Vote by mail or in person–but vote!

Voting in person this year may well feel less safe. The tradition of voting in person on Election Day is, for many Americans, an almost sacred ritual–or, anyway, the secular equivalent. But, realistically, many of us will choose instead to vote by no-excuse absentee ballot.  The first stop is the website of the Secretary of State, which can be reached by clicking www.mnvotes.org to order the ballot to be mailed to your address. After you successfully complete the application, you will receive confirmation on line. The ballot will come to you later in the mail; it may take 7 – 10 days. For previous elections, a witness signature was required; this year, it’s not.  When you have completed the ballot, return it as directed. You can drop it off at a designated location for your jurisdiction, or you can mail it in; but keep in mind that it must be postmarked no later than Election Day. (Be sure to follow the instructions.) This is pretty cool – you can track the status of your ballot on the website to confirm that it was received and counted.

If you feel safe voting in person, you can do so at designated locations; you can find yours on the same website. You can go to a polling place early or wait until Nov. 3. All polling places are following strict safety procedures to protect the voters and the poll workers. Be prepared to wear a mask!

Please spread the word about voting this year. Be sure to talk to friends and relatives even if it’s not in person. You can let them know they can also register online and can vote early in person at the county election office, when hopefully there will be fewer people present than on Nov 3. This election could not be more consequential for our nation. But we will need to be a little bit more proactive this year and perhaps not just stroll into the polls to exercise our right to vote.

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