Minnesota Secretary Of State - Advisory from the Secretary of State’s Office: Health Guidelines Announced for 2020 Candidate Filings
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Important Changes to Office Operations: COVID-19 Information

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Advisory from the Secretary of State’s Office: Health Guidelines Announced for 2020 Candidate Filings

May 18, 2020

The Office of the Secretary of State today announced guidelines for individuals filing to become candidates for the 2020 elections. The guidelines, part of larger pandemic elections planning, are intended to maintain proper social distancing and reduce risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.

The State Office Building (180 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul) Elections Counter will be open during the candidate filing period, which begins May 19 and runs through June 2. The counter will operate each day between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The counter will be open until 5:00 p.m. the last day of the filing period.

Guidelines for the Media:

  • Only candidates will be permitted inside the State Office Building Elections lobby; representatives of the media are encouraged to take photos, video, and conduct interviews outside the building.
  • Only two media teams of up to two people at a time will be allowed inside the building. Media teams will be restricted to the House of Representatives press room (located across the hall from the Elections lobby) and/or hallways.

How the Office will Ensure the Safety of Candidates, Staff, and Observers:
Filing officers will wear masks and gloves. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to wear their own personal protective equipment. Service areas will be cleaned after each candidate filing, which may result in longer wait times. Additionally, the following social distancing guidelines will be enforced:

  • Only one candidate at a time will be allowed in the Elections lobby. Family, friends, and other observers are encouraged to remain outside the building.
    • Only 10 candidates at a time will be allowed to wait in line in designated areas spaced six feet apart from one another. 
    • Additional candidates will be asked to wait outside.
  •  Candidates will be asked to avoid standing directly at the counter during filing activities. When candidates sign documents, the filing officer will step away from the counter.
    • A campaign manual, copy of completed affidavit, a set of instructions on how to access online candidate forms and campaign finance packet will be the only “papers” given to most candidates.
  • The Office strongly recommends using no-contact filing options: Candidates may choose to complete the Candidate Filing Packet ahead of time and submit their materials and payment electronically, by mail, or using the secure drop box located just within the lobby doors closest to the MN Department of Transportation side of the State Office Building.
    • Remote submissions: Candidates may file by mail, with notarized affidavit and payment. Filing must be received by June 2, 2020. Additionally, Governor Walz signed new legislation to allow electronic candidate filings. See the Special Information about 2020 Candidate Filing page for details. 
    • Drop box submissions: The secure drop box will only be available during office hours and will feature instructions and supplied manila envelopes. Candidates who use the drop box will be asked to write their e-mail address on the envelope; the office will confirm the receipt of their materials and payment via e-mail.
      Candidates may direct questions to the Elections team at elections.dept@state.mn.us or call (651) 215-1440.