COVID-19 has presented challenges to elections administrators at the state, county and municipal level. The Fridley Clerk’s Office is working to ensure a safe and efficient Election Day for all eligible voters in the City. There are three ways to cast your upcoming ballot in Minnesota’s General Election on November 3.
Absentee by Mail
To minimize direct contact with others, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) encourages all voters to vote by mail. All Minnesota voters are eligible to vote by mail. It is easy to do, as long as you plan ahead. Voters are encouraged apply for a ballot no later than 10 days before Election Day. This gives you the best chance to get your ballot in the mail and still have time to mail it back or drop it off. You can apply after this date, but each day increases the chances you will not be able to receive and return your ballot by the deadline. When you request an absentee ballot, elections staff will verify your registration status. If the application is complete, staff will initialize your ballot and mail it to you with detailed instructions on how to return it. When your ballot is returned to Anoka County, every ballot is inspected closely by two election officials for the following: 1. The voter’s name and address on the envelope matches the application; 2. The voter has not already voted in the election in person or by mail; 3. The voter has signed the white envelope; 4. The voter has provided the same identification number on the signature envelope as on the application; and 5. The voter is registered and eligible to vote in the precinct or has included a properly completed registration application with proof of residence marked on the signature envelope. Your ballot application and signature envelopes are kept on file for 22 months in case any questions or concerns arise that need to be investigated. Any suspected instances of voter fraud will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law by the Anoka County Prosecutor’s Office. To track the status of your ballot you can go to mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx to confirm your ballot was received and counted. The site will track the status of your ballot so you can follow it every step of the way. For the General Election, your ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3) and is received in the mail no later than seven days after Election Day (by November 10). Note: This is a change from the previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by Election Day. Return your ballot by mail or package delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS).
Absentee by Early Voting
Early voting is available in person at City Hall. The process is very similar to that of absentee by mail, however you will cast your ballot in person before Election Day. You will also be required to complete an Absentee Ballot Application. Staff will verify your eligibility to vote. You will cast your ballot and place your ballot in the required envelopes. By law, staff count every properly returned ballot received by the stated deadline. It is a common misconception that absentee ballots are only counted during very tight races. To track the status of your ballot and confirm the state has received and counted your ballot, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website at mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallot Status.aspx. Early voting at City Hall is available: – Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. September 18 through November 2; – Saturday, October 24 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.; and – Saturday, October 31 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
You can also return your ballot in person no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day (November 3, 2020) to the Anoka County Government Center, or at Fridley City Hall. You cannot drop your ballot off at your polling place on Election Day.
In Person on Election Day
Fridley’s 12 polling locations will be open and fully staffed on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Staff have been working to outfit all locations with signage and equipment to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Additional sanitizing protocols will be in place for equipment and common surfaces. Greeter Election Judges will play a more active role in monitoring the number of voters in each location. During busy voting times, you may be asked to form a line outside of the polling location. Please be patient with Election Judges. They will be following directives from City officials to ensure the public’s health and safety on Election Day. If you have any questions, please call the Fridley Clerk’s Office at 763-572-3523.