With Minnesota's State Primary coming on August 11, followed by the November 3 General Election, the City of Cloquet is encouraging residents to take action now so they can vote by mail.

State officials in Minnesota have encouraged residents to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Cloquet officials have echoed that advice online:

To Minimize direct contact with others due to COVID-19, all Minnesota voters are encouraged to vote early by mail (absentee) for the 2020 Elections. It's easy to vote by mail, as long as you plan ahead for it. Absentee voting begins 46 days prior to the Primary and General Elections.

Any Minnesota resident can request an absentee ballot.  If residents prefer to vote in person, but are apprehensive about going to a crowded polling station on an official election day, there is also the option to vote absentee in person beginning 46 days prior to each upcoming election.  You'd likely encounter a much less crowded environment to cast your vote.

Either way, the first step is to formally submit a request for an absentee ballot, which is easy to do.

To complete this application online you must:

  • Be eligible to register and vote in Minnesota
  • Provide an email address
  • Provide your identification number: MN-issued driver's license, Minnesota ID card or last 4 digits of Social Security Number

After filling out the your basic information, you must then certify that you:

  • Will be at least 18 years old on Election Day;
  • Are a citizen of the United States;
  • Will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day
  • Maintained residence at the address given on this application form
  • Are not under court-ordered guardianship in which the court order revokes my right to vote
  • Have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote
  • Have the right to vote because, if you have been convicted of a felony, your felony sentence has expired (been completed) or you have been discharged from your sentence; and
  • Have read and understand this statement, that giving false information is a felony punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
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Once you secure your absentee ballot, you'll be able to vote either by mail or in person ahead of the election.  You can also track your absentee ballot to make sure your vote is received and counted.

You can follow the link below to begin the process.

As of June, 19, there were nearly 150,000 requests for absentee ballots, which is a drastic increase over previous years and a number that continues to grow.