The 2020 election is upon us. It is important that Eden Prairie residents get the facts they need to understand how to vote, where to vote, and other details of voting this year. Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) is providing this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) information specifically for Eden Prairie residents. Our goal is to help clarify any confusion happening during this election cycle.
For election guidance specific to Eden Prairie, EPLN spoke to Kathleen Porta, the City Clerk of Eden Prairie. The City Clerk, among other vital roles, is responsible for administering elections.
- What exactly is early voting in Eden Prairie?
An eligible voter can vote early by voting an absentee ballot, instead of voting in person at their polling place on Election Day. Voting absentee is done by mail or in-person.
The absentee process by mail or in-person begins by completing an application. Voters can apply online at mnvotes.org or by mail or in-person at the City Center, 8080 Mitchell Road or at Hennepin County Government Center, skyway level.
Voting absentee by mail or in-person involves sealing your voted ballot into a tan secrecy envelope, next into a signature envelope and if mailing, into a postage paid mailing envelope.
The last week of early voting, starting October 27, is Direct Balloting. This is similar to voting at the polls. Voters can vote in-person and place their ballot in the ballot counter. No envelopes are used. An application is required.
- What is the difference between early voting and absentee voting?
In Minnesota, voting early is done by voting an absentee ballot. There is no difference.
- How do I get an absentee ballot?
There are two ways to get an absentee ballot. One way is to request it online at mnvotes.org. The other way is to go into Eden Prairie City Center or Hennepin County.
- Where do I go if I want to vote early in person?
Voters can vote in-person at the Eden Prairie City Center, 8080 Mitchell Road or at Hennepin County Government Center, skyway level.
- Where do I go if I want to just drop off my ballot?
Completed absentee ballots can be dropped off at Hennepin County or at the Eden Prairie City Center, 8080 Mitchell Road. There is also an outdoor drop off at the Eden Prairie City Center, weather permitting. Election staff will verify the signature envelope is complete. The ballot box is always attended by Election staff.
- Do you recommend sending my absentee ballot in the USPS blue boxes or at the post office?
You can absolutely send your absentee ballot via the United States Postal Service. There have been no reported issues at this time.
- Can I drop ballots off for other people?
Yes, you are allowed to drop off ballots for up to three other people during this election. If a voter drops off ballots for others, an additional form must be completed and an ID is required.
- If I requested a ballot, can I still come in to vote?
If you have requested an absentee ballot, you are encouraged to use that ballot to vote. You may return the ballot either by sending it via USPS or by dropping it off in person at the Eden Prairie City Center. A voter can come in-person to request a replacement.
- Where do I track my absentee ballot?
Go to mnvotes.org and select Track Your Ballot.
- What do I do with my ballot that came in the mail if I decide to go into the City Center to vote?
If you come to vote at the Eden Prairie City Center without the ballot you already received by mail, you need to destroy that ballot. The ballot you received from Hennepin County is the same ballot you would receive at the Eden Prairie City Center. You can vote the ballot you received in the mail and drop it off at the Eden Prairie City Center.
- What keeps a person from being able to vote twice?
The State of Minnesota system does not allow a person to vote twice. If a voter comes to the Eden Prairie City Center to vote, the system will show if the voter has already received a ballot. In order for that voter to vote in-person, the first ballot must be spoiled out in the system before another ballot can be issued. This will take additional time.
- Does my absentee ballot envelope need to be witnessed?
Due to COVID-19, there is no witness requirement for registered voters for the November 3, 2020 State General Election. Non-registered voters still need a witness, to indicate their proof of residence.
- When does my absentee ballot get counted?
All ballots voted by mail or in-person or dropped off are counted together beginning October 20 at 5 pm. Totals are not run until after the polls close on Election Night, November 3, 2020.
- What is the latest date I can mail my ballot?
Your ballot must be postmarked on or before November 3, 2020 (Election Day) and received by November 10, 2020.
- What are the days/hours for voting at the Eden Prairie City Center?
You can vote in person at the Eden Prairie City Center beginning September 18, weekdays from 8 am until 4:30 pm. Voting will also be open Saturday, October 31 from 10 am to 3 pm. and on Monday, November 2 from 8 am to 5 pm.
- How can I see the ballot before I vote?
Go to mnvotes.org and select “What’s on My Ballot?” and enter your address.
- When are the polls open on Tuesday, November 3?
Polls in Eden Prairie are open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.
- How do I find out where my polling place is?
Go to mnvotes.org and select Election Day Voting.
The State of MN encourages voters to vote early by mail to limit contact with others during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Eden Prairie City Clerk Kathleen Porta, “Over 52% of Eden Prairie registered voters have already received a General Election ballot by mail or have voted early in-person. This will be a record year for voting in Eden Prairie! I am thankful for the great Election team that is working hard to serve the residents of Eden Prairie.”
If you have any additional questions, let us know or contact the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.