More than 600,000 Minnesotans have already voted in the 2020 elections

The number dwarfs absentee voting by the same time in 2016.
Ballot drop off voting sign

More than 600,000 Minnesotans have already cast their vote in the 2020 elections, despite Election Day still being more than three weeks away.

The latest figures on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website show that 635,003 ballots have already been accepted for the Nov. 3 election, which SoS Steve Simon says represents 21% of the total number of people who voted in the 2016 elections.

Of those, 601,094 ballots were absentee ballots, with the rest cast in-person at Early Voting centers across the state.

The 601,094 absentee ballots already received are out of the 1,539,253 mail ballots requested. At the same time in 2016, just 281,532 people had applied to vote absentee in Minnesota.

The highest concentration of mail ballots on a per capita basis are being requested in the more isolated parts of Minnesota, where it's more difficult to access polling places.

Cook County in northeastern Minnesota and Marshall and Lake of the Woods counties in northwestern Minnesota have the highest rate of absentee ballot requests. (Note: We've since been informed that this is because absentee ballots are sent out automatically to registered voters in Lake of the Woods and Cook counties, due to their sparse population).

However, counties that traditionally lean Democrat have the highest rates of ballots that have been returned.

This correlates with recent polls in Minnesota that show more Democrats are likely to vote absentee in 2020 due to the ongoing concerns over COVID-19, while Republicans are more likely to vote in person.

Despite this, voting in-person isn't a huge health risk, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

"In general, we would compare the risk of voting in person comparable to going to the grocery store," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said recently.

Registering to vote, and getting an absentee ballot

The deadline to register online to vote in Minnesota is Oct. 13, and you can do that here.

Alternatively, if you're unregistered to vote, you can still cast your ballot by mail, but you will be required to have a witness signature confirming your identity and address. More on that here.

And as ever, you can just register to vote at your polling place as you cast your vote. Here's what/who you need to bring to do this. 

Early voting centers will be open in Minnesota until Nov. 2. What's more, a new mail ballot drop-off site is opening at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 1301 Second Ave. S. on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Next Up

hospital, emergency room

Charges: Driver was going 71 mph in 25 mph zone before crash that killed teen

The vehicle went airborne and slammed into the wall, killing a teenage passenger.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis mayor reveals his plan for policing changes

Mayor Jacob Frey announced a slate of new policy proposals at an event in north Minneapolis Monday.

fawn rescue chisholm

2 newborn deer rescued from sinkhole on the Iron Range

Firefighters rescued the deer and returned them to their mom.

lake, water

Search is on for possible missing boater in Roseville

A vehicle and empty boat were found at McCarrons Lake.


Man sentenced for firing gun at sister's boyfriend during funeral

Shelby Gene Boswell was sentenced to 110 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

shakopee splash pad 1

Someone cut off the foot of a lion at the Shakopee splash pad

Officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information on who did it.

lake water

Man's body found near fishing boat in southeast Minnesota

The marsh he was found in is about 120 miles southeast of the Twin Cities.

road construction

Highway 12 between Orono and Independence closed for 4 months

Crews will be making safety improvements along the "Corridor of Death."

Nicholas Joseph Ammesmaki

Arrest warrant for 'armed and dangerous' suspect in Cloquet shootings

Anyone who knows of his whereabouts should call 911, police say.

Willians Astudillo

Twins pitchers decimated: 16 runs, 18 hits, 8 walks ... 4 strikeouts

The White Sox hammered the Twins 16-4 but Astudillo took the mound in the ninth.


voting plymouth -- A line to vote early in Plymouth on Oct. 28.

More than 1.7M Minnesotans have already voted

Election officials are reminding people with absentee ballots to not mail them.

jennifer carnahan

Minnesota GOP chair joins Trump effort to overturn people's vote

Jennifer Carnahan is the latest Republican to allude to baseless allegations of voter fraud.

Rep. Tom Emmer

Rep. Tom Emmer among 106 Republicans backing bid to overturn election result

Republican AGs in 17 states are attempting to overturn the presidential election through the courts.

Screen Shot 2020-09-30 at 11.16.18 PM

What did President Trump say at his Duluth rally?

He stopped for a fundraiser on Lake Minnetonka first.

best buy

Best Buy stores to open later on Election Day, giving workers time to vote

It will also be giving paid time off to employees who volunteer as poll workers.


What to expect when the polls close on Election Day

It's not likely to be your typical Election Day.

Biden and Trump

LIVE UPDATES: Election Night 2020 in Minnesota

The latest updates as Minnesotans take to the polls.