Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

8210.0500 INSTRUCTIONS TO ABSENT VOTER.

Subpart 1.

Required instructions.

Instructions to the absent voter shall be transmitted with the absentee ballot materials sent or delivered to the absent voter. The instructions shall be in the form in subparts 2, 3, or 4 or 5 and 6. The instruction headings with numbers must be in no smaller than 12-point type and the rest of the text must be in no smaller than 10-point type, except for the confidentiality notice, which may be in 7-point type. The instructions must explain how to correctly mark the ballot. The instructions must inform the voter of the effect of casting multiple votes for an office and, in the case of a partisan primary, the effect of voting for candidates of more than one party. The instructions must include information on how to correct a ballot before it is cast and counted, including instructions on how to request a replacement ballot if the voter is unable to change the ballot or correct an error. The instructions must include a graphic depiction of the absentee ballot materials and how they are to be completed and assembled by the voter. The instructions must also include a privacy notice that complies with Minnesota Statutes, section 13.04. The secretary of state must provide each county auditor with sample instructions with graphic depictions.

Subp. 2.

Instructions for registered voters.

Instructions

How to vote by absentee ballot

for registered voters

You will need:

Ballot*
Tan ballot envelope*
White signature envelope*
Larger white return envelope*
Pen with black ink
Your ID number
Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
See below if you do not have any of these numbers.
Witness
Anyone registered to vote in Minnesota,
including your spouse or relative,
or a notary public,
or a person with the authority to administer oaths
* If any of these items are missing, please contact your local election official.

1 Vote!

Show your witness your blank ballot, then mark your votes in private.
Follow the instructions on the ballot.
Do not write your name or ID number anywhere on the ballot.
Do not vote for more candidates than allowed. If you do, your votes for that office will not count.

See the other side if you make a mistake on your ballot.

2 Seal your ballot in the tan ballot envelope

Do not write on this envelope.

3 Put the tan ballot envelope into the white signature envelope

4 Fill out the white signature envelope completely

If there is no label, print your name and Minnesota address.
Print your Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Be sure to use one of the same numbers that you provided on your absentee ballot application.
If you do not have any of these numbers, check the box.
Read and sign the oath.
Ask your witness to print their name and Minnesota street address, including city (not a P. O. Box), and sign their name.
If your witness is an official or notary, they must print their title instead of an address.
Notaries must also affix their stamp.
Seal the envelope.

5 Put the signature envelope into the larger white return envelope to protect your private information from view

Seal the envelope.

6 Return your ballot by Election Day to the address on the return envelope

Ballots may not be delivered to your polling place

You have three options:

Send it so it arrives by Election Day, using U.S. mail or a package delivery service,
Deliver it in person before election day or by 3:00 p.m. on Election Day, or
Ask someone to deliver it by 3:00 p.m. on Election Day.
This person cannot deliver more than 3 ballots.

See the other side for special instructions if you have a disability.

To check the status of your absentee ballot, visit www.mnvotes.org.

Correcting a mistake

If time allows, ask for a new ballot from your election office. Contact your election office at [e-mail] or [phone number], or
Completely cross out the name of the candidate you accidentally marked and then mark your ballot for the candidate you prefer (do not initial your corrections).

If you have a disability:

If you have a disability or cannot mark your ballot, your witness may assist you by marking your ballot at your direction, assembling the materials, and filling out the forms for you.

When signing the envelope, Minnesota law says you may:

Sign the return envelope yourself, or
Make your mark, or
Ask your witness to sign for you in your presence. (Have the witness sign their own name as well.)
If you have adopted the use of a signature stamp for all purposes of signature, you may use your signature stamp or ask your witness to use your signature stamp in your presence.
Minnesota Statutes, section 645.44, subdivision 14

Please note: Voting is not covered by power of attorney. A person with power of attorney may only sign for you in your presence, as outlined above.

Subp. 3.

Instructions for unregistered voters.

Instructions

How to vote by absentee ballot

You will need:

Ballot*
Tan ballot envelope*
Voter registration application*
White signature envelope*
Larger white return envelope*
Pen with black ink
Minnesota driver's license with your address
or other authorized proof of where you live.
See other side for a list of options
Your ID number
Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
See below if you do not have any of these numbers.
Witness
Anyone registered to vote in Minnesota,
including your spouse or relative,
or a notary public,
or a person with the authority to administer oaths
* If any of these items are missing, please contact your local election official.

