Secretary of State Mark Ritchie this week reminded voters to vote by absentee ballot if they are unable to get to the polls for the state primary election that takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 14.
Absentee ballots must be completed and returned on or before Aug. 14 to be counted for the primary.
“The August 14 primary is less than two weeks away, and if a voter knows that they will be unable to make it to their polling location on Election Day there is still time to vote absentee,” said Secretary of State Ritchie.
Eligible Minnesota voters can vote by absentee ballot either by mail or in person for one of the following reasons:
•Absence from the precinct (away from home on Election Day).
•Illness or disability.
•Serving as an election judge in another precinct.
To vote absentee in person, voters must go to their county auditor’s office during regular business hours Monday through Friday until Friday, Aug. 10, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, or up until 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13.
In-person absentee voting may be offered at many municipal clerk offices as well. If you are not registered to vote, an election official will provide you a voter registration form to complete along with your absentee ballot materials.
To successfully register, voters must show proof of residence.
Voters who choose to vote absentee by mail can download and print an absentee ballot application on the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s one-stop election information web site www.mnvotes.org .
They may also contact a county auditor or municipal clerk directly to obtain one. Upon receipt of your application, election officials will send you a ballot by mail to complete.
Absentee voters who wish to track the status of their ballot to ensure their ballot is counted should use the Absentee Ballot Lookup at www.mnvotes.org.
Absentee voting information for military and overseas voters is available at https://minnesota.overseasvotefoundation.org.
“Voters in the state primary choose the candidates that will be on the general election ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Have a voice in our democracy and exercise your right to vote by casting a ballot in the state primary on August 14,”concluded Secretary of State Ritchie.
A state primary election serves a different purpose than a general election. For partisan races, a primary election narrows the field of candidates for the three major political parties: Republican, Independence, and Democratic-Farmer-Labor to those who will be on the general election ballot.
Primary voters also narrow the field of nonpartisan candidates in contests for judicial, county and local offices. Voters will elect those who will represent them in public office during the general election on November 6.
Minnesota has an “open primary,” which means that voters are not required to register with a political party. However, primary voters cannot vote for candidates in more than one political party.
On Tuesday, August 14 most polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Minnesota has Election Day registration, which allows voters to register to vote at the polls.
Unofficial primary election results will be posted after the polls close at 8 p.m. on election night at www.sos.state.mn.us. Additional voter information is available at www.mnvotes.org
“Primary voters will determine which candidates will be on the general election ballot in November,” Ritchie said.
“Ultimately, the public officials who will make the policy decisions that affect all Minnesotans will be nominated next Tuesday. That is why it is so important to take the time to exercise your right to vote and cast a ballot on August 14.”