Early voting in Minnesota: How to vote by mail, in person

Early voting starts on Friday, Sept. 18 in Minnesota. (FOX 9)

In-person early voting and absentee voting began in Minnesota on Sept. 18. 

Minnesota is one of the earliest state’s to begin the voting process, 46 days before Election Day. Check your voter registration, find your polling place and see what’s on your ballot at mnvotes.org. 

WHERE DO I VOTE EARLY IN PERSON? 

You can vote early in person at your local elections office. Some cities and towns offer in-person voting. Find your early voting location at mnvotes.org.

HOW TO VOTE BY MAIL

For those who want to vote by mail, you can apply have an absentee ballot mailed to you at mnvotes.org. You can send your ballot back anytime between now until Election Day. Ballots will still be counted if they are postmarked on Election Day so long as it is received within seven days. 

You can return your absentee ballot in person. You can deliver your absentee ballot in person no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day to the election office that sent you your ballot or have someone drop it off for you. You cannot drop your ballot off at your polling place on Election Day. 

Voting by mail: 9 states send ballots automatically, 35 allow COVID-19 as an excuse, 6 require other reason

Minnesota will begin sending letters to every registered voter that hasn't already requested an absentee ballot encouraging them to vote from home during the early voting window. A spokesperson from the Secretary of State's office said it will cost $1.1 million for postage and printing.

WHO CAN VOTE BY MAIL? 

Anyone in Minnesota who is eligible to vote can vote early in person or by mail. 

DO YOU NEED TO REQUEST ANOTHER BALLOT IF YOU VOTED BY MAIL IN THE PRIMARY? 

It depends whether, when you requested your mail in ballot for the primary election, you selected the option to request both. There was a  drop down menu on mnvotes.org where you could select the option for a mail in ballot for the primary election and the general election. If you selected this option, a ballot will be mailed to you automatically. 

If you are not sure whether requested a ballot for the general election or not, go to mnvotes.org, put in  your information and it will tell you whether a ballot is on its way to you or not. 

WHAT IF YOU REQUEST A MAIL-IN BALLOT, BUT DECIDE TO VOTE IN PERSON? 

As long as your absentee ballot hasn’t been counted by your election officials, you may still cast a ballot in person by voting in your polling place on Election Day or at your local early voting location.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said it is not uncommon for someone to request a ballot to come to them at home, but then they decide they feel safe to go into the polling place. 

You do not have to bring have to bring your absentee ballot with you to the polls if you decide to vote in person. The absentee ballot will be canceled out and election officials will provide you with a new ballot to complete that day. 

If you ballot has already been counted, you cannot vote in person. If someone votes by mail and then shows up at the polling place, it will be red-flagged, Simon says. The words “AB” for absentee ballot will appear next to their name on the list of registered voters at their polling place. 

HOW CAN I CHECK MY MAIL-IN BALLOT’S STATUS? 

mnvotes.org/track can tell you whether your ballot was received by election officials on which date it was received and whether it has been counted or is still being processed. 

CAN I CHANGE MY VOTE? 

If you already returned you ballot and want to change your vote, you can ask to cancel your ballot until the close of business two weeks before Election Day. After that time, you cannot cancel your ballot. 

To cancel your ballot, contact the election office that sent your ballot. Your options are to have a new ballot mailed, vote in person at your local election office or vote at your polling place on Election Day.

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