Elections Department

Welcome to the Scott County Elections Department! Please select one of the headers below to read more about election topics.

Can't find what you're looking for? The Minnesota Secretary of State's website has helpful election and voting resources for all Minnesota residents. You may also contact us at the email or phone listed on the right. Please check back often as we are always looking to update you on important elections topics! 

Absentee voting for the August 9, 2022 Primary Election runs from June 24, 2022 to August 8, 2022. To vote by mail, you may apply to have an absentee ballot mailed to you. 

Absentee voting for the November 8, 2022 General Election begins on September 23, 2022. 

For absentee voting locations, please click here

We invite the public to come and watch the work of the Absentee Ballot Board in GW 166-167 on August 9th, 2022 at 10am. 

We invite the public to come and watch the opening of ballots in GW 170 on August 9th, 2022 at 1pm. 

The schedule is:

Wednesday, June 29, at 1:30 PM 

Tuesday, July 5, at 1:30 PM

Friday, July 8, at 1:30 PM

Tuesday, July 12, at 1:30 PM

Friday, July 15, at 1:30 PM

Tuesday, July 19, at 1:30 PM

Friday, July 22, at 1:30 PM

Tuesday, July 26, at 1:30 PM

Friday, July 29, at 1:30 PM

Check absentee ballot status for state or federal elections.

Check all ways to vote early.

Military members

If you are in the military or residing outside the territorial limits of the United States, you may vote by absentee ballot using the address where you last lived in Minnesota. A special application form is required. Your parent, spouse, brother, sister, or child at least 18 years of age may request a ballot for you. 

How absentee ballots are counted

Before absentee ballots can be counted, they must be accepted. Upon receipt, ballots are inspected to ensure they meet all the requirements to be counted. The signature and ID information must match those on the absentee ballot application. Ballot envelopes are marked either accepted or rejected.

Accepted absentee ballots

  • Accepted ballots are held in a secure location until counting begins.
  • Absentee ballot counting starts at 5 PM seven days before election day.

Rejected absentee ballots

Rejected ballots will not be counted. Voters whose ballots were rejected will receive a replacement.

Common reasons ballots are rejected:

Ballots are not rejected for a missing secrecy envelope. Common reasons ballots are rejected:

  • A voter did not sign the signature envelope.
  • The voter’s ID number did not match the one used on their application. (Put both your driver’s license number and last four digits of your Social Security Number on your signature envelope. This reduces the chance your absentee ballot will be rejected.)
  • A voter did not have a witness.
  • A non-registered voter did not fill out their election day registration form.
  • The ballot was not received by election day.

How absentee ballots are counted:

Ballot processing is always done by a team of two or more people. Each team handles one polling place or precinct at a time. This process starts at 5 PM, seven days before election day. The steps are:

1. Count the unopened ballot envelopes.

2. Compare the count to the voter database to make sure every accepted ballot is counted.

3. Separate the ballot secrecy envelope from the signature envelope.

  • This process eliminates a connection between a voter’s identify and their vote.
  • Signature envelopes are set aside.

4. Ballots are then run through a high-speed ballot counter.

5. Elections officials are not allowed to access or release results until the polls close at 8 PM on Election Day.

  • Absentee votes are combined with results from the polling place and then released.

6. Absentee ballot materials are retained as required by statute and rules.


Prepare to vote

After you receive the absentee ballot you applied for, follow the instructions that were included. Absentee ballots are mailed starting 46 days before election day.

There is more information on this page for how to vote absentee by mail or absentee in person.

Items you will receive:

  • A ballot.
  • A tan ballot envelope.
  • A white signature envelope.
  • A voter registration application (for non-registered voters only).
  • A larger white return envelope.
  • Instructions for completing and returning your ballot.

Contact us if any of the above items are missing.

You will also need:

  • A black ink pen.
  • Your Minnesota driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
  • A witness who is registered to vote in Minnesota. This could be a spouse, a relative, a notary public, or someone with the authority to administer oaths.

