How to vote in Minnesota

Updated Sep. 25, 2020

Where do you live?

Select a state

Are you registered to vote?

How do you plan to vote?

Oct. 13Last day to register for mail-in

Nov. 2Last day to request a ballot

Sept. 18First day ballots are sent

Sept. 18First day to vote in person

Read more about how to register and vote by mail this election.

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Register to vote

If you’re unsure if you’re registered to vote, check your status first. The deadline to register was Oct. 13. You can also register to vote in person at a voting location on Election Day, Nov. 3.

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Request an absentee ballot

In Minnesota, all registered voters will automatically be mailed an application starting in late September, unless they have already cast their vote.

Are you running into voting problems? Let us know.

You can also complete the application here . The deadline is Nov. 2. The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters request a ballot as soon as possible but not later than Oct. 19.

Ballots are mailed starting Sept. 18.

Fill out your ballot

Mailed ballots need more than your vote. Most require at least one signature and can’t have any stray marks. They must be sent back in the envelope provided.

Are you running into voting problems? Let us know.

Here’s a more detailed guide on how to make sure your ballot is counted. Be sure to follow the instructions that accompanied your ballot and contact your local election officials with any questions.

Return your ballot

Your ballot can be returned at a dropbox, in person or by mail by you or a third party, with some restrictions. Prepaid return postage for ballots is guaranteed in Minnesota.

Ballots must be dropped off in person or postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by mail no later than Nov. 10. Check with local officials for specific times. The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their ballot at least one week prior to the state deadline, by Oct. 27.

You can track your ballot’s status here .

Don’t wait too long! The U.S. Postal Service sent a warning to the Minnesota Secretary of State that deadlines did not allow enough time for mail delivery and could disenfranchise voters.

Your ballot is verified and counted

From identifying information and tracking bar codes on your ballot to signatures, a lot has gone into making sure your vote is accurate and will count by the time your ballot is returned.

For certain problems with your ballot, election officials are required to contact you and offer you a chance to “cure” it so it can be counted.

Since 2016, 11 states and D.C. have expanded voting rights for the currently and formerly incarcerated

Absentee ballots may start being processed upon receipt and formally counted Oct. 20. Dates can vary based on jurisdiction size or the number of mail ballots sent.

About this story

Editing by Reuben Fischer-Baum and Ann Gerhart. Copy editing by Briana R. Ellison and Brian Cleveland. Additional development by Lucio Villa. Illustrations by Abbey Lossing. Susan Berger, Mark Kreidler, Alan Neuhauser and Annette Nevins contributed to this report.

Voting information for this project was collected from official sources, including secretaries of state, county clerks and written election codes. In some cases, The Post used news reports, court opinions and published research from sources such as the National Conference of State Legislatures to check or verify details.

Illustrations in this piece should not be used as a precise guide for how to mark your ballot.

See something that we missed? Let us know.

Kate Rabinowitz is a graphics reporter at The Washington Post. She previously worked at Propublica. She joined The Post in 2018.FollowFollow
Brittany Renee Mayes joined The Washington Post as a graphics reporter in June 2018. She previously worked at NPR on the visuals team as a news applications developer. FollowFollow
Elise Viebeck is a political enterprise and investigations reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 2015.FollowFollow
Leslie Shapiro has been a Graphics Reporter for The Washington Post since 2016, focusing on data visualization and new media storytelling.FollowFollow