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Lifelong Learning

Voter Eligibility and Absentee Ballots

Voter Eligibility

Before you can vote, you must register. In Minnesota, you may register 20 days before election day for your name to appear on the polling place roster or on election day at your polling place.

You may register and vote if you:

  • will be at least 18 years old on election day
  • are a citizen of the United States
  • will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding election day
  • have any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed
  • are not under court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked your voting rights
  • have not been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law

Absentee Ballot Information

The law allows any eligible voter to vote early by absentee ballot. Voters can request an absentee ballot even if they are not registered to vote — a voter registration application will be provided with their ballot. Only the voter (not a friend or family member) may pick up or complete an absentee ballot.

To vote by absentee ballot for the Nov. 8 election, voters must complete and return an application for an absentee ballot. Download the absentee ballot application and return it to the Clay County Auditor, P.O. Box 280, Moorhead, MN 56561-0280. Absentee ballots are available 46 days prior to election day — from Sept. 23 through Nov. 7, 2016.

Contact the Clay County auditor for more information or visit The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State website at provides information relating to frequently asked questions on registering and voting, including absentee ballot information.