Record amount of absentee voting in Hennepin County

Many Minnesotans voting early this election

MINNEAPOLIS - If you're ready for the election to be over and just want to vote, you're not alone.

Thousands in Hennepin County have already cast their ballot, including Alla Mikhailenko who showed up Wednesday to vote absentee calling it convenient and therapeutic.

"I just wanted to check it off the list and be done with it. And be able to shut off the TV and radio, no offense,” she said with a smile.

It turns out, she’s not alone.  

"We’re seeing a record number of people choosing to submit absentee ballots in Hennepin County,” said Ginny Gelms, the Hennepin County elections manager.

She told KARE 11 the most absentee ballots the county has received for a presidential election is 85,000.

"We’re expecting to see 150,000 thousand in this election,” she said.

Typically absentee voting makes up about 10 percent of the total Hennepin County vote. This year, Gelms expects that to be 20 percent and believes that number will rise in future elections.

Counties across the state and nation have seen an increase in absentee and early voting. And at least in Minnesota it's not just because of the high interest in this election.

"This is the first time in a presidential election we had a law changed in Minnesota that anyone can vote absentee for any reason or no reason,” she said.

So when do they start processing ballots? Sooner than you may think.

"By law we’re allowed to start opening the absentee ballots a week before the election. We start opening them up and start running them through the high speed ballot counters,” she said.

But they are not allowed to start tallying those results until the polls close on Election Day, she said.

If you’d like more information about the absentee voting process or voting in general in Minnesota, click here. You can learn how to track your absentee ballot by clicking here


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