Voter Registration in Minnesota
All Minnesotans must register to vote in order to cast ballots in elections held in the state. Voter registration preserves the integrity of elections in Minnesota by ensuring all those who participate in the voting process are legal residents of the state and of the United States, and residents of their town or county for local level elections. Minnesota allows one to register to vote by using a variety of methods, whether online, in person or by regular U.S. postal service.
Registering to vote requires that residents of Minnesota meet the requirements necessary for eligibility for voting in elections. There are a variety of circumstances which may prohibit a Minnesotan from voting and there may be required some documentation and/or proof of residency as well as other factors which are part of the registration process. Continue reading the article below to find out more about how the state of Minnesota handles registration for its voting process.
Who Can Register to Vote in Minnesota?
Voter registration in Minnesota requires that all prospective voters meet certain criteria in order to successfully register to cast ballots in elections held in the state. These requirements include the following:
- You must be a citizen of the United States.
- You must have taken up residency in Minnesota at least 20 days before the election is held.
- Any felony convictions must be discharged, completed or expired before you vote.
- You must be at least 18 years of age by the day of the election in which you desire to vote.
- You may not be deemed legally incompetent and allowed to vote.
- Your voting rights must not have been stripped away by a court of law in Minnesota.
- You may not register to vote if you are incarcerated, on parole or on probation.
When you complete a supervised release program you may re-register to vote. If you decide to register on Election Day at a polling station you must be able to provide proper identification when you wish to vote in Minnesota. The following are acceptable forms of identification in Minnesota in this instance:
- A valid photo ID such as a Minnesota state driver’s license or state ID card is acceptable.
- A student ID card that has a photograph on it is also a valid form of identification.
- Tribal ID cards that include both a photo and a signature are considered valid for the purposes of voting.
- A voter registration card that bears your name and address is another acceptable form.
- A registered voter in your precinct who can sign an oath professing your current address is allowable in Minnesota.
- Someone who works at your living facility who can sign and attest to your address is also allowable.
Minnesota Voter Registration Deadline
Minnesota allows pre-registration for voting which must be completed by 5:00 p.m. on the 21st day prior to an election and can be done using any of the regular, proscribed registration methods. However, residents of Minnesota who are eligible to register to vote may do so on the day of the election as long as they bring all the necessary documentation and identification forms with them to their local polling station.
How to Register to Vote in Minnesota
You may register to vote in Minnesota in one of a few different ways available. You can complete your registration online, by regular mail, in person at a local election office, or you can even complete your registration at a polling station on the day the election is being held. You can also confirm your registration through the state’s online web portal.
To complete your voter registration online, you can utilize the Minnesota Secretary of State’s online voter registration application. Besides complying with the mandatory eligibility requirements, you must also provide the following:
- A valid email address
- An identification number of some sort which may be any of the following:
- Your Minnesota driver’s license number
- A Minnesota state ID card number
- The last four digits of your Social Security number
To complete your voter registration by regular mail, you can download and print out the application form and fill it out. The form is formatted so that when you fold it the return address is printed out on it for you so you simply have to drop it in the mail with the correct postage. The same application is used when you wish to register to vote in person at a local election office or at your polling station on Election Day.
Early Voting in Minnesota
Minnesota allows early voting for both primary and general elections. It can be done either in person or by mail using the proper ballot forms.
Minnesota Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-Of-State Residents
For Minnesotans who currently reside overseas or are serving in the military, the same application may be used to both register to vote as well as to request an absentee ballot to use in an election. So a request for an absentee ballot is essentially registering to vote.
Minnesota Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
The question of how to register to vote in Minnesota when you do not live in Minnesota is answered by the absentee ballot option available to out-of-state residents. Those living overseas, out-of-state, or serving in the United States Armed Forces are all eligible for absentee ballots and my return them either through regular mail or online. Opting for an online ballot simply go to the Minnesota website for absentee ballots and be prepared to enter the following information:
- Your complete Minnesota address
- Why you are currently outside the country
- A personal identification number of some sort
- How you wish to receive your ballot (mail, fax, email)
- Your signature
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Minnesota
To change voter registration address information or other data on your voter profile, such as your name, you may use a voter registration application form. You may also update such information at your polling station on Election Day provided you furnish the proper identification along with supporting documentation to prove your residency.
Voter Registration Cards in Minnesota
Requesting a duplicate voter registration card in Minnesota may vary from voting precinct to voting precinct. Your local election office is the best source of information on how to replace a lost voter ID card.