Tuesday, September 19, is National Voter Registration Day. With changes in state law, more people can register to vote than ever before.
Earlier this year, Minnesota restored voting rights to those convicted of a felony provided they are no longer incarcerated for a felony offense, including non-incarcerated felons who are on probation or are part of work release programs. Approximately 55,000 Minnesotans now have their voting rights restored.
State law also allows those under the age of 18 to pre-register to vote. The voting age has not changed; you still have to be at least 18 years old to vote. However, 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds can now pre-register so their voter registrations will become active when they turn 18 and they will be on the voter registration rolls when they go to the polls or vote early or by mail.
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.
To check your voter registration, use this simple online tool to see if you are registered to vote at your current address. To register to vote in Minnesota, you must be a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years old on Election Day; a resident of Minnesota for 20 days; and not serving a prison sentence for a felony on Election Day.
Anyone under guardianship can vote unless a judge has specifically revoked their right to vote. If a court has ruled that someone is legally incompetent, they are not eligible to vote.
In Minnesota, voters can wait until Election Day to register. The city of Minneapolis encourages voters to register before Election Day to save time at the polling place. Voters can register online up until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 18. Paper voter registration is due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 18. If you miss this deadline, you may register in person at the Early Vote Center or at your polling place on Election Day. When registering either at the Early Vote Center or on Election Day, a voter must bring proof of residence.
Confirm your polling place location
Many Minneapolis voters have a new polling place because of the redistricting process. On Election Day, Nov. 7, anyone who hasn’t voted early can only vote at their assigned polling place. All polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can find your polling place at pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us. More information is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov.
Minneapolis voters use ranked choice to elect members of the city council. Ranked choice voting is a way of voting that eliminates the need for separate primary elections. For each of the 13 wards, voters rank up to three candidates for each office, in order of preference. Ranked choice voting is used only for municipal elections in Minneapolis. More information on ranked-choice voting is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/rcv.