EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated with new information following a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday, Oct. 22, that ballots must be received by Election Day to be counted.
It's been a crazy year of campaigning, but the calendar hasn't changed. Election Day is right around the corner on Nov. 3.
This year more than ever it seems Americans are trying alternative ways to cast their ballots, but the polls will still be open for in-person voting. Whether you're planning to vote in person on Election Day, vote early in person, or even if you've already voted by mail, here are six things you may want to know:
YOU CAN STUDY YOUR BALLOT AHEAD OF TIME
McLeod County voters will have numerous races to consider.
In addition to the race for president of the United States, voters will decide on a U.S. senator, a U.S. representative, state senator, state representatives and judicial seats. Local races include county board seats, city council seats, school board seats and soil and water supervisor positions.
Voters who want to see exactly what will be on their ballot ahead of time can review a sample ballot on the Minnesota Secretary of State website at myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us. Prompts on the website guide visitors to input information such as ZIP code, county of residence, township and street address to narrow down all the correct races.
WHERE TO VOTE ELECTION DAY
To vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, county residents will need to visit their polling place between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The following is a list of county precincts with an in-person polling location:
- City of Hutchinson: Hutchinson Recreation Center, 900 Harrington St.
- City of Brownton: Brownton Community Center, 310 Second St. N.
- City of Glencoe: Glencoe City Center, 1107 11th St. E, Suite 112
- City of Lester Prairie: Lester Prairie City Hall, 37 Juniper St.
- City of Silver Lake: Silver Lake Auditorium, 320 Main St. W.
- City of Stewart: Stewart Community Center, 551 Prior St.
- City of Winsted: Winsted City Hall, 201 First St. N.
- Acoma Township: Acoma Town Hall, 23486 230th St., Hutchinson
- Penn Township: Penn Town Hall, 15989 40th St., Brownton
County precincts that do not have in-person polling locations are Biscay, Plato, Bergen Township, Collins Township, Glencoe Township, Hale Township, Hassan Valley Township, Helen Township, Hutchinson Township, Lynn Township, Rich Valley Township, Round Grove Township, Sumter Township and Winsted Township.
McLeod County does not have a drop box for ballots, so residents of mail-in precincts may mail or deliver their ballots in person to the McLeod County Auditor-Treasurer's Office at 2391 Hennepin Ave. N., Glencoe, MN 55336. Office hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours are extended 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2; and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. Ballots may also be given to a sanctioned poll worker. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3, and received within the next seven days to be counted.
By statute, a registered voter in a mail-in ballot precinct may not place their ballot into a tabulator.
ABSENTEE VOTING HAS A DEADLINE
Voters hoping to cast an absentee ballot by mail are no longer advised to do so following a court ruling Thursday, Oct. 22, suggesting Minnesota ballots that arrive after Tuesday, Nov. 3, might not be counted.
Voters who have already mailed their ballot can track it at MNVotes.org/track. If your ballot has not yet been received, you can vote in person, either by absentee, or at your polling place on Election Day.
Voters who want to submit their absentee ballot in person must do so at the Auditor-Treasurer's office during its regular and extended hours ahead of Election Day, and by 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.
YOU CAN STILL VOTE EARLY IN PERSON
McLeod County voters can cast their ballot early, in person, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Auditor-Treasurer's Office, up until Election Day. Extended hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31; and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2.
Hutchinson residents can do so as well 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday at Hutchinson City Center, 111 Hassan St. S.E., Hutchinson. Additional hours are available 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2.
MINNESOTA MAKES IT EASY TO REGISTER
Minnesota residents must register to vote if they have never voted before, have not voted in the past four years, have moved since last voting, or if they have changed their name since last voting. Residents can confirm their voting status at mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterStatus.aspx.
Residents can register to vote in person or by mail at the Auditor-Treasurer's Office or any city or town hall in the county. Applications can also be picked up at city halls, post offices and school district offices. To have a voter registration application mailed, call the Auditor-Treasurer's Office at 320-864-1260.
YOU CAN ALSO REGISTER AT THE POLLS
Minnesotans who plan to register at the polls will need one of the following:
- a Minnesota driver's license, learner's permit or Minnesota identification card that includes current name and address, or a receipt for any of those documents
- a notice of late registration mailed by the McLeod County Auditor-Treasurer's Office
- a prior registration at another address in the same precinct
- an oath of a registered voter in the person's precinct who can vouch for their residence in the precinct, or an employee of a nursing home, shelter or similar facility where they reside
College students may use:
- a current student identification card, registration card or fee statement that includes current address
- a current student fee statement containing current address and a photo identification card
- a current student identification card including a student photo, so long as the college has provided a list of students to the Auditor-Treasurer's Office
A tribal identification that includes name, address, photo and signature may also be used.
Additionally, residents may use one document from each of the following groups:
- Group one: A Minnesota driver's license or identification card, U.S. passport, U.S. military identification card, tribal ID or student identification card from a Minnesota college. These documents must contain the voter's name and photo.
- Group two: An original bill for gas, electric, telephone, cable TV, water, sewer or solid waste services. The document must include the voter's name and current address and have a due date within 30 days of the election.