Candidate filing opens July 30 for Minneapolis races

The City of Minneapolis is gearing up for the Nov. 5 municipal election, which will be city’s second election to use ranked-choice voting. As we get closer to the election, the City is working to remind folks how to use ranked-choice voting, as well as make sure people know how to register to vote, how to find their polling place, and to answer any other questions folks have about voting.

Candidate filing opens July 30

The time for candidates to officially place their names on the ballot for the city election is rapidly approaching.  Candidate filing for municipal offices, including Mayor, City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Commissioners, will open on Tuesday, July 30 and run through Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.  Candidates may withdraw no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15.

In order to be eligible to hold elected office in Minnesota, a candidate must: be eligible to vote in Minnesota; not have filed for the same or any other office at the upcoming election; be twenty-one year of age or older upon assuming office; and have maintained residence in this district for at least 30 days before the election.

Potential candidates must file for office in person with Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services, located in Room 1B, on the ground floor of City Hall (350 S. Fifth St.). There is a filing fee of $20. Elections and Voter Services is open Monday through- Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. On both Aug. 13 and 15, the office will remain open until 5 p.m.

Throughout the candidate filing period, the City’s election website (vote.minneapolismn.gov) will be updated with information about the candidate filings received to date. Once the full candidate filing and withdrawal period concludes, sample ballots will be created, which will then be available for each precinct based upon voters’ home addresses through links on the city’s website and also in the elections portion of the 311 mobile application.

This election uses ranked-choice voting, and it’s easy as 1, 2, 3

Minneapolis voters will use ranked-choice voting this fall to elect a mayor and members of the City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board. Ranked-choice voting is used only for  municipal elections in Minneapolis, but voters only need to remember a few things to ensure they are prepared for Election Day. 

Voting on Nov. 5 is as easy as 1, 2, 3, especially with the help of the new elections website voters’ section at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/. First, make sure you’re registered to vote. You can check your registration status or download a voter registration application on the website. Second, find out where to vote. Use the polling place finder to find your assigned polling place for voting, or if you cannot get to your polling place on Election Day, fill out an application for an absentee ballot.  The third and final step to voting is completing your ballot. Just remember 1, 2, 3 again. Each ballot will have three columns, and you have the opportunity to rank up to three candidates in order of your preference for each office.

New website

A new elections-focused website has debuted at vote.minneapolismn.gov. This new website is a central place to go for accurate, timely information about this year’s election and ranked-choice voting. The fresh, intuitive design is focused on the user, with content on the site arranged according to specific audiences, including voters, candidates, volunteers, and students.

Also debuting in July was the addition of elections information to the 311 mobile application. Users of the 311 app for iPhones and Android devices can now easily access the election’s Your Vote guide with quick links to key election-related information, including how to register to vote, finding your polling place, and how to absentee vote.

Learn more about the municipal election at National Night Out

The annual National Night Out activities throughout the city provide an opportunity for city residents to meet their neighbors and find out about things going on in the neighborhood. This year’s festivities are a chance for residents to get more information about the city election on Nov. 5, including how ranked-choice voting works.  All registered events have received informational fliers about the election and ranked-choice voting to share with residents. In addition, voter ambassadors and other volunteers will be visiting many of the block parties to share more information and answer questions from residents about the election. Talk to your neighbors about the election, and make sure you all have the information you need to be election-ready.

Volunteers needed now to serve as ambassadors and election judges

Consider becoming part of a network of community volunteers who will provide resources and information about this year’s election directly to their friends and neighbors. Volunteers are needed now to serve in the inaugural class of Minneapolis Voter Ambassadors. Training and materials will be provided, and being an ambassador can be as simple as talking to your friends and neighbors about the election on Nov. 5, and how ranked-choice voting works, or it can be more involved, by taking opportunities to participate in special events and presentations designed to help ensure all Minneapolitans are election-ready.

Election judges are also needed to serve voters in local polling places. Serving as an election judge provides an opportunity to learn about the election process and is an important service to our community. We especially need judges who are fluent in a second language to provide additional language support in the polling place, including Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese, Oromo, Laotian, Russian, and American Sign Language.

To find out more about either or both of these volunteer opportunities, please visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/volunteer or call 612-673-2296.

Published Jul. 24, 2013