Absentee balloting has begun for Aug. 10 Primary

The City of Minneapolis Elections Office reminds eligible voters that pre-registering is an easy way to save time at the polls during the primary (Tuesday, August 10, 2010) and during the general election (Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010). 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.

The 2010 Election season brings two schedule changes for voters that include a new earlier primary date, and a longer 46-day absentee balloting period for both the primary and for the general election.

Are you pre-registered?

All individuals whose registration applications are received by elections officials by 5 p.m. on July 20 will be pre-registered for the August 10 primary. Voters who newly register or update their registration will receive a postcard notifying them where to vote. pre-registration for the general election re-opens the day after the primary.

Voters can pre-register by filling out a registration application at government offices or print one 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. Minnesota is one of several states with Election Day registration. 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 identification allowed for Election Day registration.

It’s easy to learn what candidates have filed for office
The August 10 Primary ballot will include both a partisan and non-partisan primary. There are no write-ins in a primary.

Minneapolis School Board – At-Large Directors – two seats to be elected
There will be a primary for School Director At Large. Voters may vote for up to two candidates, and the top four vote-getters will go to the general election ballot.

Minneapolis School Board – Districts 1, 3 & 5 – new in 2010
There will be no primary for School Districts 1, 3 and 5, as only one or two candidates filed for each office. Candidates who filed for Districts 1, 3 & 5 will go directly to the general election ballot. Elections for Districts 2, 4 & 6 will take place in 2012.

Candidate filings for Minneapolis School Board are posted on the web at the Elections website along with links to other candidate filings for federal, state and county offices.

No Ranked Choice Voting in 2010

Ranked Choice Voting will not be used in 2010. The 2010 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 is easy
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 primary opens Friday, June 25 at the Minneapolis Office of Elections, 350 Fifth St. S. – Room 1B (ground floor of City Hall).

City of Minneapolis seeks bilingual election judges

The City of Minneapolis is seeking bilingual election judges. Minneapolis seeks 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 to be an election judge at the Elections website.

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.

Eight new polling places in 2010

There will be eight new polling places for Minneapolis voters in 2010. Voters in these precincts will be notified by postcard of the polling place change. The new polling places are:

Voting is accessible
Each absentee voting location and polling place will have a ballot marking device that helps 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.

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 parties.

Background - Minneapolis School Board to implement School Districts
In 2008, voters approved a plan to implement school districts beginning with the 2010 election as well as at-large positions on the Minneapolis School Board. In the 2010 general election, two at-large members and three district members representing the odd-numbered school districts will be elected. For 2010, school districts boundaries are the same as park district boundaries. The exact ballot language is reprinted below. 

2008 Ballot Question

Establishment of Election Districts for Special School District No. 1
Shall the Board of Special School District No. 1, Minneapolis Public Schools consist of six members elected by district and three members elected at-large for a total of nine members? Board of education members elected on or prior to November 4, 2008 shall complete their terms. The six districts shall be of equal population and shall initially coincide with the six park board districts for the Minneapolis Park Board. Three districts shall be given even numbers and three districts shall be given odd numbers.

Transition.

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 Elections website or call Minneapolis 311, which can also be reached at (612) 673-3000 or TTY/TTD (612) 673-2157.

Published Jun. 28, 2010