Get ready for the Aug. 12 primary

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August 7, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The City of Minneapolis has released a primer on the upcoming Aug. 12 primary, which will determine candidates that will appear on the ballot for the General Election on Nov. 4.

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the primary. Races on the ballot include contests for federal, state, county, school board and judicial seats. Here is info released by the city today:

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How to register and vote in the primary

Pre-registration is closed for the primary, but voters can still register at the polls. Starting with this election, the list of documents residents can use as proof of identity and residence for voter registration has expanded, making it easier to register at your polling place. For more details, visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/election-day-register.

Absentee Voting

Absentee voting is easy, and has already started at Minneapolis City Hall. This is the first time voters won’t be required to provide a specific reason for not voting on primary day. That makes absentee voting available to all voters.

Absentee ballots can be requested online or applications are available on our website and may be sent anytime leading up to the primary. However, in order for an absentee ballot to be counted, it must be received in the Elections & Voter Services office by Election Day. With just a few business days left before the primary, voters interested in absentee voting are encouraged to do so in person at Minneapolis City Hall, 350 5th St. S. Minneapolis Elections will be open extended hours for absentee voting on Saturday, Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Absentee voting will close on Monday, Aug. 11 at 5 p.m. For additional information on absentee voting for the primary or General Election, see our website or call 311.

New precincts and polling place changes

In an effort to prevent long lines and improve the overall experience voters have in  some of our largest precincts, we have added eight new precincts and relocated four existing polling places. Minneapolis now has a total of 125 different polling places. All voters must vote in their assigned precinct based upon their home address on Election Day.

The new additional precincts are located in Wards 1, 3, 5, 12 and 13. The polling places that are changing locations are in Wards 3, 7, 11 and 12. All affected registered voters should have received a postcard notice from Hennepin County listing the new precinct or polling location. All voters are encouraged to use the online Polling Place finder to double check where to vote.

On-line tools help all voters participate in the  the Aug. 12 Primary

A full array of online tools are available to voters to make participating in this primary even easier. Minneapolis voters can visit vote.minneapolismn.gov for access to all of these tools and complete information about voting.

The Voter Registration Lookup  allows voters to enter their name, birthday, and address, and this tool will quickly tell them whether they are registered at that address. Voters who need to register or update their registration can do so using the Online Voter Registration Application. To find out where to vote, use the Minnesota Polling Place Finder.

In addition to now being able to request an absentee ballot by mail completely online with the absentee ballot request tool recently introduced by the Secretary of State, the Absentee Ballot Lookup is an easy and convenient way for voters to check on the status of their absentee ballot.To use the secure service, voters must provide the following information: first and last name (name must match voter’s name entered on the absentee ballot application or voter registration), full date of birth, and the same identification number the voter used on the absentee ballot application. The absentee ballot lookup tool informs absentee voters about the current status of their ballots with one of the following types of messages: 

  • Your absentee ballot application has been received
  • Your absentee ballot has been sent to you on (date)
  • Your absentee ballot has been received
  • Your absentee ballot will be counted
  • Your absentee ballot has been rejected for (reason)
  • Your replacement ballot has been sent on (date)

Information about the absentee voting procedures for military and overseas voters is at https://minnesota.overseasvotefoundation.org.  

For those planning to head to the polls on primary day, the Polling Place Finder is a key tool to ensure they know where to vote. Voters enter their home address, and will get their assigned polling place location, a map, and a direct link to their sample ballot. Especially with new precincts being added this year and some polling places changing location, all voters are encouraged to double check their polling locations.

Finally, the My Ballot tool brings voters directly to a personalized sample ballot. Every voting precinct has a different ballot, potentially containing different contests depending upon the part of the city, so this valuable tool allows voters to enter their home address to access the same ballot they will see when voting. Sample ballots are an excellent resource for preparing to vote, and can be brought with to the polls as a reference.

For More Information

For more information about elections in Minneapolis visit www.minneapolismn.gov/elections, call 311, or for TTY call 612-673-2157.