Minnesota Secretary Of State - 2020 Elections and COVID-19
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Important Changes to Office Operations: COVID-19 Information

2020 Elections and COVID-19


Upcoming Special Elections and COVID-19 Voting Precautions

Several jurisdictions are holding special elections on May 12. State law does not allow these jurisdictions to cancel these elections, and under the Governor’s Stay at Home Order, Minnesotans are allowed to leave their home to cast a ballot. In order to ensure that voters can cast a ballot in as safe a manner as possible, jurisdictions are following CDC guidelines on polling place safety.

Voters in a jurisdiction holding a May 12 special election should make use of the following resources to ensure that they can cast a ballot and protect the health of both their self and election judges.

Voting Early by a Mail Absentee Ballot

We are encouraging voters to vote by mail using an absentee ballot. To request an absentee ballot any special elections, complete and return the application below to your county election office by mail, fax or email. 

To request an application in an alternative format such as Braille, please call 1-877-600-8683. You can apply for a ballot any time during the year, except the day of the election. Leave time for election officials to mail your ballot and for you to return it on or before Election Day.

Your ballot will not count if it is received after Election Day. Return your ballot by mail or package delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS). You can also return your ballot in person no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day to the election office that sent your ballot. You can drop off ballots for up to three other voters. You will need to show identification with name and signature when returning a ballot for someone else.

Election Day Voting

Special election jurisdictions and voters are encouraged to follow CDC guidance on social distancing (maintaining six feet of distance between voters), equipment sanitization, and hygiene for polling places. In addition to following the CDC’s guidance for polling places, we have encouraged jurisdictions to increase their curbside voting operations, and we encourage voters casting a ballot on Election Day to consider taking advantage of curbside voting.

The use of cloth face coverings can be considered as an additional measure to reduce the risk in public areas. Refer to MDH Guidance on When to Wear a Mask. Note that cloth face coverings may help protect others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets, but are NOT a replacement for social distancing. Social distancing must be observed even if face coverings are in use.

Curbside Voting

Curbside voting is available for anyone who cannot enter the polling place for any reason, including concerns for their health. Curbside voting allows a voter to register to vote and vote without leaving their vehicle.

If you choose curbside voting, two election judges  will bring out a ballot to your vehicle. If you need to register or update your registration, they will bring you an application as well. When you are finished voting, election judges will bring your ballot inside for you and put it in the ballot box.

Questions

Voters with questions about their special election or about protecting their health while voting can contact the special election jurisdiction or the Office of the Secretary of State’s Election Division. The Elections Division can be reached by phone at 651-215-1440 or 1-877-600-VOTE (8683) or email at secretary.state@state.mn.us