Hours have been extended for absentee balloting at the Stearns County and Benton County auditor’s offices.
The offices will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5 for absentee voting by those who, for one reason or another, will not be able to vote at the polls on Election Day, Nov. 6.
Nov. 5 will be the last day to cast an absentee ballot in person at the auditor’s office.
Many absentee voters vote via mailed ballots, but as of today, Nov. 2, it is unlikely, if not impossible, to get ballots, fill them in and send them back by mail in time. However, ballots can also be emailed or faxed to absentee voters. Ballots can be returned by scanning them and emailing them to email@example.com. They can also be faxed to 320-656-3916. All ballots must be received at the auditor’s office by Election Day, Nov. 6.
Residents of Benton County can email their absentee ballots to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to 320-968-5337.
An alternative is to vote an absentee ballot in person at the auditor’s office. It’s located in the Stearns County Administration Building, Room 148, 705 Courthouse Square in downtown St. Cloud. The Benton County Administration Building is located at 531 Dewey St. in Foley.
Regular hours are from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., in addtion to the extended Saturday hours and the extra one-half hour on Monday, Nov. 5.
In order to vote by absentee ballot, a person must meet one of the following requirements for needing an absentee ballot:
• Absence from precinct on Election Day
• Illness or disability
• Religious discipline or observance of religious holiday
• Service as an election judge in another precinct, or
• Eligible emergency declared by the governor or quarantine declared by the federal or state government.
For more information, contact the Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer’s office at 656-3920, or email email@example.com.