Prepare to vote

Voting in elections is your opportunity to be heard, hold elected officials accountable, and have a say in important issues that affect your community. Prepare to vote so you can take part in our democracy.

Expand all information

2016 election calendar

Key dates

May 17 Early candidate filing period opens for offices with a potential primary
May 31 Early candidate filing period closes at 5 p.m. for offices with a potential primary
June 2 Early candidate withdrawal period closes at 5 p.m. for offices with a potential primary
June 24 Absentee voting begins for primary election
July 19 Pre-registration ends at 5 p.m. for primary election
August 2 Late candidate filing period opens
August 6 Extended hours for absentee voting 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
August 8 In-person absentee voting for primary election closes at 5 p.m.
August 9 Primary election day
August 16 Late candidate filing period closes at 5 p.m.
August 18 Late candidate filing withdrawal period closes at 5 p.m.
September 23 Absentee voting begins for general election
October 18 Pre-registration ends at 5 p.m. for general election
November 5 Extended hours for absentee voting 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
November 7 In-person absentee voting for general election closes at 5 p.m.
November 8 General election day


Voter registration

Check your registration status

You will need to enter your name, birth date, and address.

Register to vote


To register online, you must:

  • Meet eligibility guidelines to register and vote in Minnesota
  • Provide an email address
  • Provide an identification number from either your Minnesota driver's license, you Minnesota ID card or the last four (4) digits of your Social Security number

If you can't provide an email address and one of the identification numbers listed above, you cannot register online.

Online voter registration application

In person or by mail

If you meet eligibility guidelines to vote, you can submit a completed voter registration application (PDF) to Hennepin County Elections by mail or in person. You may also be able to register at your polling place on election day if you bring the approved identification with you.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Am I eligible to vote?
A: See the Minnesota Secretary of State’s site for details.
Q: When do I need to update my voter registration?
A: If you are currently registered to vote, you do not need to register again unless you have moved to a different address, moved to a new apartment or condo, changed your name, or not voted at least once within the last four years.
Q: Can I register to vote with my post office or mail center box address?
A: No. By law, you may only vote in the precinct where you live or reside. When you fill out your registration application, you must provide the address of your residence. In general, your residence is where:
  • your home is
  • you usually sleep
  • you intend to return after you've been temporarily away
  • you live with your family, if you have one

Q: What happens to my voter registration if I change my address with the U.S. Postal Service?
A: If you move and submit a permanent forwarding order to the U.S. Postal Service, your voter registration may be automatically updated to your new address for you. You will receive a postcard with your new address and new voting location. When you receive this card, please verify the residential address is correct. If the information is not correct, please follow the instructions on the post card.

Q: What do I need to know if I am conducting a voter registration drive?
A: First, make sure the voters are completing the registration applications correctly. The voter must:
  • Answer "Yes" to the first two questions at the top of the form – “Are you a U.S. citizen?” and “Will you be at least 18 on or before the next election?” Do not fill out the questions yourself unless the voter requests assistance.
  • Provide a Minnesota driver’s license or Minnesota ID card number if her or she has one. Otherwise,make sure the voter provides the last four digits of his or her Social Security number. If the voter has none of these, he or she must check the box for “I do not have a Minnesota-issued driver’s license, a MN-issued ID card, or a Social Security number.”
  • Include his or her name, address, date of birth, and signature on the form.

A: Second, make sure to return all the completed voter registration applications on time. Minnesota law requires you to submit the completed applications within 10 days after they are dated by the voters. Return them to our office in the Hennepin County Government Center, any county service center, any city hall in Hennepin County, or the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. If you mail the applications, please include a copy of your business card. If a voter chooses to take an application and mail it in later, please have the voter phone our office at 612-348-5151 for more details.

Caucus information

Precinct caucuses are meetings organized by Minnesota’s political parties to begin selecting candidates for elections and establishing policy positions.

The  Minnesota Secretary of State's Precinct caucuses page provides information on who can attend, accessibility, what happens at the caucus, and caucus locations. Results of presidential preference balloting and downloadable files formatted for the media will also be available on that page on caucus night.

Election day

Polling places in Hennepin County are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on primary and election days.

In the even-numbered years all polling places are open. Not all cities and school districts hold elections in the odd-numbered years.

Use the Minnesota Secretary of State's polling place finder to determine if your district is having an election. After entering your address, the finder will tell you if you have an upcoming election, where to vote and show a sample ballot for your precinct.

Collapse all information