Minnesota Secretary Of State - New Laws to Take Effect June 1 for Absentee Voting and Voter Registration
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New Laws to Take Effect June 1 for Absentee Voting and Voter Registration

May 31, 2024

Starting June 1, 2024, voters can sign up once to be mailed an absentee ballot for every election

SAINT Paul – On June 1, 2024, new election laws will take effect in Minnesota that make it easier to vote from home with a no-excuse absentee ballot and improve election integrity.

Permanent Absentee List

Starting June 1, 2024, Minnesota voters can sign up once to be automatically sent an absentee ballot before every election. All eligible voters can choose to join the permanent absentee voter list by checking the box on the interactive voter registration application. The online and paper applications can be found at mnvotes.gov/register.

An absentee ballot allows a voter to vote by mail in the 46 days before an election. Since 2014, no excuse absentee voting has been available to all Minnesota voters and that permission extends to the permanent absentee list. No reason needs to be provided to receive an absentee ballot.

The option to vote absentee for an individual election or a series of them is still available to Minnesota voters by completing an absentee ballot application at mnvotes.gov/absentee.

Voters can choose to leave the permanent absentee voter list by written request to their county elections office. Voters will be removed from the list if an absentee ballot is returned as undeliverable, if the county receives notice of their death, or if their voter status changes to “challenged” or “inactive.”

Eight other states – including Arizona, Montana, and Virginia - and Washington D.C. allow all voters to join a permanent absentee/mail ballot list. Eleven additional states allow voters with permanent disabilities to join a permanent absentee/mail ballot list. (Source: National Conference of State Legislatures)

Election Integrity

Starting June 1, 2024, Minnesota’s paper Voter Registration Application will include space for a voter to provide a physical description of their residence if they don’t live at a location that has a specific physical address. The description provided may include the cardinal direction or approximate distance to the closest cross streets or the nearest address to the described location. It must be sufficient to allow for a county election administrator to determine which precinct the voter is living in.

This change strengthens election integrity by providing a standardized method of documentation on the Minnesota form and conforms with federal law. Federal law requires that those without a specific physical address be allowed to register and the National Mail Voter Registration Form, which all states must accept, has long included a section to provide such a description or depiction.

Minnesota joins 20 other states that include this feature on their voter registration form.

Student Voting

Starting on June 1, 2024, students at Minnesota colleges and universities that accept state financial aid will be able to register on Election Day at their polling place using the student housing list provided by their school in conjunction with any approved form of photo ID. Previously, the student housing list could only be used to register on Election Day in conjunction with a student ID.

Beginning in 2023, to simplify election day registration for students who maintain residence in Minnesota, colleges and universities are now required to share a list of students living in on-campus housing and those with an address in the city or cities where their campus(es) are located with their county elections office.