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Last day to vote early: How to make sure your ballot is counted in Minnesota

Monday, Nov. 2 is the last day to vote early in person, and absentee ballots should be handed in - not mailed - by 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.

Election Day is almost upon us, and for those planning to vote early in person, Monday is the last opportunity.

For voters who still need to submit their absentee ballot, it must be handed in by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at their county election office or, in some cities, a designated ballot drop-off location. Officials are urging voters not to mail their absentee ballots at this point, due to uncertainty surrounding the fate of late-arriving absentee ballots in Minnesota.

A ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ordered all absentee ballots arriving at county election offices after Election Day to be separated and potentially removed from the final vote totals, depending on future court rulings. 

According to Secretary of State Steve Simon, the best way to ensure their ballots are counted will be to ensure their ballots are received by Nov. 3. 


Minnesota voters who have already returned their absentee ballots by mail can track their ballot online at the Secretary of State's Office to see if it has been received by their county election office.

RELATED: How to track your vote in MN


Absentee ballots may also be returned in-person by 3 p.m. on Election Day to the county election office that sent the ballot. 

Importantly, the Secretary of State's office notes that absentee ballots cannot be dropped off at a polling place on Election Day, they must be returned to the county election office.

Under state law, voters can also drop off ballots for up to three other people.

A list of county election office locations can be found on the Secretary of State's website.


Ballots can also be delivered at official drop-off boxes. Several metro communities have online lists and maps with locations and times for early voting centers and/or drop-off box locations:

The City of Minneapolis also announced Friday that it will extend the hours for 13 staffed, mail ballot drop-off locations throughout the city. Those can be found online. Hours will now be:

  • Friday, Oct. 30, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 31, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.


Voters who recently mailed their ballots and may be concerned about meeting the Nov. 3 deadline can choose to cast their vote during in-person early voting (available at county election offices until Nov. 2) or on Election Day at a regular polling location instead. 

"As long as your absentee ballot hasn’t been counted by your election officials, you may still cast a ballot in person by voting in your polling place on Election Day or at your local early voting location," the Secretary of State's website reads.

Voting in person will cancel the previously mailed ballot in the Secretary of State's records, which will not be counted, even if it is later received by the Nov. 3 deadline.

RELATED: Can you change your vote in Minnesota?

Get more information about voting in the 2020 election in our KARE 11 Voter's Toolkit:

MINNESOTA: 2020 Voter Guide: What to know about Minnesota's elections

WISCONSIN: 2020 Voter Guide: What to know about Wisconsin's elections

If you have questions about the 2020 election, text your question to our KARE to Vote team at 763-797-7215.

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