by Dennis Dalman
When the polls open for voters from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 4, those who did not yet register to vote can still do so, right at their polling places.
First, those people should find out which is the polling place for the precinct in which they live. To find that out, see information in story headlined “Where do I vote” in today’s paper.
Unlike some states that have placed restrictions on the rules for voting, Minnesota has made it increasingly easy and convenient for anyone eligible to vote to cast a ballot.
The following is based on information provided by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.
An eligible voter must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age on Election Day (Nov. 4), and has to have been a resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days before Nov. 4.
People who registered for previous elections but who did not vote at least once during the past four years must re-register. Those who changed their names or addresses since the last time they voted must also re-register at their polling place in their current precinct.
By state law, voters are allowed to take off work to go vote.
Minnesotans have plenty of options on how to register on Election Day. The following are those options:
Bring one of the following to the polling place: a valid driver’s license, a Minnesota learner’s permit, a non-driver’s Minnesota ID card or a receipt for any of those. One can also bring a tribal ID card with one’s name, address, photo and signature on that card.
Bring a photo ID, plus a document with your current name and address on it. The kind of photo IDs accepted are these: a driver’s license; a state ID or learner’s permit; a U.S. passport; a U.S. military ID card; an ID card from a Minnesota university, college or technical college; a Minnesota high school ID card or a Tribal ID showing name, signature and photo of the bearer.
The kinds of documents verifying one’s current address can be any of the following: phone bills (of any kind of phone); TV bills; Internet service bills; bills for solid waste or sewer services; bills for electric, gas or water; banking or credit card bills or receipts; rent or mortgage payments; residential lease or rental agreement as long as it’s valid through Election Day; current student-fee statements.
Registered voters who can confirm your name and address from your same precinct can accompany you to your polling place. He or she can then sign an oath confirming your name and address. A registered voter can vouch for up to eight others.
A college student ID with photo can be used if that college provided a student-housing list to election officials.
If you were previously registered in the precinct but changed your name or moved somewhere else within the same precinct, you need only tell the election official your previous name or address. No additional documentation is needed.
If you registered to vote in advance too close to Election Day, you may have received a Notice of Late Registration in the mail. That can be used to register on Election Day.
If you live in a residential facility, a staff person there can go with you to the polling place to confirm your address. The staff person must either be on a list provided by the facility before the election or be able to demonstrate employment at the facility.