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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Newsletter Review
Office of Minnesota Secretary of State Newsletter - November 2012
Posted Date: 11/2/2012

Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State


November 2, 2012



1.    Voter Information for the General Election on Tuesday, November 6

2.    Agent Delivery Absentee Voting on Election Day

3.    Remember to Vote in Honor of a Veteran

4.    State Canvassing Board Meets November 27

BUSINESS & Nonprofits

5.   2012 Business Filings Already Surpass 2011

6.    Notary Commission Renewal

7.      Notary Day – November 7


8.   Safe at Home and Voting


9.   November Open Appointments


10.  Flag Etiquette Brochures Available

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ELections & Voting

 1.         Voter Information for the General Election on Tuesday, November 6

             -    Polling locations open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
                  (Some township locations open as late as 10 a.m.)

             -    One-Stop Voter Information Available at

             -     Election Information Hotline:  651-215-1440 or toll free at
                   1-877-600-VOTE (8683)

Additional Voter Information:

Voter Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote you must: be a U.S. citizen; be at least 18 years old on Election Day; have resided in Minnesota for at least 20 days immediately preceding Election Day; have any felony conviction completed or discharged; not have had your voting rights revoked by a court; and not have been found legally incompetent by a court. Voters need to re-register if they change their names, do not vote for four years, or when they move, even if it is between apartments in the same building.

Time Off to Vote

Minnesota Statutes 204C.04 allows employees to take time off for the time necessary to vote in a state election without a reduction in pay or having to take vacation time. For more information visit


Polling Place Accessibility

Polling locations must be fully accessible and provide at least one parking space for persons with disabilities near the accessible entrance and election officials must provide assistance when requested. Polling place accessibility information

Voter Education Videos

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MNCDHH) have released an “Introduction to Voting” video series. The videos demonstrate the use of accessible voting equipment such as the AutoMark, and what Minnesotans, including voters with disabilities, can expect on Election Day. The series is accessible through American Sign Language (ASL), captions and voiceovers. Text and Microsoft Word transcripts of audio content with video descriptions are also included. The videos can be viewed at:   A link to the videos is also available at :

Voter Registration Lookup

This service helps voters check whether they are registered at their current address, provides the date of their next election, and links to information on how to register or update voter registrations. Available at

Election Day Registration

Voters already registered at their current address do not need to bring any documentation with them. Voters who need to register or update their registration must bring proof of residence to register on Election Day at their polling place.  Information on accepted proofs of residence is available at

My Ballot Online Tool

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has a new online tool to provide voters with information about the candidates and ballot questions on their November 6 general election ballot.  My Ballot allows users to view a list of what will be on their ballot and provides links to information about candidates and ballot questions.

My Ballot can be accessed at

onstitutional Amendment Webpage

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State website hosts a Constitutional Amendment voter information webpage on the Office’s voter education website

It is important that voters read the entire language for the proposed Constitutional Amendments before they head to the polls at This voter education webpage will help voters educate themselves about the constitutional amendment process by providing answers to frequently asked questions about the amendment process and other voter education resources.

In addition, as required by Minnesota Statutes, 10.60 Subd. 4 (d) (2), the website posts links from any individual or group advocating for or against or who takes a neutral position in respect to a ballot question.  

Polling Place Finder

The Polling Place Finder has been updated to reflect redistricting changes. Voters can quickly find the location of their polling place and print a map at

Ride to the Polling Place

For ride to the polling place information visit

Voting Absentee

A Minnesota voter may only vote absentee for one of the following reasons:  absence from the precinct; observance of religious discipline or holiday; illness or disability; serving as an election judge in another precinct; or when an emergency is declared by the governor or a quarantine is declared by the federal or state government.

Eligible voters who want to vote by absentee ballot should apply for ballot materials as soon as possible or visit their county auditor’s office (or city clerk in some cases) to vote absentee in-person. In-person absentee voting is offered during regular business hours Monday – Friday through November 5. Extended office hours for in-person absentee voting are available Saturday, November 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday, November 5 until 5 p.m.

Absentee voting forms or additional information at:

Absentee Ballot Lookup

Voters may use this online tool to stay up-to-date on the status of their ballots. This service informs voters about when their ballot has been sent to them and when it has been received and accepted by election officials. Available at

Minnesota’s Military & Overseas Voter Service

Active-duty military personnel, their dependents and Minnesotans overseas may use this easy-to-use web tool to quickly guide them through a step-by-step process to request their absentee ballots. Visit this website at the Military and Overseas Voter Service website.

