League of Women Voters

Minnesota Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Election Day
By Mail:
Received by Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Election Dates:
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 (Primary)
Secretary of State
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155-1299

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Minnesota you must be:

  • At least 18 years old on Election Day
  • A citizen of the United States
  • A resident of Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day
  • Not under court-ordered guardianship in which the court order revokes your right to vote or not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote
  • Not convicted of a felony, your felony sentence has expired (been completed,) or you have been discharged from your sentence
  • Not have been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law

ID Needed for Voter Registration

To register to vote by mail you need to provide your Minnesota driver's license number or Minnesota ID number. If you do not have a Minnesota driver's license or Minnesota ID, you will need to provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you have none of these, write NONE in box #10b of your voter registration application. This is required by law.

To register at the polling place on Election Day, you must have authorized proof of residence. This includes:

  • A valid Minnesota driver's license, learner's permit, Minnesota ID card or receipt for any of these
  • A valid student ID card including your photo, if your college has provided a student housing list to election officials
  • A Tribal ID card that contains your picture and signature
  • A valid registration in the same precinct under a different name or address
  • A notice of late registration sent to you by your county auditor or city clerk
  • A voter registered in the same precinct as you who can confirm your address with a signed oath
  • An employee of the residential facility where you live who can confirm your address with a signed oath
  • Both 1) a phot ID from the list below and 2) a current bill from the list below with your name and address in the precinct

Photo IDs (may be expired)

  • Minnesota driver's license
  • Minnesota ID card
  • United States passport
  • United States military ID card
  • Tribal ID card
  • Minnesota University, College or Technical College ID card

Bills (delivered electronically or by mail)

  • Utility bill due within 30 day sof election day (telephone, TV, internet service, electric, gas, solid waste, sewer services, water)
  • Rent statement dated within 30 days of election day that itemizes utilities
  • Current student fee statement

You must re-register if your name or address changes or you have not voted in four years.

ID Needed for Voting?

You only need ID to vote if you have not registered before arriving at the polling precinct. You may register to vote at your polling place on Election Day. Options of proof of residence are as follows:

ID with current name and address:

  • Valid Minnesota driver's license, Minnesota learner's permit, Minnesota ID card or a receipt for any of these
  • Tribal ID card with your name, address, photo and signature

Photo ID plus a document with current name and address:

Accepted photo IDs:

  • Driver's license, state ID card or learner's permit issued by any state
  • US passport
  • US military ID card
  • Tribal ID card with name, signature and photo
  • Minnesota university, college or technical college ID card
  • Minnesota high school ID card

Accepted documents:

  • Residential lease or rental agreement (must be valid through Election Day)
  • Current student fee statement
  • Bill, account or start of service statement due or dated within 30 days of election for: phone, TV, internet services, solid waste or sewer services, electric, gas, water, banking or credit card, rent or mortgage payments

Registered voter who can confirm your name and address:

A registered voter from your precinct can go with you to your polling place to sign an oath confirming your address. One registered voter can vouch for up to eight others

College student ID - if a student housing list was provided:

College students can use a student photo ID card if their college provided a student housing list to election officials.

Valid registration in same precinct:

If you were previously registered in the precinct but changed names or moved within the same precinct, you only need to tell the elections official your previous name or address. You are not required to provide any additional documentation.

Notice of late registration:

If you registered to vote too close to Election Day, you may have received a Notice of Late Registration in the mail. This notice can be used to register on Election Day.

Staff person of a residential facility:

If you live in a residential facility, a facility staff person can go with you to the polls to confirm your address.

Registration Deadline

If you want you name to appear in the books at your polling place on Election Day, you must register 21 days before the election.

You may also register online though the Secretary of State website. You must complete the online registration 21 days before the election.

Election Day Registration is available at your polling place.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, use your states resource or contact your county elections office.

Absentee Ballot Process

There is no specific deadline to request an absentee ballot. Ballots are available 46 days before an election

Completed mail ballots must be received by your county auditor no later than the day before Election Day. Any voter may vote absentee in any election they choose.

With absentee voting, you can vote either in person before Election Day at a location designated by your county elections official, online or by mail. You must submit a written application to your county auditor. Call your county auditor for details. To vote by mail, fill out the form to request an absentee ballot. The ballot will then be mailed directly to you.

You do not need to be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot. A voter registration application will be included in the materials. You must show your witness an accepted proof of residence when registering.

To find out where your absentee ballot is in the process, please use your state's absentee ballot lookup.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

You can vote early at your local elections office. For most elections, early voting takes place during normal business hours beginning 46 days before the election.

For federal, state or county elections, early voting locations must be open the last Saturday before the election (10am-3pm), and the day before the election until 5pm.

If you are not registered before going to vote early, you may register in person as long as you show a proof of residence.

Some places may have additional early voting hours. Be sure to contact your local election official for more information.


Election Dates

The next election date is Tuesday, August 14, 2018 (Primary Election). The registration deadline is Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

To find out information about local elections contact your local League of Women Voters or contact your local Board of Elections.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Minnesota:

  • You must be registered to vote in Minnesota
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Political affiliation required
  • You will be entitled to compensation
  • You must be a resident of the state 20 days prior to the election
  • You must complete required training
  • Students 16 years or older who are registered in High school may work with written permission from a parent or guardian

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Most polling places are open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. Please contact your county auditor or township clerk for details.

Time Off To Vote

Employees are allowed to take time off to vote during the mornings of election days. This time off should be treated as paid leave.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

While there is no provisional voting in Minnesota, Election Day registration is available.

Voting Machines

The voting systems used in Minnesota are optical scan and paper ballots.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used in a few places on Election Day. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.

There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.

You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commissions (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

If you need help with voting, you can ask the election judges at the polling place for assistance in reading or marking the ballot. You may also bring someone to help you. All polling places should be fully accessible with clearly marked accessible doors and parking spaces. If you cannot easily leave your car, you can ask for the ballot to be brought out to you. If you are unable to go to the polling place due to an illness or disability, you can vote by absentee ballot. If you have limited vision, you may ask for voter registration and absentee ballot instructions in an alternative format. If you are hearing impaired, every county and most cities will have a TDD device for questions. Materials can be provided in braille, on audio tape, on CD or in large print. To order any brochures or to order a voter registration application and instructions on how to fill it out, contact the secretary of state's elections division at 651-215-1440 or toll free, at 1-877-600-8683. TTY: 1-800-627-3529.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.


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Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)


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