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Election Day is Tomorrow!

You are important, be sure to vote

11/5/2018 3:27:40 PM

Here are a few helpful links as you get ready to vote! Visit the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State's website to do any of the following:

  • Check online to see if you are registered to vote.
  • Learn how you can register to vote on Election Day
  • Look up where you go to vote. 
  • Find out what is on your ballot.
  • Check on your absentee ballot if you voted early. 

If you want to access the same information in American Sign Language (ASL), visit MNCDHH's YouTube Playlist on Voting in Minnesota

Did you know?

  • In Minnesota, your boss is legally required to give you paid time off to go and vote and return back to work. 

Promote civic engagement!

  • Share your voter's pride! Send us your pictures with your "I voted" sticker or your "absentee ballot." MNCDHH will be glad to post your photo. Email
  • Post your photo on your social media along with the hashtag #DeafIVote, #HoHIVote, or #DeafBlindIVote

Voting Night at SPNN Highlights Video

For fun, watch this great video with highlights from the Voting Night at SPNN. The highlights show parts of the actual live filming of presentations by community organizations as well as the Voters Fair, where community members could visit booths and register to vote, learn how to find their ballots, and chat with Michael Wall from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and get their voting questions answered.

A descriptive transcript for the highlights video is available (scroll down). 

Special thanks to Dack Virnig and Amanda Smith of DackCube as well as Leah Bender-Dolezal and Estina Beldon from Keystone Interpreting Solutions for the highlights video.

Thanks again to the wonderful community organizations and members for making this event so fun and successful. The participating organizations were:

  • Deaf Equity: Migdalia Rogers and Dr. Darlene Zangara
  • Deaf Queers of Minnesota: Eric Nooker
  • Deaf Women of Minnesota: Kathy Manlapas
  • Family Tree Clinic: Bethany Gehman
  • Metro Deaf School: Jason Valentine and Kou Vang, Student Body President
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul Black Deaf Advocates (BDA): Kim Wassenaar
  • Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC): John Fechter
  • Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH): Outreach Staff
  • Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community (MDMC): Fardowsa Ali
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD): Dan Millikin
  • Minnesota Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (MRID): Shawn Vriezen
  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD): Alicia Lane-Outlaw
  • ThinkSelf: Maggie Bangert and Kaitlyn Mielke
  • ASL Interpreting Services (ASLIS): Jon Ainsworth
  • MN DEED - Elise Knopf
  • Minnesota State Academies - Terry Wilding

Highlights Video - Descriptive Transcript

[Dack Cube logo]

[People are chatting in the filming studio. Some are seated, some are standing.]

[Jessalyn is shown hovering over something on a chair.]

[A camera is shown, being adjusted by a cameraman.]

[The sign language interpreters are shown seated and chatting with each other.]

[Several people, including Jason Valentine and Jessalyn Akerman-Frank are onstage, in front of several seated audience members, getting ready for filming.]

[Jessalyn is onstage, getting ready for the filming. She begins to sign.]

Jessalyn: Ok, yay! Welcome! Yay! Thank you for coming. 

Jessalyn (off camera, while the camera shows seated audience members): I'm excited to have you all here. 

[Stage technician taps Jessalyn on the shoulder. They remove the chairs from the stage.]

[Brief shot of seated audience members.]

Jessalyn (onstage): We have three different cameras in different angles. It is not just one

[Brief shot of seated audience members.]

Kathy (onstage): we represent Deaf Woman of Minnesota.

Kaitlyn (onstage with Maggie): Hello I'm Kaitlyn

[Brief shot of working interpreters (Patty McCutcheon, Tarra Grammenos, and Danny Frank.]

Shawn (onstage): I'm Vice President of Minnesota Registry Interpreter for the Deaf.

[Brief shot of Tarra receiving a microphone.]

Jessalyn (onstage with Patty): I think you are fine.

Fardowsa (from the camera’s point of view): I represent the Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community

Kim (onstage): I'm President of the St Paul and Minneapolis Black Deaf Advocates.

[Brief shot of those onstage but seen through the camera.]

[MNCDHH’s Voting Outreach Staff and Board Members are onstage during the panel discussion moderated by Jason Valentine.]

[Brief shot of panel participants (Fardowsa Ali, Kim Wassenaar, Shawn Vriezen, and Xavier Arana.] 

Jason (onstage): We will take turns introducing ourselves.

