How to Register to Vote
Eligibility to Vote
You are eligible to vote in Minnesota if you are:
- At least 18 years or older
- A citizen of the United States
- A resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days before Election Day
- Have the right to vote because, if you have been convicted of a felony, your felony sentence has expired (been completed) or you have discharged from your sentence
- Are not under a guardianship in which the court order revokes the right to vote
- Are not legally incompetent
Registering to Vote
To register to vote, you must fill out a voter registration card. When filling out the card, you must sign and date the oath printed at the bottom. By signing the card, you are swearing that you are eligible to register to vote. The card can be submitted at any time except during the 20 days immediately preceding any election.
If you are not able to register prior to the cutoff dates, you can register on election day at your polling place. Any voter who sends in a voter registration card which is received after the above pre-registration cutoff dates will be sent a "Notice of Ineffective/Late Registration" letter. The "Notice of Ineffective/Late Registration" letter can be used as proof of residency when registering to vote on Election Day at the polling location.
Availability of Voter Registration Cards
Voter registration cards are available at the Olmsted County Government Center in Rochester. You may mail or deliver your card to us. Cards are also available at your local city hall, and library.
You may print a voter registration card on your personal computer printer and mailing it to our office at Olmsted County Voter Registration, 151 4th St SE, Rochester, MN 55904 (507)328-7650
You can also register to vote when applying for or renewing your drivers license. The information will be forwarded to our office.
Re-registering to Vote if You have Changed your Name or Address
Any previously registered voter who changes his or her name or address must re-register to vote. A change of name or address requires a new registration and a new signature from the applicant.
If you have moved since last registering to vote, it is important to update your voter registration information so that you can vote for the candidates who will represent you. Remember: If you move, you must vote in your new precinct. Do not return to your old precinct to vote.
A voter registration is canceled for the following reasons:
- The voter has been convicted of a felony without having his or her civil rights restored
- The voter is not under guardianship in which the court order revokes the right to vote.
- The voter has been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote
- The voter is not a citizen of the United States
- The voter has not voted for more than four years
Postal Verification Card
Upon receiving a voter registration card properly completed and submitted, the Olmsted County Elections Official will enter the information into the statewide voter registration system. A postal verification card will be mailed to you verifying your name, residential address, precinct, polling location and voting districts.
Election Day Registration Information
In Minnesota you may register to vote on Election Day. You will need to bring one of the following proofs of residence to register at the polling place:
- Minnesota driver's license, learner's permit, identification card, or receipt for one, with your current address
- Tribal ID**
- If the Minnesota license, Tribal ID or MN State ID has a former address, you may bring a recent utility bill* to use with your license
- "Notice of Late Registration" postcard
- U.S. passport with utility bill*
- U.S. military photo ID card with utility bill*
- Prior registration listed on roster at former address in precinct
- Oath of a registered voter in precinct ("vouching")
- If you are a student, you can use...
- Student ID, registration, or fee statement with your current address
- Post Secondary Student photo ID with utility bill*
- Post Secondary Student ID if you are on a student housing list on file at the polling place
- For those who live in a residential facility. including nursing homes, battered women's shelters, homeless shelters and other licensed facilities, an employee who will vouch that you live there (if the facility has provided the county with a certified list of employees)
*Note: The utility bill must have your name, current address, and be due within 30 days of the election. Utility bills may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cell phone or cable TV
**Tribal identification cards that contain the name, address, signature and picture of the tribal member will have the same status as a Minnesota driver license. Therefore, such tribal identification cards are sufficient proof of identity and residency, and may be used without any other documentation to register to vote on election day in the precinct in which the address on the tribal identification card is located, without regard to whether the tribal members live on or off their tribal reservations.
Tribal identification cards with a photo that do not contain any address or a current address can be used in combination with a current utility bill to register to vote on election day in the precinct in which the address on the utility bill is located.
Time off Work to Vote
Every employee who is eligible to vote in an election has the right to be absent from work for the purpose of voting during the morning of the day of that election, without penalty or deduction from salary or wages because of the absence.
Assistance to Persons with Disabilities
All polling places are required to be accessible to persons with disabilities and election judges are available for assistance. Voters who are physically unable to enter a polling place may, with the assistance of two election judges of different political parties, register and vote without leaving their vehicle. Absentee balloting is also available prior to Election Day.