2020 Election: What to expect at your polling place

Every week, FOX 9 is answering questions about voting in the Nov. 3 election.

With so many people voting absentee, will there be fewer polling places?


As of Friday, nearly 1.2 million voters already had their absentee ballots accepted. Nevertheless, Minnesota has kept the same number of polling places statewide, about 3,000.

Some polling place locations may have changed. For example, if you typically vote in a senior center, election officials likely moved it to a new location because of the coronavirus pandemic.

You can check your polling place location at mnvotes.org.

Will there be long lines? What can I expect at the polling place?

Lines are possible. Election officials expect more than 1.5 million people to vote in-person on Election Day.

Remember, any lines may look longer because of social distancing.

Voters aren't constitutionally required to wear a mask but could face fines if they don't wear one. Election officials have sent masks to each polling place, and poll workers will hand one to you if you forget yours.

Curbside voting is also an option.

Poll workers will also be using hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes to clean high-touch surfaces, including pens. You're allowed to bring your own black pen to the polls.

I've heard about the possibility of armed guards at polling places. Is that true?

A Tennessee-based security company has backtracked from its plans to hire ex-military to patrol Minnesota polling places.

Last week, Attorney General Keith Ellison launched an investigation and two groups sued the company, Atlas Aegis. The firm had made online job recruitment posts asking for armed security to protect polling places.

But the company has sent a written assurance to Ellison that it will not be at Minnesota polls on Election Day. Company officials called it a misunderstanding, according to the court document released by Ellison's office.

A company lawyer repeated the same promise during a federal court hearing on Monday. The two groups, Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Minnesota chapter of the League of Women Voters, are seeing an injunction to ensure no one from Atlas Aegis shows up.