Get Out the Vote 2020

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. The ACLU of Minnesota is working to protect and expand Minnesotansʼ freedom to vote.

Scroll down to learn about your voting rights and how to vote safely this November during the COVID-19 epidemic. While we recognize that not everyone is able to vote by mail, we encourage all who can to do so. No one should have to sacrifice their health to vote.

                       PLEDGE TO VOTE                                              Become a Poll Worker

Update: Due to COVID-19, the Minnesota Secretary of State is mailing absentee ballot applications to all registered voters. When you receive your application, complete and return it by mail immediately to allow time for your application to be received and your ballot to be mailed. If you do not receive an application (e.g. because you are newly registered), you may apply for a ballot online. You may also download an application and then submit it by mail, fax or email to your county election office.

How to get a mail-in ballot for the Nov 3. General Election

  • Who can vote by mail: All eligible voters 

  • How to apply to vote by mail: Apply online or by submitting your completed PDF form by mail, fax or email to your county election office. Find your election office here.*

  • Deadline to register to vote: Online: Tuesday, Oct. 13 11:59PM / In-Person: Tue Nov 3, 2020**


  • Ballot request deadline: Minnesota voters can request an absentee ballot until the day before the election. However, absentee ballot applications are open now, and the ACLU-MN urges all voters to request their ballot as soon as possible.

  • Ballot return deadline: In-person: Received by Tuesday, Nov. 3, 3 p.m./Mail: Postmarked by Tuesday, Nov. 3***


*Our lawsuit eliminated the requirement for a witness to the absentee ballot process for registered voters this election cycle. Minnesotans who register to vote and complete an absentee ballot at the same time will still need a witness.

**Voters who register in person on Election Day will be asked to present an approved form of identification and provide proof of residence. Learn more about what you'll need to bring.

***Following warnings of mail delays, Minnesota voters are strongly encouraged to return their ballots ASAP. Voters who are concerned their ballots may not arrive in time to be counted should return their ballots in person to their county election office.

How to vote in person for the Nov. 3 General Election

Voting Tips

  • Remember to check your voter registration status with your local election officials.

  • Public health officials recommend that you do not lick ballot envelopes, but instead use a wet sponge or cloth to seal them.

  • If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote. 

  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one. 

  • If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot. 


Our Fight to Expand Voter Access 

We are fighting in the courtroom to increase voting access for every Minnesotan. 

We filed a lawsuit to ask the state of Minnesota to mail absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in the state. The Minnesota Secretary of State has agreed to our request. Getting a ballot application in the mail, versus having to go online, will help lots of people — including nearly a quarter of Minnesotans without internet access.


It was a crime to help more than three voters cast their ballots in Minnesota, which disproportionately affected immigrants and people with disabilities. Helping a voter who has difficulty seeing or reading a ballot should not be a crime. We sued and we won! 

Thao v. Minnesota Secretary of State

We listened to Minnesotans' concern about the in-person witness requirement due to COVID-19. We sued, and now the witness requirement is waived for the November 2020 General Election. 


We will keep fighting to expand voting rights to more than 53,000 Minnesotans who are living and working in their communities, raising families and paying taxes, yet aren’t allowed to decide who will represent them. Everybody deserves a second chance.