How do I vote?

Whether you are a first-time voter or registered to vote in another district in the United States, the easiest way to find out how and where to vote is through the national TurboVote platform. It will also provide you with reminders, if you sign up for them.

Identifying which state to register and vote in

Voting by mail

Most states (37 plus D.C.) allow early/absentee/voting by mail. Most of these states (27 plus D.C.) allow for “no excuse” early voting, meaning you do not need to provide a reason why you’re voting early. (Nudge: Minnesota is one!). Check the  U.S. Vote Foundation’s non-partisan website to verify your state’s important registration deadlines, options for voting in person or by mail, and to find links to your state election office. TurboVote will work with all of the early voting states and it will give you useful information on where and when to vote. 

Voting while studying abroad

If you were living in Northfield for at least 20 days immediately prior to your departure for your study abroad program you have the option to vote in Northfield. Fill out the absentee ballot application for Minnesota military and oversees voters (called the FPCA ballot) which will send your ballot to you via email. When you re-register to vote make sure to list your residential housing for winter term and NOT housing from the previous spring term. You should mark “0” for your house number and select your winter term dorm or house name from the street address drop down menu. If you don’t know where you’ll be living in winter term, you likely aren’t on the housing roster and won’t be eligible to vote in Northfield. If you are not eligible to vote in Northfield you can request a FPCA ballot (sometimes called a UOCAVA ballot) from your home district. Be sure to send in your ballot early enough so it will count!

Voting in Minnesota

Register

  • ID: If you need to register when you vote on Election Day, and you live on campus, you only need to bring your one card. This is because Carleton has supplied the on-campus housing rosters to election officials, so they already have proof of your address at the polls. Individuals who have suppressed their identity on the Carleton directory should plan to register in advance of the deadline or consult the Dean’s Office, if registering on Election Day, to ensure that election officials will be able to verify their residence using a OneCard.
  • Residence Address: A student living in Nourse Hall would list “0″ as their house number and “Nourse Hall Carleton College” as their street address, a student living in Freedom House would list “0 Williams House Carleton College”, and a student living in QTPOC House would list “0 Henrickson House Carleton College.” 
  • Mailing Address: DON’T check the box “I CANNOT receive mail at this address.” Leave that box unchecked. We know this is confusing!

Request an absentee ballot

In Minnesota, anyone can vote by mail (a.k.a. vote absentee). You do not need an excuse or special reason. To vote by mail, request an absentee ballot online. Do this 3 – 5 days after you register to vote online, once this website shows your registration has been processed. Don’t wait. Mail in your ballot well before Election Day. 

Vote

  1. To vote by mail:  It is recommended that you apply for an absentee ballot before October 7th according to MN Secretary of State. Make sure to send your ballot early enough so it will count! Once you have returned your ballot, you can track your absentee ballot to confirm it’s been accepted.
  2. To vote early in person: Go to Northfield City Hall. It’s easiest to do this after you’ve registered to vote. If you’re not registered, you need to bring photo ID and proof of address. For a Carleton proof of address, send an email requesting your “Fee Statement with Housing Assignment” from studentaccounts@carleton.edu. You will receive a PDF you can show when you vote. Alternatively, you can have someone already registered at Carleton vouch for you by bringing them to City Hall. Avoid going in large groups. This is a small office, and social distancing is required.
  3. To vote in person on election day, November 8th: If you have not registered to vote on election day make sure to bring your OneCard. Carleton students are able to vote at the UCC church (300 Union Street) across from the Weitz Center. The only exception is if you live in Jewett, Rice, Page, Wade, Douglas and Parish you must vote at St. John’s Lutheran Church (300 3rd Street). This is approximately a 15 minute walk, 0.7 miles away. 

Note: Some of you, including those on Northfield option may vote at other locations. View the Northfield map with polling places or check your polling location (Leave the house number blank and select your residence hall or house name in the drop-down menu.) 

