In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Olmsted County has decided to mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters.
More than 90,000 Olmsted County residents could receive their application to vote by mail as early as Friday, a county press release says.
Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota counties each have plans to mail applications to registered voters, and the Minnesota Secretary of State plans to mail applications to voters who have not applied statewide, a SOS spokesperson said.
“This is an unprecedented time for Olmsted County, Minnesota and our nation as we face a major public health crisis and civil unrest,” said Olmsted County Director or Property Records and Licensing Mark Krupski. “Voting is the cornerstone of democracy and we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in a safe and accessible manner.”
Voters can use the county-provided prepaid envelope to return the application, and can then expect to receive a ballot by mail.
Voters can submit their ballots as early as 46 days before the general election, which is Sept. 18. Early absentee voting for the August 11 primary beings June 26.
Online voter registration is available on the Minnesota Secretary of State website until 21 days before each election event. Residents not registered to vote can also request an an absentee ballot application online — a voter registration application will be mailed along with it.