Election resources for MN350 Action supporters

Minnesota is well known for leading the nation in voter turnout. Election year after election year, Minnesota voters turn out to the polls more than any other state in the nation. That’s due, in large part, to our strong civic culture around voting and our safe, modern election system. And this year is no different. In fact, Minnesotans are turning out to vote in record numbers, and will continue to do so through Election Day.

The details of how to vote look a little different, but the integrity of the process has not changed. There can be an overwhelming amount of information about voting so we hope to clarify some questions you might have using existing resources.

Common questions

Registration: The deadline for online or mail-in voter registration has passed BUT you can register at your polling place on election day.

Absentee ballots: You can apply for a ballot any time during the year, except the day of the election. Leave time for election officials to mail your ballot. Because of a Republican lawsuit, you should drop your ballot off at an official ballot drop box, not mail it since it may not be received until after November 3.

In many states, it is legal for third-party or non-governmental organizations to send out absentee ballot application forms. These forms and groups may contain messaging about candidates or parties. These forms are valid in Minnesota as long as they are submitted by a certain deadline. The most secure way to apply for an absentee ballot is through the Secretary of State Site. Once you’ve applied you will receive a confirmation email that your application is being processed.

Yes, voting by mail is secure, and the postal service will be able to handle the volume of election mail. Election officials recommend sending in your ballot early to be sure it is counted. If you do not feel comfortable returning your ballot by mail, you can check your county’s election website to determine where and when you can drop off your ballot. MPR News

Yes. To be cautious, aim to put it in the mail no later than Tuesday, Oct. 27. Officially, your ballot must be postmarked on or before election day (Nov. 3) and received by your county within seven days after the election — meaning Nov. 10 for the general election.

The multiple envelopes are used to keep your ballot private and secure (explanation by the League of Women Voters). Be sure to follow the directions that come with your ballot! If you don’t, the ballot will not be accepted. The directions will look like this.

The most common errors with a ballot occur on the signature envelope. You need to be sure that the forms of identification that you provided in your registration and what you mark on the envelope match. When you mark your ballot, use a black or blue pen. If you make a mistake on your ballot, you can request a new one from your election office.  MPR Question and Answers with MN Secretary of State

As long as your absentee ballot hasn’t been counted by your election officials (check here), you may still cast a ballot in person by voting in your polling place on Election Day or at your local early voting location. MN Secretary of State site

As long as you’re in line by 8 p.m., you can vote, even if you don’t reach the front of the line until after 8 p.m. MN Secretary of State site

Interest has surged for voting early or by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you voted absentee or by mail, you can check the status of your ballot on the Secretary of State website. If you’re curious to know what happens after your ballot is sent in, you can reference this short article from the Star Tribune.

Why are you  a climate voter? Tell us why and hear what others have to say.
Trainings

MN350 Action is partnering with COPAL and Common Cause to train nonpartisan Election Protection volunteers in communities of color. Sign up to serve as a poll monitor and learn how to protect voters from restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related voting disruptions, or anything else that could silence their voices. We will gather on Oct. 30 to review election scenarios, answer questions about poll monitoring and review what we can do before, during and after the election to protect our democracy.

There’s a chance that a desperate Trump will respond to a narrow victory by Biden by declaring the election fraudulent, urging his base to support his continued Presidency. These trainings will share the most important things to know and practice in order to be ready for that possibility.

Resources

Vote by mail common questions

Checking the status of absentee or mail in ballot 

Main page for Elections Information – MN Secretary of State 

What happens to your ballot once you mail it in?

The Election Night Integrity Project provides incredibly useful information for folks trying to understand this election season. They hope to be a model of responsible reporting and visualization during the 2020 general election. 
 
 from Every Town for Gun Safety
 
Democracy Docket  put together by the DNC, Fair Fight, Voto Latino, and a host of other organizations to ensure that the best voting information is available in real time.