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.

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2017 election calendar

Key dates

May 16 Early candidate filing period opens for offices with a potential primary
May 23 City of Richfield Special Election - Council Member Ward I
May 30 Early candidate filing period closes at 5 p.m. for offices with a potential primary
June 1  Candidates withdrawal deadline at 5 p.m. for offices with a potential primary
June 23 Absentee voting begins for primary election
July 18 Pre-registration ends at 5 p.m. for primary election
August 1 Candidate filing period opens for general election
August 5 Extended hours for absentee voting 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
August 7 In-person absentee voting for primary election closes at 5 p.m.
August 8 Primary election day
August 15 Candidate filing period closes for general election at 5 p.m.
August 17 Candidate withdrawal deadline for general closes at 5 p.m.
September 7  ISD 282 - St Anthony special election - ballot question 
September 22 Absentee voting begins for general election
October 17 Pre-registration ends at 5 p.m. for general election
November 4 Extended hours for absentee voting 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
November 6 In-person absentee voting for general election closes at 5 p.m.
November 7 General election day 

 

Offices on the 2017 ballot

City of Richfield special election - May 23

  • Council Member Ward 1

City primary election - August 8

  • Bloomington – Council Member at Large, Special Election for Council Member District II
  • St Louis Park – Council Member Ward 1

ISD 282 St Anthony special election - September 7

  • Ballot question

City and school general election - November 7

City offices

  • Bloomington – Council Member at Large, Council Member Districts III and IV, Special Election for Council Member District II
  • Golden Valley – 2 Council Members
  • Hopkins – Mayor, 2 Council Members
  • Independence – 2 Council Members
  • Minneapolis – Mayor, Council Member Wards  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, 2 Board of Estimate and Taxation, 3 Park and Recreation Commissioners at Large, Park and Recreation Commissioners Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Minnetonka – Mayor, Council Member at Large Seat A and Seat B
  • St Anthony – 2 Council Members
  • St Louis Park – Council Member Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4

School district offices

  • ISD 11 Anoka Hennepin – School Board Member District 3
  • ISD 270 Hopkins – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 271 Bloomington – 4 School Board Members
  • ISD 272 Eden Prairie – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 273 Edina – 4 School Board Members at Large
  • ISD 276 Minnetonka – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 277 Westonka – 3 School Board Members, Special Election for School Board Member
  • ISD 278 Orono – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 280 Richfield – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 282 St Anthony – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 283 St Louis Park – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 284 Wayzata – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 286 Brooklyn Center – Special Election for School Board Member
  • ISD 877 Buffalo Hanover Montrose – 3 School Board Members

Voter registration

Check your registration status

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

Register to vote

Online

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, your 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 guidelinesto 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

Am I eligible to vote?

See the Minnesota Secretary of State’s site for details.

When do I need to update my voter registration?

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. Voters are encouraged to register before Election Day. Registration temporarily closes 20 days before the election, and opens again on Election Day for voters who register at their polling place.

Are voter registration applications available in multiple languages?

Yes. See the Minnesota Secretary of State’s site for details.

Can I register to vote with my post office or mail center box address?

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

What happens to my voter registration if I change my address with the U.S. Postal Service?

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.

What do I need to know if I am conducting a voter registration drive?

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 the voter has one. Otherwise, voter must provide the last four digits of their Social Security number. If the voter has neither, the voter 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 voter's name, address, date of birth, and signature on the form.

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. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s site has voter outreach and education materials available to download and print or to order.

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.

Electronic poll books (e-poll books)

Introducing e-poll books in Hennepin County

E-poll book image

Presenting Poll Pad in Hennepin County

E-poll books will replace current paper voter rosters used in the polling place on election day. They will provide increased consistency and efficiencies throughout Hennepin County polling places and will also provide critical communication with the polling place on election day.

When you can expect e-poll books in your precinct

E-poll books will be implemented to all Hennepin County polling places in two phases:

  • Phase 1: 2016 state primary and general elections – all Hennepin County polling places except for those in the City of Minneapolis.
  • Phase 2: 2017 Minneapolis municipal November election – all Minneapolis polling places.

Election day in the polling place

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

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.

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

Election day voter registration

In Minnesota, you can register or update your registration at your polling place on Election Day. Find out what you’ll need to bring with you.

Tips for new voters

Never voted before? Learn what will happen when you show up for your first vote!

Assistance and accessibility

Learn different ways to get help during the voting process, as well as rules for polling place accessibility.

Learn more

Voter outreach and education

Get involved! Help your community get ready to vote. Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s site for voter outreach and education materials including how to become an election judge, voter registration applications, handouts, factsheets and other materials in multiple languages to help promote voting and voter registration.
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