Peggy Karsten: Here's more info on absentee ballots

Letter writer explains more on absentee voting.


The Minnesota Opinion editorial about absentee voting in Thursday’s paper prompted me to make a call to the Kandiyohi County auditor’s office to get answers to questions that I have been hearing.

First off, it is not too late to request an absentee ballot for the August 11 primary.

Voters can call the auditor’s office to get the application mailed out (320-231-6267, stop by the auditor’s office (400 Benson Ave S.W. in Willmar) or complete the application online

Unregistered voters can register to vote through the web page or at the auditor’s office.

After submitting the application, additional questions arise.


The Minnesota Opinion editorial urged people to wait and not rush to return the ballot. If people are worried about the ballot arriving on time (it must reach the auditor’s office on or before the election day), the auditor has a dropbox at the office, so if the office is closed, people could drop the ballot off on the way to work, or the ballot can be dropped off in the office if open.

Some people are worried about completing the ballot correctly because news stories tell about ballots being thrown out.

Here in Kandiyohi County, if you do send your ballot early and something is incorrect, a new ballot is sent to you if there is time, or a phone call or e-mail will direct your next steps.

Apparently, your ballot is spoiled if you use a driver’s license number on your application, but then use the last four digits of your social security number on the ballot envelope, or if you forget to put the number on the signature envelope or forget to sign.

To answer the question about changing your mind, you would need to notify that auditor’s office before 14 days to the election.

The office starts opening ballots beginning 14 days prior to election day.

Then ballots cannot be returned with new ballots.

Voters can also vote in person at the auditor’s office. The office does limit the number of people who enter the building.


In-person early voting starts 46 days before election day.­

Peggy Karsten


Related Topics: ELECTION 2020
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