Secretary of State Encourages Polling Places to Open for 2020 Elections

June 15, 2020

In a letter, the secretary of state urges polling place managers to work with local election officials to address concerns about opening during the pandemic.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon has written a letter to managers of sites that traditionally serve as polling places. He is encouraging them to open for 2020 elections.

Some cities report that their normal polling places are uncertain if they will be available to serve the city during the 2020 primary and general elections because they are worried about COVID-19. Cities can share Simon’s letter with their polling places.

Simon’s letter says, “I understand some managers of facilities that have previously served as polling places may be concerned about the safety of opening up their building as a polling place this year. In states where polling places have shuttered, we’ve seen long lines, which have led to disenfranchised voters. To those who are considering no longer serving as a polling place in 2020, I implore you to work with your local election official to see if they can address your concerns.”

—Read the full letter (pdf)

If a city needs to designate a new polling place, the council must do that by resolution or ordinance by July 1, 2020. This deadline was changed by law this year to give cities more time to make arrangements for the 2020 elections.