Plan ahead if voting in the Nov. 6 election

The City of Minneapolis Elections Office reminds eligible voters that pre-registering is an easy way to save time at the polls during the General Election (Tues., Nov. 6, 2012). Individuals are eligible to vote if they are at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen who has resided in Minnesota for at least 20 days prior to the election. Any voters who have moved or changed their name since they last voted must re-register.  Minneapolis polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

2012 Redistricting Information
Beginning in 2012, voters will use the new voting precincts that were set by the 2012 Redistricting Plan. All pre-registered voters were sent a white postcard in early July with their new voting precinct and polling place.  Redistricting in Minneapolis resulted in 14 fewer precincts, for a total of 119 precincts. Seven polling place facilities are new in 2012. Twenty former polling places are not being used. If you are unsure where to vote, enter your home address into the tools at www.mnvotes.org to find your polling place and view your sample ballot. To view maps of the new Districts, Wards and Precincts in Minneapolis go to www.minneapolismn.gov/elections and select Election Maps.

Are you pre-registered?
All individuals whose registration applications are received by elections officials by 5 p.m. on Oct. 16 will be pre-registered for the Nov. 6 General Election. Voters who newly register or update their registration will receive a postcard notifying them where to vote. 

Voters can pre-register by filling out a registration application at government offices or print an application from our website and mail it to Minneapolis Elections, 350 S. Fifth St. – Room 1B, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1396.

If you miss the deadline to pre-register, you may still be able to vote. In Minnesota individuals may register at the polls on Election Day by providing one of the forms of identification required by Minnesota law. Please allow extra time at the polls to register. See our website for the list of identification required to register and vote on Election Day.   

On-line tools help voters participate in the election – Use “My Ballot” to view Sample ballots

The Office of Secretary of State launched a new online tool to assist voters to become better acquainted with the candidates and questions they will see on their November 6 General Election ballot. The initiative named My Ballot allows users to view a list of what will be on their ballot, and provides links to other sites allowing voters to access information about the candidates and ballot questions.

The website features:

Information about the absentee voting procedures for military and overseas voters is at https://minnesota.overseasvotefoundation.org.  

Minneapolis School Board
The Minneapolis School Board has a total of nine members elected to staggered four-year terms.  In 2012, one School Board Member At Large will be elected, and voters in Districts 2, 4 & 6 will each elect a School Board Member by District. In 2014, two School Board Members At Large will be elected and voters in Districts 1, 3 & 5 will each elect a School Board Member by District.

Candidate filings for Minneapolis School Board are posted on the web at www.minneapolismn.gov/elections along with links to other candidate filings for federal, state and county offices.

Note about Ranked Choice Voting: Ranked Choice Voting will not be used in 2012. The 2012 election will be conducted using the traditional voting method in which a voter votes for one candidate for each office to be elected. Ranked Choice Voting is only used for Minneapolis municipal offices: Mayor, Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park Board. The Minneapolis School Board is not a municipal office.

Absentee voting opened Friday, September 21
Voters unable to vote in person at the polls on Election Day may vote in person or by mail.  Absentee ballot applications are available on our website and may be sent anytime throughout the year. Absentee voting for the General Election opened Friday, Sept. 21 and runs 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Minneapolis Elections Office is located in Minneapolis City Hall at 350 South 5th Street in Room 1B on the ground floor. Enter on the 4th Street side on the ground floor of Minneapolis City Hall, or from the light rail, use the Government Plaza stop and enter the 5th Street entrance and go down one flight to the ground floor. Extended absentee voting hours the two weekends before the General Election include: Saturday, October 27 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 3 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Monday, November 5 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Saturdays, please use the 4th Street entrance.

City of Minneapolis seeks bilingual election judges
The City of Minneapolis is seeking bilingual election judges. Minneapolis seeks election judges who can provide language support specifically in American Sign Language, and Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese, Oromo, Laotian and Russian languages. If you are eligible to vote and are fluent in English and a second language, please contact the Minneapolis Office of Elections at (612) 673-3870 or apply online to be an election judge. Selection and placement of judges is based on qualifications of applicants and party balance within the precinct. Preference will be given to those willing to serve a full day in a precinct with a vacancy.

Voting is accessible
Each absentee voting location and polling place will have a ballot marking device that assists a voter with a temporary or permanent disability to vote privately and independently. Features of the device include headphones for an audio ballot, and enlarged or high contrast screen display. Voters may mark their ballot using the touch screen or key pad. Voters unable to enter a polling place may, with the assistance of two election judges of different political parties, register and vote “curbside” without leaving their vehicle.

Accessibility improvements for polling places
The City of Minneapolis secured Help America Vote Act federal funding through the Minnesota Office of Secretary of State for the installation of electronic door openers at eight Minneapolis Park and Recreation Centers: Audubon, Longfellow, Bryant Square, Farview, Pearl, Whittier, Van Cleve, and Painter Park.

In the past, federal funding provided accessibility improvements for these locations: curb cut at the Elections Warehouse & Training Center, and electronic door openers for Martin Luther King, Powderhorn and Creekview Parks.

How to mark a ballot
Every voter in Minnesota uses a paper ballot. There are three choices available for marking a ballot: Use a pen, use the ballot marking device or have another person assist you – the person of your choice or two election judges of different major political parties.

Minneapolis 311 open during voting hours for November 6 General Election
Minneapolis 311 will extend their usual hours by one hour to serve voters while the polls are open.From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the November 6 General Election, Minneapolis voters can call Minneapolis 311 for information on how to register and where to vote.From outside the city limits dial 612-673-3000. TTY/TTD 612-673-2157.

Who represents me in the City of Minneapolis
Current city elected officials continue to represent the Ward or District from which they were elected through 2013. Here's what voters need to know:

2012 General Election Calendar

September 21   Absentee voting for General opened
October 16        Voter pre-registration deadline for the General
November 6      General Election, polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For further information
The Minneapolis Office of Elections and Voter Registration is responsible for administering elections in the City of Minneapolis. For information about registering and voting in Minneapolis, or to serve as an election judge, residents can visit the Web site at www.minneapolismn.gov/elections or call Minneapolis 311, which can also be reached at (612) 673-3000 or TTY/TTD 612-673-2157.

Published Sep 25, 2012