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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

How to Vote Absentee

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You can vote early by using an absentee ballot, instead of voting in person at the polling place on Election Day. You can vote absentee by mail, in person, or by having a person you know pick up and deliver your ballot for you. Beginning with the August 12, 2014 Primary Election, any voter may vote absentee.

Absentee ballots are available 46 days before an election. In 2014, ballots will be ready starting June 27 for the Primary Election (August 12); and September 19 for the General Election (November 4).

Voters in the military and citizens living outside the United States use a different process to vote absentee.

Vote Absentee By Mail

  • You can complete and submit an absentee ballot application online, or download an absentee ballot application, then mail, fax or email it to your local elections office. You do not need to be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot. Election officials will mail the absentee ballot materials to you soon after receiving your application.
  • Once you receive your ballot in the mail, follow the instructions carefully. You will need a witness to sign the absentee ballot signature envelope to confirm your ballot was delivered blank and that you marked the ballot in private. The witness must be another registered Minnesota voter, or a notary from any state.
    • If you are not registered to vote, a voter registration application will be included in the materials. You must show your witness an accepted proof of residence when registering.
  • Return the ballot on or before Election Day. Delivery options:
    • Mail it in the provided pre-paid envelope or by package delivery service. The ballot must arrive on or before Election Day.
    • Deliver it in-person to the office that sent the absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on the day before the election.
    • Have someone else return your ballot before 3 p.m. on Election Day. This person cannot deliver more than three ballots.
    • You may not hand deliver your own absentee ballot on Election Day.

Read the privacy disclaimer about absentee ballot application data.

Vote Absentee In Person
You can request, receive and cast an absentee ballot in one visit to your county election office. Some cities and towns also provide absentee ballots at their offices. Starting 46 days before the election, you can vote in person during these periods:

  • Monday – Friday during normal business hours.
  • Last Saturday before Election Day (10 a.m.–3p.m.)
  • The day before Election Day until 5 p.m.

If you are not registered to vote, you will need to complete a voter registration form and show proof of residence at the elections office.

Make a Mistake Marking Your Absentee Ballot?
If you make a mistake when filling out your ballot, request a new ballot from your local election office. Their contact information is listed on the return address section of the envelope in which you received your materials. If it is too close to the election to request a new ballot, completely cross out the name of the candidate you accidentally marked and then mark your ballot for the candidate you prefer. Do not initial your corrections.

Track Your Absentee Ballot

You can track the progress of your absentee ballot with the absentee ballot lookup tool at If there is a problem with your ballot, election officials will send a replacement.

Apply to Automatically Receive Absentee Ballot Applications
You can submit this form to your county election office to have an absentee ballot application automatically mailed to you before each election. Applications are mailed at least 60 days before an election.

Last updated: 7/22/2014 12:54:04 PM