Half of Hennepin County registered voters have requested mail-in ballots

A mail-in ballot sent to a Minnesotan during the 2020 general election.

Minnesota voters are setting new records for the number of ballots they’ve already turned in for the election.

Today, the Hennepin County Elections Manager shared the number of ballots she has received and laid the record straight on some of the misinformation voters are hearing.

Across Minnesota, absentee ballots are pouring in either through the mail or voting in person.

In Hennepin County alone, voter registrations have peaked to a new record. There are now 826,000 registered voters in the county. Half of them have already requested absentee ballots.

“In Hennepin County, we have already issued like 50 percent of the registered voter count is the number of ballots that we have issued in the county,” said Ginney Gelms, the Hennepin County Elections Manager. “And we have already received back about one in five. So about 20 percent of voters in Hennepin County have already voted in this election. And for a month out from the election, that is huge.”

Gelms and her staff are coming across voters who’ve bought into misinformation about whether mail-in votes will be counted.

“We have heard from a lot of folks who applied for a ballot through the mail and then they receive it at home and come in to vote in-person, even bringing that mailed ballot with them that they didn’t fill out and then they want to turn that back in and want us to issue them another ballot in-person because they think that somehow this ballot that is issued in person will be more likely to count and that this ballot that we mailed to them will somehow be thrown out because we’re not going to count mailed ballots. That’s not true,” Gelms said.

Gelms also said mail deliveries of ballots seem normal and without delays. She is asking as many people to vote by mail as possible.

Gelms said people have stepped up to serve as election judges, but that there are still some cities such as Minneapolis that are looking for judges.

Elsewhere across the country, she says people have answered the call to serve since many of our seniors who have served in the past are stepping aside because of the pandemic.