Registered voters:

1. Follow the instructions on the ballot to vote.

  • Show your witness your blank ballot.
  • Do not write your name or ID number on the ballot.
  • Do not vote for more candidates than allowed. If you do, your votes for that office will not count.

2. Seal your ballot in the tan ballot envelope. Do not write on this envelope.

3. Put the tan envelope into the white signature envelope.

4. Fill out the white signature envelope.

  • Print your Minnesota driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number — use the same number you used on your absentee ballot application.
  • Read and sign the oath.
  • Have your witness print their name and Minnesota street address (not a P.O. box), including the city, and sign their name.
  • Seal the envelope.

5. Put the white signature envelope into the larger white return envelope. This protects your private information.

6. Return your ballot by mail, or you or someone you choose can drop it off at your city or school district election office. See the Vote by mail, Vote in person or Vote by agent sections below. 

Non-registered voters:

1. Fill out the voter registration application and sign it.

2. Show your witness your driver’s license or other authorized proof of where you live.

3. Show your witness your blank ballot.

4. Follow instruction on the ballot to vote. Mark your votes in private.

  • Do not write your name or ID number on the ballot.
  • Do not vote for more candidates than allowed. If you do, your votes for that office will not count.

5. Seal your ballot in the tan ballot envelope. Do not write on this envelope.

6. Put the tan envelope and the voter registration application into the white signature envelope.

7. Fill out the white signature envelope completely

  • Print your Minnesota driver’s license or state ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number — use the same number you used on your absentee ballot application.
  • Read and sign the oath.
  • Have your witness indicate which proof you showed them, print their name and Minnesota street address (not a P.O. box), including the city, and sign their name.
  • Seal the envelope.

8. Put the white signature envelope into the larger white return envelope. This protects your private information.

9. Return your ballot by mail or you or someone else you choose can drop it off at your city or school district election office. See the Vote by mail, Vote in person or Vote by agent sections below. 

Deadline for return

To be counted, your ballot must be received on or before election day. You can return your ballot in person no later than 3 PM. 

Avoid common mistakes.

  • Make sure the witness section is not blank or incomplete.
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Use a blue or black ink pen to mark your ballot.
  • Use the same ID number (driver’s license or state ID or the last four digits of your Social Security Number) on your signature envelope that you used on your application. It's a good idea to put down both numbers in both places.
  • Remember to sign the white signature envelope.

Vote by agent

Voters may authorize an agent to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them. This service is available only within the seven days preceding an election.

Each agent is allowed to deliver ballots for a maximum of three voters.

You can absentee vote by agent if you are a:

  • Patient in a hospital, residential treatment center, or nursing home.
  • Resident of a group home.
  • Resident of a battered women's shelter.
  • Resident of an assisted living facility.
  • Disabled voter.
  • Voter who would have difficulty getting to the polls because of incapacitating health reasons.

How to vote by agent:

1. Choose an agent who:

  • You have a pre-existing relationship with.
  • Is at least 18 years old.
  • Is not a candidate in the election.

2. Complete both the:

3. Your agent will be given your ballot to bring to you.

4. Vote your ballot.

5. Have your agent return your voted ballot to the office they picked it up at.

  • Your agent must show an ID with name and signature.
  • Completed ballots must be returned by 3 PM on election day (at the latest). Your agent or someone else you designate must return your ballot to the same election office by 3 PM on Election Day. You can also return your ballot by mail, but election officials must receive your ballot on or before Election Day.

Military and Overseas Voters

Military voters, their dependents, and other U.S. citizens who are overseas may be eligible to vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

UOCAVA voter eligibility

  • Members of the uniformed services or merchant marine — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and will be absent from your precinct on Election Day due to your service.
  • Spouses and dependents of a member of the uniformed services or merchant marine.
  • Temporarily overseas — if you are a citizen who would be qualified to vote at your polling location in Minnesota if you were not overseas.
  • Indefinitely overseas — if you are a citizen who currently has no plans to return to Minnesota, but you maintained residence in Minnesota for at least 20 days immediately prior to your departure from the United States. Voters who are indefinitely overseas are permitted to vote only for the offices of president, vice president, senator in Congress, and representative in Congress.

