How to Vote in Minnesota's 2022 Elections

Posted on 05/27/22 by Andrew Soergel, Catherine Maddux

En español | Minnesota’s Aug. 9 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general-election ballot for governor, U.S. House and other statewide offices.

What's new this year?

A plan for U.S. congressional redistricting has been approved and redrawn certain district boundaries and may change which candidates appear on your ballot. A special election to fill a vacancy following the February death of Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who represented Minnesota's First District in the U.S. House, has been scheduled for Aug. 9. The primary race for this seat takes place on May 24.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: All registered voters can cast a no-excuse absentee ballot and vote from home in August’s primaries and November’s general election. But you’ll need another registered voter or a notary as a witness.
  • Early in-person voting: Cast an absentee ballot early and in person at your county election office —  from June 24 through Aug. 8 for the primaries and from Sept. 23 through Nov. 7 for the general election.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The primaries are Tuesday, Aug. 9, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. In most of the state, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: Use the state’s voter information portal to register, update your voter information and check your registration status. You’ll need an email address and a Minnesota state ID, driver’s license or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Register by July 19 to vote in the August primaries and by Oct. 18 to vote in the general election.
Large Turnout For Early Voting In Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • By mail:  Download and print an application form or contact your county elections office and ask that a form be mailed to you. Mail your application to either your county elections office or to the Secretary of State’s office at First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota St., Suite N201, Saint Paul, MN 55101. Register by July 19 to vote in the August primaries and by Oct. 18 to vote in the general election.
  • In person: If you missed the registration deadlines or would prefer to register in person, you can do so at your polling place on Election Day. You’ll need an approved form of ID, such as a Minnesota driver’s license or state-issued ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll need a photo ID, such as a U.S. passport or military card, along with a bill, lease or other document that confirms your name and address. A full list of ID requirements is on the state election website.
  • Check your registration status using the state’s online voter information portal.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?

No. Minnesotans don’t affiliate with a party when they register to vote, so you can choose which primary in which to participate. But you can vote in only one party’s primary.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot?  Are there important deadlines?

Any registered voter can request a no-excuse absentee ballot and vote from home in the August primaries and in November’s general election. Voters can request ballots throughout the year — except on Election Day — but officials recommend that you submit a request a few weeks before an election. You can request a ballot online, by mail or in person.

  • By mail:  Print out an application form, then complete and mail it to your county elections office. Or call the office and ask that a form be mailed to you. You’ll need a Minnesota driver’s license, a state ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • In person: Request an absentee ballot and vote in person at your county election office starting June 24 for the primaries and Sept. 23 for the general election.

Once you receive your ballot, you’ll need a witness signature from a notary or from another registered voter. You can return your ballot by mail or in person.

  • By mail: Place your completed ballot in the prepaid, preaddressed envelope and mail it to your county election office. Your ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • In person: Drop off your completed ballot (and up to three other people’s ballots) at your county election office by 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters with disabilities and those who are hospitalized or live in a nursing home or assisted living facility can designate an agent to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them. But they will need to fill out an additional form and have their agent deliver it to their county election office.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Check the status of your absentee ballot using the state’s voter information portal.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, you can cast an absentee ballot in person at your county elections office and, in some cases, at your city clerk’s office. Early voting runs from June 24 through Aug. 8 for the primaries and Sept. 23 through Nov. 7 for the general election. Hours vary by day and by location, so contact your county elections office for more information.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The primaries are Tuesday, Aug. 9; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are generally open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. — towns with populations below 500 may not open polling places before 10 a.m. You should be allowed to vote if you’re in line before the polls close. Use the state’s voter information portal to find your polling location and hours.

Do I need identification to vote?

Only if you need to register or update your registration or if you haven’t voted in four years; in that case, you’ll need to show a valid form of ID, such as a Minnesota driver’s license or state-issued ID. If you don’t have that, you’ll need to show a U.S. passport, a military ID or an in-state school ID, as well as a bill, bank statement or lease that confirms your name and address. A full list of acceptable IDs is on the secretary of state’s website.

What races are on the ballot?

  • Governor
  • U.S. House: all 8 seats (including a special election to fill the seat held by the late Rep.  Jim Hagedorn)
  • State Senate: all 67 seats
  • State House: all 134 seats

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on April 11 with information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on July 29, 2020.

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP Minnesota. Visit the AARP Minnesota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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