Voting Accessibility

If you need help voting, you have lots of options! You can bring someone with you, ask an election judge for help, use a machine to mark your ballot or even vote from your car.

Time off to Vote

In a state or federal election, every employee has the right to be excused from work to vote on Election Day without penalty or loss of salary or wages as per Minnesota Statute 204C.04.

Bringing Someone with You

You are welcome to bring a relative, friend or neighbor with you to help you as long as that person is not your employer or your union representative. The person you bring with you can help you in all parts of the voting process, including in the voting booth; however, helpers can only physically mark ballots for up to three voters in an election. In addition, they are not allowed to make choices for you, share how you vote with others or try to influence you to vote a certain way. If you have someone help you mark your ballot, you are welcome to show your ballot privately to an election judge to check that it is correctly marked.

Voting Machines for People Who Want Assistance

All Absentee / Early Voting Centers and the polls on Election Day are equipped with ballot marking devices that can mark a ballot for you. It gives you privacy if you cannot or choose not to vote using a pen.  These ballot marking devices can help you:

  • View the ballot on a screen that can enlarge the font or display the ballot with a high-contrast background
  • Listen to an audio version of the ballot through headphones
  • Fill out your ballot using a Braille keypad, a touch screen, a key pad or personal sip and puff port. After you make your choices, the device prints your completed ballot so you can place it into the ballot counter. Note: this device marks but does not count ballots.

Help from Election Judges

You may also ask election judges for assistance. Election officials are happy to work together to assist with:

  • Using a Ballot Marking Device to read, mark and print your ballot
  • Using a Signature Guide to help you sign your name
  • Using a magnifying device or chair to use in the voting booth
  • Voting at the curb in your vehicle
  • Reading or marking a ballot

Voting From Your Car 

If you cannot easily leave your vehicle to enter a polling place, you can ask to have a ballot brought out to you.  This is known as “Curbside Voting.”

Specific directions how to do this will be posted here closer to Election Day.

Voting When You Fear For Your Safety

Please visit Safe At Home: An Address Confidentiality well in advance of the election if you are in a situation where you wish to vote but fear for your safety if your address were to be disclosed in voter records.

Voting When You Need Translation Services or Large Print

Ramsey County Elections contracts with ARC Translation Services to provide telephone translation services for all voters in Ramsey County who require assistance for in-person absentee voting, early voting or election day voting. Alternately, you may bring someone with you to the polls to translate. To view forms and directions, please select from the materials below. To request materials in an alternative format such as Braille, please call 1-877-600-8683.

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Elections Material in other languages
Voting in Unique Circumstances
Voters Who are Moving On or Close to Election Day

Moving To / From New Brighton From / To Another City in Minnesota

To vote in Minnesota, you must live in the state for at least 20 days before Election Day. If you meet this requirement, you can register to vote on Election Day  

Moving Away From New Brighton To Another State

If you move from Minnesota to another state within 30 days before Election Day, you might not be eligible to vote in your new state.

In this case, you can send a Presidential Absentee Application to the county election office of the county you last resided in. You will receive a ballot for U.S. president and vice-president.

Moving To New Brighton From Another State

To vote in Minnesota, you must live in the state for at least 20 days before Election Day. If you meet this requirement, you can register to vote on Election Day.

If you have lived in Minnesota for fewer than 20 days before Election Day, you cannot vote in Minnesota for that election. However, you will be able to cast a presidential absentee ballot.

Click here to visit the MN Secretary of State's Office to learn more. 

Voters Who Feel Sick on Election Day

If you are feeling sick on Election Day, are a patient in a hospital or other medical facility (including a nursing home), are a resident of a shelter or assisted living facility, or are disabled, you may enlist someone you know to help you vote.

Each agent is allowed to deliver and return ballots for a maximum of three voters.

You can cast an absentee vote by agent if you are a:

  • Patient in a hospital, residential treatment center or nursing home.
  • Resident of a group home.
  • Resident of a battered women's shelter.
  • Resident of an assisted living facility.
  • Disabled voter.
  • Voter who would have difficulty getting to the polls because of incapacitating health reasons.

How to vote by agent

  1. Choose someone to be your agent who:
    • Has a pre-existing relationship with you.
    • Is at least 18 years old.
    • Is not a candidate in the election.
  2. Complete and return both of the following BEFORE 2:00 pm on Election Day to Ramsey County Elections located at 90 Plato Blvd in St. Paul:
  3. Have your agent bring the completed forms to Ramsey County Elections located at 90 Plato Blvd W; St. Paul MN to pick up your ballot. 
    • Your agent must pick up your ballot BEFORE 2 p.m. on Election Day.
  4. Your agent will be given your ballot and envelopes to bring to you.
  5. Vote your ballot and complete materials according to the enclosed instructions.
  6. Have your agent return your voted ballot to Ramsey County Elections offices BEFORE 3:00 pm on Election Day.
    • Your agent must show an ID with name and signature.
    • Voted ballots must be returned by 3 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

flowchart outlining the process of absentee voting using an agent for delivery can be downloaded for easy reference.

