New website makes voting easier than ever

MNVotes, the new website launched by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, makes it easier than ever to vote in the Nov. 4 elections. Minnesotans can register online, request absentee ballots, find their polling places and more. The website has a new look and functionality to allow voters to better access and interact with voter tools and information on their computers, tablets and mobile phones. “The enhanced functionality provides voters with an easier way to connect and engage with our voter resources and information,” says Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. “Minnesota leads the nation in voter turnout, and our voters deserve a site that they can use at home or on the go to help guide their voting experience.”

The responsive design features clean, bold links to direct users to the suite of tools, which include registering to vote and absentee ballot request. The site also provides comprehensive voter information to educate voters about the elections process.

Tools and features include:

  • Online Voter Registration — Eligible voters are encouraged to pre-register to vote by October 14 to save time at the polling place. Voters who miss the pre-registration deadline may register at their polling place on Election Day.
  • Request Absentee Ballot — Request an absentee ballot online, rather than printing/scanning application forms, and returning by mail, fax or email.
  • Absentee Ballot Lookup — Voters can track the status of their absentee ballot to determine when it was mailed, and if their ballot was received and accepted.
  • Voter Registration Lookup — Voters can check if they are registered to vote at their current address.
  • E-mail Updates - Voters may sign up to receive election-related email updates.

The My Ballot and Polling Place Finder tools remain available on the Office of the Secretary of State's main website and will be incorporated in the new design prior to Election Day.

This election year, Minnesota voters will head to the polls to decide a U.S. Senate seat, all of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats, as well as governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor, and all Minnesota State House seats. The 2014 election will also include many county commissioners, county sheriffs, county attorneys, auditors, treasurers and recorders.

Key 2014 election dates:

  • October 14 — Pre-registration deadline for the General Election. Eligible voters are encouraged to pre-register to vote to save time at the polling place. Voters can register online at mnvotes.org, or complete a paper voter registration application.
  • November 4 — General Election Day. Voters who miss the pre-registration deadline may register at their polling place on Election Day.

The Secretary of State is the chief election official in Minnesota and is responsible for the administration of the state’s election law. In this capacity, the office operates the Statewide Voter Registration System and prepares the official roster of voters for every election. The office also accepts filings by candidates, trains local election officials, and conducts voter education and outreach programs.

Article by Barb Kucera reprinted from Workday Minnesota.