ANOKA – With absentee voting underway beginning Friday Sept. 18, Anoka County officials are processing thousands of requests for voters who want to vote by mail. It’s a big effort, taking two rooms that have been re-purposed at the Anoka County Government Center. Thirty temporary staff have been added along with election judges to keep up with the demand for ballots that voters can mail back.
“We’re about to hit the 50,000 mark,” Anoka County Elections Manager Paul Linnell said. “It’s getting close to 25 percent of the registered voters in Anoka County.
That number grows daily. In the primary, Linnell says 50 percent mailed in their ballots and 50 percent voted in person. The county will keep sending out ballots as they are requested, but Linnell recommends getting your ballot request in as early as possible.
“We’ll continue to process those throughout September, the month of October. In terms of realistic timelines to get a ballot to the voter I think around two weeks to ten days before the election,” said Linnell. “We do try to turn those around as quickly as possible but it takes time to get the ballots in the system and get them mailed out.”
Once you get your ballot, the postal service recommends mailing it back at least a week before Election Day. But this year the law allows some extra time for mailed in ballots.
“We will be required to continue counting any ballots that arrive in the days following election day, so November 4th, 5th, 6th, and so on, all the way through 7 days following Election Day. Any ballot that is postmarked on or before election day will still be counted,” said Linnell.
Daily result totals will be posted after November 3, which is Election Day. Voters can check the status of their ballot by going to www.mnvotes.org.