On Election Day, you can also vote from your car at your polling location. When you arrive, have someone in your car let the election judges know you would like to exercise this option. Alternatively, you can contact Ramsey County Elections and let them know you would like to exercise this option. 

Voters Whose Home was Destroyed by Fire, Flood or Other Disaster

If you are displaced by a fire, flood or other natural disaster, where you vote from depends on whether you intend to return to your home once it is made habitable again.

I intend to return to my residence

You can continue to vote in person at the polling place assigned to you based on your home address. You can also vote absentee in person, or have the ballot mailed to your temporary address.

I do not intend to return to my residence

If you do not intend to return to the home after it is made habitable, then you can no longer vote from that address. In this case, you should register and vote from the location where you have been staying or from your new permanent address.

Voters Experiencing Homelessness

If you are homeless, you can register to vote using the location of where you sleep as your address. You may need to go to the polling place with someone (see details below) who can confirm where you are living.

When you register to vote, you must provide your current residence. This is the place where you sleep, so if you sleep in a shelter, at a friend's house, or outside somewhere, that is your voting residence. 

If you sleep outside, write a description of its location on line four of your voter registration application. For example, "In the NW corner of Jefferson Park near the intersection of Winston Ave. and Smith St." Remember to bring someone with you who is registered to vote at the polling place and who can, under oath, confirm that you reside there.

Register before Election Day

If you register before Election Day using an outdoor location as your residence, your voter record will be marked 'challenged' because the county could not confirm a specific street address. You will still be able to vote, but at the polling place on Election Day you will be asked to swear under oath that you are living at that location. In order to better ensure your registration remains active through Election Day, it is best to register within two months of that date.

Register on Election Day

You can also register on Election Day. You will need to show proof of residence.

If you live outside, in a shelter, or are staying at a friend's house, you may not have any documents proving you live there. If so, a registered voter from your precinct can go with you to the polling place to sign an oath confirming where you live. 

If you live in a shelter, a staff person can go with you to the polling place to confirm you live at the shelter.

Voters Whose Home is in Foreclosure

If your home is in foreclosure, you can use it as your voting residence as long as you still reside there.

If you move from the property and do not intend to return, you can no longer vote from that address. Instead, your voting residence will be the address of where you are currently staying, even if you are temporarily with family or friends. You will need to update your voter registration with your new address.

No one can legally challenge your voter registration simply because they know your house is in foreclosure. To legally challenge your registration, a challenger must personally know that you moved from the house and do not plan to come back.

Voters Temporarily Living in Minnesota

You cannot vote in Minnesota if you are only living here temporarily. However, you can still vote in your home state’s election with an absentee ballot. 

To learn how to vote in your home state, visit Can I Vote? from the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Voters residing in a Residential Facility

If you live in a residential facility and you need to register to vote, you can register onlineon paper, or a staff person can go with you to the polling place to confirm your address.

Residential facilities include:

  • Assisted-living facilities
  • Battered women’s shelters
  • Group residential housing
  • Homeless shelters
  • Nursing homes
  • Residential alcohol and chemical treatment programs
  • Residential facilities for persons with developmental disabilities
  • Supervised-living facilities
  • Transitional housing
  • Veterans’ homes

Help with voter registration on Election Day

If you need to register on Election Day, you must provide proof-of-residence. This can be difficult when you live in a residential facility. One simple way you can provide proof-of-residence is to ask facility staff to go with you on Election Day to ‘vouch’ for you. Vouching is when the staff swears that they personally know you live in the facility.

Any staff person can vouch for all eligible voters who are residents of the facility. However, staff must prove their employment with election officials. Methods of proof include:

  • Showing an employee identification badge.
  • Sending a staff list to election officials in advance.
  • Bringing a staff list to the polling place
    • Instructions: prepare a list on your letterhead of staff who are vouching for residents and give it to the election judge at the polling place. The letter must be signed and dated, and include the facility’s name, address, and your name and title. Include this language in the letter: “I certify that the following is a list of employees of this facility who may vouch on Election Day for eligible voters who are residents of this facility, and that this facility meets the definition of “residential facility” contained in Minnesota Statutes 201.061, subd. 3, para.(c).”

Have an agent pick up your ballot (agent delivery)

If you live in a nursing home, an assisted-living facility, residential treatment center, group home or battered women's shelter, you can ask someone to pick up and return an absentee ballot for you.  Read more about agent delivery

Vote early with an absentee ballot

Visit the Ramsey County Elections webpage to find out how to have an absentee ballot mailed to your home or how to cast an ballot prior to Election Day in person. 

Voters Who Fear for Their Personal Safety

Your name and address are public when you register to vote. However, if you have safety or privacy concerns, there are ways to register and vote without making your information public.

Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program

If you have extreme safety needs, the Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program can help. 

