Want to help on Election Day? Become an election judge

With less than six weeks until Election Day, 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. Sample ballots for each precinct are also available now to help voters know what to expect when they get to the polls. Absentee voting has also started at City Hall, and voters can also complete the absentee voting process through the mail.

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.

Volunteers still needed to serve as election judges

Are you interested in serving as an election judge, or do you know someone who is? Election judges are essential to a successful Election Day. They are the officials that staff local polling places, administer election procedures, and ensure that the rights of voters are protected on Election Day. Serving as an election judge provides an opportunity to learn about the elections process and is a great service to our community.

Although hundreds of people are already signed up to be election judges, Minneapolis is still in need of several hundred more judges to staff up for Election Day. Election judges open and close the polls, register and sign in voters, distribute and collect ballots, operate voting equipment, and record and certify vote totals.

To be an election judge, you must be:

If you know of anyone who would be a good election judge, please tell them about this opportunity.

Sample ballots available now

Visit the new elections website to see a list of all the candidates in every race. You can also see exactly what the ballot in your precinct will look like by checking out your sample ballot. It’s a great way to make sure you’re prepared for the voting booth, and you can bring it with you to the polls as a reference.

In the mayor's race, a record 35 candidates will appear on the ballot.  All City Council offices will also be on the ballot. Each ballot across the city will also feature two other city-wide contests: one for two at-large seats on the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and one for three at-large seats on the Park and Recreation Board.  Every voter will also have a chance to select a representative for one of the six Park and Recreation Board districts.

Absentee voting is underway - Request a ballot now

Absentee voting has now begun, and 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 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. City Hall is located at 350 S. Fifth Street.

To vote absentee by mail, voters may request a ballot. Ballots are then mailed out, and they include everything a voter needs to send back a completed ballot. Absentee ballot applications are available in multiple languages that can be printed out and mailed, faxed or emailed 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.

Oct. 15 is the deadline to pre-register to vote

Registering to vote is fast and easy. If you’ve never voted before and need to register, now is the perfect time. If it’s been more than four years since you last voted, or you’ve moved or changed your name since you last registered, you’ll also need to re-register.

Oct. 15 is the deadline for pre-registering in 2013. Voter registrations can be submitted any time, and can help ensure a smooth Election Day experience for voters, with less time spent waiting in lines and no need to bring documents with on Election Day. Just announced by the Minnesota Secretary of State, in addition to submitting voter registration applications by mail or in person to elections offices, voters now have the option to register or update their registrations online. To pre-register, start the process by visiting http://vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/register

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.

Published Sep. 30, 2013