HELP! I want to vote but I don’t know how

Feeling like this…. “I know I should vote and I want to, but I don’t even know where to start. Why does it seem like there are so many steps? HELP!”

Know that you’re not alone. Making sure you’re doing the things you need to vote can be really overwhelming or confusing. The best way to be prepared for voting is to educate yourself on all the things! Let us help.

Updated: Early Voting Info in MN

Minnesota voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Friday, September 18, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. In Clay County, early voting takes place at the Courthouse.

Clay County Courthouse
807 N 11th St
Moorhead, MN 56560

What to bring for early voting

  • You do not need to show ID to vote in Minnesota if your voter registration is current and active.
  • If you are registering to vote on Election Day. Acceptable forms include: a valid ID with current name and address, which can be expired (e.g. driver’s license, Minnesota ID card, learner’s permit, US passport, student ID from a Minnesota high school, college, or technical school, U.S. military or veteran ID, or a tribal ID card with name, address, photo and signature); a photo ID and a document with current name and address, which can be shown on an electronic device (e.g. utility bill, bank or credit card statement, mortgage or lease); a registered voter from your precinct who can confirm your name and address; notice of late registration; valid registration in the same precinct; college student ID (if a student housing list is provided); or a staff person of a residential facility.
  • Note: MSUM has provided a housing list for students living on campus as proof of address. If you have issues with this, call the MSUM housing office 218-477-2118

Voting early in ND

North Dakota voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Monday, October 19, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Use this info to determine where your early polling place is.

What to bring

  • You will be asked to show ID to vote in North Dakota. Your identification must include your name, current residential street address, and date of birth. Acceptable forms include: a current driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card; tribal-government-issued ID card; or a long-term care certificate (provided by ND facility). If your identification does not include a North Dakota residential address or date of birth, or the North Dakota residential address is not current, you may supplement the identification with a current utility bill; a current bank statement; a check or a document issued by a federal, state, local, or tribal government (including those issued by the BIA for a tribe located in North Dakota, any other tribal agency or entity, or any other document that sets forth the tribal member’s name, date of birth, and current North Dakota residential address); or a paycheck.
  • Voters without ID: If you’re not able to show a valid form of identification you may mark a ballot that will be securely set aside. When you provide valid identification to the proper election official prior to the meeting of the canvassing board, the set aside ballot will be presented to the canvassing board for proper inclusion in the tally.

Tips for handling election-related stress

Where to start

First Up – Make sure you’re registered to vote in your state (Note: ND doesn’t require registration). For Minnesota, you can visit to get registered through Oct. 13.

Hold up – I’m a student! Not sure what it means to vote as a student whose permanent address on your ID isn’t where you’re currently living? This website has the answers you need! The short version…

  • Off-Campus Living in Minnesota: You need to have lived at your address in Minnesota for 20 Days prior to the election. You’ll need to bring a photo ID and have a proof of address, such as a utility bill, lease agreement.
  • On-Campus in the residence halls: The Housing office will send a list to the Clay County Auditor as proof of your residence. You’ll still need to bring a photo ID and proof that you’re a registered student (such as a copy of your tuition bill).
  • Living Off-Campus Not in Minnesota: check the requirements for your state through the secretary of state website.

Next: Make a Voting Plan – you can make a Personalized Voting Plan – this website has a tool that can help you build a personalized voting plan no matter what state you’re voting in. You can also find voting FAQs, rules in your state, and voting 101.

MN Voting Guide – Check out this website to find a complete voting guide for Minnesota.

Check Out these On-Campus Events / Displays:

The Suffragettes and Voting Rights Timeline Display – Checkout this display in the Livingston Lord Library. The display will be up through Oct. 1.

October 26: “Our Voice, Native Vote ft. Prairie Rose Seminole” – Join this virtual talk to learn about the importance of the Native vote. 

Need more info? Check out the Office of MN Secretary of State page to find resources on registering, Election Day voting, other ways to vote (like early or absentee), student-specific questions, and voting results. You can also view a Sample Ballot.

Vote Early – Check out this website to learn how to vote early in your state.

What’s on your Ballot – Check out this page to read an explanation of all the roles you will find on your ballot.

Voting in North Dakota?

While North Dakota doesn’t require voter registration, the ID requirement requires your ID to have your current local address. As a college student, you may not update your ID to have my local address on it, which then means you need additional documentation to bring or you’re not allowed to vote in person on election day (and at that point, it’s too late to get an absentee ballot).

Voting Basics in ND

ND Voting College Student Guide

Download this Dragon’s Guide to Voting so you can click on the links from the image below