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Voting in Twin Cities elections: What you need to know

(Photo Credit: Elijah Todd-Walden/ Center for Broadcast Journalism)

As early voting gets underway in the Twin Cities, new state and local election regulations are coming into effect.

Those include a new law allowing felons on supervised release to vote, pre-registration for minors 16 years of age and older, extending the deadline for mail-in and absentee voting to 8 p.m. on election day, and requiring employers to pay employees who take time off to vote anytime during the 46-day early voting period and election day.

“For three of the last four elections, we have been number one in the country in terms of voter turnout, and I think that’s for a reason, I don’t think that’s an accident,” Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said in a joint interview with WFNU and AM950. “One of the key reasons we are that way - and I think that we will remain that way - is that we’ve always valued strong pro-voter access laws. Laws that say ‘hey, we’re not going to make voting unnecessarily complicated for people.’”

Nearly 50,000 people are newly eligible to vote in Minnesota; those who feel they may be impacted should check with the Secretary of State’s office to see if they qualify to register. Minnesotans can register to vote starting now through November 7, Election Day. Residents can also register for a mail-in ballot on the website.

Minneapolis voters can cast ballots at 980 E Hennepin Ave, while St. Paul voters can do so at 90 Plato Blvd W. Both locations have free translation services available. It is against Minnesota law to enter a polling place with any endorsement, likeness or slogan of a candidate. Further, threats against election workers and tampering, interfering or preventing an election official from reaching a polling place is now illegal under state law.

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