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How to Register to Vote in Minnesota

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Signage outside the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 5, 2016. (Getty)

Wondering how to register to vote in Minnesota?

It’s too late to register to vote early online or by mail. The deadline to register that way has passed. It was October 18.

However, you can still register to vote in person on election day, which is November 8, at your polling place. The state advises, “You must re-register each time you change address, change names or do not vote at least once during a four-year period. Update your registration by completing a new registration application.”

Be prepared, though, because there are certain rules you will need to meet. (If you have election-related questions, you can call 1-877-600-VOTE (8683) in Minnesota.) Here is a list of county election offices. They will handle your voter registration. You can check your voter registration status here.

Here’s what you need to know:


Who Can Vote in Minnesota

The state says you can vote if:
You are a U.S. Citizen.
You are at least 18-years-old on Election Day.
You have been a resident of Minnesota for 20 days.
You have finished with all parts of any felony sentence.
You can vote while under guardianship unless a judge specifically has revoked your right to vote.
You cannot vote if a court has ruled that you are legally incompetent.


Registering to Vote on Election Day

According to the State of Minnesota, if you did not register before Election Day, you must show proof of your current address when you do. “You can register or update your registration at your polling place on Election Day,” the state says.

Here are some of the ways you can prove your current address in Minnesota, according to the state:

Bring an ID with current name and address. Minnesota will accept a valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID; or a receipt for any of these. The state will also accept a tribal ID with name, address, photo and signature.

As an alternative, you could bring a photo ID and a document with your current name and address. For the photo ID, Minnesota will accept:
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

The ID can be expired.

For the document with name and address, Minnesota will accept:
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

If you don’t have any of those things, you can bring a registered voter to the polls with you who can confirm your address, according to the State of Minnesota.

“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,'” the state elections website says. “A registered voter can vouch for up to eight voters. You cannot vouch for others if someone vouched for you.”

Staff people at residential facilities are allowed to confirm people’s addresses and vouch for all eligible voters living in the facility. The staff member has to prove their employment, which can be done with an employee badge and some other methods.

A general view inside the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 5, 2016. (Getty)

A general view inside the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 5, 2016. (Getty)

The state will also accept a college student ID with housing list, adding that colleges and universities send election officials a student housing list. “If you are on the list, show your college photo ID to complete your registration,” the website says.

You can also provide 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,” says the website.


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,” the state website says. “Bring it with you and use it as your proof of residence to register.”


Registering to Vote if You’re a College Student

The state advises, “You should register to vote from the address you currently consider home. For many students, this is likely a school address or a parent’s house. If you still go back to visit but no longer consider it your home, then you should register to vote where you live at school.”

The state’s website has a list of instructions for other unique circumstances, such as being homeless or in the military.

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