MINNESOTA: VOTE BY MAIL FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN 2020

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR MINNESOTA ELECTIONS OFFICIALS

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.

How Minnesota is prepared for Vote By Mail

  • Provides a postage-prepaid return envelope for mailed ballots.
  • Allows any voter to request an absentee ballot.
  • Is a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
  • Allows counties to start processing envelopes sufficiently early. 
  • Allows voters to request an absentee ballot online.

RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR SECURE ELECTIONS

Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.

For Local Election Officials
  • Coordinate with USPS.
  • Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
  • Provide secure drop boxes.
  • Provide Election Day vote centers for in-person voting.
  • Consider using a professional printer and ballot sorter.
  • Count ballots at a secure centralized facility.
  • Invest in high-speed centralized equipment.
For Minnesota’s Secretary of State
  • Use a comprehensive system to track ballots.
  • Mail absentee application forms to all registered voters.
  • Give voters sufficient opportunity to cure signature problems.
For Lawmakers
  • Account for voters with nontraditional addresses.
  • Give voters a “single sign-up” option.
  • Use the voter’s signature to validate the ballot.
  • Allow counties to accept ballots postmarked on Election Day.
  • Allow voters to request replacement ballots online.
  • Allow early in-person voting options.
  • Allow community organizations to collect and deliver sealed ballots.
  • Automatically register voters and update their address.

Download the full Minnesota action packet, with detailed information for each recommendation.

Minnesota's Grade for Vote By Mail preparedness = C-

Our grading system: We evaluated each state on 16 factors, covering access, administration efficiency, security, and infrastructure.

SEND THIS RESOURCE TO minnesota’s secretary of state:

Steve Simon, [email protected]

SEND THIS RESOURCE TO minnesota’s director of elections:

David Maeda, [email protected]   

Contact us

We welcome your questions and feedback. Email Kristin Eberhard, director of Sightline’s Democracy research program. Press inquiries: Anna Fahey.

Photos: Vote By Mail in Minnesota. Shutterstock.