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SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — Minnesota voters can cast their ballots early for the August 12 Primary Election by voting absentee starting Friday, June 27. Voters may request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them, or vote absentee in-person at their county elections office or local elections office.Absentee voting is expected to rise in 2014 as voters no longer need an excuse to vote absentee, such as being ill or out of their precinct on Election Day. As a result, more voters can vote early by absentee and avoid the polling place.“Hectic schedules are often cited as the reason voters don’t get to the polling place on Election Day,” says Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. “Now that all voters can vote early by absentee, Minnesotans have greater freedom to cast their ballots on their own schedule.”
Online Tools for Absentee Voters at mnvotes.orgMinnesota voters can now request an absentee ballot online at mnvotes.org, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s online hub for voter tools. This service allows voters to apply for an absentee ballot quickly and easily without the need to print, scan forms, and return by mail, fax or email. Voters may request an absentee ballot for both the August 12 Primary Election and November 4 General Election; ballots for the General Election will not be available until September 19.Voters may also download an absentee ballot application, and complete and submit it by mail, email, fax or personal delivery.Upon requesting an absentee ballot, voters may use “Absentee Ballot Lookup” to find the status of their ballot, such as when it was mailed, and if their completed ballot was received and accepted by their local elections office. Mail ballot voters may also use this tool.Voters can use “My Ballot” to view their sample ballot and find links to candidates’ websites.
How to Vote Early with an Absentee BallotVoters can request an absentee ballot even if they are not registered to vote — a voter registration application will be provided with their ballot. There are three ways to vote absentee:
Absentee voters should carefully follow the detailed instructions that accompany absentee ballots to avoid mistakes that might lead to ballot rejection. Many of the mistakes involve the absentee voter’s witness’ information. Military and overseas voters have different absentee balloting procedures and can learn more at: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=889.
2014 Is a Significant Election YearThis election year, Minnesota voters will head to the polls to decide a U.S. Senate seat, all of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats, as well as governor and other state officers, and all Minnesota State House seats. The 2014 election will also include many county commissioners, county sheriffs, county attorneys, auditors, treasurers and recorders.
Key 2014 election dates:
View all 2014 election dates at the Secretary of State Website and sign up to receive election-related email updates.
About the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of StateThe 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; serves as the state’s central filing system for lien information related to the Uniform Commercial Code; and administers Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program designed to assist Minnesotans who fear for their safety.
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