How Do I Vote?

Before you can vote, you must register. Details for registration are listed below, but you can also use the Secretary of State’s web site to register online.


In Minnesota, you may register at least 20 days before Election Day or on Election Day at your polling place. To be eligible to register and vote in Minnesota you must:

  • be at least 18 years old on Election Day
  • be a citizen of the United States
  • have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day
  • have any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed
  • not be under court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked your voting rights
  • not have been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law

Look up whether or not you are registered here on the Voter Information Portal.

Find the Election Official for your voting area on the Election Official Directory.

Become familiar with the Voter’s Bill of Rights.

Registering before Election Day

You may register to vote by completing a Voter Registration Application and submitting it by mail or in-person to your local election official.

Once you’re registered, you will receive a postcard with information about where you vote (your polling place) and your name will appear on the list of voters at your polling place. It takes some time to put the list together, so if you haven’t registered at least 21 days before the election, you can register at the polling place on Election Day.

Here is a list of Voter Registration Applications available for Download:

Voter Registration Application (English)

Voter Registration Application (large print)

Voter Registration Application (Hmong)

Voter Registration Application (Russian)

Voter Registration Application (Somali)

Voter Registration Application (Spanish)

Voter Registration Application (Vietnamese)

Registering to Vote on Election Day

If you are not registered to vote or need to update your registration information, you may do so at your local polling location on Election Day as long as you can provide proof of residence.

To find out where, here is the Where Do I Vote tool.

To register at your polling place on Election Day, you must bring one of the following with your current name and address to verify your residence in the precinct :

  • A valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, Minnesota ID card, or receipt for any of these
  • A valid student ID card including your photo, if your college has provided a student housing list to election officials
  • A Tribal ID card that contains your picture and signature
  • A valid registration in the same precinct under a different name or address
  • A notice of late registration sent to you by your county auditor or city clerk
  • A voter registered in the same precinct as you who can confirm your address with a signed oath
  • An employee of the residential facility where you live who can confirm your address with a signed oath
  • Both 1) a photo ID (may be expired), and 2) a current bill with your current name and address in the precinct

Voting Absentee

There are two ways to vote by absentee ballot: in person and by mail.

In Person Absentee Voting
You may cast an absentee ballot in person, at your county auditor’s office and in some cases your city or township clerk’s office, starting 46 days prior to Election Day. This option is available on weekdays during business hours. In addition, the county auditor’s office must be open for absentee balloting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Saturday before the election and until 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Contact your county auditor for more information (find contact information using the Election Official Directory), or check to see if you live in one of the Municipalities Administering Absentee Balloting.

Absentee Voting by Mail
In order to vote absentee by mail, you need to complete an Absentee Ballot Application and submit it to your local election official by mail, fax, or email (print off the application, sign it, scan it, and attach to an email as a .pdf).  Find contact information for your county elections official using the .  Your ballot will be sent to you when it is ready – at least 46 days prior to the election if you applied for an absentee ballot in advance. If you apply for an absentee ballot within 46 days of the election, your ballot will arrive within a day or two of your application being received.