Hey. It's Election Day. You should vote. Even if you weren't planning on it, you've got until 8 p.m. Tuesday to change your mind.
So here's everything you need to know about going to vote today.
Alright, what are we doing here?
Voting. For the next president of the United States (here's some of what they stand for, without the BS), all of Minnesota's U.S. House representatives (very important, because the president can't do much without their help), all the state lawmakers in Minnesota, and more.
Cool. So how do I vote?
To be eligible to vote, you have to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, done serving all parts of a felony sentence, and have lived in Minnesota for at least 20 days.
Then you've got to be registered to vote. You can check if you're registered here. If you registered at least 21 days ago online or in-person, and were told it was successful, you should be good as long as you haven't moved. Or if you voted in the past four years, and are still at the same address.
If you're NOT registered, that's fine – you can register on-site at the place you vote.
I can do that. When can I vote?
Today, Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016. Polls are open generally from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you're in line by 8 p.m., you will get to vote – even if you haven't reached the front of the line yet.
And where do I vote?
You have a specific polling place based on where you live. Just punch in your address here, and it will tell you where to go.
What do I need to bring?
What to bring on Election Day Do you know what to bring with you when you go to vote?
Posted by GoNews on Thursday, October 27, 2016
If you're registered to vote:
Technically nothing. Just tell the election officials who you are when you get to the front of the line.
If you need to register to vote:
If you have a valid driver's license with your current address, that's it.
If you don't have a drivers license, you can bring a combination of approved photo IDs and proof of where you live (so a lease or billing statement, for example).
There are a few other ways to go about it, including having a registered voter in the same precinct vouch for you, or bringing your college student ID with a student housing list.
What if I have to work?
Your job – under the law – has to give you time to vote. They cannot make you use personal or vacation time for it.
They can ask you to coordinate with other workers, so things still run smoothly if someone is gone. But any employer that violates this law is guilty of a misdemeanor.
I know Trump and Hillary but ... what else am I voting for?
So, in addition to the president/vice president, everyone in Minnesota will vote on:
- Their U.S. representative (one of Minnesota's eight, depending on where you live – three of which are seen as nationally important.)
- Their state senator (one of 67, depending on where you live). A lot is at stake in these races.
- Their state representative (one of 134, depending on where you live). A lot is at stake here, too.
- A proposed change to the constitution, about how state lawmakers' pay should be set. We explained it all here.
- Plus lots of judges.
Here's a great tool: You can put in your address and get a sample ballot, showing what yours will look like.
Who should I vote for?
You know we aren't here to tell you that.
But in all sincerity, vote for who you think will be the best person for the job – even if it's a write-in that didn't register to be counted.
It's as simple as that.
Can I take a photo with my ballot?
You can, sure, but you shouldn't.
Minnesota law makes it illegal to show your marked ballot to anybody. Plus, it can just be kind of rude – other people may be expecting privacy, and you could hold up lines at the polling place.
Or go home if you want, that's cool too. Just vote.