Thursday, May 29, 2014

Research Q of the Week: Prepare for More Absentee Voting (5/27)

Question: I heard that more people may qualify for absentee voting this year. Why is that?

Answer: Beginning with the 2014 primary election, Minnesotans who choose to vote absentee no longer need to give a reason for voting absentee. The “no excuse” absentee voting was a change in state law passed in 2013. 

Prior to this election, voters had to declare one of the following reasons for voting absentee: absence from the precinct, illness or disability, service as an election judge in another precinct, religious discipline or observance of a religious holiday, or because of an eligible emergency declared by the governor or a quarantine declared by the federal or state government. Now, all voters can apply for an absentee ballot—no reason required.

Because of this, election administrators are encouraged to prepare for what may be a boost in absentee voting, as these ballots take more time to process than those executed on election day.

Absentee voting can be done in person at the county (and in some cities) up until the day before the election. Absentee ballots can be sent to voters by mail, but those returned by mail but must be received on or before Election Day.

Mark your calendars: 
  • Absentee voting for the primary election starts on June 27, 2014.
  • Absentee voting for the general election starts on Sept. 19, 2014.

This blog post conveys general information. It’s not legal advice. Please check with your city attorney before acting on this information.

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