Early voting underway for Minnesota residents

Voting for the 2018 general election is now underway as absentee and early voting began Friday, Sept. 21.

This year’s primary election saw near-record voter participation, with 925,554 Minnesotans casting ballots, the most since at least 1950. In addition to leading the nation in voter turnout, Minnesota has the longest early voting period of any state in the country, according to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

“Minnesotans enjoy the longest early voting period — 46 days — of any state in the nation,” said Simon. “We saw record numbers of early voting and total voter participation during the primary. It’s clear to me that Minnesotans of all political leanings are fired up to vote in 2018 and keep Minnesota No. 1 in the nation in voter participation.”

For nine elections in a row Minnesota was number one in the country in voter turnout. In 2014, Minnesota fell to number six. But in 2016, Minnesotans responded to the challenge and returned to No. 1 in the county for voter participation.

Absentee ballot

Minnesota voters can request an absentee ballot quickly and easily at mnvotes.org using the online application.

Voters can also request an absentee ballot by downloading the “2018 Minnesota Absentee Ballot Application” and returning it to their county election office by email, mail, or fax. Absentee ballot application forms are available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Lao, Oromo, Khmer and Amharic.

Voters can request an absentee ballot even if they are not registered to vote — a voter registration application will be provided with their ballot.

Important deadlines

Voting absentee by mail: Minnesotans voting absentee by mail must make sure their ballot is returned on or before the Nov. 6 general election. Ballots returned after Nov. 6 will not be counted.

Voting absentee in-person: The last day to vote absentee in-person is Monday, Nov. 5.

Military, overseas voters

Minnesotans serving in the military or living abroad — temporarily or indefinitely — can have an absentee ballot sent to them anywhere in the world. Learn more by clicking here.

Tracking ballot

Upon requesting an absentee ballot, voters may check the status of their ballot, such as when it was mailed, and if their completed ballot was received and accepted by their local elections office.

The vote-from-home and early voting period for all federal, state, judicial and county offices runs from Sept. 21 until Nov. 5. In-person Election Day voting will take place throughout Minnesota on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

People can go to mnvotes.org to check their eligibility, register to vote, or to locate their county or city election office.