Tomorrow, Sept. 19, is National Voter Registration Day. With changes to State law, more people can register to vote than ever before.
Earlier this year, the State restored voting rights to people convicted of a felony provided they are no longer incarcerated for a felony offense. This includes non-incarcerated felons who are on probation as well as those who are part of work release programs. Approximately 55,000 Minnesotans now have their voting rights restored.
Changes in State law are also allowing people under 18 to pre-register to vote. The voting age has not changed, so individuals still have to be at least 18 to vote. However, 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds can now pre-register so their voter registrations will become active when they turn 18 and they will be on the voter registration rolls when they go to the polls or vote early or by mail.
If you’ve never voted before and need to register, now is the perfect time. If it’s been more than four years since you last voted, or you’ve moved or changed your name since you last registered, you’ll also need to re-register.
How to check your registration
The Office of the Secretary of State has a simple online tool that voters can use to see if they are registered to vote at their current address.
Who can register to vote
To register to vote in Minnesota, a person must be:
- A U.S. citizen.
- At least 18 years old on Election Day.
- A resident of Minnesota for 20 days.
- Not serving a prison sentence for a felony on Election Day.
Anyone under guardianship can vote unless a judge has specifically revoked the right to vote. People cannot vote if a court has ruled that they are legally incompetent.
Unlike many states, voters can wait until Election Day to register in Minnesota. The City of Minneapolis encourages voters to register before Election Day in order to save time at the polling place. Voters can register online up until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 18. If a voter is dropping off a paper registration, it is due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 18. If a voter misses this deadline, they may register in person at the Early Vote Center or at their polling place on Election Day.
When registering either at the Early Vote Center or on Election Day, a voter must bring proof of residence.
Confirm your polling place location
Many Minneapolis voters have a new polling place because of the redistricting process. On Election Day, Nov. 7, anyone who hasn’t voted early can only vote at their assigned polling place. All polling places are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Find your polling place at pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us.
More information is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov.
This election uses ranked choice voting
Minneapolis voters use ranked choice voting to elect members of the City Council. Ranked choice voting is a way of voting that eliminates the need for separate primary elections. For each of the 13 wards, voters rank up to three candidates for each office in order of preference. Ranked choice voting is used only for municipal elections in Minneapolis.
More information on ranked-choice voting is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/rcv.