With just a month and a half to go until Election Day the focus on the 2020 Vote is heating up. Today marks the first day Minnesotans can cast a ballot in the General Election.
There were people waiting in line on Friday at Coon Rapids City Hall, when the polls opened in the morning. Three election judges were on duty to help eager voters, who wanted to be among the first, in person, to vote in the 2020 General Election.
“We’ve been very busy, the turnout is great so far,” said Joan Lenzmeier the city clerk for the city of Coon Rapids.
The rush to vote in this year’s election has surprised election officials who have not seen this level of interest in years past.
“We opened at 8 and we had a line and we’ve already voted 50 people, which is a lot for a first day,” Lenzmeier said.
Due to COVID-19, there are several safety protocols in place, like lots of sanitizer, social distancing, and limiting the number of people in the voting room.
“We’ve got a face mask requirement,” said Lenzmeier, “we’ve got Plexiglass shields and we’re asking if you are sick not to come to city hall, wait and do it another day or do it by mail.”
City Clerk Joan Lenzmeier outlined the absentee, in person voting process and wants to assure voters that their vote will be protected.
“You’ll actually be given your ballot. You will complete it and you put it inside of a ballot envelope, inside of a signature envelope, seal it, then we store it here in the vault. When we get closer to the election I will take it to the County Government Center and then it will be run through the tabulator machine.”
In Anoka County there have already been 48,000 absentee ballots requested by registered voters, which is more than 20% of all voters in the County. Those ballots will be mailed out to homes next week. Yet for those who wish to vote absentee, in person, you can stop by city hall.
“We are here to serve you, we are ready for you, and be sure to bring your mask.”
Now if you want to go to city hall to vote you can do so weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Early voting is also open on Saturday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with your last chance to cast a ballot before the General Election on Monday, November 2nd from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For those who have a disability or are concerned about COVID-19 you can vote curbside in front of the Coon Rapids Civic Center by calling 763-767-4688 from your car and an election judge will come out to help.