Oct 28, 2022 - Politics

Voting by mail in Minnesota? Don't forget the witness signature

Illustration of a hand holding a pen with abstract ballot elements in the background.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Minnesota absentee ballot rejections are up from 2018 β€” and missing witness signatures are once again a common culprit, election officials say.

By the numbers: About 6,200 of the more than 288,000 ballots returned to local election offices as of Thursday were deemed ineligible, per the Secretary of State's office.

  • That rejection rate is up more than 30% from the same point in the 2018 election.

Driving the rejections: Just under 40% of the ineligible ballots lacked a witness signature, a slight increase from 2018.

Between the lines: Minnesota waived the witness signature requirement in 2020 as part of an agreement in a lawsuit filed over voting access during the pandemic. This year, however, the rule is back in place.

  • "We saw 130,000 first-time absentee voters in this county [in 2020], so [for] a lot of people, their only experience was not having to provide a witness," Ramsey County elections director David Triplett told Axios.

Of note: Election officials are supposed to let you know if your ballot is rejected so you can cast a new one.

The bottom line: If you're planning to vote by mail, make sure a registered voter or notary signs and lists their address on the signature envelope.

  • And remember: Mail ballots must be received β€” not sent β€” by Nov. 8 again this year.

Go deeper via our Minnesota midterms voter guide.


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