minnesota

Published 9:08 am Friday, September 18, 2020

SAINT PAUL — Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon announced the start of early voting by absentee ballot for the 2020 General Election. Minnesota is one of the first states in the country to open absentee voting for all eligible voters. 

This year’s Aug. 11 primary election saw record-setting participation in absentee voting. To date, over 926,000 Minnesota voters have already requested an absentee ballot to vote from home in the General Election.

“Holding an election during a pandemic is a public health challenge, but the spirit that makes Minnesota the national leader in voter turnout is stronger than ever in this difficult year,” Simon said. “I’m expecting the already large demand for voting from home to continue through to Election Day. It’s about more than just convenience. Every voter who chooses an absentee ballot makes the polling place a little safer on election day for those who vote in person and those who serve as election judges. I’m recommending that all voters request — and return — their ballots as soon as possible to help local officials process and count all of those ballots.”

Friday marked the first day of Minnesota’s 46-day period of absentee voting leading up to Nov. 3. County and city election offices began mailing ballots on Friday to voters who have requested them. In-person absentee voting is also available at election offices statewide.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Simon is encouraging all eligible voters to vote from home using an absentee ballot. 

Minnesota voters can request an absentee ballot quickly and easily at mnvotes.org using the online application.

Voters can also request an absentee ballot by downloading the “2020 Minnesota Absentee Ballot Application” and returning it to their county election office by email, mail or fax. Absentee ballot application forms are available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Lao, Oromo, Khmer and Amharic.

Voters can request an absentee ballot even if they are not registered to vote — a voter registration application will be provided with their ballot.

Minnesotans can use “My Ballot” to view their sample ballot and find links to candidates’ websites. To do so, visit mnvotes.org/myballot.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, upon requesting an absentee ballot, voters may check the status of their ballot, such as when it was mailed, and if their completed ballot was received and accepted by their local elections office. To do so, visit mnvotes.org/track.

The Vote From Home absentee ballot period for all federal, state, judicial and county offices runs from Sept.18 until Nov. 2. In-person Election Day voting will take place throughout Minnesota on Tuesday, Nov 3.

Anyone can go to mnvotes.org to check their eligibility, register to vote, or to locate their county or city election office.