How to Vote in Minnesota

 

From the Pioneer Press out of St. Paul.  A good summary of the voting process if you are a Minnesotan.  -Steve

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On Nov. 6, Minnesotans will choose our next governor and a slew of others who will represent us, from the U.S. Capitol to the local township board hall.

Already, tens of thousands have voted by filing early ballots.

If you are questioning whether to take part, here is what you need to know:

WHY SHOULD I EVEN VOTE?

Those elected will decide everything from which roads get paved to how policy dictates global feuds, from the type of care your ailing grandmother can afford to how many police officers are walking the beat in your neighborhood.

And this is your chance to have a say in who makes those decisions.

I’M CONVINCED. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

First, are you eligible?

To vote, you must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old on Election Day, a Minnesota resident for at least 20 days, finished with all parts of any felony sentence and legally competent.

Second, are you registered?

Go to the website (copy and paste this link into your browser): https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/voterstatus.aspx and enter your name and date of birth to check your registration status. If you have changed addresses or names since you last registered, you will need to register again.

Third, get to know the candidates.

We are sure you have seen plenty of ads on TV and in your mailbox from the candidates. We have compiled all our stories and a voter’s guide at twincities.com/minnesota-elections.

DO I NEED TO REGISTER?

Yes. And early registration has already closed.

But Minnesota is one of a handful of states that allow voters to register when they vote.

To register on Election Day, you need to take proof of residency. That includes a Minnesota driver’s license, ID card or tribal ID. A receipt for any of the IDs is also acceptable.

If your ID doesn’t have your current address, you must also bring along a document that has your current name and address — think utility bills.

You can also show up with a registered voter who can take an oath confirming your address, which is known as “vouching.” A person can vouch for up to eight people. If you are in college and live in student housing, you can vote by taking your student ID and housing list.

For information on other ways to register on voting day, go to:  https://www.sos.state.mn.us/media/3270/election-day-registration-2018.pdf

DO I NEED TO BRING AN ID?

Depends.

Are you successfully registered? Then no ID is required.

Are you registering on Election Day? Then yes, bring a photo ID.

CAN I STILL VOTE EARLY?

Yes. But do it soon.

Up until Nov. 5, you can vote early in person at your county election office. If you are not registered, you can do so in person. Remember to bring the correct IDs mentioned above.

To vote early via mail, you must apply for an absentee ballot. Request an absentee ballot online at mnvotes.org. You can also apply by contacting your county election office. In Ramsey County, that is the Absentee Ballot Coordinator at 651-266-2171, or elections@co.ramsey.mn.us.

Your ballot will not count if it is received after Election Day, so act fast.

HOW DO I VOTE IN PERSON?

First, go to your polling place. Don’t know where that is? Check online at pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us. (You’ll also find information about which candidates are on your precinct’s ballot.)

Second, sign in (or register, if you have not done so already).

Now you are ready to vote. You will be handed a ballot with instructions on how to properly fill it out. When you are done, take the ballot to the ballot box for it to be counted.

If you need help, election judges can assist. More information on the rules can be found at mnvotes.org.

HOW WILL I KNOW WHO WON?

After the polls close on election night, the vote tallies will slowly roll in. You can check back here at twincities.com for latest results.

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