How to apply for an absentee ballot:

Online

To complete the online absentee ballot application to vote absentee while in the military or overseas, you must:

  • Be eligible to complete the federal postcard application (PDF).
  • Provide an email address.
  • Provide your identification number from either your Minnesota driver's license, your Minnesota ID card, or the last four (4) digits of your Social Security Number.

If you can't provide an email address and one of the identification numbers listed above, you cannot apply online and must submit a paper application.

By mail, email, FAX or in person

You need to complete and submit a federal postcard application (PDF). Your spouse, parent, sibling, or child older than 18, may complete and submit the form for you.

Use one of the following methods to complete the form:

Submit your application by mail, or you can email it to us at scelections@co.scott.mn.us

How to submit your voted ballot

Regardless of how you received the ballot, you must return your voted ballot by mail to the election official the ballot was received from.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can a military or overseas voter apply?

You may submit an federal postcard application (PDF) any time during the year. However, you should submit it as far ahead of the election as possible to avoid delays in receiving your ballot.

Can a military or overseas voter receive a ballot electronically?

Yes. You can receive the ballot by mail, fax or email. You will need to indicate on your application how you would like to receive the ballot.

Can a military or overseas voter return a voted ballot electronically?

No. Regardless of how you received the ballot, you must return your voted ballot by mail to the election official the ballot was received from.

When should a military or overseas voter expect to get a ballot?

Ballots are sent out by election officials at least 45 days prior to the election. For those voters whose applications were received fewer than 45 days before the election, ballots are sent as quickly as possible.

Ballots sent by mail are airmailed to addresses outside the continental U.S. Your ballot will be sent to you by an express mail service if you provide a prepaid envelope to the county auditor’s office. Note: Your voted ballot must arrive back at the county no later than Election Day to be counted.

What if a military or overseas voter doesn’t receive a ballot?

If you submit timely absentee ballot applications but never receive your ballot (or you are concerned that you will not be able to return your ballot in time to be counted), you may submit the federal write-in absentee ballot (PDF) (FWAB) as an alternative.

A FWAB allows you to write in choices for all offices. For federal offices, you may indicate your choice by writing in a candidate name or political party. When voting for state or local offices on the FWAB, you must write the name of the candidate (not just the party) for your vote to be counted.

How long is a military or overseas voter application valid?

An application is valid from the time the application is received through the end of that calendar year or through the next regularly scheduled state general election, whichever is later. You may specify a different end date in box 6 of the application (i.e.., "General election only"). A ballot will be sent automatically for all elections during that time in which you are eligible to vote. You must reapply each year in which you need a ballot or if your overseas mailing address changes.

Can a military or overseas voter self-certify a ballot?

As a UOCAVA voter, Minnesota allows you to self-certify your FPCA, your ballot return envelope, and the FWAB. You can do this by using the same passport number, Minnesota driver's license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number on all forms throughout the process. If you do not have access to any of these documents, you may attest to the truthfulness of the information under penalty of perjury. For assistance, overseas citizens should contact the U.S. embassy or consulate, and military personnel should contact their Voting Assistance Officer (VAO).

Frequently asked questions

Can I have an absentee application sent to me automatically for every election?

If you would like to automatically receive an application for an absentee ballot before each election, you may complete an application to automatically receive absentee ballot applications (PDF).

Why did I receive a pre-filled absentee ballot application?

Several organizations send out mailings to increase voter participation. Mailings can include information regarding voter registration status, along with pre-filled absentee ballot and voter registration applications. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of data used by these organizations.

Can I check the status of my absentee ballot or ballot application?