Registering on Election Day

  • If you are registered to vote, your name will be on a list of voters. You’ll just need your signature. 
  • If you aren’t registered, Minnesota offers same-day voter registration on Election Day.
    • If you live on campus, you can prove your residency with your OneCard. 
    • If you live in Northfield Option Housing, proof of residency may consist of a copy of a lease or a bill inscribed with your mailing address. Students may also be asked to write down their social security number. 
    • If you do not have this documentation, you may also have another registered voter from your same precinct vouch for you. They must accompany you to the polls.
  • For more information, see the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

Screen Shot 2022-09-01 at 1.24.25 PM

#2 of 2
alt text

Screen Shot 2022-09-01 at 1.24.25 PM

What’s on the ballot?

Here is what’s on the ballot for Carleton students living on campus and voting at their Northfield addresses. 

  • US Offices
    • US Congress, District 2
  • State Offices
    • State Senator District 58
    • Governor and Lieutenant Governor
    • Secretary of State
    • State Auditor
    • Attorney General
  • County Offices
    • Rice County Sheriff
    • Rice County Attorney
    • Soil and Water Supervisor District 3
    • Soil and Water Supervisor District 5
  • City Offices
    • City Council Member at Large
    • City Council Member Ward 1
  • Northfield School District
    • School Board Members ISD #659 — Select 3
    • School District Question 1 (Yes/No)
    • School District Question 2 (Yes/No)
  • Courts
    • State Supreme Court Associate Justice 3
    • State Supreme Court Associate Justice 6
    • Court of Appeals Judge 1
    • Court of Appeals Judge 5
    • Court of Appeals Judge 7
    • Court of Appeals Judge 8
    • Court of Appeals Judge 10
    • Court of Appeals Judge 11
    • Court of Appeals Judge 16
    • Court of Appeals Judge 17
    • Court of Appeals Judge 18
    • Court of Appeals Judge 19
    • 3rd District Court Judge 2
    • 3rd District Court Judge 9
    • 3rd District Court Judge 11
    • 3rd District Court 13
    • 3rd District Court 16
    • 3rd District Court 18
    • 3rd District Court 21
    • 3rd District Court 23

Who are the candidates and what are their positions?

Vote411 is the national League of Women Voters nonpartisan candidate information website. To see information about candidates on the ballot for students living on campus and voting in Minnesota, enter this address: 300 College St, Northfield, MN 55057.

KYMN radio, the local radio station, also has a local candidate guide. 

Other Elections Resources

Where to go with questions

Where to go with questions

  • If you have trouble voting at the polls on Election Day, you can call 866-OUR-VOTE, a non-partisan voter helpline, or visit 8666ourvote.org for chat assistance.
  • If you have questions or concerns about voting regulations in Minnesota, call Minnesota Secretary of State 1-877-600-VOTE or visit mnvotes.org
  • If you have questions about early voting at Northfield City Hall, contact Northfield City Clerk’s Office at 507-645-3001 or this website.
  • If you need help making your voting plan before election day, email Mia Strubel Iram, CCCE Peace and Conflict Fellow.

Elections FAQ

I voted here in the last election. Do I need to re-register?

Almost certainly yes. If you are living in a different dorm, you MUST re-register. You can do this online or in person on the election day. It saves you time and reduces lines at the polls if you pre-register!

To vote you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day
  • A resident of Minnesota for 20 days
  • Finished with all parts of any felony sentence

Can I still vote in Minnesota for the generals if I voted in my home state for the primaries?

  • You are still eligible to vote in the Minnesota generals as long as you have lived in Minnesota for more than 20 days, which is true for everyone. If you are registered in your home state make sure to register in Minnesota before or when you go to the polls.

COVID-19 safety information for Northfield voting locations

  • Voters are requested to wear a mask in the City Hall building and while voting.
  • Physical distancing restrictions will be in place. 
  • The voting room will be restricted to voters only due to limited number of people that can be in the room at one time. 
  • Be prepared for lines, due to distancing and other protective measures that will be place.
  • Please note the absentee/early voting location is not equivalent to a regular polling location. There is limited space and limited staff available at the location during the 6-week absentee/early voting period.

What to do on election day

The first step to voting is registering. You may only vote once in every election. Once you arrive at your voting location (polling place) you will go to an election judge and they will walk you through the process. 