2.         Agent Delivery Absentee Voting on Election Day

Certain voters may authorize another person (known as their “agent”) to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them on Election Day.  These voters are:

       Patients in hospitals, residential treatment centers and nursing homes

       Residents of group homes

       Residents of battered women’s shelters

        Residents of assisted living facilities

       Voters who are disabled

       Voters who would have difficulty getting to the polls because of 
        incapacitating health reasons.

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 pre-existing relationship with 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.  

Ballots may be picked up until 2:00 p.m. on Election Day. Completed ballots must be returned to the local election official from whom they were received by 3:00 p.m. on Election Day.

3.         Remember to Vote in Honor of a Veteran.

The Vote in Honor of a Veteran program encourages voters throughout the election season to wear a Vote In Honor of a Veteran lapel button which they personalize with the name of a military veteran or active-duty military personnel. The button acknowledges a veteran’s service and affirms a commitment to vote. Since the program began, this Office and our partners have distributed well over 100,000 lapel buttons.

Official Vote in Honor of a Veteran lapel buttons are available free of charge. To order a button, visit or call 651-201-1324.

4.         State Canvassing Board

The State Canvassing Board will meet to certify the general election results at 1  
            p.m. on November 27, 2012 in Room 10 of the State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. 
            Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155.

Members of the 2012 State General Election State Canvassing Board include:
-  The Honorable Mark Ritchie, 
   Minnesota Secretary of State
-  The Honorable Paul H. Anderson, 
   Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court
-  The Honorable Christopher J. Dietzen, 
   Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court
-  The Honorable Edward I. Lynch, 
   Chief Judge, First Judicial District
-  The Honorable Karen J. Asphaug, 
   District Court Judge, First Judicial District


2012 Business Filings Already Surpass 2011

The Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State reported today that business filings through October of 2012 were 51,977 and have already surpassed the total filings for 2011 which were 51,723.

"This is very good news for all Minnesotans," said Secretary Ritchie. "Along with the recent news that posted job openings are at their highest levels in over a decade this phenomenal pace of business startups reflect our great business climate here in Minnesota”

6.        Notary Commission Renewals

Notaries whose commissions will expire in 2013 need to renew their commissions online at: The notary commission renewal period ends January 31, 2013.

Notaries public are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate after filing with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.  Notaries hold office for a five-year term.  Their commission expires on January 31 in the fifth year after the commission was issued.  Once a notary public is commissioned or renews their commission, they must also register their commission in the county where they reside.  

The cost of a commission or for renewing a commission is $120 payable to the state plus a $20 fee to register with the county.  Notaries who are unable to file online may submit renewal filings by mail to:  Minnesota Secretary of State, 60 Empire Drive, St. Paul, MN 55103.  

If a notary public commission expires, a notary must seek reappointment by submitting a completed Notary Public Application.  Application forms are available online by visiting, or by contacting the office at

11.              Notary Day – November 7

Notary Public Day observed on November 7 is a day to thank Minnesota’s 85,000 notaries for their public service and contributions to safeguarding commerce.  

Minnesota’s notaries provide a valuable service that protects the public interest by deterring fraud in important personal and professional transactions such as buying a home, starting a business, adopting a child, or finalizing a will.

The first notary public in America was appointed in 1639. In recognition of that benchmark, Notary Public Day was designated in 1974 and is observed annually on November 7.

The Office of the Secretary of State business services division processes notary applications, maintains notary records, and certifies notarial authority. To learn more about how to become a notary visit:


8.         Important Voting Information for Safe at Home Participants

People who participate in the Safe at Home Program should not go their local polling place to vote. Doing so will compromise the confidentiality of their physical address. Instead, Safe at Home participants can register to be absentee voters through Safe at Home. Through this voting process, a participant’s ballot is submitted to their county elections office without the participant’s name or address being disclosed.

More information about this important program is available at or by calling
651-201-1399 or toll-free: 1-866-723-3035.

Open Appointments

9.         November Open Appointments

The November 2012 Open Appointments vacancy notice will include listings for all seats whose terms end in January 2013, along with seats that have continuing vacancies.   Because this is a lengthy publication, please see our website on November 5, 2012 for the complete listing.

View open appointment information is available at: 

Subscribe to the monthly open appointments vacancy email notification at: 

If you have questions about open appointments, please contact this office at:

Civic Education

10.      Flag Etiquette Brochures Available

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has “Guide to Flag Etiquette” brochures    available.  This brochure provides information on the proper handling and display of the

flag.  Order a “Guide to Flag Etiquette” brochure by emailing this office at:  or call 651-201-1324. The brochure is also available online as
a PDF document at:

A Public Service Announcement from Secretary Mark Ritchie about the importance of
Flag Etiquette is available at:

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