Absentee ballots for the March 5 Presidential Nomination Primary (PNP) Election are available starting January 19. Voters can apply to have a ballot mailed to them by visiting www.mnvotes.gov or by requesting an application from the County. Voters can also vote absentee in-person at the Blue Earth County Elections Office, which is located in the Historic Courthouse at 204 S 5th Street in Mankato.
Hours for in-person absentee voting are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, the office will offer extended voting hours on Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Any eligible voter may cast an absentee ballot for any reason.
Starting February 16, absentee ballot voters can place their ballots directly in the ballot counters at the County Elections Office.
Mail ballots for the PNP Election will be sent to residents in cities and townships throughout Blue Earth County beginning January 24. Mail ballot voting applies to the following precincts:
• Cities: Amboy, Good Thunder, Pemberton, Skyline, and Vernon Center, as well as Blue Earth County portions of North Mankato and Minnesota Lake
• Townships: Beauford, Butternut Valley, Cambria, Ceresco, Danville, Garden City, Jamestown, Judson, Lincoln, Lyra, Mankato, Mapleton, McPherson, Medo, Pleasant Mound, Shelby, Sterling, and Vernon Center
Ballots must be returned in the postage-paid envelope or dropped off at the Blue Earth County Elections Office no later than Election Day. It’s important to carefully follow instructions included with the mail ballot for this election. Voters must list their party affiliation and only vote the ballot for that party. No other ballots will be accepted or counted. Residents in these precincts not registered to vote will need to register in order to receive a ballot by mail.
The PNP Election is part of the way that Minnesota voters determine which presidential candidates appear on their ballot in November and is not a traditional election for a candidate. Before receiving a ballot, voters must indicate to the election judge which major political party’s ballot they want to vote on. They must also sign the following statement: “I am in general agreement with the principles of the party for whose candidate I intend to vote.” Only the chosen party’s candidates will appear on the ballot; voters will not see candidates for other parties.
The voter’s selected party will not be made public by election officials; however, the law requires the State to share the party preference with the chair of the major political party for which they voted a ballot. If voters have questions about how that information will be used by party chairs, they will need to contact the parties directly.
Residents with additional questions can call the Blue Earth County Elections Office at (507) 304-4341 or visit www.becvotes.org.