Minnesota exploring mail-in ballots, expanded absentee voting for 2020 state election

(FOX 9)

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon says the 2020 statewide elections should go on as scheduled, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, but he is exploring several options depending on the status of the pandemic on Election Day, including mail-in ballots. 

Simon said he wants his office to be prepared for “a different kind of election than we are used to.”  

“No one should have to choose between their health and their right to vote,” he said in a statement. 

Some of the pandemic election options Simon is exploring include: 

Statewide mail ballots: Under this option, each registered voter is mailed a ballot to be completed at home, and returned by mail. 

Expanded absentee voting: Minnesotans would be encouraged to vote absentee under our current system. An expanded absentee plan might include: 

  • Reducing the number of polling places
  • Limiting polling places to centralized locations
  • Moving polling places out of vulnerable areas, such as senior care facilities

Simon said is actively having conversations with counties, cities and other partners to explore how the state might proceed.