You may find that you are unable to get to your polling place location on Election Day but still want to vote in the election. You can vote by casting an absentee ballot starting 46 days prior to Election Day. In Minnesota, citizens are allowed to vote absentee for the following reasons:
- Absence from your precinct
- Eligible emergency declared by the governor or quarantine declared by the federal or state government
- Illness or disability
- Religious discipline or observance of religious holiday
- Serving as an election judge in another precinct
Military and overseas voters can also vote by absentee ballot. Additional information can be obtained through the website for the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Absentee Voting Applications
- Applications are available for completion at the St. Joseph Government Center.
- Online application submittals are also encouraged. https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/ABRegistration/ABRegistrationStep1.aspx
Absentee Voting in Person (June 29th - August 10th) - You can vote in person at the following locations:
- Stearns County Auditor/Treasurer Office: Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM; Saturday August 11th 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM; August 13th 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Stearns County Service Center: Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Saturday August 11th 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM; August 13th 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Agent Delivery Process
In order to have an agent deliver your ballot, you must complete the Absentee Ballot Application (PDF). You must have a preexisting relationship with the your agent. The agent will use the completed forms to pick up a ballot, bring the ballot to you, and return your completed ballot to the county auditor. Each agent is only allowed to deliver and return ballots for a maximum of three voters. This activity may only occur the seven days preceding an election. Ballots can be picked up until 2 p.m. on Election Day, and completed ballots must be returned by 3 p.m. on Election Day.
For an overview of how agent delivery works, view the Agent Delivery Process Flowchart (PDF).
Applying to Automatically Receive Absentee Ballot Applications for All Elections
If you are an eligible voter who reasonably believes that you will be unable to go to your polling place for one of the reasons allowed on an ongoing basis, you may request to receive an application for an absentee ballot before each election by completing the Application to Automatically Receive Absentee Ballot Applications (PDF).
Presidential-only Absentee Ballots
Voters who were eligible voters in Minnesota, but moved to another state within 30 days of the General Election, and are not eligible to vote in the state to which they moved, may vote for President and Vice-President only by completing and returning the Presidential Absentee Application (PDF).