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.
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
Meeker 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:
- Acton Township: Grove City Community Center, 210 Atlantic Ave. W., Grove City;
- Collinwood Township: Collinwood Town Hall, 21904 746th Ave., Dassel
- City of Darwin: City Hall, 305 Curran St., Darwin
- City of Dassel: City Hall Community Room, 460 Third St., Dassel
- Dassel Township: Dassel Hisotrical Building, 901 First St. N., Dassel
- City of Eden Valley: Eden Valley Civic Center, 171 Cossairt Ave. W., Eden Valley
- Forest Prairie Township: Watkins City Hall, 110 Central Ave. S., Watkins
- Greenleaf Township: Beckville Church/Greenleaf Town Hall, 20521 600th Ave., Litchfield
- City of Grove City: Grove City Community Center, 210 Atlantic Ave. W., Grove City
- Kingston Township: Kingston Community Center, 30840 722nd Ave., Dassel
- City of Litchfield: Church of St. Philip, 821 Fifth St. E., Litchfield
- Litchfield Township: Litchfield Fire Hall, 227 N. Ramsey Ave., Litchfield
- Manannah Township: Manannah Town Hall social hall, 57211 351st St., Grove City
- Swede Grove Township: Grove City Community Center, 210 Atlantic Ave. W., Grove City
- Union Grove Township: Union Grove Town Hall, 35975 515 Ave., Paynesville
- City of Watkins: Community Hall, 110 Central Ave. S., Watkins
The following precincts use mail-in ballots: Cedar Mills, Cedar Mills Township, Cosmos, Cosmos Township, Danielson Township, Darwin Township, Ellsworth Township, Forest City Township, Harvey Township and Kingston.
Mail and absentee voters can return their ballot by mailing it, but they also can deliver the ballot in person to the Auditor’s Office at the Meeker County Courthouse.
The voter can deliver the ballot themselves to 325 Sibley Ave. N., Courthouse Level 4, Litchfield MN 55355, or have it delivered by a “designated agent,” who is limited to delivering three ballots and must present identification at the time of ballot delivery.
Ballots must be delivered to the Auditor’s Office, where a secure ballot box is available. Regular business hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Special extended hours for mail ballot voting, in-person drop-off, voter assist terminal, or absentee voting for non-registered voters is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2.
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. Residents of a mail-in precinct have until 8 p.m. that day to vote at the Auditor's Office.
YOU CAN STILL VOTE EARLY IN PERSON
Meeker County voters can cast their ballot early, in person, at the Meeker County Courthouse in Litchfield. A polling station has been set up outside the Auditor's Office.
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 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's Office at 320-693-5212.
VOTERS CAN 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.