Election Day Voting Q & A
By Kim Yang
The 2018 midterm elections are coming up on Tuesday, November 6th. To help make Election Day as seamless as possible for you, we’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the more practical side of voting in this election.
Where do I vote?
Enter your address into the Polling Place Finder (www. pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us) to find out important voting information for your precinct, including:
- Your Polling Place (where you vote, map and directions)
- Districts for your precinct (including maps)
- “Candidates on My Ballot” (candidates and questions on the ballot at this election)
State and federal elections are open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. In state and federal elections, towns with less than 500 registered voters are not required to open until 10 a.m. but most choose to open at 7 a.m.
Did you know that As long as you’re in line by 8 p.m., you can vote, even if you do not reach the front of the line until after 8 p.m.
Why did my polling place change?
The most common reason a polling place moves is that the building is no longer available or suitable for use. You may also vote somewhere new after redistricting, when precinct boundaries are re-drawn. When a polling place moves, your local election office will send a notice to affected households with at least one registered voter.
Avoid going to the wrong place. Polling place aren’t permanent, and locations can change from one election to the next. Before you head out to vote, it’s smart to double-check where you vote.
What are the polling place rules?
Do not enter a polling place unless you are authorized. Only authorized people are allowed inside a polling place during voting hours, such as voters and their minor children, poll workers and someone assisting a voter. People may not gather or linger in the polling place or within 100 feet of the building.
Do not campaign in or near the polling place. You have the right to vote without anyone in the polling place trying to influence your vote.
No one can campaign inside the polling place or within 100 feet of the building. If the polling place is on public property, no one can campaign anywhere on the property, even beyond 100 feet. However, the prohibition of signs and campaign materials within 100 feet does not apply to adjacent private property.
Do not wear campaign materials. In the polling place, you cannot display campaign t-shirts, buttons or literature which relate to specific candidates, official political parties, or ballot questions on the ballot that day. You will need to either cover up or remove these items while in the polling place.
Can I take time off from work to vote?
You have a right to take time off work to vote without losing your pay, personal leave, or vacation time.
Your employer cannot directly or indirectly refuse, limit, or interfere with this right, including what time you choose to vote. Your employer can ask that you tell them when you will be gone, and ask that employees coordinate their absences to minimize workplace disruptions.
Can I register to vote on election day?
To register at your polling place on Election Day, bring one proof of residence listed below.
1. ID with current name and address
- Valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID; or a receipt for any of these.
- Tribal ID with name, address, photo and signature.
- Photo ID and a document with current name and address
Approved photo IDs (choose one)
The ID can be expired.
- Driver’s license, state ID or learner’s permit issued by any state
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Military or Veteran ID
- Tribal ID with name, signature and photo
- Minnesota university, college or technical college ID
- Minnesota high school ID
Approved documents (choose one)
Can be shown on electronic device.
- Bill, account or start-of-service statement due or dated within 30 days of the election for:
- Phone, TV or internet
- Solid waste, sewer, electric, gas or water
- Banking or credit card
- Rent or mortgage
- Residential lease or rent agreement valid through Election Day
- Current student fee statement
3. Registered voter who can confirm your address
A registered voter from your precinct can go with you to the polling place to sign an oath confirming your address. This is known as ‘vouching.’ A registered voter can vouch for up to eight voters. You cannot vouch for others if someone vouched for you.
4. College student ID with housing list
Colleges and universities may send election officials a student housing list. If you are on the list, show your college photo ID to complete your registration.
5. Valid registration in the same precinct
If you are registered in the precinct but changed names or moved within the same precinct, you only need to tell the election judge your previous name or address.
6. Notice of Late Registration
If you registered to vote within 20 days of the election, you may get a Notice of Late Registration in the mail. Bring it with you and use it as your proof of residence to register.
Do I need to bring ID to my polling place on election day?
If your voter registration is current and active, you do not need to bring identification. This means you were successfully registered at least 21 days before Election Day and you have not moved or changed names since then.
If you need to register or update your registration, or you have not voted in four years or more, you will need to show proof of residence before you vote.
If you still have questions or need help your can visit the MN Secretary of State’s website for more details www. sos.state.mn.us/elections or call 1-877-600-VOTE (8683).