Fardowsa (onstage): Hello my name is Fardowsa

Kim (onstage): Hello I am Kim.

[Brief shot of seated audience member. Janine Cashman is nodding her head.]

Shawn (onstage): Read and explain who is on the list to let them know who to vote for.

Xavier (onstage): How to frame it... we look at ASL and close captioning

Jason (onstage with John Fechter and Alicia Lane-Outlaw): Let them know about our candidates and who they are/what they support. How do we find this?

[Brief shot of John Fechter seated onstage and signing through the camera view. John is actually onstage in the distance but out of focus. The focus is the camera’s eye.]

[Shot of community organization representatives lined up, waiting for their turn to go onstage.]

[Shot of other representatives lined up.]

Jessalyn (onstage): The team will travel the state of Minnesota to hear different voting stories. We also want to hear your feelings about your need for teaching resources.

Eric Nooker (onstage): As an American it's my duty to vote for what I believe in

Darlene Zangara (onstage with Migdalia Rogers): It's my right as an American to vote. If I vote, that means my voice is being heard

Kou (onstage): Voting makes a difference. One voice makes a difference in the world. When I vote, I make a difference. I want to make my voice clear for the youth to show I can vote.

Bethany (onstage): Also, we need the leaders who care about all of our whole well beings.

Kaitlyn Mielke (onstage with Maggie Bangert): Let you know you need to know what you want in your life, your future, and the future of your community.

Jon Ainsworth (onstage): Destiny of my home state and nationwide. Voting gives me the power to influence the future for the better.

Elise Knopf (onstage): Support finances for programs you use and need. The government relies on you

Fardowsa (onstage): I've experienced oppression, fear of not being safe. But America is my home.

Terry Wilding (onstage): I can choose candidates who shares the same beliefs and the same values. If I do not vote, I might be restricted by a representative who does not share the same vision

Dan Millikin (onstage): Our division depends on the Minnesota state legislative biennial budget funding to endorse that we give high quality service.

Kim (onstage): When we vote together, we will make a difference in the lives and the community itself. Go and vote please! Don’t sit around and drink coffee.

John (onstage): The deaf community have different issues that need to be fought for their rights especially with communication accessibility.

Jason (onstage with Sarah Arana): The voting network group who will answer my questions

Shawn (onstage with Fardowsa, Kim, and Xavier): Before that day, go to your county’s office to go in and vote

Jason (onstage): Not finished? Not registered? How do I know if I have registered?

Kim (onstage with Sarah, Fardowsa, Shawn, and Xavier): Go to and click on the tab.

Sarah (onstage with Fardowsa and Kim): Fill out your address and zip code and it will tell you where is your voting pool for you to go to.

[Shot of Estina taking pictures and the cameraman filming.]

John (onstage with Jason and Alicia): Who runs for office in Minnesota, fill that out. You will find different categories such as governor, attorney general, and secretary of state,

Alicia (onstage with John): Type in “sample ballot Minnesota.” The first thing you will see is the Secretary of State’s website.

[Shot of Shawn seated in the audience watching what is happening onstage.]

[Shot of seated audience members (Xavier Arana, Anne Sittner Anderson, Kathleen Smith, and Kim Wassenaar).]

John (onstage with Alicia): Asked can you provide interpreter or cart? They will tell you the answer. Sometimes they will say “No.” Ask them why. Once you get your reason why, it will help you plan for the next step.

[Shot of hands waving in the air from the audience as Jason, John, and Alicia prepare to leave the stage.]

[Shot of several presenters gathered together (Kathy, Bethany, Jon, John, Kou, Migdalia, Darlene)]

[A wider shot of presenters gathering together, getting ready for photos to be taken.]

[Shot of Leah Bender-Dolezal with a camera.]

[Shot of presenters smiling for photos.]

[Everyone is lined up for photos and signing “vote.”]

[Shot of Leah and Estina Beldon taking pictures.]

[Shot of everyone lined up for photos and signing “vote.”]

[Shot of the presenters and audience leaving the stage to exit the studio and begin the Voters Fair!]

Dack: Hello everyone! I have someone here with me who I will ask questions, ok?

[Shot of Terry congratulating Kou.]

[Shot of Sarah and Xavier smiling.]

[Shot of Jessalyn and Elise hugging.]

[Shot of Estina taking pictures.]

