Minneapolis election season is officially upon us! Today, early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee voting begin. When I worked to pass a measure allowing no-excuse absentee voting as the executive director of Common Cause Minnesota, I had no idea how much it would affect me personally. Now, as a candidate for Minneapolis City Council, I’m incredibly humbled by the many Ward 11 neighbors I’ve met who are eager to use these ballots to vote early in support of our campaign.
The City of Minneapolis has created a great guide for early voting. We also put together this helpful rundown that provides additional basic information and fills in some blanks.
Where do I go to vote early in person? There is only one location. The Early Vote Center at 217 S 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401.
Why can’t I go to my polling place to vote early in person? Most polling locations can’t afford to give up such a large part of their space for the next two months, and it would be tough to find people to staff them.
So just one place then? Yes, just the one.
If I apply for an absentee ballot, does that mean I can’t vote at the polls? I like to vote with my neighbors. I urge our supporters to vote early in person or apply for the no-excuse absentee voting ballot (which allows you to vote absentee no matter what, for any reason). However, I totally get that some people really like the community experience or tradition of voting on Election Day (which falls on Nov. 7 this year). If you’re worried about finding time to vote on Election Day, apply for the absentee ballot just in case. You’re not obligated to use it. The only rule is that if you do send in the absentee ballot, you cannot hit the polls on Election Day. If you do, you will be turned away at the polls, but your absentee ballot will still be counted.
Can I send in my absentee ballot online? No. But you can download and print your absentee ballot application and submit it by email, mail, fax or in person. When you receive the actual ballot, it must be submitted via mail or in person.
Can I change my absentee ballot once I’ve submitted it? Yes, but only during a certain timeframe. About a week before the election, officials will begin tallying absentee ballots. At that point, you can no longer change your vote. Before then, however, you can go to the city election office in City Hall and request to change your ballot. Hopefully this won’t be necessary, but the option is there.
Thanks again for supporting our campaign. I look forward to being your progressive champion at City Hall.