Where and how do I vote on Election Day?

New Minnesota voter
Karen Billingslea will vote on Nov. 4, but only after registering at the polls.
MPR photo/Ross Holtan

People who have just moved to Minnesota might be wondering where and how to vote.

Voter registration
A Minnesota voter registration card. Minnesotans are allowed to register and vote on Election Day.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

The answer to that first question can be found online. Plenty of websites - including Minnesota Public Radio.org - will tell you where to vote. All you need to do is enter your address.

As for just showing up? Yes, you can. Minnesota allows voters to register and vote on Election Day.

So if you're like Karen Billingslea, a 26-year old student who just arrived from Atlanta, you're in luck.

First you need to figure out if you're eligible to vote. That requires you to answer six questions:

  • Will you be at least 18 years old on Election Day?

  • Are you a citizen of the United States?

  • Will you have resided in Minnesota at least 20 days before the election?

  • Do you have a felony conviction?

  • Are you under a court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked your voting rights?

  • Have you been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law?

So once you're eligible (as Karen is), you need a way to verify your residence. You don't need a photo ID to vote in Minnesota, but it would help to have one if you still need to register.

You need one of the following to register:

  • A valid Minnesota driver's license or Minnesota ID card

  • A valid student ID card

  • A valid tribal ID card

  • A valid voter registration in the same precinct under a different name or address

  • A notice of late registration sent by a county auditor or city clerk

In Karen's case, she has none of these, but she's not out of luck yet. Since some people who just arrived in Minnesota haven't had time to get anything official with their new address on it, there's one more way to verify your address: Have someone vouch for you.

As long as the person vouching for you lives in the same precinct, you can use that person to verify your address and register to vote. But you both have to sign an oath that verifies the vouching.

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