Important: You must submit the voter registration application with your ballot (in the white signature envelope) for your vote to be counted.

1 Fill out the voter registration application and sign it

Show your witness your driver's license or other authorized proof of where you live.
See the other side for a list of options.

2 Vote!

Show your witness your blank ballot, then mark your votes in private.
Follow the instructions on the ballot.
Do not write your name or ID number anywhere on the ballot.
Do not vote for more candidates than allowed. If you do, your votes for that office will not count.
See the other side if you make a mistake on your ballot.

3 Seal your ballot in the tan ballot envelope

Do not write on this envelope.

4 Put the tan ballot envelope and the voter registration application in the white signature envelope

5 Fill out the white signature envelope completely

If there is no label, print your name and Minnesota address.
Print your Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Be sure to use one of the same numbers that you provided on your absentee ballot application.
If you do not have any of these numbers, check the box.
Read and sign the oath.
Ask your witness to print their name and Minnesota street address, including city (not a P. O. Box), indicate which proof you showed them, and sign their name.
If your witness is an official or notary, they must print their title instead of an address.
Notaries must also affix their stamp.
Seal the envelope.
6 Put the signature envelope into the larger white return envelope to protect your private information from view
Seal the envelope.

7 Return your ballot by Election Day to the address on the return envelope

Ballots may not be delivered to your polling place

You have three options:

Send it so it arrives by Election Day, using U.S. mail or a package delivery service,
Deliver it in person before election day or by 3:00 p.m. on Election Day, or
Ask someone to deliver it by 3:00 p.m. on Election Day.
This person cannot deliver more than 3 ballots.

To check the status of your absentee ballot, visit www.mnvotes.org.

Options for proof of where you live

A valid Minnesota driver's license, Minnesota ID card, or permit with your current address

or

A photo ID that does not have your current address along with a document that has your current address

Eligible photo IDs: Minnesota or another state's driver's license, learner's permit, or ID card; U.S. passport; U.S. military or veteran ID card; Minnesota high school/college/university ID card; or tribal ID card with your signature, from a tribe recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
Eligible documents with your current address: an original bill, including account statements and start-of-service notifications, dated within 30 days before or with a due date 30 days before or after the election; a current student fee statement; or a residential lease if valid through election day. Eligible bills are: gas, electric, solid waste, water, sewer, phone, cell phone, television, Internet provider, credit card, or banking services; or bills for rent or mortgage payments.
or one of the following:
A yellow receipt for a valid Minnesota driver's license, Minnesota ID card, or permit with your current address
Vouching: the signature of a registered voter who lives in your precinct and personally knows that you live in the precinct. If your witness is registered to vote in this precinct, your witness may vouch for you. This person must complete and sign the voucher form on the back of the voter registration application.
A tribal ID card with your name, address, signature, and picture, from a tribe recognized by the BIA
A "Notice of Late Registration" if you received one from the county auditor or city clerk
If you have moved within your precinct or changed your name, a current registration in the precinct
Vouching for residents of certain residential facilities: the signature of an employee of your residential facility, including nursing homes, group homes, battered women's shelters, homeless shelters, etc. If you are not sure if the residential facility where you live is eligible, call your local election official. The employee must complete and sign the voucher form on the back of the voter registration application.

Correcting a mistake

If time allows, ask for a new ballot from your election office. Contact your election office at [e-mail] or [phone number], or
Completely cross out the name of the candidate you accidentally marked and then mark your ballot for the candidate you prefer (do not initial your corrections).

If you have a disability:

If you have a disability or cannot mark your ballot, your witness may assist you by marking your ballot at your direction, assembling the materials, and filling out the forms for you.

When signing the envelope, Minnesota law says you may:

Sign the return envelope yourself, or
Make your mark, or
Ask your witness to sign for you in your presence. (Have the witness sign their own name as well.)
If you have adopted the use of a signature stamp for all purposes of signature, you may use your signature stamp or ask your witness to use your signature stamp in your presence.
Minnesota Statutes, section 645.44, subdivision 14

Please note: Voting is not covered by power of attorney. A person with power of attorney may only sign for you in your presence, as outlined above.

