Absentee/early voting options

Voters can vote early using an absentee ballot. Absentee voting for the November 3 General Election begins on September 18, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the City of Northfield is encouraging voters to vote by mail using an absentee ballot for the upcoming elections.

Voters may request an absentee ballot online from the Secretary of State.

Once the properly completed application is received, the County (Rice or Dakota) will mail an absentee ballot to you.

In person absentee/early voting is available at Northfield City Hall, 801 Washington Street in the Second Floor Training Room, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Please read the following for important COVID-19 information for 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 increased wait times due to limited staffing, physical distancing and other protective measures that will be place.

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

Returning your ballot by mail

  • 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.
  • Ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county within the next seven calendar days (November 10).
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • If you are returning ballots other than your own, you will be required to complete a delivery log, which includes showing your ID, providing your name and signature and the name of the voter(s) you are returning ballots for. 
  • 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
  • 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.

Track the status of your absentee ballot