Nearly 1.7 million Minnesotans have cast ballots in early voting

A person votes in a room.
A man votes on the first day of early voting inside of the Beltrami County Community Service Center in Bemidji, Minn., on Sept. 18.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

Updated: 10:30 p.m.

Almost 1.7 million votes have been cast already in Minnesota, the state’s top election official said Sunday. 

Secretary of State Steve Simon told MPR News that 1.68 million votes — about 57 percent of  total votes in the last presidential race — had been received and marked accepted by city and county election offices.

Simon said there are just shy of 300,000 absentee ballots, and ballots from mail-only precincts, that haven’t yet been submitted. But he said some of the voters holding those ballots were likely to vote in person and others could see their ballots arrive to be counted before Tuesday.

He urged people to check the status of their ballot at mnvotes.org, and consider voting in person if a ballot remains outstanding.

“You can override the in-transit ballot. And what happens then is you will vote in-person and when that ballot arrives say Wednesday, Thursday or Friday it just won’t be counted,” Simon said. “It will be invalidated. The voter will have been shown as already having voted in-person.”

The fate of in-transit ballots was thrown into doubt by a recent federal court ruling that said tardy ballots — ones postmarked by Election Day but arriving after Tuesday — could eventually be removed from vote totals. Officials must segregate ballots that come in late pending additional litigation. 

Simon said local elections officials plan to count ballots that arrive through Nov. 10.

“We’ll do as the court has ordered and segregate the ballots," he said. "But we are going to count and tally every last vote for every last office.”

Anyone whose ballot has been marked accepted can no longer change their vote.

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