Minneapolis moves 50 polling places due to COVID-19 concerns

Minneapolis is moving 50 polling places this election season in an effort to keep community members safer during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city said in a release Monday.

Officials said 50 polling places in Minneapolis are moving for the 2020 primary and general election. Of those being relocated, 16 were in senior homes, high-rises and other residential sites. Another 32 were in areas with limited space that would make it difficult for people to keep at least 6 feet from others inside. Two were moved due to on-site construction. 

“The importance of this election requires that Minneapolis voters be able to cast their ballots safely,” Mayor Jacob Frey said in the release. “While we can and will encourage everyone to vote by mail, expanding physical space is an essential measure for making in-person voting as safe as possible for our elections staff and our residents.”

Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation board to find new locations for voting during the pandemic. In total, 94 buildings will be open for the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general elections, with 35 in schools and 22 in park buildings. Some buildings will have more than one voting precinct. 

Registered voters will receive a postcard in the mail indicating their new polling locations. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s polling place finder can also provide voters their new polling places. These locations will be the same for the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general elections. All voters choosing to vote in person on Election Day should check the online polling place finder or call 311 to verify their polling place.

On Election Day, polling centers will be following COVID-19 protocols, and voters will be required to wear a mask.

City officials are also encouraging residents to vote early via mail to minimize contact with others. More information on how to vote by mail is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail