Absentee and Early Voting

Woman helps man in pollsCOVID-19: We are encouraging voters to vote by mail. Click here to request an absentee ballot and one will be mailed to your house when absentee voting for the November Election begins on September 18, 2020. The City of New Brighton will host an absentee ballot drop off event at the New Brighton Community Center on October 24. A team of election judges will be there from 10am-4pm to collect your absentee ballot curbside.

Voters who wish to vote early in person are encouraged to follow CDC guidelinesMDH guidance and the Governor's Executive Order No. 20-81 such as maintaining six feet of distance between voters and wearing a face mask.

Curbside voting is available for anyone who cannot enter the polling place for any reason, including concerns for their health. Curbside voting allows a voter to register to vote and vote without leaving their vehicle. Click here to see what other accessibility options are available. 

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How do I request an absentee ballot? I wish to vote by mail.

To cast an absentee ballot by mail in the Presidential Election, apply on-line on the MN Secretary of State's website. 

If you prefer to apply for a mailed absentee ballot using a paper application, return your completed absentee ballot application (PDF forms below)  by mail to: PO Box 64098, Saint Paul, MN 55164; by email to elections@ramseycounty.us; by fax to 651-266-2177; or, in person to Ramsey County Elections 90 Plato Blvd W Suite 160 Saint Paul.

For additional languages or formats, call 1-877-600-8683.

When will I get the absentee ballot I requested?

If you would like a ballot mailed to you, please submit your application as early as possible to ensure adequate time for the ballot to reach you and for you to return it. 

If you apply before absentee voting begins, your ballot will be mailed to you on or near September 18, 2020 - 46 days prior to the election. If you submitted your request before the absentee voting period began and have not received it by September 25, 2020, please contact Ramsey County Elections directly at 651-266-2171.

If you apply within 46 days of the election, your ballot will be mailed to you within one or two business days of your application being received. If you have not received an absentee ballot within 7 days of requesting one, please contact Ramsey County Elections directly at 651-266-2171.

What options do I have for returning my absentee ballot?

Return your ballot by mail

Mail your ballot back in the pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope that was provided with your ballot materials.

  • Your ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day AND your ballot must be received by Ramsey County Elections within seven (7) days of Election Day - by November 10, 2020.
  • In Minnesota, election mail typically arrives in 2-3 days. However, with the anticipated volume of absentee voting this year, significant delays are expected. Please mail your ballot as early as possible to ensure it is received before the deadlines.  The United States Postal Service recommends mailing it at least a week in advance. 
  • Outside Minnesota, election mail typically arrives in 3-10 days. However, with the anticipated volume of absentee voting this year, delays are expected. Please mail your ballot as early as possible to ensure it is received before the deadlines. 
  • If you think your ballot will not be received in time using regular mail, you may choose to pay for an express delivery service to deliver your ballot to Ramsey County Elections at 90 Plato Blvd Suite 160; St. Paul MN 55107. Ballots can be received from an express delivery service until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Alternately, you may return your ballot in person. See below for additional information.

Return your ballot in person

BEFORE ELECTION DAY: You may return your ballot in person to during absentee / early voting hours at the New Brighton Community Center located at 400 10th St.; New Brighton MN or one of the other absentee / early voting locations. Click here for additional locations, dates, and times.

The City of New Brighton will host an absentee ballot drop off event at the New Brighton Community Center on October 24. A team of election judges will be there from 10am-4pm to collect your absentee ballot curbside.

ON ELECTION DAY: You may return your ballot BEFORE 3:00 pm in person to New Brighton City Hall (803 Old Hwy 8 NW; New Brighton MN) or to Ramsey County Elections Offices (90 Plato Blvd Suite 160; St. Paul MN). Please note that state law does not allow ballots to be returned in person after 3:00 pm on Election Day. State law also does not allow absentee ballots to be returned to your regular polling location.

Have someone else return your ballot in person for you

BEFORE ELECTION DAY: You may ask someone to return your ballot in person for you. They may return it during absentee / early voting hours at the New Brighton Community Center located at 400 10th St.; New Brighton MN or one of the other absentee / early voting locations. Click here for additional locations, dates, and times.

ON ELECTION DAY: You may ask someone to return your ballot in person for you but it must be received BEFORE 3:00 pm in person to one of the following locations:

  • The New Brighton License Bureau (803 Old Hwy 8 NW; New Brighton MN) 

  •  Ramsey County Elections Offices (90 Plato Blvd Suite 160; St. Paul MN) 

NOTE: The person dropping off your ballot should be prepared to complete a form and provide identification for tracking purposes. Persons returning a ballot for another individual may do so for only three voters in each election. Please note that State law does not allow ballots to be returned in person after 3:00 pm on Election Day. State law also does not allow absentee ballots to be returned to your regular polling location.

Return your ballot via professional delivery service

Hire a delivery service to deliver your absentee ballot to Ramsey County Elections at 90 Plato Blvd Suite 160 in St. Paul before 8:00 pm on Election Day. State law requires that absentee ballots be received by 3:00 pm on Election Day if dropped off in person. However, state law allows absentee ballots to be accepted until 8:00 pm if delivered to County offices by a delivery service. Please note that the law allowing absentee ballots to be accepted and counted if they are received within seven days of Election Day pertains to absentee ballots postmarked and mailed on or before Election Day. The law does NOT allow absentee ballots to be returned in person, by agent delivery after 3:00pm on Election Day or by professional delivery service after 8:00 pm on Election Day.

I want to cast an absentee ballot in person.

If you prefer to vote before Election Day but wish to do so in person, you may do so beginning September 18, 2020 during absentee voting hours at one of the locations listed below. Pre-registered voters do not need to bring anything with them to cast an absentee ballot in person. All materials will be supplied on site. Verify your voter registration here.  Voters who update their voter registration when they vote, will need to provide proof of residency in the precinct before they can be issued a ballot. Please click here for a list of accepted proofs of residency. 

If you wish or need to cast your absentee ballot in person but cannot come inside or do not feel comfortable coming inside, you may vote from your car. Please park in one of our Curbside Voting parking spots and call the phone number on the sign. Election Judges will come out and assist you.

Locations and hours:

  • New Brighton Community Center (400 10th St; New Brighton) Use the Ramsey County Library Entrance
    • September 18, 2020 - October 26, 2020     Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    • October 27, 2020 - October 30, 2020     Monday - Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm     
    • October 31, 2020     Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    • November 2, 2020     Monday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Roseville Library (2180 Hamline Ave N; Roseville)
    • September 18, 2020 - October 26, 2020     Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    • October 27, 2020 - October 30, 2020     Monday - Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm     
    • October 31, 2020     Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    • November 2, 2020     Monday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Ramsey County Elections Offices (90 Plato Blvd Suite 160; St. Paul) 
    • September 18, 2020 - October 26, 2020     Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm 
    • October 27, 2020 - October 30, 2020     Monday - Friday 8:00am - 6:00pm     
    • October 31, 2020     Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    • November 2, 2020     Monday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

I don't want to cast an absentee ballot. I just want to vote early.

In Minnesota, early voting is a form of absentee voting that is available in the seven (7) days before Election Day. Voters wishing to vote early are required to complete forms and documents similar to absentee voting; however, instead of placing their ballot into a series of envelopes, voters put their ballot directly into a ballot counter - much like on Election Day. Pre-registered voters do not need to bring anything with them to cast an absentee ballot in person. All materials will be supplied on site. Verify your voter registration here.  Voters who update their voter registration when they vote, will need to provide proof of residency in the precinct before they can be issued a ballot. Please click here for a list of accepted proofs of residency. 

If you wish or need to vote early but cannot come inside or do not feel comfortable coming inside, you may vote from your car. Please park in one of our Curbside Voting parking spots and call the phone number on the sign. Election Judges will come out and assist you.

You can vote early for the Presidential Election in person from October 27, 2020 through November 2, 2020 during voting hours at one of the following locations.

  • New Brighton Community Center (400 10th St; New Brighton) Use the Ramsey County Library Entrance
    • October 27, 2020 - October 30, 2020     Monday - Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm     
    • October 31, 2020     Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    • November 2, 2020     Monday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Roseville Library (2180 Hamline Ave N; Roseville)
    • October 27, 2020 - October 30, 2020     Monday - Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm     
    • October 31, 2020     Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    • November 2, 2020     Monday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Ramsey County Elections Offices (90 Plato Blvd Suite 160; St. Paul) 
    • October 27, 2020 - October 30, 2020     Monday - Friday 8:00am - 6:00pm     
    • October 31, 2020     Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    • November 2, 2020     Monday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Additional locations will be posted here as they become finalized. More information can be found on the Ramsey County Elections website. 

I am a military of overseas voter.

Military and overseas voters can use a special process to get and return their ballot. Click here to visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website to learn more. 

I want to authorize an individual to pick up and return an absentee ballot for me.

