Absentee Voting

You can vote early by using an absentee ballot, instead of voting in person at the polling place on Election Day. You can vote absentee by mail or in person.

2020 election dates

  • November 3, 2020 - General Election Day

Absentee balloting

  • September 18 - November 2 (General Election)

Voting absentee by mail

Voters may have an absentee ballot mailed to them by requesting an absentee ballot online or by completing the paper application and returning it to your respective County:

Rice County Government Services Center
Attn: Elections
320 NW Third Street
Faribault, MN 55021
507-332-6104 or 507-645-9576
Additional Information can be obtained from Rice County Elections.

Dakota County Administration Center
Attn: Elections
1590 Highway 55
Hastings, MN 55033-2343
Additional Information can be obtained from Dakota County Elections.

Staff has received many questions related to options for returning an absentee ballot.  Please see information below:

  • Returning your ballot by mail:
    1. Mail to the county elections office that sent the ballot. All requested mailed absentee ballots come from the county with a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope and instructions for completing and returning ballots. Voters can return ballots via package delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS) at their own expense.
    2. Ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county within the next seven calendar days (November 10).  
    3. It is recommended that ballots be mailed as soon as possible. Rice County recommends ballots be mailed no later than October 23, 2020.  
  • Dropping off your ballot:
    1. Ballots may be dropped off at the Absentee Voting Office at Northfield City Hall (2nd floor training room) through Monday, October 26. Ballots cannot be dropped off in any other office at City Hall. Please note that there is not a drop box for ballots at Northfield City Hall. Ballots need to be returned to the County (Rice or Dakota) from which they were sent. Staff will deliver to the appropriate county if dropped off in the Absentee Voting Office on or before October 26.  
    2. If you are returning ballots other than your own, you are allowed to drop off up to three for the election.  You will be required to complete a delivery log, which includes showing your ID, providing your name, address and signature and the name and address of the voter(s) you are returning ballots for.  
    3. Ballots may be dropped off at the County Elections Office that sent them to you, Rice County Government Services Building or Dakota County Administration Center until 3 p.m. on Election Day. Rice County does have a drop box at the Government Services Building, 320 Third Street NW, Faribault.  
    4. Absentee ballots cannot be dropped off at Northfield City Hall or at any polling location on Election Day.  

Tracking the status of your absentee ballot

You can track the status of your absentee ballot throughout the process on the Secretary of State’s website: https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx.

Where to vote for in person absentee voting

Northfield City Hall - 2nd Floor Training Room
801 Washington St.
Northfield, MN 55057

Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. 

Saturday, October 31, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (must arrive by 2:45 p.m.)

Monday, November 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (must arrive by 4:45 p.m.)


Please review the following information related to in person absentee voting:

  • Voters are required 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 expect

Arrive at the city offices during one of the above-designated times. Please be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the closing time so that you have time to complete the required paperwork and cast your vote.

The election official will provide you with absentee ballot materials to complete. If you are not already registered to vote at your current address, you will need to fill out a voter registration application and show proof of residence. See the Registering to Vote page for information about proof of residence.

Additional locations

Additional absentee voting locations are available in both Rice County and Dakota County. The City of Northfield absentee location serves as the Northern Service Center for Rice County. In addition to ballots for all City of Northfield residents, ballots are available for all Rice County precincts.

Military / overseas absentee voting

Voters in the military and citizens living outside the United States use a different process to vote absentee. Voters serving in the military or those outside of the U.S. should visit the state’s Military and Overseas Voter Service to complete your absentee ballot request.

Return to the Elections & Voter Information home page for additional election information.