  • If you are registered to vote, your name will be on a list of voters. You’ll just need your signature. 
  • If you aren’t registered, Minnesota offers same-day voter registration on Election Day.
    • If you live on campus, you can prove your residency with your OneCard. 
    • If you live in Northfield Option Housing, proof of residency may consist of a copy of a lease or a bill inscribed with your mailing address. Students may also be asked to write down their social security number. 
    • If you do not have this documentation, you may also have another registered voter from your same precinct vouch for you. They must accompany you to the polls.
  • For more information, see the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

If you have any questions, call the Minnesota Secretary of State 1-877-600-VOTE, Northfield City Clerk’s Office at 507-645-3001 or email Mia Strubel Iram a CCCE Peace, Conflict, and Democracy Fellow. If you have trouble voting at the polls on Election Day, you can call 866-OUR-VOTE, a non-partisan voter helpline, or visit 8666ourvote.org for chat assistance.

Minnesota Political Parties and Groups

State Political Parties

Rice Country Political Parties

Local Civic Organizations

St. Olaf College

Contacting Our Congressional Representative

Congresswoman Angie Craig was sworn in as our representative from the MN-2 District to House of Representatives on January 3, 2019. Representative Craig’s website has information about her background and her stand on the issues affecting our district. You may wish to subscribe to her newsletter, which will keep you informed about the congressman’s actions. You may also wish to contact Rep. Craig’s offices.

Constituent service and listening to constituents in the district is a core responsibility of any member of Congress. Since all full-time students can be considered residents in MN-2, then Rep. Craig’s office is going to be very interested in what you have to say about any of the major issues before the 116th Congress. (Non-residents of MN-2 are not likely to have their opinions taken with the same weight).

Getting to Know Minnesota’s 2nd District

If you want to know more about MN-2, check out this map of the district and check out the district Wikipedia page. (See this map of all congressional districts in MN). Only the northern portion of Rice county is in MN-2 – that is, mostly Northfield and not Faribault.

Local Newspapers

You may be wondering about writing to editors of local newspapers in MN-2. Besides the Northfield News, the largest newspaper in MN-2 is SunThisWeek.

CCCE Support for Political Engagement and Activism on Campus

How the CCCE Supports Political Engagement and Activism on Campus

The CCCE supports political engagement and activism in the following ways:

CCCE Politics Listserv and Political Engagement Updates

The CCCE has a bi-weekly email that compiles upcoming opportunities related to political events, as well as broader Peace & Conflict programming. If you want to be added, email Mia Strubel Iram or Emma Freedman, CCCE Peace and Conflict Fellows at strubeliramm@carleton.edu or freedmane@carleton.edu. If you ever want to publicize an upcoming opportunity on this email list, email a brief blurb to Mia or Emma.

Funding and Transportation

The CCCE has supported student organization and initiatives in the past by helping to fund small expenditures for an upcoming meeting or event (This would be for expenses such as food or room set-ups. The CCCE does not fund speakers or large expenses as this is more within CSA’s realm). We also have offered transportation for activist events via EcoTrans, campus fleet vehicles, and other options.

To request funding or transportation, please email tysonj@carleton.edu with the following information:

  • A description of the event including date and location
  • Why you believe there is a need for this event on campus, what organization you represent
  • How many people you plan on attending
  • Exactly how much money you are requesting and exactly what you plan on spending it on (if it is a funding request)
  • Whether this event is open to all of campus.

We will review this request and should be able to get back to you in a timely manner. We currently ask that all requests be sent at least a week in advance.

General Guidance and Support

The CCCE is always happy to assist students and student organizations with a variety of general guidance and institutional knowledge. This includes providing help figuring out how to get chartered or request funding from CSA (student government), assistance making a room reservation or putting a request through Print Services, and how to publicize an event or plan a project.

CCCE-Sponsored Events

In addition to these functions, the CCCE also directly sponsors certain events throughout the year in the realm of activism and political engagement. In the past, the CCCE has co-sponsored a Northfield Mayoral Debate and local candidate forums during election years. The CCCE also works in conjunction with the liberal arts consortium, Project Pericles, to sponsor the Debating for Democracy organizing workshop each winter to help better train aspiring activists and citizens on how to organize around a cause.