Get ready for the Nov. 5 election

The City of Minneapolis is gearing up for the Nov. 5 municipal election, which will be city’s second election to use ranked-choice voting. Candidate filing for the election is now closed, so voters can see who will be on the ballot in November by visiting the elections website.

As we get closer to the election, the City is working to remind folks how to use ranked-choice voting, as well as to make sure people know how to register to vote, how to find their polling place, and to answer any other questions folks have about voting.

Absentee voting begins Sept. 20 - Request a ballot now

Voters who will not be able to vote at their polling place on Election Day are eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Voting absentee can be done in person at City Hall, or entirely by mail.  If a voter chooses to cast an absentee ballot in person, that can be done beginning September 20 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or on the final two Saturdays before Election Day, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To vote absentee by mail, voters may request a ballot now. Ballots will be mailed out beginning Sept. 20, and will include everything a voter needs to send back a completed ballot. Visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/absentee for absentee ballot applications in multiple languages that can be printed out and mailed in to request a ballot. Also online is a link to the Secretary of State’s absentee ballot lookup tool to follow the status of an absentee ballot that has been submitted. 

Voters who are not pre-registered can still vote absentee. If voting by mail, voter registration materials will be sent with the absentee ballot for voters who are not already registered.

This election uses ranked-choice voting, and it’s easy as 1, 2, 3

Minneapolis voters will use ranked-choice voting this fall to elect a mayor and members of the City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board. Ranked-choice voting is used only for municipal elections in Minneapolis, but voters only need to remember a few things to ensure they are prepared for Election Day. 

Voting on Nov. 5 is as easy as 1, 2, 3, especially with the help of the new elections website voters’ section at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/. First, make sure you’re registered to vote. You can check your registration status or download a voter registration application on the website. Second, find out where to vote. Use the polling place finder to find your assigned polling place for voting, or if you cannot get to your polling place on Election Day, fill out an application for an absentee ballot.  The third and final step to voting is completing your ballot. Just remember 1, 2, 3 again. Each ballot will have three columns, and you have the opportunity to rank up to three candidates in order of your preference for each office.

Volunteers needed now to serve as ambassadors and election judges

Consider becoming part of a network of community volunteers who will provide resources and information about this year’s election directly to their friends and neighbors. Volunteers are needed now to serve in the inaugural class of Minneapolis Voter Ambassadors. Training and materials will be provided, and being an ambassador can be as simple as talking to your friends and neighbors about the election on Nov. 5, and how ranked-choice voting works, or it can be more involved, by taking opportunities to participate in special events and presentations designed to help ensure all Minneapolitans are election-ready.

Election judges are also needed to serve voters in local polling places. Serving as an election judge provides an opportunity to learn about the election process and is an important service to our community. We especially need judges who are fluent in a second language to provide additional language support in the polling place, including Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese, Oromo, Laotian, Russian, and American Sign Language.

To find out more about either or both of these volunteer opportunities, please visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/volunteer or call 612-673-2296.

Published Aug. 23, 2013