What voters need to know about early voting a week before Election Day

Mail absentee ballot Nov. 1 or bring it in person

Minneapolis early voters have already completed 24,666 absentee ballots (through Oct. 27). This is the first presidential election that Minnesota voters didn’t need a reason to vote early. Through 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 7, any Minneapolis voter can still vote early in person at one of four locations around the city. Voters can still pick up an absentee ballot, complete it and bring it back, but ballots received after Election Day can’t be counted. Anyone mailing in an absentee ballot should mail it Nov. 1 at the latest. Anyone holding an absentee ballot after Nov. 1 should bring it in person before 3 p.m. on Election Day to Elections & Voter Services, Room 201, City Hall.

Absentee voting is easy, any voter may vote early
Planning ahead can save voters from standing in long lines on Election Day. Early voting is available every day through 5 p.m. Nov. 7. Any voter may vote early. In-person voting expanded hours are 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday through Nov. 4; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5; noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6; and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7. All early voting hours are posted on the website (vote.minneapolismn.gov).

Early in-person voting is convenient. It especially helps voters who need special accommodations, such as language support, that the extra time, attention and onsite resources of early in-person voting afford more readily than the polls might on Election Day.

Voters may vote early (by absentee ballot) offsite or in person. Find a video here with instructions for filling out a paper ballot offsite. Completed ballots must be received by 3 p.m. on Election Day.

In-person locations are:

Early voters may choose any of the four locations. All of these locations meet state and federal polling place accessibility standards. In-person absentee voting is no longer at City Hall. The new sites allow more privacy and easier access for voters than the City Hall Rotunda did.

If voters choose to vote by mail, ballots must be received by Elections & Voter Services by Election Day. Voters can mail back their ballots in the postage-paid envelope provided with their ballot, or they can drop it off at City Hall no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day. All absentee ballots are tabulated so they can be counted with Election Day votes cast at polling places and are included in election night results.

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

Early voters can save time by taking these three steps

1.      Making sure they’re registered to vote and if not, making sure to bring what they need to register. Voters can check the status of their registrations at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/register. See the elections website for the list of identification required to register and vote on Election Day. (The last day to pre-register for the general election was Oct. 18.)

2.      Downloading and completing the absentee ballot application form in advance and bringing it when voting. Find the request form at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/absentee.

3.      Looking at a sample ballot ahead of time and even bringing it to refer to when voting. Sample ballots are available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

Voting on Election Day

Individuals are eligible to vote if they are at least 18 years old and U.S. citizens who have lived in Minnesota for at least 20 days before the election. Any voter who has moved or changed his or her name since last voting must re-register.

Minneapolis polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Are you pre-registered?
All individuals whose registration applications were received by elections officials by 5 p.m. Oct. 18 will be pre-registered for the Nov. 8 general election. Voters who newly registered or updated their registrations will receive a postcard notifying them where to vote. 

Voters who missed the deadline to pre-register 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. They will need to allow extra time at the polls to register. See the elections website for the list of identification required to register and vote on Election Day.   

The Voter Registration Lookup allows voters to enter their names, birthdays and addresses to confirm whether they are registered.

Offices on the ballot
Offices on the Nov. 8 general election ballot include United States president and vice president, U.S. representative (District 5), state senator (all districts), state representative (all districts), judicial offices, and the Minneapolis School Board. The ballot will also have a question on a state constitutional amendment regarding removing lawmakers’ power to set their own pay, and a question asking voters to renew the school district’s current operating referendum authorization.

Sample ballots are available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

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. The voter may mark the ballot using the touch screen or keypad. 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 the vehicle.

How to mark a ballot
Every voter in Minnesota uses a paper ballot. There are three choices available for marking a ballot: using a pen, using the assistive-voting ballot-marking device, or having another person assist – a person of the voter’s choice or two election judges of different major political parties. Find more information about voter assistance and resources at http://vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/assistance.

Minneapolis 311 open during voting hours for Nov. 8 general election
Minneapolis 311 will extend its usual hours by one hour to serve voters while the polls are open. From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the Nov. 8 general election, Minneapolis voters can call 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.

2016 general election calendar

Sept. 23-Nov. 7          Early voting for the general election
Oct. 18                                    Voter pre-registration deadline
Nov. 8                         General election, polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Owners and managers of rental properties must provide new tenants with information on registering to vote

When renters move in to their new homes in Minneapolis, property owners now must provide each new tenant a voter registration application and an information sheet. These documents can be either printed or given to tenants electronically. The documents can be found in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong at vote.minneapolismn.gov/resources/TNVR. Printed ones will be made available at no cost to property owners and managers. The last day to pre-register for the general election is Oct. 18.

The Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services Division is responsible for administering elections in the City of Minneapolis. For information about registering and voting in Minneapolis, residents can visit http://vote.minneapolismn.gov  or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Published Oct 31, 2016

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