What you need to know to vote on Election Day in Minnesota

Published 5:06 am Tuesday, November 8, 2022

By Feven Gerezgiher and Abbey Machtig, Minnesota Public Radio News

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. While hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans have voted early using absentee ballots by mail or in person, millions more are eligible to vote on Tuesday.

Here’s what to know about voting in person on Election Day.

When are the polls open?

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Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (except in towns with less than 500 people, in which case polling places are not required to open until 10 a.m.)

FYI, you have the right to vote as long as you are in line before 8 p.m. Even if the line is long, as long as you’re in it by 8 p.m., the polling place must stay open for you to vote.

Where do I vote?

Find your polling place by visiting pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us. It may have changed from prior elections because precinct boundaries changed with redistricting, or because buildings may no longer be available or suitable for use.

What’s on the ballot?

Depends on where you live. All Minnesotans are voting for governor, state auditor, secretary of state and attorney general. Many are also choosing county attorneys, county sheriffs, school boards and judges. Who you get to vote for depends on your district.

Check out your sample ballot for a more specific list.

Where can I find a sample ballot? How do I locate my district?

Find a sample ballot and locate your district on the Minnesota Secretary of State website at myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us.

What should I bring to the polling place?

In Minnesota, if your voter registration is up to date, you don’t need to bring identification with you to vote. If you’re registering to vote at the same time, you need to bring proof of address. Here’s a list of what qualifies. (Note: Tribal IDs with your current name, address, photo and signature do count.)

You also have the right to bring a family member, friend or anyone you choose to assist you at the polls. (Anyone not tied to your employer or union, that is.) More on getting help voting here.

Do I have to register to vote every year?

You do not have to register to vote every year if your circumstances have not changed. Causes to re-register include a change of address, a name change or not voting at least once during a four-year period, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State Office. You can update your voter registration by completing a new registration application. Check your registration here.

I was convicted of a felony. Can I vote?

You are able to vote after all parts of your sentencing are complete, including probation, parole or any form of supervised release, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.

I am sick or have a disability that prevents me from voting in person. How do I vote?

There are two ways for you to vote on Election Day: with curbside voting or “agent delivery,” where you ask someone to pick up and return a ballot for you. Find more information here on who can be an agent and how. Your agent has until 2 p.m. on Election Day to get your ballot from your local election office and must return your ballot by 3 p.m. to the same office.

With curbside voting, election judges bring registration materials and a ballot to your car. You can call your county election office to pre-arrange a time to vote curbside at your local polling place. If you cannot pre-arrange a time, the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office advises to “consider wearing a well-fitting mask into the polling place to vote or locate an election judge to request curbside voting.”

Can I skip class to vote?

Colleges seem to vary on whether they will excuse students from classes to vote. At the University of Minnesota, voting is not considered “an unavoidable or legitimate absence.”

You do have the right to leave work and vote without losing pay, personal leave or vacation time, however.

Who should I vote for?

We can’t decide for you! But MPR News has been following candidates across the state for over a year, keeping an eye on their social media and asking all the questions.

Do I have to vote for each office for my ballot to be valid?

Nope! It’s a common question, particularly when people have never heard of an office or its candidates. But when it comes to how many races to vote in, “you can mark as many or as few as you want,” says Peter Bartz-Gallagher, director of communications at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. Voting machines will only count offices that are marked.

What can I do with an absentee ballot that hasn’t been mailed yet?

You have two options: Drop it off at your county election center by 3 p.m. on Election Day, or vote in person at your polling place. If you go in person to a polling place, simply ask an election judge to “spoil the old ballot,” reports Robyn Katona in a recent Q&A on absentee voting.

What if I have turned in my absentee ballot but want to change my vote?

You can no longer change your vote once you have submitted your ballot because the cut-off deadline has passed.

What should I do if I experience or witness something concerning at the polls?

You can report any instances of voter intimidation and other interference with fair elections to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office at 877-600-VOTE, or file a complaint online here.