- What's on my ballot?
- How does ranked choice voting work?
- Who is running for mayor and City Council?
- What are the charter amendments?
How do I register to vote in Minneapolis? Can I check to see if I'm already registered?
You can register to vote online or by mail. You can also register to vote on Election Day at your polling place. Find out more information on how to register to vote and how to check your voter registration status on the city of Minneapolis website.
Where and when can I vote?
Early voting in the 2021 municipal election opened at the Minneapolis Early Vote Center (980 E. Hennepin Av.) on Friday, Sept. 17, and will end at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1. If you decide to vote on Election Day, Nov. 2, you must vote at your assigned polling place. You can find your polling place with this pollfinder tool.Information on how absentee voters can vote by mail is available on the city of Minneapolis website.
What will I be voting on in this election?
The 2021 Minneapolis ballot will ask you to select candidates to the offices of mayor, City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. You will also be asked three questions that propose amendments to the city charter on the future of policing, how power is divided in City Hall and whether to limit rent increases.
How do I find out what will be on my ballot?
A helpful tool to find your ward and your council member is available on the city of Minneapolis website. To see what will be on your 2021 ballot, the Secretary of State website features a "What's on my ballot?" tool that uses your address to show you a sample ballot.
How can I find out more about the mayoral and City Council candidates?
The 2021 elections in Minneapolis drew a near-record number of people filing to run for office. The Star Tribune asked candidates some questions on top issues and compiled their answers in a guide to the 2021 Minneapolis mayor and City Council candidates.
What is ranked-choice voting and how does it work?
Ranked-choice voting allows voters to select candidates in order of preference. Voters can rank any of the candidates on their ballot from their top choice to their last choice, but are not obligated to rank all of the candidates. We've put together a ranked-choice voting video and separate Q&A about how ranked-choice voting works in Minneapolis and how ranked-choice voting can affect the outcome of local elections.
What are charter amendments and what questions will I be asked?
The charter is the city of Minneapolis' constitution and it takes a vote of the people or an act of the City Council with the approval of the mayor to change it. This year's ballot has three questions that could lead to new charter amendments. For a more in-depth look at the amendments and how they could change city government, check out our guide to the 2021 Minneapolis charter amendments.
What is ballot question 1?
It would redefine the powers of the Minneapolis mayor and the City Council. Known as the "strong mayor" charter amendment, it would designate the mayor as the city's "chief executive" who must "direct and supervise" most city departments. It would define the City Council as the "legislative body" responsible for writing ordinances, making policies and performing some oversight functions. A yes vote would eliminate the Executive Committee, in which the mayor and the council jointly hire and fire department heads. A no vote would leave the current power-sharing intact. For a more in-depth look at the amendments and how they could change city government, check out our guide to the 2021 Minneapolis charter amendments.
What is ballot question 2?
It would remove the requirement in the city's charter for Minneapolis to operate a police department with a minimum number of officers based on population. The city would then be required to create a new department that "is responsible for integrating its public safety functions into a comprehensive public health approach to safety." A yes vote would instruct the City Council to create a Department of Public Safety that may or may not include police. A no vote would leave in place the requirement for minimum police staffing. For a more in-depth look at the amendments and how they could change city government, check out our guide to the 2021 Minneapolis charter amendments.
What is ballot question 3?
The third charter amendment on the 2021 ballot would authorize the Minneapolis City Council to enact a rent control ordinance, regulating rents on private residential property within the city limits. A yes vote would allow the City Council to design a rent stabilization ordinance that would likely include a cap on rent hikes. A no vote would allow landlords to raise rents as they have always done. For a more in-depth look at the amendments and how they could change city government, check out our guide to the 2021 Minneapolis charter amendments.
What does the Park Board do and how do I learn more about the candidates?
Elected every four years, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is responsible for "governing, maintaining, and developing the Minneapolis Park System." The board decides on a range of matters, including park safety measures, youth programming, homeless encampments in parks and facilities maintenance and improvements. The board raises revenue through a separate property tax billed through the county. The Star Tribune asked candidates some questions on top issues and compiled their answers in a guide to the 2021 Minneapolis Park Board candidates.
What does the Board of Estimate and Taxation do and how do I learn more about the candidates?
The six-member Board of Estimate and Taxation sets the maximum tax rates for most city funds and plays a key role in managing the city's debt. The board is composed of the mayor, two City Council members and a Park Board commissioner, as well as two directly elected members. Those seats are up for election this fall. The Star Tribune asked candidates some questions on top issues and compiled their answers in a guide to the 2021 Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation candidates.
When will we know who won the 2021 Minneapolis elections? When will we know if the charter amendments passed?
Races will be called at different times. We will share live 2021 Minneapolis election results at startribune.com.
A winner for Minneapolis mayor or council will be declared on election night only if the candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes based on the total number of ballots cast in the election. For other races, where multiple seats are open, the thresholds are different. For the Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation, which has two open seats, a candidate will need more than 33% of the votes; for Park Board at-large seats, a candidate will need more than 25% of the votes. If a candidate doesn't meet the threshold, the race will proceed to ranked-choice voting, and that counting will begin the next day.
City workers will count the votes in the following order: mayor, City Council (with a drawing to determine which wards get counted first), Board of Estimate & Taxation, Park & Recreation Board at-large seats, Park & Recreation Board district seats. Aaron Grossman, a Minneapolis elections supervisor overseeing ranked-choice voting, said they hope to have unofficial results for all races by day's end on Wednesday, Nov. 3.