We know that with the COVID-19 pandemic you might feel kinda scared to go to your polling place with a bunch of people to vote in the general election on November 3– but you don’t need to – there are a couple other ways to vote in Minneapolis. It’s easy.
If you want to vote early by mail you need to request your ballot now so you get it early enough, fill it out and mail it to be counted in time. Ballots will be printed and mailed starting mid-September.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging voting early by mail, and Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services supports this and other CDC and Minneapolis Department of Health recommendations to make sure every voter in Minneapolis can safely cast their ballots this election year.
Any Minnesota voter can vote early; no reason is needed.
• If you are registered to vote at your current address you will not need a mail ballot witness.
• If you have moved, changed names or need to register for the first time, you will need a witness to sign your mail ballot envelope.
For the general election, a voter’s ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before November 3. Note that if voters deliver their ballot in-person to the Elections & Voter Services office, it still must be returned by 3 p.m. on the day of the election.
Find info on how to vote by mail at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.
If you want to vote in person, but don’t want to wait for November 3, early voting is beginning in mid-September for the general election at the Early Vote Center, 980 East Hennepin Ave. The Early Vote Center makes early in-person voting more convenient for Minneapolis voters. It’s especially helpful for people who need language support or other special accommodations, such as curbside voting. And while we are in a pandemic, voting early can help people avoid lines and crowds at polling places on election day.
The Early Vote Center’s hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday from September 18 to Monday, November 2. The center will also have Saturday hours for the last two weekends before the election. Info: vote.minneapolismn.gov/events.
Voters can save time by taking these three steps:
* Make sure you’re registered to vote, or pre-register at least 21 days before the election. Voters can register or check the status of their registrations at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/register.
* Download and complete the absentee ballot application form in advance. Find the request form at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.
* Look at a sample ballot ahead of time; even bring it to refer to when you go to vote. Find your sample ballot at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.
State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots — and the sample ballot is the single, best tool available for this purpose. By downloading and printing their sample ballots (which are customized to their specific ward and precinct), voters can practice marking their ballots. They can bring this marked-up sample ballot as a reference to the voting booth when completing their official ballots. This is the best way to reduce the time spent waiting in lines. Find sample ballots at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.