The presidential primary and the opportunity to cast your vote is rapidly approaching next month. This article will provide you with some essential information for you to reference to help you navigate the process.
What excludes you from Voting?
Starting off, some individuals are not eligible to vote in the United States. The following things exclude you according to the article from usa.gov titled “Who Can and Cannot Vote?”:
- Non-citizens, including permanent legal residents, cannot vote in federal, state, and most local elections.
- Some people cannot vote after being convicted of a felony or if they are currently serving time for other types of crimes. Rules are different in each state.
- Some people who have a mental disability may not be able to vote. Learn about your voting rights. Rules vary by state.
- U.S. citizens residing in U.S. territories cannot vote for president in the general election.
Check this guide from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State to understand voting laws in Minnesota specifically.
If you have any further concerns about your voting stats that are not specifically listed, check with your state or local election office.
Early voting begins January 19 and ends March 4th in Minneapolis for the presidential primary. If interested, there are two early voting centers near Longfellow. There is The Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services located at 980 E Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN 55414, and Hennepin County Elections (Hennepin County Government Center) located at Skyway Level 300 6th St. S. Minneapolis, MN 55487. Further information, including transportation routes, hours of operation, parking, and more can be found here.
Early voting is a great idea if you’re able to participate for a multitude of reasons. It is helpful to people who need language support, special accommodations (such as curbside voting), and more. Additionally, voting early can help people avoid lines and crowds at polling places on the day of the election.
If you can’t or don’t want to vote early in person, any voter can vote early by mail, and no reason is required. However, allow enough time to complete the process by mail as it can take up to seven days, meaning a few days before the end of February is the latest you should send in your ballot. Further information on voting early by mail can be found here, and the request page to vote by mail can be found here.
Registering to Vote
You can register to vote at the polls, however, pre-registering is highly recommended for time efficiency. Voters can check the status of their registrations here.
Keep in mind:
- If you’ve moved to a new address or had a name change since last registering, you’ll need to reregister to vote.
- If you haven’t voted in the past four years, you’ll need to reregister.
If you want a sample ballot to reference, you can find one here. You will have to enter in your house number and street in order to see an accurate ballot to your area.
Having information panned out chronologically is helpful in understanding what you need to do and when. Here is a simple timeline to follow that you can reference:
By February 13th – Register in advance to save time once voting comes around
March 5th – Presidential Primary
June 28th – Vote by mail or in person June 28 through August 12 for the Primary
July 23rd – Register in advance by July 23 to save time on Primary Election Day.
August 13th – Primary Election
September 20th – Vote by mail or in person September 20 through November 4
October 15th – Register in advance by October 15 to save time on Election Day.
November 5th – Election Day
Once again, the information to register, check your registration status, and more can be found here.
Another useful resource in navigating the voting process is “Your City. Your Vote.” by Minneapolis City of Lakes, found here.