What is a “residential facility”?
Residential facilities are defined as:
Voting Rights for Residents of Residential Facilities
Residents of residential facilities who wish to vote, may pre-register, vote by absentee ballot, or register to vote on Election Day. Residents of certain residential facilities may have a ballot brought to them. The Voting for People Living in a Residential Facility page has more information on designating a person to bring you your ballot. Should a resident need to prove their residence in a precinct for the purposes of registering to vote on Election Day, an employee of the facility may “vouch” for the voter.
It is important to note that a resident who is under guardianship is still eligible to vote unless a court order specifically revoked that right.
Should you have specific questions about the voting process, please contact your local elections official. Use the Election Official Directory to find contact information.
What is “Vouching"?
Vouching is one of the ways that a voter can prove their residence in a precinct, for the purposes of registering to vote on Election Day. Vouching entails having an employee of a residential facility sign a legal oath stating they personally know that the resident resides in the precinct. (If the individual stayed in the facility the night before and intends to remain there, that is sufficient to establish that they reside in the precinct. For more information, please see the statutory definition of “residence” found in Minnesota Statutes, 200.031.)
Vouching by Employees of Residential Facilities
Employees of residential facilities may vouch that residents live at the facility, according to Minnesota Statutes, 201.061, Subd. 3, para. (a), item (4), which states that:
“an individual may prove residence for purposes of registering by…having a voter who is registered to vote in the precinct, or who is an employee employed by and working in a residential facility in the precinct and vouching for a resident in the facility, sign an oath in the presence of the election judge vouching that the voter or employee personally knows that the individual is a resident of the precinct.”
The law sets out one way for employees to establish their employment, by requiring that residential facilities provide a certified list of their employees to their county auditor at least 20 days before the election (Minnesota Statutes, section 201.061, Subd. 3, para (b)). These lists are provided to Election Judges in the polling place, who can establish that an individual is an employee at the facility by looking their name up on the list.
However, the law does not prohibit employees from using other means to prove their employment. There are cases in which this would be necessary. For example, employees who are hired after the list was submitted, who meet the requirements under the law to vouch for residents because they are currently “employed by and working in a residential facility in the precinct.”
Therefore, employees who can demonstrate that they are employed at a residential facility are allowed to vouch for residents even if their names do not appear on the list. Employees can provide documentation of their employment to election judges in a variety of ways, including providing an employee ID badge or a certification of their employment signed by the facility’s manager on the facility’s letterhead.
Employee Vouching Eligibility
An employee does not have to be registered to vote to vouch for residents; however, they must be eligible to vote in Minnesota in order to vouch for residents. This means that they must be at least 18-years-old, a U.S. citizen, a Minnesota resident who has resided in Minnesota for at least 20 days immediately preceding Election Day, have had any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed, are not under court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked their voting rights, and have not been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law.
Employees do not have to be residents of the precinct in which they are vouching and can be on more than one certified employee list if they are employees of more than one residential facility.
There is no limit to the number of residents for which an employee can vouch.
Residential Facility Fact SheetResidential Facilities Vouching Form
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