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Ask MPR Mailbag

September 12, 2006

I just moved to Minnesota, can I vote?

I have been a registered voter in the state of North Dakota and currently have a North Dakota driver's license. However, I am now a student at Hamline University and reside in Bloomington. I have lived in Minnesota for six weeks and intend to remain in this state indefinitely. Can I vote? If so, will a cable or insurance bill suffice for proof of residence.

Bloomington, MN

Dear Craig, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, you are eligible to vote if you are:

  • at least 18 years of age
  • a U.S. citizen
  • a Minnesota resident for at least 20 days before the election
  • not a convicted felon without your civil rights
  • not under guardianship of the person where you have not retained the right to vote
  • not legally incompetent

  • You can register to vote at your polling place on election day, but you will need to provide one of the following forms of identification:

  • Minnesota driverís license, learnerís permit, identification card, or receipt for one, with your current address
  • Tribal ID
  • If the Minnesota license, Tribal ID or MN State ID has a former address, you may bring a recent utility bill* to use with your license
  • "Notice of Late Registration" postcard
  • U.S. passport with utility bill*
  • U.S. military photo ID card with utility bill*
  • Prior registration listed on roster at former address in precinct
  • Oath of a registered voter in precinct ("vouching")

  • If you are a student, you can use...
  • Student ID, registration, or fee statement with your current address
  • Post Secondary Student photo ID with utility bill*
  • Post Secondary Student ID if you are on a student housing list on file at the polling place
  • Someone who is registered in the precinct where you live who will vouch for your residence

  • *Note: The utility bill must have your name, current address, and be due within 30 days of the election. Utility bills may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cell phone or cable TV

    So it would appear that you can use a cable bill if it has your current address and is due within 30 days of the election, if you also bring your Hamline University ID to your polling place. For more information, you may want to check out the web site for the Secretary of State's office, which you will find here.

    Michael Popham
    Minnesota Public Radio Member Listener Services