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Secretary of State says nearly 71,000 absentee ballots already cast in Minn.

ST. PAUL -- Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced today in a news release that more than 140,000 Minnesota voters have requested absentee ballots. Of the ballots requested, 70,899 have already been returned by the voter and accepted.

The absentee ballot period ends Nov. 5.

"The November 6 general election is quickly approaching," said Ritchie. "I urge voters who will be out of their precincts on Election Day and who wish to cast a ballot to fill out their absentee ballot applications and send them in today, or visit their county auditor's office to cast their absentee ballots in-person."

Voters who are eligible to vote by absentee are encouraged to apply for their ballot materials as soon as possible or visit their county auditor's office (or city clerk in some cases) to vote absentee in-person.

Minnesota does not have early voting. An eligible Minnesota voter may cast an absentee ballot for one of the following reasons: absence from the precinct, observance of religious discipline or holiday, illness or disability, serving as an election judge in another precinct, or when an emergency is declared by the governor or a quarantine is declared by the federal or state government.

An Absentee Ballot Lookup is available online to track the status of a voter's absentee ballot. To use this online service or obtain additional information on voting absentee visit:

Military and overseas voters use a different absentee balloting process. To learn more about this process visit: