Minneapolis has record early voting

November 1, 2021

More people voted early in this election than in any other municipal election in Minneapolis in the past 45 years. Through today – the final day of early voting – a total of 28,831 ballots have been accepted. That’s 16,856 ballots more, or 140.8% higher, than all the early ballots accepted during the last municipal election in 2017.

The Early Vote Center accepted a total of 16,408 ballots from in-person early voters since it opened Sept. 17. Another 11,959 of this year’s early ballots were mailed in, and mail ballots delivered to elections staff tomorrow will be added to this total. The rest of the early votes came through other absentee methods, such as health-care facility visits, agent delivery, or overseas/military voters, etc. A map of the locations of early voters is available on the Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services website.

Casting a ballot

All polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow. When voters show up to the polls tomorrow, they’ll see the same setup they’re used to finding at the polls, but ranked-choice voting means this year’s ballot will have three columns. Just like any other election year, voters will vote by filling in ovals on a paper ballot. But instead of marking one candidate in each race, voters will be able to rank up to three candidates, using those three columns.

This year, voters will be able to rank their choices for mayor, City Council members, Board of Estimate & Taxation members, and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board commissioners.

Instructions on how to cast a ranked-choice voting ballot will be given to each voter upon arrival at the polling place, and election judges will explain ranked-choice voting to voters as they pick up their ballots. Notices in the polling place will also help make sure voters understand how to mark a ballot.

To learn more about ranked-choice voting, visit the Minneapolis elections website at vote.minneapolismn.gov.

Sample ballots available online

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots — and the sample ballot is the single, best tool available for this purpose. By downloading and printing their sample ballots (which are customized to their specific ward and precinct), voters can practice marking their ballots. They can bring this marked-up sample ballot as a reference to the voting booth when completing their official ballots. This is the best way to reduce the time spent waiting in lines.

Find sample ballots for all 134 Minneapolis precincts at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

Results on ballot questions

On election night, the best place to get initial results on ballot questions will be the Secretary of State’s website and the City’s elections website. Because there is no additional tabulation needed with ballot questions, we expect that unofficial results will be available on election night.

As a reminder, Minneapolis charter amendments need at least 51% "yes” votes in order to pass (not 50% plus 1). Only ballots marked with a “yes” or “no” are included in the tabulation of results for ballot questions. Blank ballots are not counted.

Results on elected offices

The City will tabulate the election results as quickly as possible. However, because ranked-choice voting requires a special tabulation process, some race results will not be known on election night. In races where there is no winner in the first round of counting, those results will be tabulated on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

As tabulation is completed in each race, those results will be posted in several places:

Although it is not possible to know exactly how long the tabulation will take for the races that do not have winners on election night, elections officials plan to complete tabulation and declare an unofficial winner in the mayor’s race as soon as possible.

Time off from work to vote

All voters have a right to take time off work to vote without losing pay, personal leave or vacation time. Any employer found in violation of this law is guilty of a misdemeanor. More information is available on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

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