MN SoS: drop off is now best bet for absentee ballots

USA official election ballot drop box outside for voting nobody
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So far, more than 375,000 ballots have been accepted in Minnesota’s early-voting window ahead of next Tuesday’s election. If you still have possession of your absentee ballot, a top state official said careful planning is needed to get it in.

Steve Simon, Secretary of State, said absentee ballots must arrive no later than Election Day. He suggested a mail delivery period of at least one week will ensure the deadline is met, but with the time frame shrinking, he suggested this strategy:

“0e,” Simon recommended. “You can either go inside wherever that place is at a county or city, [or] a number of them have drop boxes somewhere on the premises.”

A list of drop boxes around the state can be found on the Secretary of State’s website. There is still time to vote early in person, which ends on Monday, with extended hours at county elections offices this Saturday. As for Election Day, most polling places will be open between 7 am and 8 pm.

Nationally, there’s been heightened concern about political violence following the attack on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband. Simon explained in Minnesota, they have no indication anything on that level is imminent, but he added they remain vigilant.

“We’re always on the lookout for any threats or intimidation directly to either voters or at elections administrators,” Simon emphasized. “Whether those are the permanent folks who help run elections in counties or cities or whether it’s the election judges who serve on Election Day.”

In other states, there have been reports of armed individuals taking it upon themselves to “monitor” drop-box sites. But Simon noted Minnesota has laws about polling-place access and conduct designed to thwart such activity.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Mike Moen writes for the Minnesota News Connection.

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