(FOX 9) - Early voting begins on Friday, Sept. 23, in Minnesota, allowing voters to cast their ballot for the Nov. 8 midterm elections as many as 46 days early.
Minnesota allows people to vote early via absentee ballot either by mail or in person at their county election office. Some cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, also offer early voting at the city office.
Voting early in person
Locations offering early voting for federal, state, or county elections are typically open during normal business hours. In addition, they must be open the last Saturday before Election Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the day before Election Day until 5 p.m.
If you aren't registered to vote, you can still vote early in person if you show proof of residence (more on this below).
The last day to vote early in person is on Monday, Nov. 7.
Voting early by mail
You can apply for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you online here. If you're going this route, be sure to apply for a ballot early enough so election officials can mail you your ballot – and so you can return it – by Election Day.
If you are voting early by mail, your ballot must be received by Election Day or it will not be counted. You can return your ballot in person no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day to the election office that sent your ballot. You can drop off ballots for up to three other voters, but you will need to show an ID with your name and signature when returning a ballot for someone else. You may not drop off your ballot at your polling place on Election Day.
Absentee voters must have a witness sign their ballot envelope and ballots must be received by Election Day to count.
You can track the status of your absentee ballot at mnvotes.org to confirm it was received and accepted without a problem.
What’s on my ballot?
Many statewide and federal races are on the ballot this November. All voters in Minnesota will have the following races on their ballot:
- U.S. representative
- Secretary of state
- State auditor
- Attorney general
- State senator
- State representative
- Judicial seats
Voters may also have other races on the ballot, including county officials, city officials, school board members, township officers and local ballot questions.
You can view a sample ballot at mnvotes.org. The sample ballot shows a list of the candidates and any ballot questions you’ll be voting on.
How to register to vote/check your voter registration
You can check your voter registration or register to vote at mnvotes.org.
If you are not already registered to vote or need to update your voter registration, you can do so at your polling place on Election Day or at an early voting location.
To register at your polling place on Election Day (or at an early voting location), you need to bring one of the following for proof of residence:
ID with current name and address
- Valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID; or a receipt for any of these
- Tribal ID with name, address, photo and signature
Photo ID AND a document with current name and address
Approved photo IDs (the ID can be expired):
- Driver's license, state ID or learner’s permit issued by any state
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Military or Veteran ID
- Tribal ID with name, signature and photo
- Minnesota university, college or technical college ID
- Minnesota high school ID
Approved documents with current name and address (can be shown on an electronic device):
- Bill, account or start-of-service statement due or dated within 30 days of the election for: phone, TV or internet, solid waste, sewer, electric, gas or water, banking or credit card, rent or mortgage
- Residential lease or rent agreement valid through Election Day
- Current student fee statement
Registered voter who can confirm your address
A registered voter from your precinct can go with you to the polling place to sign an oath confirming your address. This is known as 'vouching.' A registered voter can vouch for up to eight voters. You cannot vouch for others if someone vouched for you.
College student ID with housing list
Colleges and universities may send election officials a student housing list. If you are on the list, show your college photo ID to complete your registration.
Valid registration in the same precinct
If you are registered in the precinct but changed names or moved within the same precinct, you only need to tell the election judge your previous name or address.
Notice of Late Registration
If you registered to vote within 20 days of the election, you may get a Notice of Late Registration in the mail. Bring it with you and use it as your proof of residence to register.
Staff person of a residential facility
If you live in a residential facility, a staff person can go with you to the polling place to confirm your address. This is known as 'vouching.' A staff person can vouch for all eligible voters living in the facility.
The staff person must prove their employment at the facility. There are several ways to do this, including by showing an employee badge.
There are two other ways to register to vote, although registration temporarily closes 20 days before the election and opens again on Election Day for voters who register at their polling place.
Register online: You can register to vote online at mnvotes.org. To register to vote online, you will need an email address and either your Minnesota driver’s license, Minnesota ID card or the last four digits of your social security number. If you do not have those things, you can use a paper application.
Register on paper: You can download and print a voter registration application from mnvotes.org. Applications can be mailed or dropped off at either your county election office or to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office at
Secretary of State
60 Empire Dr.
St. Paul, MN 55103
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