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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

News Review
Absentee Balloting Period Begins Today-September 21
Posted Date: 9/17/2012


CONTACT: Patricia Turgeon
(651) 201-1332

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie Announces Absentee Balloting Period Begins Today—September 21
- Encourages Voters to Check the Status of Their Absentee Ballots Online

SAINT PAUL, Minn.—September 21, 2012—Secretary of State Mark Ritchie today announced that the absentee voting period for the General Election officially begins today, Friday, September 21, and ends November 5. To ensure that their absentee ballot is successfully cast and counted, voters must follow the instructions received with the ballot and fill out the required forms completely. He also reminded voters to use the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s online tool to check the status of their absentee ballots.

“Almost 300,000 Minnesotans will vote by absentee ballot this election,” said Secretary Ritchie. “Absentee voters, including military personnel deployed overseas, may now track their ballots online to make sure that their ballots arrive on time and are counted.”

An eligible Minnesota voter may cast an absentee ballot 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.

Voters may visit their county auditor’s office, or in some cases their city clerk’s office, to vote in-person absentee.  In addition, an online absentee ballot lookup allows the voter to track the progress of their ballot to ensure that it has been successfully counted.  Find absentee voting forms, view voting information and access the absentee ballot lookup at:

It is important to note that Military and Overseas voters have different absentee balloting procedures. Information is available for these voters at:

“I encourage all eligible voters who are unable to get to their precinct polling place on Election Day to participate in our democracy by casting an absentee ballot,” said Secretary of State Ritchie.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark Ritchie is Minnesota's 21st Secretary of State. Downloadable press photograph available at: