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Minnesotans know how important it is to make their voices heard in elections. Minnesota consistently has some of the highest voter turnout rates in the entire country, and in 2018, numbers are already soaring. The Primary Election in August saw the highest turnout of any primary in a non-presidential election year since 1982, and that is no small feat.

The 2018 midterm elections on November 6 and the stakes couldn’t be higher. This election is the first time since 1978 that Minnesota’s entire U.S. Congressional delegation, the state House of Representatives, and the governor’s seat are ALL up for grabs. On top of that, some of the House and Senate races here are among the most competitive races in the entire country. That means one thing: your vote has a LOT of power—especially in a year with so many important races!

Step 1: Make Sure You’re Registered to Vote

Start by checking your registration status in Minnesota. If you’re registered at your current address, continue to step 2.

If you are not registered at your current address, you’ll need to register to vote. You can register online through October 16, 2018. To register, you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old on Election Day, a resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days, and finished with all parts of any felony sentence.

If you miss the October 16 deadline to register in advance, you can also register and vote at the polls on Election Day.

To register online, you’ll need an email address, and either your Minnesota driver’s license/Minnesota identification card number OR the last four digits of your social security number. If you don’t have these identifying factors, you can print out the voter registration application and register by mail.

Once you register, you’ll receive a post card in the mail confirming your registration and informing you where to vote on Election Day.

If you register in person on Election Day, you’ll need to determine your polling location, arrive at the correct polling place, and bring proof of your address.

Step 2: Find Your Polling Place

In Minnesota, you don’t have to wait until November 6 if you don’t want to—you can vote early in person between Friday, September 21 and November 5. Early voting allows you to plan a time to vote in advance of the November election that fits with your schedule. Many municipalities offer early voting on the weekends or into evening hours. If you want to vote early, find a location that works for you. You can also register to vote at any early voting center.  

You can also request to vote early by mail with an absentee ballot. You can make the request online and track your ballot’s status using a web tracker once you mail it in to make sure it is received and counted. Your ballot will not count if it is received after Election Day, so make sure you mail it back with time to spare if you go this route.

If you plan to vote on Election Day, start by making a plan to vote. Think about what time you want to vote, how you’ll get to your polling place, and consider inviting a friend or family member to go with you. Before Election Day, you can confirm that you’re registered to vote and double check the location of your polling place online.

If you’ve registered in advance, you won’t need to bring your photo ID. If you are registering on Election Day, you’ll need to bring a proof of residence. You can review the approved proof of residence document list and find out more information about registering on Election Day by visiting the state of Minnesota elections and voting website.

Step 3: Complete Your Ballot

Remember that the options on your ballot will vary depending on your address. You can view a sample ballot online in advance of Election Day. A sample ballot can help you research candidates and be familiar with how your ballot looks when you enter the voting booth.

This year, there are competitive races all the way down the ballot in Minnesota—with Planned Parenthood champions running in many races. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed Tim Walz for Governor, Peggy Flanagan for Lieutenant Governor, Tina Smith for U.S. Senate, Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund has also endorsed in many races for the U.S. House of Representatives, including Dan Feehan (MN-01). Angie Craig (MN-02), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Joe Radinovich (MN-08).

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