Acceptance dates change for Minnesota ballots

WORTHINGTON – With the sudden change in Minnesota’s mail ballot acceptance dates, Nobles County Auditor/Treasurer Joyce Jacobs is reminding everyone that the best time to get their ballot returned is now.

With Thursday’s ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the 7-day extension for accepting mail ballots has been rescinded, and all absentee ballots in Minnesota must be received by local election offices by 8 pm on election night.

With election day just around the corner, mailing in a ballot is no longer an option. Jacobs is recommending ballots be dropped at the office in the Nobles County Government Center, or in the drop box by Door #1 of the center in downtown Worthington.

Those who have absentee ballots must return them by 3 p.m. on election day, and those who are mail ballot precinct voters must have it returned by 8 p.m. Why the difference?

“Nobody has ever been able to answer that question for me,” Jacobs said.

The A/T Office will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.

In the midst of COVID, there may be people in quarantine, and they qualify to have an agent of their choice pick up and deliver their ballot. People who are unable to get to the polling place because they live in a nursing home, shelter, assisted living facility, are hospitalized or have an incapacitating health reason or disability can use this option.

Your agent must be at least 18 years old, have a pre-existing relationship with you and cannot be a candidate. A person cannot be an agent for more than three voters.

The voter must complete an absentee ballot application, found on the Minnesota Secretary of State website at They must also complete a request for agent delivery form, found on the same site. Have your agent take both forms to the local election office and bring back the ballot, which can then be filled out and dropped back at the election office.

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