Absentee voting for Nov. 5 election opens

Ritchie,MarkST. PAUL — The absentee voting period for Nov. 5 elections statewide begins today and ends Nov. 4, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced Friday.

Independent School District 834 is asking district voters to renew an expiring operting levy for eight years. ISD 834 is one of 113 school districts holding elections for school board members and/or will have ballot questions Nov. 5. More than 35 municipalities across the state hold elections that day for various city officers, and special primary elections for select district commissioners aree in Lake and St. Louis counties.

Eligible voters can register up until 5 p.m. Oct. 15. Pre-registration is not required, and eligible voters can register at their polling place on Election Day.

Current law allows an eligible Minnesota voter to cast an absentee ballot for: absence from the precinct; observance of religious discipline or holiday; illness or disability; serving as an election judge in another precinct, or when an emergency is declared by the governor or quarantine is declared by the federal or state government.

As a result of a new law passed by this spring by the Minnesota Legislature, voters will be able to cast absentee ballots without providing an excuse beginning with the August 2014 state primary.

To ensure their absentee ballot is successfully cast and counted, voters must follow the instructions and fill out the required forms completely. In addition, the online absentee ballot lookup tool allows voters to track the progress of their ballot to ensure it has been successfully counted. Absentee voting forms, voter information and the absentee ballot lookup can be found by visiting www.mnvotes.org. For information regarding in-person absentee voting, voters should contact their municipal clerk, school district clerk or county auditor.

Military and overseas voters have different absentee balloting procedures. Information is available for these voters at: https://minnesota.overseasvotefoundation.org.

“I encourage all eligible voters who are unable to get to their precinct polling place on Election Day, to participate in our democracy by casting an absentee ballot,” Ritchie said.

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