Some voters may be able to authorize an individual (agent) to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them. This service is available only within the seven days preceding an election.

Each agent is allowed to deliver and return ballots for a maximum of three (3) 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:
  3. Have your agent bring the completed forms to the Absentee Voting Room at the New Brighton Community Center located at 400 10th St; New Brighton MN (Use the Ramsey County Library Entrance) or to Ramsey County Elections located at 90 Plato Blvd W; St. Paul MN to pick up your ballot. 
    • Your agent can pick up a ballot until 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 the office where they picked it up 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.
How do I know that my ballot has been received and counted?

Click here to check the status of your absentee ballot.

If the tracker says that your ballot has been sent, your voted ballot has not yet been received. 

If the tracker says that your ballot has been received, your voted ballot has arrived in the mail but has not yet been processed.

If the tracker says that your ballot has been accepted, your voted ballot has been processed and will be counted. Ramsey County Elections staff and election judges of different political affiliations will begin opening and counting absentee ballots for the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election on October 20, 2020. 

If the tracker says that your ballot has been rejected, your voted ballot was processed and an error or omission was found. Ramsey County Elections will automatically mail you a replacement ballot along with an explanation of why your ballot was rejected. You may choose one of the following options to ensure your vote counts:

  • Use the replacement ballot when it arrives
  • Visit the Absentee / Early Vote Center at the New Brighton Community Center or one of the other locations during voting hours / times to receive assistance from Election Judges to ensure no errors are made. If you prefer not to come inside the building, you may complete the process from your car.
  • Cast your ballot at the polls on Election Day. Click here to verify your Election Day voting location before you leave as there were some polling place changes due to Covid-19. 

If you have questions about your absentee ballot, please contact Ramsey County Elections at 651-266-2171.

I submitted my absentee ballot but now I have changed my mind. Can I do it over?

In Minnesota, absentee ballots are accepted or rejected within 3 - 5 days of being received and they begin being opened and counted fourteen (14) days before Election Day.  

BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY OCTOBER 19, 2020: If you wish for your submitted absentee ballot to be "spoiled" and want your ballot re-issued to you, please call Ramsey County Elections at 651-266-2171. 

OCTOBER 20, 2020 OR LATER: Once your absentee ballot has been opened and counted you have already voted in the election. Your absentee ballot cannot be "spoiled" and you can not receive a new ballot. 

What is the difference between absentee voting, early voting and voting by mail?

Every state has its own laws and jargon regarding elections and this makes it really confusing! 

Mail Balloting

When some people talk about voting by mail, they are talking about how elections are run in states like Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado and Hawaii. In these states, voters essentially pre-register to vote in advance of Election Day. Pre-registered voters are then automatically mailed a ballot for each election which they then return via mail or drop box. In Minnesota, there are some mail balloting precincts outside of the Twin Cities area that have been voting this way since it was approved by the MN State Legislature in 1987. However, most people in Minnesota who talk about voting by mail are talking about casting an absentee ballot by mail. 

Absentee Voting

Minnesota voters who wish to cast an absentee ballot can do without providing a reason. To have an absentee ballot mailed to you, a voter needs to complete and submit an absentee ballot application - either on-line or via paper application. In New Brighton, Absentee Ballot Applications are received and processed by Ramsey County Elections. Once your absentee ballot application is processed and verified in the Statewide Voter Registration System, a ballot will be mailed to your home along with instructions, a Manilla secrecy envelope to keep your ballot private, a bar-coded signature envelope for you to certify that you are the person using the ballot, and a return envelope to keep the personal information on your signature envelope private when you mail it back. You can return your absentee ballot by mail or you can drop it off at an early vote center during voting hours. (See question above for locations and times.) 

Voters who wish to cast an absentee ballot but do not want to conduct this process through the mail, can complete the entire process in person during the absentee / early voting hours at an absentee/ early voting center. (See question above for locations and times.)

Like on Election Day, voters who need to update their voter registration records can do this at the same time they cast an absentee ballot and, like Election Day, voters updating their voter registration when they cast their ballot need to provide proof of residency in the precinct in order for their ballot to be accepted.

Early Voting

A lot of people who talk about early voting are referring to casting an absentee ballot in the 46 days before Election Day. However, when other people talk about early voting, they are referring to a process that allows Minnesota voters to cast their ballot early in person at an absentee / early voting center but instead of placing their ballot into a series of envelopes, the voter places their ballot directly into a ballot counter just like you would do on Election Day. Minnesota state law permits this type of early voting only in the seven (7) days before Election Day.