Most local races will be decided by ranked-choice voting
Races for mayor and city council in some cities holding elections this November will be decided by ranked-choice voting. This allows voters to select up to three candidates from a field of three or more candidates, in order of preference.
That way, if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote and your preferred candidate has the lowest number of votes, your other two votes will be tallied for other candidates of your choice who are in the running until one of them reaches the 50 percent threshold to win.
For some school board races with multiple open seats, voters can select district-wide, at-large candidates equal to the number of seats up for election. For school district-specific races, voters will only be able to vote for the candidates running in their school district area. Whichever candidates get the most votes will win the school board seats.
Changes in state law increase number of eligible voters
This year, the state legislature passed several laws to allow more people to vote, as well as expand the time period when people can vote. Those who have been convicted of a felony can vote regardless of whether or not they are on parole. Those convicted of a felony and are currently incarcerated still cannot vote.
Workers can now take paid time off to vote early or on election day. And voters can vote on Election Day as long as they are in line by 8 p.m.
Cities can now also designate additional early-voting locations ahead of Election Day. Minneapolis is taking advantage of this by establishing an early-voting location at the Weisman Art Museum on Halloween, while Ramsey County is establishing two early-voting locations in St. Paul at the Arlington Hills Recreation Center and at the Frogtown Community Center.
In December, anyone getting a state identification card or drivers’ license will automatically be registered to vote.
What do I need to vote?
Although you do not need an ID to vote, you must have some form of photographic proof, which can be an ID, but can also be a passport. You will also need something that demonstrates where you live, such as a utility bill.
If you have neither of these, you can ask a neighbor who is a registered voter and can be identified with photographic and address proof to tell election officials that you are who you are, and you live where you live. The neighbor can do this for up to eight other people. That’s the law in Minnesota.
You can vote on the day of the election in your designated polling place, or you can vote early. Find your polling place at pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us.
You can vote before Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, either by mail or in-person. If you choose to vote early and in-person, you can only vote at the early voting sites in the city where you reside and are registered to vote.
See the adjacent box for a list of local early voting sites. Visit your city’s website to find additional early voting sites.
You can also request a ballot by mail with your county or with the Minnesota Secretary of State. Once you have filled out your ballot, you can return your ballot by mail. If you end up filling out your ballot on Election Day or the day before the election, you can drop off your ballot at your local city or county election office, no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. You cannot drop off your ballot at your polling site on the day of the election.
St. Louis Park voters can also drop off their completed ballots at a drop box at St. Louis Park City Hall, located at 5005 Minnetonka Blvd.
- Minneapolis: Department of Elections, 980 E Hennepin Ave. (M-F, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
- Minneapolis: Weisman Art Center, 333 E River Pkwy. (on October 31 only, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- Saint Paul: Ramsey County Elections, Plato Building, 90 Plato Blvd. (M-F, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
- Saint Paul: Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave. (M-F, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting October 20 through November 6)
- Saint Paul: Frogtown Community Center, 230 Como Ave. (M-F, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting October 20 through November 6)
Duluth: 411 W. 1st St, #318 (M-F 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)