Election Day 2020: What you need to know

The much anticipated 2020 General Election has arrived.

A record number of voters have cast early absentee ballots ahead of the election this year, but big numbers are still expected at the polls Tuesday.

On the ballot in Minnesota are the 2020 presidential candidates: incumbent Donald Trump, a Republican, and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

Minnesota voters will also choose between sitting Senator Tina Smith and her Republican challenger Jason Lewis.

Southern Minnesota voters will pick their representative for the First U.S. Congressional District. Incumbent Jim Hagedorn will try to win a second term against DFLer Dan Feehan, who lost the same race to Hagedorn by a narrow margin in 2018.

Also on the ballot are races for the Minnesota State Senate and House, along with races at a local level, including city councils, school boards, county commissioners, and more.

Here’s what you need to know about voting in the 2020 General Election:

What hours can I vote?

Minnesota’s polling locations are usually open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  States with towns fewer than 500 registered voters are not required to open until 10 a.m. for state and federal elections.

Where do I go to vote?

The Minnesota Secretary of State has a Polling Place Finder where you’ll enter your zip code or county of residence along with a street address to learn your polling location.  This online tool also allows you to see a sample ballot and the district races for your address.

I’m not registered to vote in Minnesota.  Is it too late?

No!  Minnesota allows Election Day registration.  An ID with a current name and address is required, along with a photo ID and a document with a current name and address.  A list of approved photo IDs and documents is on the Secretary of State website.

A registered voter in your precinct who can confirm your address can also go with you to the polls and sign an oath vouching for your address.  You can find a printable list of Election Day Registration information on the website.

If you registered within 20 days of the election, you may have received a Notice of Late Registration in the mail.  You should bring it to your polling place and use it as your proof of residence.

I will need assistance at the polls.  Can I bring someone to help me?

Absolutely!  You can bring a family member, friend, or neighbor to help you vote.  There is one exception: you can’t get help from someone from your employer or from your union.  Helpers are not allowed to influence your vote or tell others how you voted.  You can also show your ballot privately to an election judge to check that it is correctly marked.

I can’t leave my vehicle.  Is it possible for me to vote?

Yes.  Curbside voting is available for anyone who must remain in their vehicle.  Two election judges from different parties will bring a ballot (and a registration application, if necessary) to your vehicle.  When you are finished voting, those judges will submit your ballot.

I can’t get off work to vote.  What do I do?

Voting is your right.  Your employer cannot refuse or interfere with this right, including what time you choose to vote.  You have the right to time off work to vote in all elections, state and federal, and your employer must pay you for the time you need to vote if it falls within your scheduled work time. Workers can print a letter from the Secretary of State’s office to give to their employer.

Will I have to wear a mask to vote?

Yes.  The state has mandated face coverings for indoor locations.  Election workers will have extra masks on hand in case you need one.  Election staff will work with those who refuse to wear a mask to ensure they can safely submit a ballot.

I voted early by absentee ballot.  How do I know my ballot made it in time?

Minnesota’s ballot tracker can help you determine the status of your ballot.  Voters will enter the same information they used to request their absentee ballot to determine whether their ballot was accepted or rejected.

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