Primary voting starts soon - Get ready!
August 12, 2014, is the State Primary Election. Contests on the ballot in Minneapolis include federal, state, county, school board, and judicial offices. All Minneapolis voters are encouraged to vote in the primary and make their voice heard in selecting who will be on the ballot in the November general election.
Ballots in the Primary Election include partisan races. Contests for all three major parties recognized in Minnesota appear on the front side of the primary ballot. Under Minnesota law, voters can only vote in one party's primary contests, and thus must select just one column on the front side of the ballot to vote in. Voting in more than one party's contests will mean that none of the votes on the front side of that ballot will be counted. To help prepare voters for voting in the primary, we have prepared special instructions including visuals that all voters are encouraged to download and share.
Friday, June 27, marks the opening of Absentee Voting for the Primary Election. All voters can choose to vote absentee either by mail or in person. City Hall will be transformed into Minneapolis' largest polling place, open to all voters who want to come in before Election Day to cast their absentee ballot in person. In preparation, the Elections & Voter Services team has been readying their new space in room 201 to accommodate voters. Because this election marks the first time that all voters are eligible to vote early by absentee ballot without providing a specific reason, we anticipate more voters than ever will choose to vote absentee at their convenience to avoid long lines and waits at the polling place. Plans are in place to transition in-person absentee voting into the larger rotunda area of City Hall when needed.
Ballots will be mailed out to voters requesting a mail ballot beginning June 27, and must be returned to City Hall by the last regular mail delivery on Election Day August 12. In-person absentee voting will be available Mon. - Fri., June 27 through Aug. 8, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. As is always the case, extended in-person absentee voting hours will also be available from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the two Saturdays prior to Election Day, Aug. 2 and 9, and until 5 p.m. on the last day before the election, Mon. Aug. 11.
Seasonal staff is being added to assist both with in-person absentee voters and to handle mail ballots. A particular effort was made to recruit staff with second language skills, and we anticipate having some seasonal staff serving as election judges at City Hall who will be able to assist with interpretation needs. As was done last year with in-person absentee voting, translated instruction materials will be available in Hmong, Somali, and Spanish, and if desired, voters will be allowed to receive assistance from a person of their choosing when voting.
The Elections website at vote.minneapolismn.gov
features updated information for voters about the Primary Election to help ensure all Minneapolis residents will be “election-ready” on August 12. The site features the Your Vote. Guide with quick links to a number of online tools, including:
· Voter Registration Lookup — voters can check if they are registered to vote at their current address.
· Online Voter Registration — more than 4,000 voters state-wide have successfully registered online since September 2013.
· Polling Place Finder — voters can find where they vote on Election Day.
· My Ballot — voters view their sample ballot (available on June 27 for the August 12 Primary Election) and can find links to candidates’ websites.
· Absentee Ballot Request – voters can request online to have an absentee ballot mailed out to them.
· Absentee Ballot Lookup — voters can find the status of their absentee ballot.
Minneapolis 311 is also a valuable resource available to answer questions from voters. In addition, the Elections button has been added back to the 311 mobile application to bring app users directly to the Your Vote Guide tools.