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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

News Review
Secretary of State Highlights Key Dates for 2014 Election Year
Posted Date: 1/6/2014

Contact: Nathan Bowie (651) 297-8919

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is encouraging Minnesota voters to engage in the democratic process in 2014 as significant offices will be on the ballot. This year, voters will head to the polls to vote for a U.S. senate seat, all U.S. House of Representative seats, as well as for governor and other state constitutional officers, and all Minnesota House of Representative seats. The 2014 election will also include many county commissioners, and all county sheriffs, county attorneys, auditors, treasurers and recorders.

“This year will be exciting for Minnesota elections and we call on voters to stay informed in the process and make plans to get to the polls,” says Ritchie. “Minnesota is number-one in the country for voter turnout and we are hoping that voter participation for this year’s election can make gains to get us closer to the turnout we achieve during a presidential election year.”

Historically, voter turnout in Minnesota gubernatorial election years is lower than presidential years. In 2010, the last gubernatorial election, voter turnout was 55 percent — compared to 76 percent in the 2012 presidential election.

Helping to support voter participation is the No Excuse Absentee Balloting law, which goes into effect in time for the Primary Election on August 12. Minnesota joins 28 other states to allow voters to cast absentee ballots without having to provide an excuse. Previously, voters had to provide an excuse, including being ill or out of their precinct on Election Day, when casting absentee ballots.

To receive election email alerts and voter reminders from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, visit: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNSOS/subscriber/new

Key 2014 Election-Related Dates
· February 4 — Precinct caucuses. The Precinct Caucus Finder will be available January 15 on the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State website, mnvotes.org. The finder displays caucus locations provided by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Independence Party and Republican Party. Voters may also contact their political party to find caucus locations.

· May 20–June 3 — Candidate filing period. Candidates running for partisan office need to file for office during this window of time.

· June 27 — Absentee ballots will be available on this date for the August 12 Primary Election.

· July 22 — Pre-registration deadline for Primary Election. Voters are encouraged to pre-register to vote to avoid long lines and waits at the polling place. Voters who miss this deadline may still register at their polling place on Primary Election Day, August 12.

· August 12 — Primary Election Day.

· September 19 — Absentee ballots will be available on this date for the November 4 General Election.

· September 23 — National Voter Registration Day is a special event to encourage voter registration.

· October 14 — Pre-registration deadline for the General Election. Voters are encouraged to pre-register to vote to avoid long lines and waits at the polling place. Voters who miss this deadline may still register at their polling place on Election Day, November 4.

· November 4 — General Election Day.

mnvotes.org
Voters may visit mnvotes.org to find helpful online voter tools and resources including: absentee ballot status look-up; absentee ballot application for military and overseas voters; online voter registration; polling place finder; precinct caucus finder; registration status look-up; and sample ballot viewer.

Become an Election Judge
Ritchie urges citizens to serve as election judges (poll workers) as an opportunity to learn about elections and to provide service to the community. People who serve as an election judge are entitled to paid time off. Those interested in becoming an election judge should contact their political party or county elections office prior to May 1. Learn more about becoming an election judge: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=585

About the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is the chief election official in Minnesota and is responsible for the administration of the state’s election law. In this capacity, the office operates the Statewide Voter Registration System and prepares the official roster of voters for every election. The office also accepts filings by candidates, trains local election officials, and conducts voter education and outreach programs.

The Secretary of State is the keeper of the Great Seal of Minnesota and has the role of certifying the authenticity of a wide variety of official documents, including proclamations and executive orders.

A main function of the office is the review, approval and filing of articles of incorporation and amendments for all businesses and nonprofit organizations conducting business in Minnesota. The Secretary of State also processes all notary public applications and administers Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program designed to assist Minnesotans who fear for their safety.

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