Early voting begins in Minnesota on Friday June 29

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Absentee voting without giving any reason starts on Friday, June 29 2018 in Minnesota.
Absentee voting without giving any reason starts on Friday, June 29 2018 in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s primary election is August 14, a time when many families are still away for summer vacation. Just as the American highways are busy with summer travel, the summer months are also a busy time in the US to Africa route with most flights booked solid.

The August 14 primary has history making potential written all over it, especially if you live in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional district. The heavily Democratic district recently vacated by congressman Keith Ellison has the potential of sending the first person born on the African continent to the United States Congress. Ilhan Omar, a first term member of the Minnesota House of Representatives is the endorsed Democratic party candidate in the August 14 primary.

Early voting options

By Mail

If you plan to be away during the primary, Minnesota law allows you to vote absentee without giving any reason. You can vote at your local election office which you can find at this link or you can vote by mail. If you choose to vote by mail, you will need to request (via email, fax or mail) for an absentee ballot to be sent to you via US mail. You will then need a witness who must be a registered Minnesota voter to sign it. In the absence of a witness you can use a notary. After you fill out your ballot you can mail it or drop it off at your county elections office and it must be received by August 14 for it to count.

Early voting in person

Staring June 29, you can also visit your county election office during their normal business hours before the August 14 primary to cast your ballot in person. Check for your particular county election office at this link.

Outside of their normal business hours, Minnesota law requires the election offices to be to be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the last Saturday before the election and until 5 p.m. the day before Election Day.

Canceling your ballot

The law allows you to cancel your absentee ballot after you have sent it in up to one week before election day. To do that, you will need to contact the election office that sent it you. Less than a week before election day you cannot cancel your ballot.

Depending on the timing of your cancellation, you can ask that a new ballot be sent to you or go to your county election office to cast a new ballot or if you find out you will be in town on election day after all, you can vote in person on August 14.

Author

  • Tom Gitaa

    Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

About Tom Gitaa Gitaa, Editor-in-Chief

Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

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