When you enroll in this program, all voting is done by absentee ballot through the mail through the Safe at Home office. Your name and address is never shared with your local elections office. Only your marked ballot is counted.

This program is administered by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and offers much more than confidential voting. It is available for people with very high safety concerns. When you enroll in Safe at Home, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State assigns you a post office box address that you can use in place of your real address. This alternate address can be used for all your interactions with others and must be accepted by all public offices, private companies, and people with whom you interact while you reside in Minnesota. This allows you to keep your real address inaccessible from the person you fear. The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State forwards all of your mail to you from the assigned post office box. Applying to Safe at Home requires the assistance of a professional victim advocate.

Additional options

  • You can ask to keep your information private by sending a Request to Withhold Voter Information from Public Information to your county election office . Your name and address will still appear on the list of voters at the polling place on Election Day, but will not be available to members of the public.
  • As an additional safety measure, you can send a Request to Inactivate Voter Record to your county election office. This will prevent election officials from seeing the information in the private database of voters, unless they are specifically looking for your voter record. Once you inactivate your record, you must re-register before voting again.
  • If you register on Election Day, you can ask to keep your information private and inactivate your record in one step. Bring copies of both the above letters to attach to your registration application. Your information will be entered in the state’s voter database after the election only as long as needed to verify your voting address, but will be marked as private from its entry. To verify the address, a county election official will send a postcard to ensure it can be delivered to the address. When it is determined the postcard has been delivered to the address, the election official will inactivate the record.
Voters in a Nursing Home or Hospital

Local election officials send teams of election judges (poll workers) to nursing homes and hospitals during the 20 days before the election. They hand out ballots to eligible residents of the facility and give help if needed. 

The election judges provide ballots only to voters who live in the city or town where the hospital is located. If you live in a different town, you will need to apply for an absentee ballot on your own. In addition, you may be eligible to have someone pick up and deliver a ballot to you. This is called 'agent delivery.'  Read more about agent delivery

Voters Under Guardianship or with an Impairment

As long as a judge did not restrict your right to vote through court order, you have the right to vote when:

  • you are under guardianship
  • you are under conservatorship
  • you gave someone power of attorney
  • you have a brain injury
  • you have a developmental disability
  • you have a cognitive impairment
  • you experience memory loss

No one else can make this decision on your behalf, including a spouse, children, attorneys, caregivers, doctors or nurses.

Voters with a Criminal Record

Your criminal record does not affect your right to vote in Minnesota unless you are currently serving a felony conviction sentence, including probation, parole or supervised release.

Voting after a felony conviction

You can vote after you finish all parts of your sentence, including any probation, parole, or supervised release.

As soon as you finish (once you are ‘off-paper’), you can vote. You will need to register to vote. It is best to register before Election Day, but it is not required. 

You can vote if...

  • you were charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor.
  • you are in jail, but are not currently serving a felony sentence.
  • you have been charged with a felony, but you haven’t been convicted.
  • you have been given a stay of adjudication.
  • you finished all parts of your felony sentence.

You cannot vote if...

  • you are currently serving a felony sentence.
  • your stay of adjudication was revoked and you are currently serving a felony sentence.

Not sure about your legal status?

Sometimes it is not clear whether a felony charge results in a felony conviction. If you are unsure, you may want to seek legal advice from an attorney.

Voters in the Military or Living Abroad

Serving in the military or living abroad? Have an absentee ballot sent to you wherever you are in the world! Click here to learn more.

Voters who are away at College

Who can vote?

To vote in Minnesota, you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old on Election Day, and a resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days. If you had a felony conviction, you can vote if you have finished all parts of your sentence, including probation or parole.

Paying out-of-state tuition or having a driver's license from another state does not necessarily mean you can't vote in Minnesota.

What is my voting residence?

You should register to vote from the address you currently consider home. For many students, this is likely a school address or a parent’s house. If you still go back to visit but no longer consider it your home, then you should register to vote where you live at school.

If you moved to Minnesota from another state and currently consider Minnesota your home, you can vote here even if you pay out-of-state tuition or have a driver’s license from another state.

If you do not consider your school address to be your home, you can apply to vote by mail with an absentee ballot. Minnesota voters can apply online; otherwise, visit your home state’s election website.

How do I register to vote?

You must be registered to vote at your current address. It is best to register before Election Day, but it is not required. To register on Election Day, you must show proof of your name and current address.

What's on my ballot?

See the candidates and questions that will be on your ballot.

Where do I vote?

Find out where you vote. Most polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Do I need to bring ID?

If your voter registration is current and active, you do not need to bring identification. This means you were successfully registered at least 21 days before Election Day and you have not moved or changed names since then.

If you need to register or update your registration, or you have not voted in four years or more, you will need to show proof of residence before you vote.

Vote early with an absentee ballot

You can vote early at your local elections office starting 46 days before Election Day. You can also apply to have an absentee ballot sent to you in the mail.

Going abroad?

Have an absentee ballot emailed to you wherever you are in the world. Learn how.