Minnesota Secretary Of State - Strengthening Our Democracy
Skip to main content

Strengthening Our Democracy

During the 2023 legislative session, large and small policy changes were enacted to modernize Minnesota’s election laws and ensure every Minnesotan has access to free, fair, secure, and accurate elections. These reforms expand access to the ballot and increase election security. Legislative changes that will impact voters are summarized below.  



In Effect in 2023

Felon Voting Rights Restoration

A criminal record does not impact your right to vote in Minnesota unless you are currently incarcerated for a felony conviction. You will need to register to vote. It is best to register before Election Day, but it is not required.

Pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds

Minnesotans ages 16 or 17 who are otherwise eligible to vote can now preregister to vote. They will be able to vote in the first election after they turn 18.

Right to be Absent from Work to Vote

The right to be absent from work to vote is now expanded to include any time during the absentee voting period or voting on election day.

Absentee/Mail Ballot Return Deadline

The deadline for all absentee and mail ballots to be returned is now 8 p.m. on election day.

Agent delivery ballots can be issued and accepted beginning seven days before election day and until 8 p.m. on election day.

Additional Temporary Absentee Voting Locations Authorized

Counties or authorized municipal clerks are now permitted to designate additional temporary locations for voting before election day. Additional temporary locations must be designated at least 47 days before the election.

Temporary Tribal Voting Location

If a county receives a request from a federally recognized Tribal Nation, it must provide an in-person absentee location on reservation land for at least one day.

Healthcare Facility Voting

Healthcare facility voting may now be administered starting 35 days before election day.

Providing Assistance to Voters

There is no limit on the number of voters that any person can assist in an election. Candidates can now provide assistance to voters on election day.

Individuals can only drop off ballots for themselves and a maximum of three other voters.


This list of people who may vouch for another resident on election day is expanded to include assisted living staff members. Employees of residential facilities have previously been able to serve as a voucher, and now the definition of a residential facility is expanded to include adult foster and residential treatment programs.

Residential Voting Lists for Students

Post-secondary institutions are now required in law to provide a list of students living both on campus and in the city or cities where their campus is located. Students who live in the city where their campus is located can register to vote with their student ID if they live on or in the same city as campus.

Electronic Rosters (e-Poll Books)

Voters are now allowed to sign electronically when electronic rosters are used. Election Day Registration Applications and voter certificates signed electronically must be printed at the time of the transaction at the polling place.

Direct Balloting

Direct balloting is an optional process that local election offices can choose to implement. As of June 1, 2023, Minnesota extended direct balloting window from 7 days to 18 days. This allows voters to place their absentee ballot into a tabulator 18 days before an election. Voters can still choose to place their absentee ballot into an envelope to be processed and tabulated later. Voters do not need an excuse to vote absentee.

A separate law change also allows the absentee ballot board to start processing absentee ballots 18 days before the election. Tabulators will not produce election results until after the close of polls on election day. All tabulators used to process absentee ballots remain secured throughout the process.

Election Worker Protections

It is illegal to intimidate elections workers; interfere with the administration of an election; disseminate personal information of an election official; obstruct access of any election official to the location where elections administration is occurring; tamper with a ballot box; tamper with the Statewide Voter Registration System, registration list or polling place roster; or, access the statewide voter registration system without authorization.

Anyone found in violation of this law would be guilty of a gross misdemeanor with civil penalties of damages and up to $1,000 for each violation.

Prohibition on Campaigning Near Polling Places

The law regarding the prohibition on campaigning near polling places has been clarified to prohibit wearing, exhibiting, or distributing any item that displays:

  • the name, likeness, logo, or slogan of a candidate who appears on the ballot;
  • the number, title, subject, slogan, or logo of a ballot question that appears on the ballot; or,
  • the name, logo, or slogan of a political party represented by a candidate on the ballot.

The law clarifies that these prohibitions apply only during voting hours. They also apply during the absentee/early voting periods, to include the polling place and “within 100 feet of the room in which a polling place is situated, to the extent practicable.”

Ban on Election-Related Deep Fakes

It is a crime to widely share a deep fake within 90 days of an election if the person knows or should have known that the item was a deep fake made without the consent of the depicted individual and acts with the intent to harm a candidate’s reputation or influence the result of an election. This law may also apply before the deep fake has been shared – if there is an agreement to do so. Read a one-page guide on the new Minnesota law regulating election-related deep fakes.


In Effect in 2024

Voter Language Access Resources

In all elections after January 1, 2024, voting instructions will be available on Election Day in the three most commonly spoken non-English languages in the state as determined by the state demographer for the previous calendar year. Translated sample ballots will be available in precincts on election day where 3% or more of the population speak English “less than very well”. Translation services will be available in precincts on election day where 20% or more of the population speak English “less than very well” and if ten or more registered voters file a request.

Automatic Voter Registration

With Automatic Voter Registration, eligible Minnesotans who are applying for or renewing a state-issued ID will be registered to vote without needing to affirmatively “opt in.” The system includes an intensive review process by state and local government officials to verify registrants' identity and residence and confirm their eligibility to vote.

Legislative District Map Modifications

Minor changes were made to the boundaries in Senate Districts 9 & 12, Senate District 17, and Senate District 44. These changes will go into effect for the statewide primary in August 2024. Impacted municipalities and counties will adjust precinct and commissioner boundaries after the Presidential Nominating Primary and before the August 2024 election.

Permanent Absentee Voter List

In June 2024, eligible voters will be able to request to be added to a list to automatically be sent an absentee ballot during the early vote period, instead of needing to apply again ahead of every election. This will save time for voters who know they want to continue voting from home.

Expanded Hours for Voting Before Election Day

During a statewide general election, voting locations will be required to be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the two Saturdays and the Sunday before the election, until 7 p.m. on the Tuesday the week before the election, and until 5 p.m. on the Monday before the election. For non-statewide general elections, voting locations will be required to be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Saturday before the election and until 5 p.m. on the Monday before the election.


In Effect After 2025

Early Voting

The legislature has approved an early voting period to start 18 days before election day. During this time, the voter will be able to insert the ballot directly into a tabulator. Early voting will not take effect until the Office of the Secretary of State certifies the election systems work properly, which is not anticipated until after the 2024 election cycle.

Voting Issues Study

Funding is allocated to the Office of the Secretary of State to conduct a study of issues related to voter engagement, education, and improvements to the election system, including assessing ranked-choice voting. The study must include consultation with election administrators and community organizations and will review existing elections systems and procedures and their compatibility with the topics of the study. An interim report must be submitted no later than February 1, 2025, and a final report is required by June 30, 2025.

National Popular Vote Compact

Membership in this compact stipulates that Minnesota would appoint its presidential electors based on the outcome of the national popular vote, rather than the popular vote within the state. The agreement would not take effect until enough states – representing a majority of electoral votes – have signed onto the agreement.