Skip to main content

Thousands of Minnesotans request mail-in ballots to vote from home during the pandemic

Officials have encouraged people to vote by mail due to the pandemic.

Voting by mail seems to be the popular choice for the 2020 election in Minnesota. 

State officials have encouraged Minnesotans to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And people have listened. 

According to a tweet from Secretary of State Steve Simon, 144,768 people have requested a ballot by mail. 

That's significantly higher – more than 20 times higher – than the number of people who requested a mail-in ballot during the same time period in the 2018 and 2016 elections. 

May 13 was the first day Minnesotans could request a mail-in ballot through the Secretary of State's website (you can fill out an application to get one here), and officials across much of the state have been encouraging people to vote early by mail to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic at polling places.  

In just the first week of eligibility, 36,880 Minnesotans requested an absentee ballot. In 2018, for the same time period, 173 people requested one, and in 2016, 88 people did, Simon tweeted on May 21.

Meanwhile, some counties including Olmsted County, have decided to mail absentee ballot applications to every eligible voter in the county in hopes of getting more to vote early by mail to prevent large gatherings of people at the polls this fall. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

And state officials are making it easier for people to vote by mail by not requiring a witness signature on the mail-in primary ballot. Absentee and in-person voting for the primary begins June 26.

Republicans in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States have questioned the integrity of mail-in voting, especially after President Donald Trump falsely claimed it is corrupt (all voter fraud is extremely rare, the New York Times reports). There is also no evidence that voting by mail gives one political party an advantage, Five Thirty Eight found.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant ejected, Wolves blow huge lead and lose to slumping Hawks

The Timberwolves missed another opportunity to get over .500.

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.

the mayo clinic - edit

Group says Mayo should be 'severely punished' over research puppy's death

The puppy died two days after undergoing a procedure at a Mayo research facility.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

Charges: Man kidnapped woman, sexually assaulted her at gunpoint

The suspect faces three separate felony charges.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

St. Cloud 'Boogaloo Boi' who discussed attack on MN Capitol gets 2 years

He was charged with illegally possessing a machine gun.

Chris Smith

Gophers add All-Ivy League D-tackle from Harvard

Chris Smith will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

school bus

High school basketball team returns from game to find bus driver dead

Members of the girls team returned to the bus to find the driver unresponsive.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota AG sues COVID testing site, alleging it sent false results

Sometimes the company didn't send people their results at all, the lawsuit alleges.

optum headquarters chad davis wikimedia commons

UnitedHealth Group says it made $287B last year, $24B of it profit

The corporation's Optum business represented a significant chunk of that total.


Omicron may have already peaked in Minnesota

Reported cases lag what's happening in real time, so the newly reported cases over the next week or so will still be very high.

MnDot snow plow cam I-35 12-10-21

MnDOT reveals 50 snowplow name finalists

Voting is open through Wednesday, Jan. 26.


I voted sticker

Voters urged to mail ballots this week for August primary

Ballots must be postmarked on or before the primary election on Aug. 11 and received in the mail by Aug. 13 to count

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.

ballot voting vote

Minneapolis opens 10 new ballot drop-off sites

There are now 13 places for people to bring their mail-in ballot.


The absentee ballot request forms you got in the mail? Here's what to know

Every election year, the Center for Voter Information mails applications to vote absentee.

I voted sticker

Minneapolis opens 2 more Early Voting Centers

There are now four locations where people who live in Minneapolis can vote early.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

ballot voting vote

Judge upholds Minnesota's 7-day extension for mail-in ballots

Mail-in ballots received within seven days of the election will be counted so long as they're postmarked by Election Day (Nov. 3).