In the last presidential election, 2012, Minnesota was the first state to allow same day voter registration to citizens eligible to vote. In 2014 Minnesota legislature passed a law permitting early voting without excuse. This change not only made the process of voting easier, it also reduces any excuse you may have to not vote. Minnesota allows early voting, no excuse absentee voting, online voter-registration, and same day voter registration.

Citizens interested in early voting can visit city halls or county locations, or they can obtain an absentee ballot and vote by mail. Early voting not only is convenient for voters, but allows candidates to determine which groups they should zero in on to try and sway before the election comes to a close in November.  Candidates also save money when voters vote early. Once a citizen votes they are crossed off the list and cease getting mailers and phone calls. Over 100,000 voters had voted by noon on Friday, the day early voting began in Minnesota.

It is predicted that voter participation in Minnesota will increase by 3% this election due to the more lenient voting laws. I believe voting is an extremely important privilege offered to us in our country and it is our duty to take advantage and offer our voice in who leads our country. The outcome of early voting and more relaxed voter registration laws is much more beneficial to the voice of our democracy than the voter turnout of states with stricter laws.

Requirements for voting in Minnesota include:

  1. Being a Minnesota citizen 18 years of age or older by election day (November 8, 2016).
  2. If voting in person a photo ID is only required if you are registering to vote that day. Excepted forms of ID include: Minnesota drivers license or learners permit with name and address, tribal ID with name and address, or a combination of a photo ID (out of state drivers license, passport, military ID, a school ID) and a document proving your address (utility bill).
  3.  To vote by mail proof of ID is not required.

To register to vote in Minnesota visit this link.