Guide to Voting
Requirements to Vote
To register, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- At least 18 years old on Election Day
- A resident of Minnesota for 20 days
- Finished with all parts of any felony sentence
- You can vote while under guardianship unless a judge specifically has revoked your right to vote.
- You cannot vote if a court has ruled that you are legally incompetent
2014 Important Dates
- Absentee ballots available for Primary Election — Friday, June 27
- Primary pre-registration deadline — Tuesday, July 22 (Voters can also register on Election Day).
- Primary Election (learn more) — Tuesday, August 12
- Absentee ballots available for General Election (learn more) — Friday, September 19
- Pre-registration deadline. (Voters can also register on Election Day) — Tuesday, October 14
- Election Day — Tuesday, November 4
- To vote in Minnesota, you must register — check your registration status.
- You can pre-register at least three weeks before Election Day, or register at your polling place on Election Day.
- You must re-register each time you change address, change names or do not vote for four years in a row.
- Learn What Is on the Ballot — View your sample ballot and learn about the candidates and issues.
- Where to Vote — Each voter has only one place where they can vote at on Election Day. Find your polling place.
- Polling places are fully accessible with clearly marked parking spaces, doors and routes to voting areas. If you cannot leave your vehicle to enter the polling location, election judges will bring voting materials to you.
- Voting Hours — Most polling places open at 7 a.m., and all must close at 8 p.m. Voters in line before 8 p.m. have the right to vote.
- Right to Time Off from Work to Vote — By law, employees can take paid time off from work to vote.
- Voter Assistance at the Polling Place — Voters have a right to receive help from election judges or a person of their choice, except an agent of their employer, their union or a candidate.
Go Vote on Election Day
- Sign in and Register if Needed — An election judge will ask for your name and address. If you registered before Election Day, you will be on the voter list and can sign in. If you did not pre-register to vote, you can to register at the polling place. Learn about Election Day registration.
- Get a Ballot — You will receive a receipt after you sign in or register. Give the receipt to the next election judge, who will give you a ballot and show you how to mark it. The judge will answer questions and direct you to a private booth to vote.
- Fill out the Ballot — Ballot instructions will say how many candidates to choose for each office. Take as much time as you need. If you make a mistake, ask for a new ballot.
- Voters can also use the AutoMARK ballot-marking device to complete their ballot. AutoMARK allows voters to vote independently and privately through a variety of accessibility options for marking a ballot — such as large printing, audio instructions, key pad or touchscreen.
Vote Early with an Absentee Ballot
- You can vote early by using an absentee ballot — instead of voting in person on Election Day. You may vote absentee by mail or in person. Learn more about absentee voting.