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How to Vote Early by Mail - Apply Online Transcript

[Opening with the State of Minnesota seal in the background. ASL narrator Sarah Houge appears, with the following words visible on the screen, “How to Vote Early by Mail – Apply Online. Produced by the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans. Sarah begins to sign, the CC begins and the voiceover begins.]

[Visual of a woman filling out papers.]

There are two ways to vote early in Minnesota.

[A visual of an official absentee balloting material envelope briefly appears.]

You can have a ballot mailed to you.  Fill it out and send it back so that it arrives at your election office by Election Day for it to be counted.

[Visual of the outside of an election center.]

Or you can go to your local elections office and vote there in person.  In-person voting is available beginning six weeks before Election Day. 

[Background: Official absentee balloting material envelope.]

You can apply for an absentee ballot even if you are not already registered to vote.

[Words appear briefly onscreen: You can apply for an absentee ballot even when you are not registered to vote.]

This video focuses on receiving a ballot in the mail and applying for it online. 

[Words appear briefly onscreen: How to receive a ballot in the mail by applying online.]

[Background: Minnesota Votes website]

There are three requirements for applying online to have a ballot mailed to you: 

[Words appear briefly on the screen with the 3 requirements, also listed below]

1. You are eligible to vote,

2. you have to have an email address and 

3. you have to provide an ID number: 

a. Minnesota-issued driver's license, 

b. Minnesota ID card or 

c. the last four digits of your Social Security Number.  

[The Minnesota Voter Registration Application form briefly appears.]

If you don’t have an email or one of these ID numbers, you can still apply to have a ballot mailed to you, but you’ll have to use the paper form.  

[Words briefly appear onscreen: military & overseas voters have a different process.]

If you are in the military or are overseas, there is a different process to vote and you need to use a different form.

If you already applied for an absentee ballot, do not fill out the form again.  If you haven’t received it yet, you can check on its status online. Watch another video to find out how.

[Words appear on the screen: Watch the video “Check on Your Absentee Ballot’s Status”

So let’s get started.  To apply for your absentee ballot online, go to the Minnesota Votes website. Look for how to apply for an absentee ballot online. It should be easy to find. 

[An arrow begins to move around the Minnesota Votes website and shows the navigation towards applying to vote early by mail.]

First, it asks for the county in which you live (for example, Hennepin or Rice).  Choose your county from the drop down list.

Next it asks for the city, state and zip code where you live.  Choose this from the drop down menu as well. 

Then choose the election or elections from the drop down list that you want the ballot mailed to you for.  For example the Primary in August or just the General Election in November or both.

Then click the green button at the bottom “Continue”

On the second page, first type your first, middle and last name.  If your name has a suffix, like “Junior”, use the drop down menu to add it.  When you type your name, you can include letters, spaces, hyphens or apostrophes.  Do not type any other characters, like numbers or periods.

Next it asks for your date of birth.  Choose the month, day and year from the drop-down menus.

Then it is asking for certain ID numbers.  Your ID numbers will kept confidential.  

There are spaces for both your driver’s license number and for the last four digits of your Social Security Number.  Provide both numbers to ensure the fastest processing and help ensure that there are no problems with your ballot.  

Next it asks for your home address.  Here you will type in your house number.  If you have an unusual address, like 325 ½ , use the Suffix field to type the “½” .  

Then choose your street from the drop down menu.  

If your address includes an Apartment number or Lot number, use the drop down menu and the Unit # space to include this information.

If your street is not on the list in the drop down menu, look to see if it is listed under a different name (such as “Hwy. 7”, instead of “Broadway”).  If it’s still not there, be sure you selected the right County – the one you chose is listed under the heading “Minnesota address where you live”.  If you selected the wrong county, go back to the first page and start again.  

Next choose whether you want the ballot mailed to your home address or another address.  You might want it mailed to another address, if you live in a place where mail cannot be delivered to you at your home address, or if you’ll be out of town when ballots are sent out.  Otherwise, skip this part.

Next, type in your email address.  This is required to apply for an early absentee ballot online. 

You can add your phone number too, but it is not required.  

Finally, there is the oath that you need to sign.  It says:

[The text of the oath is visible in words onscreen. The text is rolling upwards.]

I certify that I: 

• am completing this application on my own behalf;

• will be at least 18 years old on Election Day;

• am a citizen of the United States;

• will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day;

• maintain residence at the address given on the registration form;

• am not under court-ordered guardianship in which the court order revokes my right to vote;

• have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote;

• have the right to vote because, if I have been convicted of a felony, my felony sentence has expired (been completed) or I have been discharged from my sentence; and

• have read and understand this statement, that giving false information is a felony punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

Then there is the red text with a checkbox in front of it.  It says that when you type your name below, it counts as your legal signature.  By typing your name, you promise that you understand the oath and that all of the information is true. If you lie, it is a serious crime called perjury.  

If you agree, check the red checkbox.  You also need to type your name in the signature line.

Now click the green “Submit” button.

Then you will get a Confirmation Screen.

It tells you that: 

• They have received your application for an absentee ballot.

• You will receive an email after they have reviewed your application.

• If you only supplied one ID number on your application, remember which one you provided.  You will need to provide the same number on the form that comes with your absentee ballot.

[Background: Email confirmation that the ballot application was successfully verified.]

Over the next few days, look for an email about your absentee ballot.  

[Background: Minnesota Votes website.]

A couple of days after you have applied for your ballot, you can check on its status online.  You’ll be able to see that your application is accepted and when your ballot is mailed to you.  

[Words appear briefly onscreen: Watch the video “Check On Your Absentee Ballot’s Status”]

Watch another video to learn how.  

For more information, go to the Minnesota Votes website. 

[MNCDHH logo is shown. Video ends.]

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