With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise, many people are taking the option of voting absentee. As of July 20, Minnesota has sent out a record number of ballots – more than 350,000 of them – as the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 11 is less than three weeks away.
The number of absentee ballots has skyrocketed this year as a result of the pandemic. Minnesota has allowed residents to vote by mail since 2014, but, prior to this year, results were spotty at best. In 2016, less than 13,000 absentee ballots were requested, a number that grow to slightly over 21,000 in 2018.
For those looking to request an absentee ballot, they can get a request form at www.mnvotes.org. Voters can request ballots for both the Aug. 11 primary election and the Nov. 3 general election. If you are seeking an absentee ballot for the primary election, those people are urged to act quickly since the election is 20 days from today (July 22).
To see what elections are on your local ballot, you can go to the Secretary of State’s office and enter your address here: https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us/.
Absentee ballots can be mailed in to the local city hall in cities that do their own absentee balloting (Albertville, Buffalo, Delano, Hanover, Monticello, Otsego and St. Michael) or at the Wright County Government Center (at the Auditor/Treasurer’s office or a secure drop box outside the Government Center). Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day (Aug. 11) and received no later than two after the election (Aug. 13).
With so many more people using the absentee ballot option, it is expected that absentee balloting is going to shatter records for the numbers of ballots cast away from traditional polling places.