How to vote absentee in state and tribal elections


In order to reduce traffic at polling places for the Minnesota primary election on August 11 and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe election on August 18, Band members are encouraged to vote by mail with an absentee ballot, or to vote early.

In state elections:

There are two ways to vote early by absentee ballot in the August 11 Minnesota primary election — as well as the November 3 general election.

1. Request an absentee ballot at In Minnesota, you can vote early with an absentee ballot starting 46 days before Election Day. You do not need to be registered to apply. For your ballot to count, remember this important information:

Read the instructions that come with your ballot carefully. Your signature envelope might have a box for a witness to complete and sign. Due to COVID-19, there is no witness requirement for registered voters for the August 11 State Primary. Non-registered voters will still need a witness to indicate their proof of residence.

Mail the ballot and forms back right away after you finish. Your returned ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day (August 11, 2020) and received by your county by the day before the county canvass, which may take place on the second or third day following the election.

2. Vote early in person. You can vote early with an absentee ballot at your local elections office. If you are not registered, you can do so in person if you show proof of residence.

For most elections, absentee voting locations must be open during their normal business hours starting 46 days before the election. In addition, locations offering absentee ballots for federal, state, or county elections must be open the last Saturday before Election Day (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) and the day before Election Day until 5 p.m. (This does not apply to school districts holding standalone elections.)

You can request an absentee ballot and find more information about voting at

In tribal elections:

There are two ways to vote by absentee ballot in the August 18 Minnesota Chippewa Tribe election.

Vote by mail: You can also use this form to request an absentee ballot, or you can email or call 320-532-7586 or 320-279-0178. The ballot must arrive back at the election office by August 18.

In-person absentee: You can vote in person at the District I Community Center from now through the day before the election. You will need to bring your ID, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

If you request an absentee ballot but don’t have time to put it in the mail before election day, or you are afraid it won’t arrive in time, you can bring the absentee ballot to your polling place on election day. The election judges will void the absentee ballot and give you a regular ballot instead.