[Opening with the State of Minnesota seal in the background. ASL narrator Sarah Houge appears, with the following words visible on the screen, “Online Voter Registration. Produced by the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing. Sarah begins to sign, the CC begins and the voiceover begins.]
[Background: I pledge to vote logo with the words, “Polls are open 7AM – 8PM visible.]
It’s wonderful that you’ve decided that you want to vote. In this video you’ll learn how to take the first step -- how to register to vote online.
[The following words briefly appear: Watch the video “Find out if you can vote”]
If you are not sure if you are legally allowed to vote, watch the video called “Find out if You can Vote”.
[Visual of the Minnesota Votes website]
[The following words briefly appear: To register online, you must have an e-mail and ID number]
There are two requirements for registering online:
1. you have an email address and
2. 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.
If you don’t have an email or one of these ID numbers, you can still register to vote, but you’ll have to use the paper form. You should watch that video instead.
[Brief visual of a Minnesota Voter Registration Application. The words: Watch the video “Paper Voter Registration” then briefly appears.]
If you think you are already registered to vote, you can check on the Minnesota Votes website. There’s also a video you can watch about how to use this tool called “Check Your Registration”.
[The words: Watch the video “Check Your Registration” briefly appears.]
[The words: “Update your registration with any name or address changes” briefly appears.]
State law requires that you update your voter registration if you change your name as well as every time you move, even if it’s just from one apartment to another in the same building.
[The following words briefly appear: “Register 3 weeks before the election or register when you vote.]
If you are not yet registered to vote or need to update your registration, the deadline is 3 weeks before the election. If you miss the deadline you can register to vote when you go to vote.
[Visual of voters inside polling place.]
Registering to vote before Election Day has many advantages, including saving you time on Election Day.
[Background: Minnesota Votes website. An arrow is shown navigating the website to the registration page and then through the online registration process.]
To register online, visit the Minnesota Votes website. Look for how to register to vote online. It should be easy to find. If not, use the search box on the top, right side of the website. In addition, MNCDHH’s website also has the direct link to the online voter registration tool.
The online form has five steps.
In Step 1, you see if you are eligible. At the top it says that you need an email address and your ID number. It then has three questions:
First it asks if you are a U.S. citizen. Click ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Then it asks if you will be at least 18 on or before the next election. Click ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Third it asks “Are you currently incarcerated, on parole or on probation as part of a felony conviction sentence? (If you’ve had a felony conviction, you can vote once you complete your sentence.)” Click ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Then click “Next”.
Step 2 collects your personal information.
First it asks for your name. Type your full name in the boxes provided for First, Middle (if any), and Last. If your name has a suffix, like “Junior”, use the drop down menu to add it.
It asks if you have changed your name since you last registered to vote. Click ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If you choose ‘yes’ it asks for the name you had when you were last registered.
It asks for your birthdate. Choose the month, day and year from the drop down menus.
It asks for your contact information – email and phone number—and explains that your email address will not be available to the public. If you want more information, you can click on the link and read the privacy notice. Type in your email address. Phone number is optional.
It asks for your ID number and explains that it will be kept confidential. If you want to know more about the protections in place and who will have access to it, you can click on the link to read more.
Type in your Minnesota driver’s license or state ID card number. If you don’t have one, instead check the box.
If you check the box, a new field appears for you to enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security number instead. Once you’ve typed in your ID number, click “Next”.
In Step 3, you enter your current address. They need some information about where you live in order to register you in the correct area.
• It asks for your zip code. Type it into the box.
• If you don’t know your zip code, check the box below instead. If you check the box, you will need to choose the county where you live (for example Hennepin or Rice) from the drop down menu instead. Then it will prompt you to pick your city and zip code from the drop down menu.
Either type in your zip code or choose your county and city from the drop down menus, then click “Go”.
Now it asks for your house number and street. Type your house number in the box. There is a box to the right to click if your house number has a suffix (for example 325 ½). Choose your street from the drop down menu. 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”). Underneath, there is a box to check if your address has an apartment or unit number. If you do, check the box and choose the type of unit to include this information.
Now click “Next”.
In Step 4, you need to verify your address. If it is correct, click ‘yes’. If it’s not, click ‘no’ and the program will have you go through the steps again to enter your address.
There is a box to check if you CANNOT receive mail at the address. Check this box only if the post office does not offer delivery service to your door – not if the post office offers the service, but you choose to pick up your mail at a PO Box instead.
It asks if you have moved since you last registered to vote. Click ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If you choose ‘yes,’ it asks you to enter in the address you had when you were last registered to vote.
Now click “Next”.
Step 5 is your Signature and an Oath.
There is the oath that you need to sign. It says:
I certify that:
• I will be at least 18 years old on Election Day;
• I am a citizen of the United States;
• I will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day;
• I maintain residence at the address given on the registration form;
• I am not under court-ordered guardianship in which the court order revokes my right to vote;
• I have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote;
• I 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
• I 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.
If all of the statements are true for you, check the box next to the red statement. 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 box and type your name in the signature line.
Now click the red “Submit” button.
Then you will get a Confirmation Screen.
It tells you that:
• They have received your application.
Next, election officials will review your application. Here’s what to expect:
• It can take up to two weeks to process your application.
• You will get a notification when they process your application.
• If election officials cannot verify the information you provided, they will contact you about what to do next.
[Background: Shows a polling place notification postcard.]
[The following words briefly appear: “You will receive a confirmation e-mail and postcard.]
Within two weeks, look for an email that confirms that your voter registration was accepted. You will also receive a postcard in the mail telling you where you go to vote.
[Visuals of election judges working with voters.]
Once you are registered, your name will appear on the list of registered voters at your polling place.
That’s it! Now, it’s up to you.
[The following words briefly appear: “Watch other videos to learn more about the voting process.]
Watch other videos in this series if you want to know how to find your polling place, find out which candidates will be on your ballot, or how to vote early.
For more information, go to the Minnesota Votes website.