Signs directing voters to the polls stand outside the East Phillips Park Recreation Center on November 2, 2021. Credit: Ben Hovland | Sahan Journal

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A wide range of political offices are up for grabs in the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8: Minnesota governor, secretary of state, attorney general, congressional representatives, and state legislators.

Several city and county offices are also up for election, from school board to county commissioners to mayoral races.

Minnesota voters can cast their vote between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Find your locality’s sample ballot here to see a list of candidates in your area.

Here’s what you need to know before heading to the polls:

Find out where you’re voting

Voters can register to vote and submit ballots at the polling place assigned to their address. You can find your local polling place by looking up your address here.

Your address determines which  districts you live in and which candidates you must choose between for federal, state, county, and city offices. After looking up your address, click on the “list of candidates” or “sample ballot” buttons to see who is running to represent you.

Know your rights

  • Minnesota law allows you to take time off from work to vote.
  • The polls close at 8 p.m., but if you’re in line by 8 p.m. you can cast your vote after 8 p.m.
  • Register to vote on Election Day by presenting the identification outlined here by the Minnesota Secretary of State.
  • You’re allowed to ask for help from an interpreter. You can find more information  further down in this article about interpretation at the polls.
  • You’re allowed to bring your children to the polls.
  • People who have completed a felony sentence, including completing probation or parole, are allowed to vote.

Register to vote

You can check to see if you’re registered to vote here. If you moved recently, you may have to register to vote under your current address.

Online registration for November 8 has closed, but you can still register to vote at the polls on November 8. You’ll need to bring proof of residence such as a driver’s license, a utility bill issued within 30 days of the election, a tribal ID, or any of the many approved documents. Check the full list of accepted identification here.

Early and absentee voting

The last day to vote early in person is Monday, November 7. You can vote early at your county election office. You may be able to vote at your city office, but you’ll have to first confirm this with your local clerk.

Absentee voting refers to the process of voting early by mail. First, you’ll have to apply for a mail-in ballot. Submit your application to your county elections office by mail, fax, or email.

Once you receive your mail-in ballot, you’ll have to return the completed ballot by Election Day, or it will not be counted. 

If you’re dropping an absentee ballot off in person, the last day to return your ballot is November 7. Elections offices will be open the Saturday before Election Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, November 7. You can drop off ballots for up to three voters, but you will have to provide identification and a signature if you’re returning a ballot for someone else. 

If you’re mailing your ballot, it must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day or it won’t be counted. You can track the status of your ballot here.

Minneapolis residents can bring absentee ballots to the early voting center, 980 E. Hennepin Avenue, before 3 p.m. November 8. You can find a full list of locations to drop off your ballot here.

If you forgot to drop off or mail your absentee ballot in time, you can always vote in-person at your local polling place on Election Day instead. Don’t bring your completed absentee ballot to your polling place.

Request an interpreter

If you’re having trouble navigating the voting process in English, you have the right to ask for an interpreter at your polling location. Ask the election judge at your polling place for an interpreter. Some multilingual election judges may be able to help, but every election judge can call an interpreter that speaks your native language through a phone line if needed. 
For the first time in Minnesota history, population changes in Ramsey County required election officials to train interpreter election judges who speak Hmong. Some polling places in Minneapolis receive written materials to help voters in other languages, too. For example, the Brian Coyle Center in the Cedar–Riverside neighborhood offers written voting directions in Somali to serve the neighborhood’s large Somali population.

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Hibah Ansari is a reporter for Sahan Journal and corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. She was named the 2022 Young Journalist of...