Facts on Voting on Election Day in Minnesota
October 02, 2008
by Chris M. Heffelbower
Election Day falls on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Here are several interesting facts on voting on Election Day in Minnesota:
Minnesota is one of several states that permit voters to register to vote on Election Day at the voters’ polling place. Voters may also register to vote prior to Election Day. However, if an individual registers to vote on Election Day, he or she is required to provide proof of residence. Proof of residence includes, but is not limited to, a valid Minnesota Driver’s License, a learner’s permit, a Minnesota ID card, or a receipt for any of these containing a valid address in the precinct. For a complete list of ways to establish proof of residence to register to vote on Election Day, go to http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home.
Minnesota requires voters to vote at a particular assigned voting place. To find the appropriate place for voting on Election Day, go to http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us.
Most polling places in Minnesota open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Since this is a presidential election year and voter turn-out is typically higher, there may be long lines at polling sites across the State. Under Minnesota law, if a voter is in line at his or her voting place at 8:00 p.m. (the time when polls close), he or she still has the right to vote.
Some organizations provide transportation of voters to polling places on Election Day. Minnesota law provides that a person transporting a voter to or from a voting place may not ask, solicit, or try to induce or persuade a voter to vote or refrain from voting for a candidate or ballot question.
Under Minnesota law, on Election Day no one may display campaign material, post signs, ask, solicit, or try to induce or persuade a voter to vote for or refrain from voting for a candidate or a ballot question within a polling place or within 100 feet of the building in which a polling place is situated, or anywhere on the public property on which a polling place is situated.
A new law in Minnesota prohibits “lingering near polling places.” The law provides that “no one except an election official or an individual who is waiting to register or to vote shall stand within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place.” This law, however, has been recently challenged in court. A lawsuit is currently pending in federal court by several news organizations who sued the State of Minnesota to block this law from being enforced. The news organizations argue that the law violates their First Amendment rights to gather political information, and the law will jeopardize the accuracy of their exit polls by prohibiting them from questioning voters within 100 feet of a polling place. The court has not yet ruled on this matter.
Minnesota law requires that the national flag be displayed at the entrance to all polling places.
Minnesota law specifically allows election judges to offer an “I Voted” sticker to each voter who has signed the polling place roster.
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