Subp. 4.

Instructions for military and overseas voters transmitted ballots by mail.

Instructions

How to vote by absentee ballot for military and overseas voters

You will need:

Ballot*
Tan ballot envelope*
White signature envelope*
Larger white return envelope*
Pen with black ink
Your ID number
Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, U.S. passport number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
See below if you do not have any of these numbers.
* If any of these items are missing, please contact your local election official.
1 Vote!
Mark your votes in private.
Follow the instructions on the ballot.
Do not write your name or ID number anywhere on the ballot.
Do not vote for more candidates than allowed. If you do, your votes for that office will not count.
See the other side if you make a mistake on your ballot.
2 Seal your ballot in the tan ballot envelope
Do not write on this envelope.
3 Put the tan ballot envelope into the white signature envelope
4 Fill out the white signature envelope completely
If there is no label, print your name and Minnesota address (present or last).
Print your e-mail address and phone number (optional).
Print your Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, passport number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Be sure to use one of the same numbers that you provided on your absentee ballot application.
If you do not have access to any of these documents, leave this space blank.
Read and sign the oath.
Seal the envelope.

5 Put the signature envelope into the larger white return envelope to protect your private information from view

Seal the envelope.
6 Return your ballot by Election Day to the address on the return envelope
Send it so it arrives by Election Day, using mail, a package delivery service, or the diplomatic pouch at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Postage is not required if the postal permit is on the envelope and it is sent using U.S. mail, U.S. military mail, or the diplomatic pouch. Postage may be required if you use a foreign mail service or a package delivery service.
See the other side for special instructions if you have a disability.

To check the status of your absentee ballot, visit http://www.mnvotes.org.

If you have any questions, contact your county elections office at [insert e-mail address] or [insert telephone number].

Correcting a mistake
If time allows, ask for a new ballot from your election office. Contact your election office at [e-mail] or [phone number], or
Completely cross out the name of the candidate you accidentally marked and then mark your ballot for the candidate you prefer (do not initial your corrections).

If you have a disability:

If you have a disability or cannot mark your ballot, another person may assist you by marking your ballot at your direction, assembling the materials, and filling in the forms for you.

When signing the envelope, Minnesota law says you may:

Sign the return envelope yourself, or
Make your mark, or
Ask another person to sign for you in your presence. (Have this person sign their own name as well.)
If you have adopted the use of a signature stamp for all purposes of signature, you may use your signature stamp or ask another person to use your signature stamp in your presence.
Minnesota Statutes, section 645.44, subdivision 14

Please note: Voting is not covered by power of attorney. A person with power of attorney may only sign for you in your presence as outlined above.

Subp. 5.

Cover letter for military and overseas voters transmitted ballots electronically.

Dear Military/Overseas Absentee Voter:

Your absentee ballot and supporting materials for the election on [month day, year] are attached. Your absentee ballot is being sent to you electronically because you requested this delivery method on your application. Please print, fill out, and return these materials so they are received by your county by Election Day, [day of the week], [month day, year].

A paper ballot must be returned to Minnesota and received by Election Day to be counted.

You may use the domestic mail service of the country you are located in, an international package delivery service, or the military or state department's mail services. Be sure to vote and return this ballot as soon as possible to ensure timely return. Your ballot must be received by your county elections office by Election Day to be counted.

This communication contains:

A ballot
Voting instructions
Ballot envelope template
Certificate of Eligibility
Mailing envelope template

Carefully follow the instructions to ensure proper return of your voted ballot.

Print the materials
Fill out your ballot
Fold and seal your ballot and place it in your ballot envelope
Fill out the Certificate of Eligibility
Put the completed materials in your mailing envelope
Send your ballot by mail or package delivery service so that it is received by Election Day

To check the status of your absentee ballot, visit http://www.mnvotes.org.

Contact your county elections office at [email] or [phone number] if you have any questions.

Please note: Each voter must submit an application and receive their own ballot. Do not forward this ballot to other voters. A ballot received from a voter who did not submit an application will not be counted. Refer other military or overseas voters who need to apply for a ballot to http://www.mnvotes.org.

Thank you.

