Voting in Minnesota
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
To vote in Minnesota, you must meet the following requirements:
- will be at least 18-years-old on Election Day
- are a citizen of the United States
- will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day
- have any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed
- are not under court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked your voting rights
- have not been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law
When and where
You must register at least 21 days prior to Election Day or on Election Day at a polling place. You may register to vote by completing a Voter Registration Application and submitting it by mail or in-person to your local election official. To register at your polling place on election day, you must bring one of the following forms of identification:
- 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
Other forms of identification can also be used. They are listed here.
As of September 2014, Minnesota is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration.
Voting on election day
A non-photo ID is required to vote on election day.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
- See also: Absentee voting
There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The ballot must then be returned on or before election day for it to be counted.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
- See also: Early voting
Minnesota is one of 8 states which allow early voting but require an excuse to vote early. Early voting begins 46 days prior to the election and ends the day before election day. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.
To vote early you need to provide an excuse for why you will be unable to vote at the polls during normal voting hours. The following are valid reasons:
- you will be away from home on election day
- you are ill or disabled
- you are an election judge serving in a precinct other than your own
- unable to go to the polling place due to a religious observance or belief
- Minnesota Secretary of State, "Eligibility and Instructions," accessed June 10, 2014
- Minnesota Secretary of State, "Register on Election Day," accessed June 10, 2014
- Minnesota Secretary of State, "Frequently Asked Questions - Election Day Voting," accessed January 3, 2014
- Star Tribune, "No excuse needed to vote absentee in Minnesota," June 22, 2014
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- Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Minnesota," accessed December 19, 2013