consultants are sandburs

Monday, June 23, 2014

No fault, no excuse absentee voting. You can do it as more convenient and genteel.

Strib reports, here.

This excerpt:

A new law, approved overwhelmingly last year, will allow voters to request absentee ballots regardless of whether they can get to their polling places on Election Day.

The program, coupled with online tools that will let voters register online and check the status of their ballots, is part of a nationwide movement to make voting easier. Minnesota’s law doesn’t go as far as those in some states, where vote-by-mail and early voting have become commonplace, but its supporters say the changes will help the state maintain its best-in-the-nation turnout status.

“I think anything that permits more people to vote, as long as they are doing so lawfully, is a boon,” said DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. “The more people who will vote, the better off we’ll be.”

The changes will further speed up an election cycle that already seems to start earlier every year. This year, absentee ballots for the Aug. 12 primary will be available starting Friday.

Republicans are promoting the new absentee ballots at county fairs and campaign offices as a way to get people to shake off the summer doldrums and vote in the primary. [...]

Before the change, Minnesotans voting absentee had to attest that they would be physically unable to get to their polling places because of travel, illness or several other specific reasons. Now no explanation will be necessary.

“Finally, we’ve joined the rest of the nation,” said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

The new law also means that people can vote “absentee in person” for any reason. Minnesota has long permitted voters to go to their local city or county offices to cast ballots ahead of election day, but now more may do so.

[emphasis added]. Friday would be June 27, 2014, so if your vacation is next week, you can vote in person in the primary election starting then, at the County Election office, before setting off on travels. [Ramsey City Hall is also a vote-in-person absentee site, per this Ramsey elections link].

Remember to read and follow rules that will be on the ballot as to staying within whichever primary ballot column you vote, in order to not void your ballot and your vote.

NOTE: The Strib item has much additional detail; this link.

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