Updated:
Original:

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

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


Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon tweeted a photo of a mailing from the Center for Voter Information Thursday, clarifying it's fine to use forms sent from this organization to request a ballot in the mail.

The non-partisan, non-profit organization mails out applications to vote absentee across the country for each election, usually prioritizing groups that have been underrepresented in voter turnout. 

As the pandemic continues during this election season, there's an increased focus and encouragement from elected officials and other civic organizations to vote by mail to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at polling places.

But the Center for Voter Information and other organizations, including partisan ones on both sides of the political divide, have long been encouraging people to vote by simply sending out applications. For instance, the North Carolina Republican Party this week sent residents absentee ballot request forms accompanied with literature promoting the re-election of President Donald Trump, CNN reports

In some cases, the applications are partially filled out with the resident's name or address. This is because organizations are pulling publicly-available information from voting data.

In some cases, inaccurate return addresses have been reported on envelopes from the Center for Voter Information in other states, but the Minnesota Secretary of State office told BMTN that residents can still use the form and double check where to return it. The correct place to drop off or mail your ballot is your local elections office, which you can look up at the SOS website

Secretary of State Steve Simon tweeted Thursday: "Minnesota: If you received a mailing like this, containing an absentee ballot application: 1. It’s not from the MN Office of Secretary of State. 2. It is, however, a true & legitimate absentee application. 3. If you’ve already applied to vote from home, disregard the mailing."

While organizations and parties sending out absentee ballot request forms isn't anything new, it has nonetheless caused some confusion among voters who would normally cast their ballot in person, but are now considering voting by mail for the first time, and aren't as familiar with the process.

If you want to go through the most common channel, Minnesotans can apply to receive a ballot in the mail at mnvotes.org, a shortcut for the Secretary of State's website. The site also has a printable form (the same one the Center for Voter Information and other organizations are sending out) residents can mail in to apply. Voters can also check the status of their mail ballot through the website

The Minnesota Secretary of State will also be sending applications to vote by mail to anyone who hasn't yet applied in the coming weeks, a spokesperson told BMTN, so be aware of those. 

Next Up

dave chappelle

Dave Chappelle to perform at Target Center in Minneapolis

The comedian is screen his new documentary at part of the 10-city tour.

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 7.06.08 AM

U.S. soccer hero Megan Rapinoe signs her mural at St. Paul bar

Rapinoe paid a visit to The Black Hart ahead of a match at Allianz Field Tuesday.

hospital, emergency room

1 dead after married couple crash UTV in southern Minnesota

The crash happened just after 11 p.m. Saturday.

hmong college prep academy

St. Paul school superintendent offers to quit after $4.3M lost in hedge fund

The Office of the State Auditor recently released its investigative report on the school.

ambulance

2 women die from injuries suffered in October 19 Hopkins crash

Both victims died at Hennepin Healthcare on Oct. 21.

Dean Evason

Wild fall flat against Predators, lose first game of season

The Wild couldn't stay out of the penalty box in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 10.11.36 AM

Search for Wisconsin woman whose vehicle was found near Hinckley

Ashley L. Miller, 33, was reported missing on Sep. 24 after her vehicle was found without her in it.

Dak Prescott

Report: Dak Prescott will be 'ready to go' for matchup with Vikings

The Dallas quarterback is expected to be available for next Sunday's showdown.

Eddie Rosario

Where Eddie Rosario's championship series heroics rank since 2000

The former Twin put together an all-timer to help the Braves reach the World Series.

plane, Piper PA-32

2 dead after plane crashes near residence in rural Wisconsin

The aircraft also struck the house during the crash.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 9.38.43 PM

1 dead after van crashes and lands on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center

Northbound Highway 100 was shut down following the crash Saturday night.

Related

I voted sticker

Early voting begins in Minnesota: Here's what to know

Answers to frequently asked questions, from getting an absentee ballot to going in person

voting

Olmsted County mails absentee ballot applications to all registered voters

Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota counties have similar plans.

selective-focus-photography-of-a-mailbox-2217613

Postmaster General delays postal service cuts till after November election

"To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail," the postmaster general says any further operational changes will be postponed

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).

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

I voted sticker

A huge number of Minnesotans have already requested mail-in ballots

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

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

voting

Minnesota waives requirement for absentee ballot witnesses in primary

The Minnesota SOS has waived the witness requirement and will count ballots postmarked received 2 days after the primary.