How to Vote in 2020
Hooray! You’re Taking the First Step to Voting
At the core of our democracy is the right to vote. The right to choose leaders who support your ideals for what a better tomorrow looks like. In Minnesota, we have a long history of strong voter turnout, and with a tough election ahead of us, we’re counting on you to keep this tradition going!
Minnesota makes it really simple, safe, and secure to vote, but there are still some important steps you must take. This guide will help with the most common questions, but we always recommend reading the most updated guidance on the Secretary of State’s website.
Who Can Vote in Minnesota’s election?
If you meet the following criteria, you can register today to vote in the upcoming Election. You must be:
- A U.S. Citizen
- At least 18 years old on Election Day
- A resident of Minnesota for 20 days
- Finished with all parts of any felony sentence.
Registering to Vote
Minnesota requires all voters to register. The deadlines have passed for registering by mail or online for 2020, but you can still register in person at your early voting location or on election day. Remember: if you moved since the last election, you need to re-register at your new address! Not sure if you’ve done that already? Double check your registration here.
Register when you vote
To register when you vote, there are a few things you need to bring with you.
If you are homeless, living temporarily in Minnesota, or have other special circumstances, you can still register and vote!
How to Vote in Minnesota’s 2020 General Election
Most people vote in one of three ways: in-person on Election Day, in-person early voting, or mail-in early voting. (For other situations, such as military, abroad, etc., see the Secretary of State’s website.)
Vote Early by Mail
Minnesota has no-excuse absentee voting. This means you can vote early by mail for any reason or no reason. We are close enough to the election that we are recommending the ballots be returned in person to an early voting location rather than being mailed in. This must be done BEFORE election day.
Vote Early In-Person
If you prefer to vote in-person, you can do so early to avoid lines and make everyone safer during COVID-19.
In-Person on Election Day
For your health and due to COVID-19, we recommend voting by mail, but if you prefer, Election Day in-person voting is still an option! Steps have been taken to reduce risks of COVID-19.
Vote Early by Mail
Voting by mail is safe, secure, and it has an added bonus: when you vote by mail, your favorite candidates and campaigns can spend less time and resources on you! That means more time spent turning out other voters. Your ballot is still anonymous. Nobody but you will ever know who you voted for. However, if you tell your favorite candidates you’ve already cast your ballot, they can turn their attention to people who are less likely to vote. Pretty neat, right?
Normally, voting by mail has required a witness. Due to COVID-19, no witness is needed in the Minnesota 2020 General Election if you are a registered voter. You can request your absentee ballot easily and securely online. It takes about two minutes, and ballots begin shipping starting at 46 days before Election Day.
We recommend mailing your ballot back at least 2-3 weeks early so you can check the status and be certain it was received and will be counted.
Note: You must postmark your ballot by Election Day to be counted! And it must be received by your county within the next seven calendar days (November 10).
We are close enough to the date of the election, we are now recommending that you return you ballots to an early voting location. Absentee ballots CANNOT be dropped off at polling places on Election Day but you can vote on Election Day in person instead.
Pro-Tip: Check the status of your mail-in ballot here to be sure it’s received and will be counted.
Vote Early In-Person
If you prefer to vote in person, it’s easy to do so early on the schedule that suits you. It also reduces lines on Election Day. This means you make it easier for others to vote. You also make it a safer option since COVID-19 is a consideration this year.
You do not need to be pre-registered to vote early in-person. You may register on-site but be sure to bring the necessary documents.
Where to Vote Early
To find your polling location outside these counties, go to the Secretary of State’s website.
Washington County Residents
In-Person Early Voting runs from September 18 – November 2, 2020 during the following hours for Washington County residents:
- M-F, 8AM – 4:30PM
- Sat, Oct 31, 8AM – 3PM
- Mon, Nov 2, 8AM – 5PM
If you live in Washington County, you may vote at ANY of these places if you vote BEFORE Election Day:
- Cottage Grove Service Center, 13000 Ravine Pkwy, Cottage Grove
- Oakdale City Hall, 1584 Hadley Ave N, Oakdale
- Headwaters Service Center, 19955 Forest Rd N, Forest Lake
- Washington County Gov’t Center, 14949 62nd St N, Stillwater
- Woodbury Central Park/RH Stafford Library, Lower Level, 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury, MN
For full information, view Washington County’s website.
Ramsey County Residents
In-Person Early Voting runs from September 18 – November 2, 2020 during the following hours for Ramsey County residents:
- M-F, Sept 18 – Oct 30: 10AM – 4PM
- Sat, Oct. 31, 8AM – 3PM
- Mon, Nov 2, 10AM – 5PM
The absentee in-person voting site at the Ramsey County Elections Office – Plato Building will open at 8 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Additional locations will open beginning October 27, 2020.
- Ramsey County Elections Office, 90 Plato Blvd W # 160, St Paul, MN 55107
- New Brighton Community Center, 400 10th St NW, New Brighton, MN 55112
- Ramsey County Library – Roseville, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113
For full information, view Ramsey County’s website.
Vote In-Person on Election Day
We always encourage voting by mail or voting early in-person. You never know what plans might be thrown off, and if you miss the polls on Election Day, you missed out. However, if you prefer to vote on Election Day, we understand — it’s a lot of fun casting a ballot in-person!
What to Bring to Vote on Election Day 2020
If you registered in advance, nothing! You just need to remember and recite your name and address. You are not required to show an ID to vote in Minnesota. Check your registration status here.
If you are registering same day, check this page to learn what to bring. If you don’t have any documentation proving your address, you can also have another registered voter from your same precinct vouch for you — that means they sign a sworn statement saying they know you live where you say you do.
Where to Go
The best part of Election Day is that polling places are all over the place, conveniently located to each neighborhood! You can find the exact location using your address.
Who to Vote for in the 2020 General Election
That’s easy — Susan! If you’re in Minnesota Senate District 53, Susan Kent would be honored to receive your vote, but she’s not the only one on the ballot. You can view your sample ballot online to research each candidate. (For more about Susan, go here.)
You are allowed to bring a copy of your sample ballot with you to the polling place. You may not show it to others while inside the polling place.
But Wait, You Forgot. . .
Did we forget something that would make it easier for you to vote? Contact us via Facebook Messenger (see the chat box in the lower-right corner), or send an email. We’re all about making sure each and every eligible voter has access to the fundamental right to vote.