911,000 absentee ballots in Minnesota returned, accepted, shattering previous record

    polling place voting minneapolis
    A polling place in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis in March 2020. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer.

    Minnesota voters, long known for their fidelity to the ballot box, are going for extra credit in 2020. 

    The pandemic drove a record number of Minnesotans to request absentee ballots: As of Friday, nearly 1.7 million ballots were requested. 

    Of those, 911,385 ballots have already been returned and accepted, according to new figures reported by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. 

    “Wow!” read a tweet from Steve Simon, the state’s top elections official.

    Simon said by this point in 2016, about 366,000 people had voted by mail. 

    In 2016, the estimated number of eligible voters was 3,972,330, meaning nearly one in four Minnesota voters have likely already voted this year.

    The election is less than three weeks away, and will prove consequential. All 201 legislative seats are up for grabs, and President Donald Trump continues heavily campaigning in the state that he narrowly lost in 2016.

    Ricardo Lopez
    Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.