MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota Primary Election has arrived, and Blue Earth County election officials spent much of Monday afternoon preparing the polls for safe social distancing.
Sanitization stations for voters to use before voting, disposable pens and recyclable privacy folders are just a few of the safety precautions at polling places.
And, before you head out to the polls today, don’t forget to double check that you’re going to the right one.
Some polling places have changed this year due to COVID-19.
Any impacted voters should have received a notice in the mail.
“Where most of our changes occurred were in the city of Mankato. And what we have in Mankato is we have 18 precincts, 15 voting locations, but as a result of COVID-19 we reduced that to seven polling locations,” said Blue Earth County Elections Administrator Michael Stalberger.
This election, there are several precincts voting at Christ the King Lutheran Church, just one example of a polling place that was specifically chosen to help space more people out.
“And because of the space, we’re able to have three different precincts and still keep six feet apart for everybody. Plus we have a lot of entrances and exits that make it convenient for people to not to be crossing paths with each other,” Head Election Judge Duane Olson said.
And because of the extra safety precautions, voters can expect a different check in process.
Many polling places will have queuing lines before voters can actually enter the polling area.
“So we’re going to find stickers on the floor, hand sanitizing stations and then greeter judges who will help us with that process. One of the things we’ll be looking for is making sure voters are wearing masks, and then of course we’ll be helping them get to the right locations in their precincts,” Stalberger said.
Here are some other takeaways for the election.
You can register at the polls.
Just remember to bring a valid photo I.D. such as a driver’s license with you.
Masks are also required at all polling places.
And, what’s on your ballot depends on where you live.
Sample ballots can be found at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Polls close at 8:00 p.m.
As long as you are in line by then you can still vote.
As of Monday, Blue Earth County has sent out nearly 11,600 ballots.
Just over 5,000 have been accepted so far.
All ballots being returned by mail must be postmarked by Election Day and received by the election office no later than Aug. 13.
Blue Earth County voters can also hand-deliver a ballot to the county’s election office located in the Historic Blue Earth County Courthouse.
Voters have until 3:00 p.m. on Election Day to do so.