Minnesota Secretary Of State - Vote early by mail
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Vote early by mail

To vote by mail, apply to have an absentee ballot mailed to you. You do not need to be registered to apply.

Read before you apply

For your ballot to count, remember this important information:

  1. Read the instructions that come with your ballot carefully.
  2. You will need a witness when you vote and complete your ballot. The witness can be either a registered Minnesota voter or a notary.
  3. Return the ballot and forms right away after you finish. Your ballot will not count if it is received after Election Day.

Apply for absentee ballot

Apply online

To request an absentee ballot for 2024 elections, use the online absentee application, or one of downloadable applications below.

Downloadable absentee applications:

Return your completed absentee application 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.

Application deadline

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. Your returned ballot must be received by Election Day.

Track your ballot

You can track the status of your ballot and confirm that it was received and counted.

Deadline to return your ballot

Your ballot will not count if it is received after Election Day.

Returning your ballot in person
You can return your ballot in person no later than 8 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. Some voters may also return it in one of the designated ballot drop box locations. You may not drop your ballot off at your polling place on election day.

Returning your ballot by mail
Your ballot must be received by Election Day  or it will not be counted. Return your ballot by mail or package delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS).

Have an agent pick up your ballot (agent delivery)

In special situations, you may ask an agent to pick up and return an absentee ballot for you. This is called ‘agent delivery.’ Learn more about agent delivery.

Print a factsheet on this topic

Visit our voter outreach materials page for educational factsheets on this and many other voting topics.


Frequently asked questions

Will my absentee ballot count?

Your absentee ballot will count as long as you return your ballot on time and fill out the forms correctly.

Who can witness my ballot?

You will need a witness when you vote and complete your ballot. The witness can be either a registered Minnesota voter or a notary. Your witness must sign the signature envelope and list their address. Notaries should write their name and title, sign the signature envelope, and affix their notary stamp.

What happens after I return my ballot?

Local election officials must check that you and your witness filled out the signature envelope correctly. If you did not fill out the signature envelope correctly, election officials will mail you replacement materials, including an explanation for why your signature envelope was rejected. Or, if there are fewer than five days before Election Day, election officials will try to contact you. In this case, you can vote in person at your local election office or at your polling place on Election Day.

If I have already requested an absentee ballot, can I change my mind and vote in the polling place?

As long as your absentee ballot hasn’t been counted by your election officials, you may still cast a ballot in person by voting in your polling place on Election Day or at your local early voting location. You can track the status of your absentee ballot to see when it is sent to you and when it is received by election officials. After voting in person, the unique ballot ID number on your original absentee ballot will be invalidated, so that if it is returned to the election office the officials will not count it. If you plan on voting in person, please do not bring your absentee ballot with you. Your election official will provide you with a new ballot to complete that day.

If you have received an absentee ballot but are unsure if it will arrive at your election office in time to be counted, you may also consider contacting your local election official to see what options you have for locations and times to drop off your absentee ballot.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot?

You can ask the election office that sent your ballot for a replacement ballot. If there is not enough time to get a new ballot, completely cross out the name of the candidate you accidentally marked. Then mark the candidate you prefer. Do not initial your corrections.

What if my ballot has not arrived, is lost or damaged?

Contact your county election office. You can receive a replacement ballot in person or by mail. The election official will cancel your original ballot. Do not return your original ballot, even if you eventually find or receive it. Only return your replacement ballot.

What if I returned my ballot and want to change my vote?

You can ask to cancel your ballot until the close of business 19 days before Election Day. After that time, you cannot cancel your ballot. To cancel your ballot, contact the election office that sent your ballot. Your options are to have a new ballot mailed; vote in person at your local election office; or vote at your polling place on Election Day.

Can I have ballots sent automatically?

You can have absentee ballots sent to your residential address before each election. Register to vote (even if your name and address have not changed) and mark the box to request an absentee ballot be sent to you before all upcoming elections you're eligible to vote in. Ballots are usually mailed about 46 days before an election.