Brown County Browser: What to know about absentee voting

Numerous groups, from inside and outside Minnesota, have sent widespread mailings to voters encouraging them to vote by absentee ballot. In most cases, the application they send is a copy of the official form produced by the Secretary of State and should be acceptable for applying. Make sure that the pre-addressed return envelope is addressed to your county office, and not another organization.

If you’ve already applied for an absentee ballot, or plan to vote at the polls on Election Day, you can disregard these mailings. The best way to apply for an absentee ballot is online, from the Secretary of State’s Office.  It is highly recommended that voters choosing to vote safely at home to make application by Oct. 2 to ensure enough time to receive and return their ballot.

Voting by mail is secure: Numerous layers of security make absentee voting just as secure as in the polling place.

When a voter fills out an absentee ballot, they must include personal identifying information: address, birthday, and driver’s license/State ID number or last four digits of a Social Security number). This information is matched with their unique record in the voter registration system.

Every envelope has a unique bar code, which allows election officials to track a ballot as it’s received and processed in the system. Bar codes also allow Minnesota to identify and eliminate duplicate ballots if a voter casts more than one, whether mistakenly or fraudulently.

To determine if you have submitted an absentee application or the status of your ballot go to our website at: www.co.brown.mn.us/elections and click on Track My Absentee Ballot. We are planning to mail the absentee ballots to voters the week of October 5th.

To prepare for the 2020 elections, we encourage all eligible voters to make sure you are registered to vote by Oct. 13. Young people turning 18 prior to the election can register at this time as well. This will save time at the polling place.


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