Skip to page body Home About Community Living Doing Business Browse by Topic I Want to... Your Government

Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Voters in a Mail Ballot Precinct

Some jurisdictions can hold elections by mail instead of voting at neighborhood polling places. This includes all non-metropolitan townships and cities with less than 400 registered voters located outside of the seven-county metropolitan area.

Voters can see if they live in a mail ballot precinct by entering their address into the Polling Place Finder. Voters living in a mail ballot precinct will see a message that ballots are mailed to registered voters. It will show the location of the central polling place where voters can drop off their ballot, vote in person, or register on Election Day.

What if I move to a mail ballot precinct close to the election date?
Voters who update their registration to their new address at least 21 days before the election will automatically be sent a ballot. If voters do not update their address at least three weeks before the election, they should request an absentee ballot at their new address. A registration form will be included in the absentee materials sent to them. Voters can also travel to the central polling place on Election Day to register and vote.

Will any polling places be open on Election Day?
The office of the election official conducting the election will be open as a polling place on Election Day. Voters can drop off their ballot, or register and vote, at that office. The polling place location may be distant, so voters are encouraged to save time by pre-registering at least 21 days before the election. Then the voter can ensure they will receive their ballot in the mail.

Will I vote by mail for every election?
Cities and towns with mail ballot precincts can choose which elections to hold by mail. Most choose to hold state general and primary elections by mail, and conduct local elections at a polling place. Use the polling place finder before each election to determine if that election will be conducted by mail or at a polling place.

When will I get my mail ballot?
Ballots are automatically sent by non-forwardable mail to all registered voters. Election officials send ballots 46 days to 14 days before the election. Voters must be registered at their current address to receive a ballot.

Do I need a witness for my ballot?
To be accepted all mail ballots require the signature of a witness. Instructions will be included with the ballot.

How do I return my ballot?
Voters should return their ballot to their local election official by mail, in person or by asking someone else to return the sealed return envelope with the ballot inside. The address will be printed on the voting materials. No postage is necessary.

Ballots returned in person must be delivered by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Mailed ballots must arrive on or before Election Day. The postmark date does not matter, only the date it arrives. Voters can track the progress of their mail ballot with the Absentee Ballot Status Lookup tool at mnvotes.org.

Last updated: 8/29/2014 3:32:20 PM