Subp. 6.

Instructions for military and overseas voters transmitted ballots electronically.

Instructions

How to vote by absentee ballot for military and overseas voters sent ballots electronically

Note: Your ballot must be printed out and physically returned. It cannot be returned electronically.

You will need:

A printer
A pen with black ink
Two envelopes (you have 3 options):
• Address your own blank envelopes by hand
• Print the envelope templates directly onto envelopes (print the mailing envelope onto an envelope approximately 4 1/8 inches x 9 1/2 inches so that everything is positioned according to postal regulations)
• If you do not have access to any envelopes, create the envelopes by folding and taping or gluing the attachments.
Your ID number
Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, U.S. passport number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
See below if you do not have access to any of these numbers.

1 Print the materials

Print your ballot, the Certificate of Eligibility, and the envelope templates if you are using them.
Please note that the ballot may take multiple pages.
Your printer should automatically scale the document to fit on the printable area of the page. Just be sure that none of the words or ovals are cut off.

2 Vote!

Mark your votes in private.
Follow the instructions on the ballot.
Do not write your name or ID number anywhere on the ballot.
Do not vote for more candidates than allowed. If you do, your votes for that office will not count.
See below if you make a mistake on your ballot.

3 Use one of the envelopes as the ballot envelope

Put your ballot in this envelope to keep your votes private.
Seal the envelope.
Do not write on this envelope.

4 Fill out the Certificate of Eligibility completely

Print your name and your Minnesota street address, including city (present or last).
Print your e-mail address and phone number (optional).
Print your Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota ID card number, passport number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Be sure to use one of the same numbers that you provided on your absentee ballot application.
If you do not have access to any of these documents, leave this space blank.
Read and sign the oath.

5 Put it all together

Attach the Certificate of Eligibility to the ballot envelope.
Your second envelope is the return (mailing) envelope.
Put the ballot envelope and the Certificate of Eligibility into the return envelope.
Seal the return envelope.
Address the return envelope to:
Official Absentee Balloting Material
............. County
[Street address]
[City], MN [Zip Code]
USA

6 Return your ballot by Election Day to the address above

Send it so it arrives by Election Day, using mail, a package delivery service, or the diplomatic pouch at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Postage is not required if the postal permit is on the envelope and it is sent using U.S. mail, U.S. military mail, or the diplomatic pouch. Postage may be required if you use a foreign mail service or a package delivery service.

To check the status of your absentee ballot, visit http://www.mnvotes.org.

If you need any help while voting, please contact your county elections office at [insert e-mail address] or [insert telephone number].

Correcting a mistake

Print out a new ballot, or
Ask for a new ballot from your election office, or
Completely cross out the name of the candidate you accidentally marked and then mark your ballot for the candidate you prefer (do not initial your corrections).

If you have a disability:

If you have a disability or cannot mark your ballot, another person may assist you by marking your ballot at your direction, assembling the materials, and filling out the forms for you.

When signing the Certificate of Eligibility, Minnesota law says you may:

Sign the Certificate yourself, or
Make your mark, or
Ask another person to sign for you in your presence. (Have this person sign their own name as well.)
If you have adopted the use of a signature stamp for all purposes of signature, you may use your signature stamp or ask another person to use your signature stamp in your presence.
Minnesota Statutes, section 645.44, subdivision 14

Please note: Voting is not covered by power of attorney. A person with power of attorney may only sign for you in your presence as outlined above.

Subp. 7.

Additional instructions for use with partisan primaries.

The following instructions must also be sent along with all absentee ballots for partisan primary elections.

The top part of this ballot is for a partisan (party) primary election:

Vote only for candidates of one party - stay in one column.
If you vote for candidates of more than one party, your votes in that section of the ballot will not be counted.

For how to correct a mistake, see the back side of the absentee ballot instructions.

Statutory Authority:

MS s 14.388; 201.061; 201.221; 203B.04; 203B.08; 203B.09; 203B.125; 203B.14; 204B.45

History:

17 SR 351; 23 SR 459; 25 SR 616; 29 SR 155; 31 SR 350; 32 SR 2055; 34 SR 1561; 36 SR 1407; 38 SR 1368; 40 SR 1553

Published Electronically:

November 18, 2019