MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The election is still 27 days away, but tens of thousands of Minnesotans have already voted — absentee.
But with a presidential campaign so unpredictable, what if something happens and you change your mind?
Believe it or not: You can take back your vote.
“That is your right as an absentee voter,” said Ginny Gelms, Hennepin County Election Manager.
“Every election we do see a couple of people who want to change their mind,” she said. “We don’t ask why, and we don’t want to know!”
The take-back-your-vote-law applies to anyone who cast an absentee ballot before Nov. 2.
Secretary of State Steve Simon says you can change your mind through Nov. 1.
“They can claw back, and take back their ballot,” Simon said. “Up to seven days — one week — before the election. It’s a little known fact.”
No one sees your absentee ballot. It’s inside an unmarked sealed envelope.
That envelope slides into another, which is marked with identifying information.
“It’s very secure,” Gelms said.
In Hennepin County, all absentee ballots are stored behind locked security doors on the 18th floor of a nearby office building.
Some 19,000 absentee ballots have already been accepted and secured this season.
If you decide to change your vote, your local election office will retrieve your ballot.
“We’ll actually look up that voter,” Gelms said. “We’ll find the precinct that voter lives in. We’ll pull that ballot from the box. We’ll reject that ballot before we issue a new ballot to the voter.”
Absentee voting in Minnesota is now proceeding at a record pace.
About 150,000 absentee ballots have been requested and sent out.
And 46,467 have been returned– that’s twice as many as in the presidential election in 2012.
And Secretary of State Office reports a record number of Minnesotans are now pre-registered to vote: 3,204,503.
Minnesota currently has the highest percentage of voter turnout in the nation.