KEY 2022 ELECTION DATES IN MINNESOTA
- June 24: Early voting begins for primary election
- Aug. 8: Last day for in-person early voting for primary
- Aug. 9: Minnesota primary election
- Sept. 23: Early voting begins for general election
- Oct. 18: Last day to pre-register to vote
- Nov. 7: Last day for in-person early voting
- Nov. 8: Election day
WHO CAN VOTE IN MINNESOTA?
According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office, in order to be eligible to vote in Minnesota, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- At least 18 years old on Election Day
- A resident of the state of Minnesota for at least 20 days
- Not currently serving a felony sentence (including probation, parole or supervised release)
HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN MINNESOTA
Minnesota residents can register in advance until 20 days before the election. This year, the final day to pre-register to vote is Oct. 18. Registration is available online at the Minnesota Secretary of State's website. Voter registration can also be completed using a paper form, whether from a voter registration drive, county elections office, or printed from the Secretary of State's website and received 20 days before the election (that deadline has now passed).
Registration is also available on Election Day at the polls, by bringing in an approved document that proves your current address or having another registered voter in your precinct vouch for you.
READ MORE: How to register to vote in Minnesota
WHAT'S ON YOUR BALLOT
Sample ballots can be found by searching your address on the My Ballot page of the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.
WHERE & WHEN TO VOTE ON ELECTION DAY
The state has a Poll Finder available online, where you can enter your address to find your polling location.
Most polls open starting at 7 a.m. on Election Day, and close at 8 p.m.; however, if you're already in line by 8 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
DO I NEED TO BRING ID TO VOTE?
Not if you're already registered. Identification or proof of address is only needed if you need to register to vote at the polls. If your voter registration is current, your name will be on the voter list at your polling location and the state of Minnesota does not require you to to show an ID to vote.
CAN I VOTE DURING THE WORKDAY?
Minnesota law requires employers to pay for the time you need to vote if it falls within your scheduled work time.
And employers can't require that you use personal leave or vacation time to vote.
According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office:
- Employers can't directly or indirectly refuse, limit or interfere with your right to vote, including what time you choose to vote
- However, they can ask that you tell them when you'll be gone and ask employees to coordinate absences
- Voters have the right to time off to vote in all state, federal, and regularly scheduled local elections
HOW TO FILL OUT A BALLOT
Whether it’s in-person or absentee, in most cases in Minnesota, voters will use a pen with blue or black ink to completely fill in an oval next to a candidate's name.
Be sure to read the headings in each section, as some city or school board races are filling multiple seats and will allow voters to cast a vote for more than one candidate.
In its tips for new voters, Minnesota Secretary of State's office also notes that voters don't have to fill out every race. Even if you leave some races blank, the rest of your ballot still counts.
HOW TO VOTE EARLY IN PERSON
Minnesota voters can cast a ballot in-person starting 46 days before an election at county election offices. Some communities also offer additional in-person voting locations.
Early voting is available until the day before the election.
Eligible voters can also register to vote at an early voting location by providing proof of a current address.
READ MORE: Where to vote early in Minnesota
HOW TO VOTE EARLY BY MAIL (ABSENTEE)
Minnesota voters can cast an absentee ballot by mail starting 46 days before Election Day.
Voters can request absentee ballots online on any day of the year except Election Day, while making sure to allow election officials enough time to send the ballot to you.
In one major change since the 2020 election, absentee ballots in 2022 will once again require a witness signature from another registered Minnesota voter to be valid.
Once filled out, absentee ballots can be returned in multiple ways:
- Return a ballot by mail or a package delivery service to your county elections office. Ballots must arrive by Election Day.
- Ballots can be returned in-person to your county elections office by 3 p.m. on Election Day.
- In special cases, voters can ask for an agent to pick up and deliver ballots to the elections office.
No postage stamps are required to send in a ballot by mail.
READ MORE: How to get your Minnesota absentee ballot
HOW TO TRACK YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT
Absentee voters can track whether their ballots have been received by searching on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.
READ MORE: How to track your vote in Minnesota
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR VOTE
According to the Secretary of State, Minnesota absentee voters can ask to cancel their ballot until the end of business one week before Election Day. Voters must contact the election office that sent the ballot. A new ballot can be mailed, if there's enough time, or voters can cast their ballot in-person at the polls instead.
READ MORE: Can you change your vote in Minnesota?
HOW CAN I BE SURE MY MAILED BALLOT IS SECURE?
When you apply online for an absentee ballot in Minnesota, you have to enter your driver's license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your social security number to release the ballot for mailing. When you mail it back in, you have to provide the exact same number you used to get it.
As a voter tracks their ballot online, if it goes missing a voter can cancel it like a lost check and fill out a new ballot to take its place.
WHERE IS MY COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE?
For voters with questions about their registration status, or those looking to drop off an absentee ballot, the Secretary of State keeps a list of the locations, contact information, and websites of county election offices across Minnesota.
BE CAREFUL WITH PHOTOS AT THE POLLS
According to the Minnesota Secretary of State, it is not illegal to take a photo inside of a polling place but voters are not allowed to take photos of a marked ballot.
READ MORE: Want to take a ballot selfie in Minnesota?
Find in-depth information about voting in Minnesota on the KARE 11 Voter's Toolkit page.
Wisconsin voters can learn more about voting in their state in our 2022 Wisconsin Voter Guide.