Prep for the Polls and Vote!
This is an exceptional election year in Minnesota. That’s because based on the 2020 census count, all district lines were re-drawn according to population in areas we live and vote for representation. This means all of the available state seats are up for a vote. Don’t be overwhelmed! We’ve got all of the information you need to feel prepared and energized this election season.
- Check your registration status and update your voter registration, if needed.
- Register: weall.vote/ywca
Tuesday, July 19 – Final day to register in advance for the primary election. If you miss this deadline, you can register same day at the polls.
- Ongoing through Monday, Aug. 8: Vote early in person or by mail (absentee)
- Tuesday, Aug. 9 – Primary Election Day
- Sept. 20 is National Voter Registration Day!
Friday, Sept. 23 – Monday, Nov. 7:
Tuesday, Oct. 18:
- Final day to register in advance for the general election.
- If you miss this deadline, you can register same day at the polls.
Tuesday, Nov 8: Election Day!
- What is a primary election? Primary election day in Minnesota happened Tuesday, Aug. 9. Primary results will narrow down candidates showing up on the November Election Day ballot. It will include both partisan and nonpartisan offices, so for some of the ballot you will just vote within a column of a political party you identify with, and for some of the ballot everyone will vote for all of the options.
- What is partisan vs. nonpartisan? Partisan means aligned with a political party – certain offices like the Governor & Lieutenant Governor are aligned with a political party and the party backs up candidates. Other elected offices that we vote for are considered nonpartisan – not aligned with a political party. Even though the people running may be part of a political party or have support / endorsement from one, the office they are running for is not aligned to a political party.
- How do I know what or who to vote for? The best way to be prepared for the election is to download a sample ballot from the Secretary of State’s office at this link using your address. This will be a ballot that looks just like what your voting ballot will look like, so you can research the names listed and fill out your choices ahead of time. You are allowed to bring this with you to the polls for reference.
- Why is this important? Many offices up for election this season – from federal, to state, to local. The people, who end up in the roles, we are deciding on, make huge decisions that impact us and our families – they are the ones who decided on unemployment rules during the pandemic. They are the ones who decide whether the state government can help make childcare more affordable. They are the ones who dispatch officials for public safety. They are the ones who proclaim what days we honor people. They work for us, so let’s be on the selection committee! Civic engagement is part of our mission.
- A note: the right to vote has never been extended to all in this country. We have a long way to go to for our democracy to be fully inclusive and representative. If you or loved ones are unable to vote in this election, know that part of YWCA Minneapolis policy priorities involve a system that brings everyone’s voice to the table with this right. You are seen.
- I’m not sure if I’m eligible to vote: If you are wondering about other considerations that may impact your ability to vote (age, immigration status, finishing parole/probation, etc.) you can read more about each scenario at this page (look at the left side of the page to see the different considerations).
- I’m not sure if I’m registered to vote: You can check if you are registered to vote here.
- I’m not registered to vote: You can register same-day whether voting tomorrow or voting early today. If your ID has your current address, you can bring that, otherwise you will need to bring a photo ID with your legal name as well as another document showing you’ve lived at your current address for at least 30 days and with your name matching how it appears on your identification. This can be a lease agreement, utility bill, or credit card statement. Approved documents can be found here. Another option: if someone who lives at your same address is registered to vote, they can go with you to the polls to vouch for you (say that you live where you say you live). This is also a way that people experiencing homelessness can vote (a registered voter can ‘vouch’ and say, yes, they typically reside in this area – whether that is outside of a building, under a bridge, or in a car) for a voter to vote in that location.
- When can I vote? Polling places are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm – if you are in line to vote at 8:00pm you have the right to vote! You can find your polling place here.
- I have to work: You have a legal right to have time off of work to exercise your right to vote. Polling hours are 7:00am-8:00pm tomorrow and until 5pm today at County Election Offices.
- I can’t make it to the polls: You can vote early at your County’s election center until 5pm today (Monday). You can find out where to do that here.
- I already voted (early or absentee): Great! You’re all set. Make sure your family and friends have a plan to vote – thank you for your civic engagement!
- Is this ballot ranked choice? Ranked choice voting (meaning you can vote for more than one candidate for a certain race) is usually only for local elections – on this ballot, each race will say how many candidates to vote for (e.g. vote for one or vote for up to two).
- I want to work at the polls: You can sign up to work at the polls Tuesday, Nov. 8 as a volunteer or for compensation. Being an election judge entails completing a two-hour training and then working a shift at the polls election day. You have the right to request time off of work to serve as an election judge, and must notify your employer 20 days in advance in writing. More information is here.
- I have other questions or concerns: Please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no silly questions – this stuff is confusing.
- Make a plan to vote: early in person, early by mail, or on Election Day.
- Confirm logistics like work and transportation considerations. You have the right to have time off work to vote on Election Day.
- Study your sample ballot to research candidates and topics that will be on your ballot.
- Bring your sample ballot with you to the polls, if you like. It’s allowed!
- Celebrate your civic engagement!
New to voting?
Are you turning 18 years of age?
Do you have a criminal record?
Currently, unhoused/experiencing homelessness?
Learn how and when you can vote here.
Who is on the ballot?
- U.S. Representatives (Congressional House Seats)
- Governor & Lieutenant Governor (on the ballot together as a pair)
- State Senator
- State Representative
- Judicial Seats
- State Constitutional Officers (Roles required by the Minnesota Constitution to be elected by the people – they do incredibly important work on our elections, regulations, budget, and other state functions):
- Secretary of State
- Attorney General
- State Auditor
Your ballot may also have the following local seats:
- County Attorney
- County Sheriff
- School Board Member
- City Officers
- Township Officers
- Local ballot questions
To see if there are any additional special elections or items on your ballot, you can download a sample ballot here to see exactly what will appear for you based on your address.
Where and When
Find out where and when to vote early here. This is a good option if you will have conflicts on election day (work, transportation, etc).
YWCA Minneapolis is a mission-driven, nonpartisan organization committed to being a resource to the community for civic engagement and education. Feel free to reach out to us with any other questions you have at email@example.com.
Thank you for your civic engagement!