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How to Vote in the 2021 St. Paul Municipal Elections

A man walks out of an absentee voting station

The St. Paul general election is approaching, and all registered voters can cast absentee ballots safely from home to select the city’s next mayor. Three school board seats are also on the ballot.

  • Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Vote early and in person from Sept. 17 to Nov. 1.
  • This year’s mayoral election features ranked choice voting. Voters select their candidate of choice but will then have the option to rank the remaining candidates in their order of preference.

Here’s what else you need to know:

How do I register to vote?

Register online, by mail or in person. You can also register on Election Day if you bring an approved form of ID to your polling place.

  • Online: Visit the Minnesota secretary of state’s website. You'll need to provide an email address and information from a Minnesota driver’s license, a state-issued identification card number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Register by Oct. 12 to avoid having to register in person on Election Day.
  • By mail: Print a registration form from the secretary of state’s website and mail it to the Ramsey County elections office at 90 Plato Blvd., Ste. 160, St. Paul, MN 55107. Your registration form must be received by Oct. 12.
  • In person: You can return a registration form to the Ramsey County elections office. Or you can register at an early voting location or at a polling place on Election Day if you bring an approved form of ID.

Check your registration status on the Minnesota secretary of state’s website

How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Any voter can cast an absentee ballot — no reason or excuse necessary. First, download and complete a ballot application. You can then mail the completed application to P.O. Box 64098, St. Paul, MN 55164, email it to, fax it to 651-266-2177 or drop it off in person at the Plato Building at 90 Plato Blvd. West, St. Paul, MN 55107. You can request an absentee ballot up until Nov. 1.

Track the status of your ballot application through the secretary of state’s website.

Once you receive and complete the actual ballot, mail it in the accompanying prepaid, pre-addressed envelope. Mailed ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. The Ramsey County elections office recommends allowing one to three days for in-state ballots and between three and 10 days for out-of-state ballots to be delivered.

Ballots can also be returned in person at certain libraries, community centers and government offices during normal business hours. A full list of locations is available on the Ramsey County elections office website. Ballots will need to be verified by an election judge, so they should not be left in any drop boxes outside. On Election Day, absentee ballots can be returned only in person to the Ramsey County elections office and must be received by 3 p.m.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can find your polling place on the secretary of state’s website.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, you can vote early with an absentee ballot at your local elections office. You can vote early even if you are not registered, as long as you bring proof of residence. Early voting opens Friday, Sept. 17, at 10 a.m. and runs until Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.

Do I need identification to vote?

If you are already registered to vote, you don’t need to bring ID to your polling place. You may be asked for your name and address when you arrive, to confirm your identity. If you need to register, need to update your registration or haven’t voted in more than four years, you’ll need an approved document that lists your current name and address as proof of residency. Acceptable forms include a state-issued driver’s license, a U.S. passport or a U.S. military ID, among others. You can also bring an approved photo ID along with a document like a recent phone bill, lease agreement or credit card statement that proves your residency.

Under Minnesota law, you can also register if a registered voter accompanies you to your precinct and confirms your identity and address.

What is being done to make polling places safe from the coronavirus?

St. Paul and Ramsey County have mask mandates in all city- and county-controlled buildings for workers and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Voters are also encouraged to vote by mail and to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocol related to social distancing and handwashing if they choose to vote in person.

What races are on the ballot?

  • Mayor
  • Three school board seats

The mayoral race — but not the school board races — will be decided by ranked choice voting. Voters select their candidate of choice but have the option to rank other candidates. If a majority of voters (more than 50 percent) list a particular candidate as their first choice, that candidate wins outright. But if no candidate hits that threshold, their rank on all ballots cast will be factored in.

This guide was updated on Sept. 15 with more information about how to get an absentee ballot.

Also of Interest:

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