Increasing access through absentee voting 

Absentee voting begins 46 days before each regularly scheduled election. Absentee ballots can be cast either in-person or by mail. In 2016, absentee balloting for the primary will run June 24 to August 9, while absentee balloting for the general election will run from Sept. 23 to Election Day on Nov. 8.

In-person absentee voting is similar to—and is even sometimes referred to as—“early voting.” However, there are important differences between no-excuse absentee in-person voting and true early voting. Nevertheless, because many voters refer to in-person absentee balloting as early voting, EVS will use and promote this term, as well as the opportunity to cast an absentee ballot, to encourage voters who choose to take advantage of this option in order to reduce the potential for long lines and extended wait times at the polls on Election Day.

Given the probability of setting new records for absentee participation in the 2016 Presidential Election, preparations are underway to expand absentee voting options to reduce long lines and wait times and offer more service options to voters.

Just as in the last three years, in-person absentee voting will be offered at City Hall, primarily in the rotunda, for both the primary and general election. As part of its actions on Friday, April 1, the Minneapolis City Council authorized staff to move forward with plans to offer in-person voting at up to four additional sites during the 46-day absentee period leading up to the general election. Keeping with the overall theme of “taking the ballot to the people,” this strategy would give all voters a choice of up to five “early vote” locations, significantly increasing access to the ballot box and convenience to voters. Geographic considerations are being taken into account for where to locate these satellite voting locations, as well as population and demographic data, and previous voting trends.


Elections & Voter Services
City Hall, 350 S. 5th St., Room 201
Minneapolis, MN 55415