Welcome to Election Day 2020 in Minnesota!
Congratulations, you made it. We’ve all been waiting for this day for a long time and no matter who you vote for (or don’t vote for), this is sure to be an election we talk about for years to come.
So far, more than 1.8 million Minnesotans have voted early, an increase of about 150% over the 2016 election cycle. Our September poll of Minnesota likely voters found that more than a third of respondents were planning to vote early instead of in person on Election Day.
Due to the historic increase in early voting, Minnesota’s Secretary of State office has cautioned that we may not know who won every race by the end of the day. You can follow the results here as they come in after polls close at 8 p.m.
If you’re heading to the polls today, here are nine things you need to know.
I’m voting in person today at the polls. What do I need to bring with me?
If you’ve already registered to vote, you can head to your polling place. If you don’t know where to go, the Secretary of State website has a helpful site to find your polling location. If you still need to register, you can do that today at your polling site. Be sure to bring the proper documents!
What COVID-19 precautions should I expect to see at the polls?
If you’re going to vote in person, you will be required to wear a mask and remain socially distanced at your polling place. To keep things safe, the Secretary of State’s office has invested in thousands of sanitizing stations, disposable masks, face shields, alcohol wipes, bottles of disinfectant and gallons of hand sanitizer for polling places statewide.
I forgot to mail my ballot. Will my vote still count if I put it in the mail today?
If you still have your ballot, DO NOT DROP IT IN THE MAIL at this point. Instead, return it in person to your local elections office or a designated drop-off site by 3 p.m. today. If you can’t make it, you can still vote at your polling location (but you can’t return an absentee ballot there). Polls close in Minnesota at 8 p.m., but as long as you’re in line before then you will be allowed to cast a ballot.
I sent in my absentee ballot already but want to make sure my vote has been counted. What can I do?
What accessibility measures are in place for disabled people?
If you have a disability including blindness, deafness or hard of hearing, or cannot read or write, you can ask anyone for assistance as long as they’re not from your employer or union. The Secretary of State’s office also notes that you’re allowed to verbally confirm who you are and get help with signing your name. Polling places will also have ballot marking machines that have ballot text in larger print and can read your ballot through headphones. There’s also an option to use a Braille keypad, touchscreen or sip-and-puff device. In addition, if you are unable to get out of your vehicle, curbside voting —where election judges bring your ballot to you — is also an option.
Can I wear clothing that expresses support for my preferred candidate?
No. Campaign materials — including t-shirts, buttons or literature — related to a candidate, party or issue on the ballot are not allowed in a polling location. You will be asked to cover up before you are allowed to vote.
I keep hearing about fears of voter intimidation at the polls. What does voter intimidation actually look like?
Under Minnesota law, voter intimidation occurs when a person directly or indirectly uses or threatens “force, coercion, violence, restraint, damage, harm, loss, including loss of employment or economic reprisal, undue influence, or temporal or spiritual injury” in order to compel someone to vote for or against a candidate or ballot question. It can also include spreading misinformation about what is or is not required to vote, or aggressive behavior that prevents someone from safely being able to vote.
What should I do if I experience problems at my polling place?
We’re working with ProPublica’s Electionland project to track voting irregularities in Minnesota. This can include misinformation, technical problems, voter intimidation, noncompliance with COVID-19 mandates and more. If you have trouble voting on Election Day, fill out the form here to let us know. We are aiming to follow up on as many tips as possible. You should also report problems to an election judge at your polling location and fill out a complaint form on site.
I’m excited to vote and can’t wait to share my experience. Can I post a photo of my ballot on social media?