Absentee Voting


Let’s address all this talk about absentee voting. We have been hearing conflicting information about the legitimacy of mail-in voting. Is it safe? Will your vote get counted? Is it fraught with fraud? Well, consider this – in the state of Minnesota absentee voting is a well-established process that we have had in place for years with no significant problems. Additionally, for many years absentee voting has allowed our veterans overseas to vote in elections in their home states. It has also been available and utilized by people having to be away from home, working or vacationing, in another state at the time of an election, and finally some jurisdictions in Minnesota hold elections by mail only instead of voting at polling places for some time now. Bottom line, it’s nothing new. In fact, it’s what you’d call a “tried and true” method of voting. If you fill out the request form online or by mail, you’ll receive an absentee ballot. Follow the directions on the ballot and then mail it in. Simple. Do that, and your vote will count.

There are many benefits to doing absentee voting. One of the significant advantages is that it removes you from most DFL or GOP ‘door knock’ and phone lists. It also means you won’t have to worry about where you will be working the day of the election. It can be a hassle having to drive back to your local polling place to vote, with mail-in voting you won’t have that worry. With COVID-19 concerns still prevalent, it is also potentially safer to vote by mail, than to stand in line at a polling place.

Interestingly, absentee voting also allows you to change your mind before October 23rd. If you’ve voted by mail before that date, you can request your ballot be destroyed and you can still go vote in person on the day of the election. If you’re still undecided before then, you can also hold on to the ballot until November 2nd

During a time of much uncertainty and enhanced safety concerns, it is good to know you have options to make your vote count. If you have any questions or need help with anything, please reach out to me by email – justinp@ibewlocal343.org or call 507-577-1109.