Most-Used Links: • Absentee Ballot Lookup • Absentee Ballot Application • Election Official Directory • Minnesota Military and Overseas Voter Service
Absentee Voting Periods: • begin 46 days before Election Day for most elections • begin 30 days before Election Day for standalone municipal or school district special elections
You may find that you are unable to get to your polling place location on Election Day but still want to vote in the election. You can vote by casting an absentee ballot prior to Election Day. Important: You do not need to be registered to vote to apply for an absentee ballot. If you are not registered to vote, you will receive a Voter Registration Application with your absentee ballot.
In Minnesota, citizens are allowed to vote absentee for the following reasons:
Military and overseas voters can also vote by absentee ballot. See the Military/Overseas Voting page for more information.
General Absentee InformationThere are two ways to vote by absentee ballot: in person and by mail.
In Person Absentee Voting You may cast an absentee ballot in person, at your county auditor's office and in some cases your city or township clerk's office, starting 46 days prior to Election Day. This option is available on weekdays during business hours. In addition, the county auditor's office must be open for absentee balloting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Saturday before the election and until 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Contact your county auditor for more information (find contact information using the Election Official Directory), or check to see if you live in one of the Municipalities Administering Absentee Balloting.
Absentee Voting by MailIn order to vote absentee by mail, you need to complete an Absentee Ballot Application and submit it to your local election official by mail, fax, or email (print off the application, sign it, scan it, and attach to an email as a .pdf). Find contact information for your county elections official using the Election Official Directory. Your ballot will be sent to you when it is ready - at least 46 days prior to the election if you applied for an absentee ballot in advance. If you apply for an absentee ballot within 46 days of the election, your ballot will arrive within a day or two of your application being received.
Please see the confidentiality notice about the information voters provide on absentee ballot applications.
Returning your absentee ballotOnce you have received your absentee ballot, follow the enclosed instructions carefully and return your ballot as soon as possible. It must be received by the local election official who sent it to you by Election Day, or it will not be counted. There are four ways you can return your absentee ballot:
To find contact information for your county auditor, use the Election Official Directory. To find contact information for cities that process absentee ballots, see the Municipalities Administering Absentee Balloting report.
Checking on the Status of Your Absentee BallotTo find out where your absentee ballot is in the process, use the Absentee Ballot Lookup.
Assistance in Receiving and Returning an Absentee BallotThe following voters may authorize another person (known as their "agent") to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them during the seven days before the election:
If you are currently living in a residential facility but not sure if it meets the qualifications listed above, please ask the administrator of your facility.
In order to have an agent deliver your ballot, you must complete the Request for Agent Delivery of Absentee Ballot Form and the Absentee Ballot Application. You must have a preexisting relationship with the your agent. The agent will use the completed forms to pick up a ballot, bring the ballot to you, and return your completed ballot to the county auditor or city clerk. Each agent is only allowed to deliver and return ballots for a maximum of three voters. This activity may only occur the seven days preceding an election. Ballots can be picked up until 2:00 p.m. on Election Day, and completed ballots must be returned by 3:00 p.m. on Election Day.
For an overview of how agent delivery works, view the Agent Delivery Process flowchart.
Applying to Automatically Receive Absentee Ballot Applications for All ElectionsIf you are an eligible voter who reasonably believes that you will be unable to go to your polling place for one of the reasons allowed on an ongoing basis, you may request to receive an application for an absentee ballot before each election by completing the Application to Automatically Receive Absentee Ballot Applications.
Presidential-only Absentee BallotsVoters who were eligible voters in Minnesota, but moved to another state within 30 days of the General Election (have moved since October 7, 2012), and are not eligible to vote in the state to which they moved, may vote for President and Vice-President only by completing and returning the Presidential Absentee Application.
Confidentiality NoticeAccess to the data that you supply on your absentee ballot application and absentee ballot signature envelope is restricted to election officials prior to the close of voting on election day. However the list of who applied for and submitted absentee ballots, as well as the absentee ballot applications and envelopes themselves, are public information after the close of voting on election day, with the exception of the months and days of birth, and the driver’s license, state ID or Social Security Numbers, which are required in order to match the signature envelope to the absentee ballot application, to verify that the absentee ballot is received from the voter who made the application. You may refuse to provide this information, but refusal to provide the information may result in rejection of your ballot under Minnesota Statutes, section 203B.121 and may prevent you from checking on the status of your absentee ballot on-line.
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