Vote Early (Absentee voting)

Don't want to wait in line on Election Day? Vote early! All voters in Minnesota can choose to vote before Election Day by absentee ballot without providing a reason.

You can vote by mail, or you can vote early in-person, starting 46 days before each election. 

Vote Early In-Person

The last day of early voting is Monday, Nov. 6 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Early Vote Center is located at 217 3rd St.S, at the corner of 3rd Ave. S. and 3rd St. S., one block from City Hall.

Parking:
There is limited free voter parking available on 3rd Street. On the weekends, voters may use the attached parking lot as well.

Direct Balloting

What is direct balloting, and how will that be different from absentee balloting and early voting?

The Minnesota Legislature made another change to state election law in 2016 potentially impacting the process followed by voters casting an absentee ballot in-person. Local jurisdictions now have the option to offer voters a choice during the final seven days before Election Day when casting an absentee ballot. In-person voters can now be allowed to insert their ballots directly into a ballot tabulator, instead of sealing them into an envelope to be processed and tabulated later. This moves the voting process even closer to what occurs on Election Day for voters, and allows them an opportunity to see their ballots being tabulated and to receive notification by the tabulator of errors that may have been made on the ballot.

Absentee Voting by Mail

To vote by mail, you need to submit an application for an absentee ballot. There is not an online application available for municipal elections. You can pick up an official absentee ballot application from the Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services office in Minneapolis City Hall or from Hennepin County Elections in the Hennepin County Government Center.

Absentee Ballot Applications are also available in multiple languages to download and print off to submit in person, or via mail, email, or fax:

Absentee ballot requests should be returned to:

Mail or in-person:
Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services
350 S. 5th St., Room 201
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Email: minneapolisabsentee@minneapolismn.gov
Fax: 612-673-2756

Requests are taken year-round. Absentee ballots are available and will be mailed out beginning 46 days prior to a regularly scheduled election.

Not pre-registered?
That's not a problem. You can apply for an absentee ballot and you will receive voter registration materials with your ballot.

Follow the status of your absentee ballot:

Use the Absentee Ballot Lookup.

Deadline for returning absentee ballots on Election Day

Remember to request your absentee ballot at least 7 days before Election Day to allow yourself time to complete the absentee voting process.

  • Absentee ballots returned by the United States Postal Service (USPS) or a commercial package delivery service (FedEx, UPS, etc.) must be received by the city election office by 8 p.m. Election Day.
  • Absentee ballots returned to the city election office or the Early Voting Center by the voter or an agent of the voter (another person authorized by the voter to act on the voter's behalf-see Agent Delivery information) must be received by 3 p.m. on Election Day.
  • On Election Day, voters who have not yet returned a requested absentee ballot may choose to go to the polls to vote, but CANNOT deliver an absentee ballot to a polling place.

Permanent and ongoing absentee ballot status (Recurring Absentee)

If you would like to vote absentee on an ongoing basis, you may request to receive an application for an absentee ballot before each election by completing the Minnesota Application to Automatically Receive Absentee Ballot Applications (pdf).

Absentee voting for military or overseas voters

If you are an active-duty uniformed service member (or the spouse or dependent of one) or a U.S. citizen living abroad permanently or temporarily, see the Minnesota Military and Overseas Voter Service for complete details on how to absentee vote. Be sure to allow plenty of time for this process.

Now available, active-duty uniformed service members, eligible spouses and dependents of such members, and other U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. may complete a special absentee ballot application online. This online service is available only to the identified eligible individuals who are able to provide an email address and an identification number from either a Minnesota-issued driver's license or Minnesota ID card, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number, or their U.S. Passport.

Military and Overseas Voters Absentee Application

Also see:

Absentee ballots picked up and returned by others (Agent delivery and return)

Starting seven days before an election, the following voters may authorize an agent to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them:

  • Patients in hospitals, residential treatment centers, and nursing homes;
  • Residents of group homes;
  • Residents of battered women's shelters;
  • Residents of assisted living facilities;
  • Voters who are disabled; and
  • Voters who would have difficulty getting to the polls because of incapacitating health reasons.

In order to have an agent pick up and deliver your ballot to you, you must:

The agent must:
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Present the voter's completed forms and an ID with the agent's picture and signature to a city election official.
  • Not be a candidate at the election.
  • Pick up ballots for a maximum of 3 voters.
  • Pick up ballots beginning seven days before the election, and no later than 2 p.m. on Election Day.
NOTE: If you designate an agent to pick up and deliver your ballot to you, ONLY that same person can return your ballot to the city election office.

When your designated agent returns your voted ballot to the city election office, they must:

  • Present an ID with their picture and signature to city elections officials.
  • Return the voted ballot in a sealed signature envelope before 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Absentee ballots returned by others (Agent return)

Starting seven days before an election, any voter may ask another person (called an agent) to return a voted ballot to the city election office.

EXCEPTION: Voters who use the designated agent delivery and return process may ONLY use the designated agent who picked up the ballot for them to then return their voted ballot.

In order to have someone act as your agent to return your ballot to the city election office, the agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Present an ID with their picture and signature to a city election official.
  • Not be a candidate at the election.
  • Return voted ballots for a maximum of three voters.
  • Return voted ballots beginning seven days before the election, and no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day

Health-care and hospital facilities

Special absentee balloting procedures are available to voters in hospital or health-care facilities. Call Minneapolis 311 or 612-673-3000, for additional information. TTY/TTD 612-673-2157

Absentee voting resources

Voting by Mail Video produced by Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services

Learn how easy it is to complete your mail ballot with the help of this video:

Resources from the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Vote Early by Absentee Ballot (pdf)

"Vote Early, Vote Absentee!" - 2016 (1 minute 30 second video)

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Minneapolis 311
Can Help

Contact Minneapolis 311 Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–7 p.m., weekends 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. for election and other city information. From outside city limits, dial 612-673-3000.