[Shot of SPNN staffers learning how to sign “vote.” Emory David Dively and Steve Brunsberg shake hands.]

[Shot of a large “VOTE – Voter Info & Registration” sign.]

[Shot of Michael Wall interacting with voters at the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s table inside the Voters Fair room.]

[Shot of someone writing on the dry erase board about why voting is important to her.]

[Dack and Meredith are in the Voters Fair room in front of an American flag.]

Dack: What is up with this voting event? What brings you here?

Meredith: I live in a small town and I am the only person who I know that signs. Sometimes I have interpreters during a meeting. But this is so many people who signs!

Dack (standing next to Meredith): She comes from a small town that does not have access to signing so she is here to learn more about voting and get her signing access! Nice!

[Shot of “Register to vote here!” sign.]

[Shot of Tarra voicing for Michael.]

Dack and Katy Kelley in the Voters Fair room.

Dack: What made you feel like it’s your duty to host this kind of event?

Katy: I want to support and empower the people who are not sure how to vote. We are hosting this event to show them they can vote and register. This is an “one stop centered” event.

Dack: What is your advice for the future?

Katy: For this November you mean?

Dack: For this election, yes

Katy: This election is important because Minnesota is electing their new Governor. We want to empower the people to know which candidates they want rather than they do not know and complain about it. Now it is an important time to vote. A new Governor will impact the state of Minnesota.

[Terry and Dack in the Voters Fair room]

Dack: How does voting impacts schools?

Terry: Each individuals have different perspective on education. We need to find the right candidate who support schools, school funding, teacher licensing, plus many more issues needed in the education system. It is important to find the right candidate who supports the same thing and we are to vote for them.

[Dack and Sok inside the Voters Fair room]

Dack: What are the differences for voting in America compared to voting in other countries?

Sok: We can vote so I want to learn how to communicate.

Dack: So you mean in America, you can succeed with learning signing and that leads you to be able to learn how to vote? And in other countries it is hard to do so?

Sok: Yes that is right.

[Shot of American Flag waving.]

[Dack and Shawn in the Voters Fair room]

Dack: Related to our rights, why it is so important to vote?

Shawn: It is important because there are many things I want to keep and in order to continue to have them, we need to vote who supports the same idea. If I feel I do not agree or something needs to change, do your research to investigate the right candidates. If I do not vote, I will waste that power.

[Dack and Cookie Roang in the Voters Fair room.]

Dack: Why is it important to vote for a deaf person?

Cookie: It is important because the US have many deaf people and our rights and needs are really important. Deaf people would understand our needs to sign and for accessibility to communicate.

[Close-up of the American flag.]

[Shot of Xavier and Jessalyn getting ready for selfie booth pictures.]

[Shot of Emory, Sarah, Xavier, Sok, Kim, and Jessalyn posing at the selfie booth with voting props.]

[Dack with Xavier and Sarah in the Voting Fair room.]

Dack: How does voting affect deaf business owners?

Xavier: I see big companies thriving while other smaller business struggling

Sarah: Deaf business owners are very important to encourage and support.

Dack: How does voting affect deaf families?

Sarah: If the president want to eliminate something like captioning accessibility on television or special education for deaf services. We need them!

Xavier: Candidates who does not know deaf people could oppress them. Other candidates might be aware of deaf people and can work with them. Of course we will support that candidate.

Sarah: We need funding to keep them including ADA. Every vote counts! It makes an impact and makes a huge difference.

[Dack and Leah in the Voters Fair room]

Dack: How can I convince the young people to vote?

Leah: It's easy! I thought it would take me a long time to register. No! Actually, it took me 2 minutes online feeding my name, address, and driver’s license. That's it!

[Dack and Jessalyn in the Voters Fair room]

Dack: Wow! Here is the host for this event! Everything worked out smoothly. What made you decide to do this kind of event?

Jessalyn: There was a story that impacted me. There was a 74 years old woman who had never registered to vote. After this, I travelled and found people who said “why vote? What for?" Traveling again, I met people in the ages 18 to 20 that said “why vote? Voting is for old people.” No no no! I thought why not pull together different organization to work with certain people that they serve.

Dack: All together thought we need to vote together. That is amazing.

[Dack is in front of the American flag. He begins to sign.]

Dack: We learned a lot today about voting, registration, and rights. Now what is next? You vote!

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