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Off the Shelf: Vote!

You may have some questions about voting, especially this year! I will be sharing information from the Minnesota Secretary of State website (mnvotes.org). If you have access to the website, you will find lots of voting information and answers to any questions you may have. We also have printed voting information at the Service Desk at the library. So let’s get started.

How do I Register to Vote? You can register to vote online (mnvotes.org), it’s quick and easy. To register online you will need a valid email and your MN Driver’s License or ID. If you prefer to fill out the paper voter registration, you can obtain a form at your county election office or download one from mnvotes.org. You also have the option to register on Election Day when you go to your polling place to vote. If you are registering on Election Day you will need identification to prove your current address.

How can I vote? This year we are all encouraged to “Vote from Home” by voting absentee. Anyone in Minnesota can vote by absentee ballot. You can request an absentee ballot online, or by printing out the application and returning it to your county election office either by mail or in person. There is a new rule for the 2020 Election only…your mailed absentee ballot needs to be postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3, 2020) and arrive at your county election office within 7 calendar days (November 10, 2020) for it to be counted. Did you know…You can also vote early in person at your county election office? And of course, if you prefer, you can vote in person at your local polling place on Election Day.

Where do I vote in person? If you choose to vote in person on Election Day, it is a good idea to double check your polling location before you go to make sure it hasn’t changed. Go to mnvotes.org to use the Polling Place Finder. You just put in your address and your polling place information pops up! You can also stop in at the library and take a look at the Precinct Map.

Is it safe to vote in person in this time of Covid? Polling locations will be following CDC guidelines to keep voters safe, including disinfecting protocols, social distancing considerations, hand sanitizer and masks if you need one. Remember to bring your own mask, observe social distancing guidelines and disinfect your hands frequently!

If you have access to the internet, mnvotes.org has many great features to assist you with voting. Just a sample of what’s available are viewing a sample ballot and checking to see if you are registered to vote. You can even track the status of your absentee or mail ballot to see if it has been received, all by putting in your identifying information.

So, however you choose to do it, make sure you vote! Vote early if possible, preferably by absentee ballot, and if you are planning to go to the polls on Election Day, make sure you follow safety guidelines. Thank you for voting!

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