Early voting starts in Minnesota

Published 5:00 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

Early voting began Friday in Minnesota for people who choose to use an absentee ballot instead of voting in person at the polling place on Election Day. 

Absentee ballots are available at the Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office at the County Government Center at 411 Broadway in Albert Lea, according to the Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office. 

Minnesotans no longer need an excuse to vote absentee — a reform also known as no-excuse absentee voting.

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The Auditor-Treasurer’s Office states people may have received several absentee ballot applications in the mail from various sources. None of them have been initiated by the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office unless you have specifically called our office and requested an application. The applications from various sources other than the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office are legitimate and are accepted by our office. One application is all that is necessary to mail in. People should not send multiple applications.

You can request an absentee ballot safely online on the Freeborn County website at www.co.freeborn.mn.us. Go to the Auditor-Treasurer’s page, click on the “Elections” link, which will take you to an absentee voting link. Clicking the absentee voting link will give you several options in which to submit an absentee application to Freeborn County. You can also request an absentee ballot at www.mnvotes.org.

Election officials will mail the absentee ballot materials to you soon after receiving your application. Be sure to follow the directions included with your ballot materials. You may request an absentee ballot if you are not currently registered to vote — a voter registration application will be provided with your ballot. 

All ballots are sent with pre-paid returned postage, but you may choose to drop your ballot off at the Auditor-Treasurer/Election Office during normal business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Saturday before the election, Nov. 5. If you deliver a sealed voted ballot for someone other than yourself, Minnesota statutes require that you show ID and sign a log in the Auditor-Treasurer’s office. Security at the door will direct you to the office.

Because the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office is a polling place location for absentee voting, people should not campaigning within 100 feet of or in the Government Center building, according to state statute. Campaigning is to display campaign material, post signs, ask, solicit or in any manner try to induce or persuade a voter.

For more information or questions, contact the Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office at 507-377-5121 or 5117 or check www.co.freeborn.mn.us and look for Auditor-Treasurer under the Departments tab.