Absentee voting places special responsibilities on City Hall employees 

Absentee voting opens Friday, June 29 and continues through Monday, Aug. 13. The Primary is Tuesday, Aug. 14, and the General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Once absentee voting begins, City Hall becomes a polling place and that places special responsibilities on employees who work in or routinely visit City Hall. State law prohibits campaigning within 100 feet of a polling place when voting is underway. This includes a prohibition against wearing T-shirts, buttons or other clothing that displays political messages where voting is occurring.

Primary ballot

The August Primary Ballot will contain both partisan and possibly non-partisan offices. There are no write-ins in a Primary.

Partisan offices

Voters nominate candidates to the General Election from those who filed within the three major parties. In Minnesota the three major political parties are the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Independence Party and Republican Party. In Minneapolis, the Partisan Primary ballot will be on the front of the ballot.

Voters must vote within only one political party; however, they are not required to publicly declare their party choice. (In some other states, voters register to vote by political party and receive only the ballot with that party on it. In Minnesota all voters receive the same ballot and privately vote within the one party of their choice.)

Minor party candidates and independent candidates go directly to the General Election ballot.

Non-partisan offices

Non-partisan offices include the Hennepin County Board, Minneapolis School Board and judicial offices. If more than two candidates file for a non-partisan office, there will be a primary contest. Voters may vote for any candidate in a non-partisan contest.

How to get an absentee ballot

If you will be away from your polling place on Aug. 14, you have the option of voting by absentee ballot through Aug. 13. If you live in Minneapolis, you can pick up an absentee ballot application in the Minneapolis Office of Elections, Room 1B, City Hall or by visiting the Minneapolis elections website. If you live in another community, contact the City Clerk’s office in the city where you live for an absentee ballot.

The Absentee Ballot Lookup at https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx is a convenient way to check on the status of your absentee ballot. To use the secure service, voters must provide the following information: first and last name (name must match voter’s name entered on the absentee ballot application or voter registration), full date of birth, and the same identification number the voter used on the absentee ballot application.

Registering to vote

If you aren’t registered to vote, the folks in our Elections Office remind you that pre-registering is an easy way to save time at the polls during the Aug. 14 Primary and the Nov. 6 General Election. Individuals are eligible to vote if they are at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen who has lived in Minnesota for at least 20 days prior to the election. Voters who have moved or changed their name since they last voted must re-register. (Re-registering is required even if you moved from one apartment to another apartment within the same building.)

The Voter Registration Lookup at https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterStatus.aspx allows voters to enter their name, birthday, and address, and this tool will quickly tell voters whether they are registered at that address.

Redistricting and your polling place

Voters will use the new voting precincts that were set by the 2012 Redistricting Plan. All pre-registered voters will receive a postcard in July telling them their new voting precinct and polling place. 

More information

For information about registering and voting in Minneapolis or to serve as an election judge, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/elections or call Minneapolis 311 or 612-673-3000.

Published Jun 20, 2012