The absentee voting process will continue to be held as in the past. Though the building may be closed during the voting period voters will be allowed into the building without an appointment. However, staff will be conscious of social distancing and may limit the number of people in line at the office. Meet the attendee at the front door for assistance. Please review the following guidelines for regular absentee voting.
Voting absentee by mail — interested individuals must submit an absentee ballot application before an absentee ballot can be issued/mailed. An application can be requested and submitted by one of the following methods:
1. Online application — use the following link to complete and submit an application for an absentee ballot - mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/ABRegistration/ABRegistrationStep1.aspx. Upon receipt of the online application, the appropriate ballot, envelopes and instructions will be mailed.
2. Paper absentee ballot application — a paper absentee ballot application can be obtained as follows:
Online at the following link: sos.state.mn.us/media/2444/english-regular-absentee-ballot-application.pdf or if you do not have internet access, please call the elections office at 218-998-8040 and a paper absentee ballot application will be mailed. Complete the application, print the application and then either scan and email the application to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail the application to the following: Elections, Government Services Center, 510 W. Fir Ave., Fergus Falls, MN 56537.
Upon receipt of a paper absentee ballot application, the appropriate ballot, envelopes, and instructions will be mailed.
3. Voting absentee in person — interested individuals can submit an absentee ballot application and submit their absentee ballot in person at the Otter Tail County Auditor-Treasurer’s office in the Government Services Center located at 510 W. Fir Ave., in Fergus Falls beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 26. In-person absentee voting continues during normal business hours (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) through Monday, Aug. 10, with an additional half hour added at the end of the day on Monday, Aug. 10. In addition to normal business hours, the office is also open for absentee voting on Saturday, Aug. 8, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Voting absentee in person provides people with the opportunity to complete and submit an absentee ballot application, receive an absentee ballot materials, and cast an absentee ballot all in a single process.
Special note regarding in-person absentee voting — currently, the Government Services Center is only open to the public by appointment. However, appointments for the purpose of absentee voting are not and will not be required. When arriving at the public entrance to the Government Services Center indicate to the door attendee you're there for absentee voting and to receive access to the building and additional instructions as needed. Please note, if planning to conduct business with other county departments on the same day to vote absentee, be advised to contact those other departments in advance to schedule an appointment and to follow their guidelines.
Other important absentee voting information — significant information regarding absentee voting (for example, tracking an absentee ballot through the process) can be found at the following link: sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/. Always follow the instructions provided with the absentee ballot materials mailed out.
When submitting either an online absentee ballot application or a paper absentee ballot application (by email or regular mail), please remember to apply as early as you can to provide the elections office adequate time to mail absentee ballot materials. Please remember to return voted absentee ballot materials as soon as arriving on or before the deadline to be counted.
Absentee ballots must be returned to the Otter Tail County Auditor-Treasurer’s office in the Government Services Center on or before election day to be counted. Absentee ballots can be returned by the voter or agent in person until 3 p.m. on election day. If the absentee ballot is being delivered by mail or a package delivery service, the ballot must arrive at the address listed above no later than 8 p.m. on election day.