REGIONAL- Early voting for the Nov. 3 general election kicks off Friday, as county election officials scurry to cope with a deluge of absentee ballot requests.County Supervisor of Elections Phil …
REGIONAL- Early voting for the Nov. 3 general election kicks off Friday, as county election officials scurry to cope with a deluge of absentee ballot requests.
County Supervisor of Elections Phil Chapman said requests for absentee ballots as of Monday were running far ahead of the 2016 presidential contest.
“We have roughly 29,000 people that have requested absentee ballots as of yesterday,” Chapman said Tuesday. “By comparison, in the last presidential election we had 16,000.”
Chapman said his office plans to have absentee ballots in the mail by the end of September or beginning of October, to be followed shortly by mail-in ballots for registered voters living in precincts that do not have in-person voting options.
Absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than election day, Nov. 3, and received by the county by Nov. 10 to be counted, but Chapman suggests voters should not wait until the last minute.
“We’re encouraging people to get their ballots in the mail as soon as they can,” Chapman said.
If ballots are received more than a week ahead of Nov. 3, Chapman’s office has time to work with voters who may have completed their ballots incorrectly, he said. Infrequent but typical errors include forgetting to sign the return envelope and failing to provide an appropriate driver’s license, Minnesota ID, or Social Security number. If there is sufficient time, election officials will return ballots with those errors so that they may be corrected and resubmitted, Chapman said.
People who live in cities that offer absentee ballots can instead vote in person beginning Sept. 18. Chapman suggested voters should call their city offices to find out what hours they are open and what procedures they are using, as some offices may be closed to the public but offer curbside service, for example.
Non-city residents may cast in-person ballots by using the county auditor’s curbside service at the Virginia Governmental Services Center, 201 South 3rd Avenue West in Virginia.
Those voting in person should be sure to bring appropriate identification. Unregistered persons wishing to vote in person may do so if they also provide proof of residence.
St. Louis County voters may apply for an absentee ballot online at https://www.stlouiscountymn.gov/departments-a-z/auditor/elections-voting#3011122-absentee-voting. There is also an option on the webpage to download a paper application than can be sent to the county election office via mail, email, or fax.
Voters can also check on the status of absentee or mailed ballots online at mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx.