Minnesota voters can request an absentee ballot online at www.mnvotes.org through a tool provided by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

The service allows voters to cast their ballots early by applying for an absentee ballot quickly and easily without the need to print, scan forms, and return by mail, fax or email.

Voters may request an abbsentee ballot for both the August 9 primary election and November 8 general election. Ballots for the primary will be mailed now and those for the general election on September 23.

To request an absentee ballot use "Other Ways to Vote" and select a "Vote Early" option at the www.mnvotes.org website.

The information you input will be verified against data from the state's Driver and Vehicle Services or Social Security Administration. Local election officials review the application and if approved , send the voter their absentee ballot so they may vote early.

Upon requesting an absentee ballot, voters may use the "Track Your Absentee Ballot" link at mnvotes.org under "Other ways to Vote" to find the status of their ballot.

You can find out when it was mailed, and wether your completed ballot was received and accepted by your County Absentee Ballot Board.

Voters may also request absentee ballots by mail, or vote absentee in person at the County Auditor's Office.

Remember you don't need an excuse to vote absentee so you can avoid waiting in a line at your polling place.

There are other voter tools on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

Here are some important dates to remember according to the Rice County Auditor/Treasurer Office.

  • July 19: Preregistration deadline for primary election. Voters are encouraged to preregister to vote to avoid long lines and waits at the polling place. Voters who miss the deadline may still register at their polling place on primary election day, August 9.
  • August 9: Primary election day
  • September 23: Absentee ballots will be available for the November 8 general election.
  • October 18: Preregistration deadline for the general election. Voters are encouraged to preregister to vote to avoid waiting at the polling place. Voters who miss the the deadline may still register at their polling place on Election Day, November 8.

Most of the information here was contained in a news release issued by the Rice County Auditor/Treasurer Office.

Rice County Voting Machine