Yes, at https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx.

I voted absentee in the primary, will I automatically receive an absentee ballot for the general election?

You may have requested both the primary and general election ballots on the same absentee ballot application. If you applied for both elections, you will automatically be sent your general election ballot and do not need to apply again. To check if you’ve already requested a ballot for the general election, please use the ballot status tracker at mnvotes.org.

  1. Redistricting

About

Redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of election districts to ensure that the people of each district are equally represented. This process is done throughout many levels of government, and happens every 10 years following the federal Census.

The County’s responsibilities in redistricting are limited to:

Once available, the County Auditor sends the newly drawn state legislative and congressional redistricting plans to the cities within Scott County. The cities will have 60 days to redraw or re-establish precinct boundaries and polling places.

The County Board establishes new commissioner districts once the cities have completed their redistricting duties. The Board has 20 days to complete this work once the cities have provided

 them their newly established plans.

The County Auditor will update voter registration records in the Statewide Voter Registration

 System to reflect the newly established districts and precinct boundaries. This will ensure that all voters are voting in their correct precinct. Voters will be notified of this change by a direct mailing, through social media and from local news media outreach.

At the April 19, 2022 County Board Meeting, the Scott County Board of Commissioners adopted the final Commissioner & Scott Soil and Water Conservation District boundaries as outlined in the map below:

Scott County Redis Final


In adopting the final plan, the board made the following findings:

  • The plan is divided into as many districts as it has members;
  • The plan’s districts are bounded by precinct lines;
  • The plan is composed of contiguous territory as regular and compact in form as practicable 
  • and is as equal in population as possible;
  • The plan is within the 10% variance of the average of all districts;
  • The least populous districts contain the majority of the population of the county;
  • The plan allows for rural representation in 2 districts;
  • Public comment favors this plan;
  • The plan stays closely with what the public has been used to for the last 10 years which 
  • helps the understanding of citizens;
  • The plan is #1 in compactness of the 4 proposed plans;
  • The plan is #2 in balanced population of the 4 proposed plans;
  • A majority of the Latinx community along 169 is in one district; and
  • The plan takes into consideration planned future population growth to maintain
  •  comparable population between all districts until the next census.


2022 Approved State Congressional, House, &

Senate District Maps

State Cong Final


House Final


Senate Final


Order of Redistricting

Redistricting takes place in the following order:

County districts are last, after city and township precinct boundaries are drawn:

  • State Legislature:   Congressional and legislative districts
  • City Councils:   Wards and precincts
  • Township Boards:  Precincts, if split by congressional or legislative boundaries
  • County Board:   Commissioner Districts and Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Timeline for 2022

February 1, 2022 – Precinct Caucus

February 15, 2022 – Federal and state lines available (congressional and legislative districts)

March 29, 2022 – City and Township deadline to complete wards and precincts

April 11 and 13, 2022 – Public input meetings

April 26, 2022 – County and Schools deadline to complete lines  (on agenda for April 19 meeting)

April 27-28, 2022 – County to send Commissioner/SWCD districts to the Office of the Secretary of State

April 28-June 14, 2022 – Update Statewide Voter Registration System

May 3, 2022 – Publish plans

May 17, 2022 – Filing for office opens for federal, state, county, and some cities

July 15, 2022 – Deadline to notify voters of changes

August 9, 2022 – State Primary Election

November 8, 2022 – State General Election


Redistricting Committee and Guiding Principles

In January 2022, the Scott County Board appointed a group of government staff members to be on the redistricting committee and adhere to rules that ensure equal representation, and transparency.


  • Cynthia Geis, Community Services Director, Chair
  • Julie Hanson, Property & Customer Service Manager, Elections Administrator, Vice Chair
  • Kris Lage, Operations Analyst, member
  • Greg Wagner, Senior Zoning Administration Planner, member
  • Marleny Huerta-Apanco, Community Outreach Officer, member
  • Dan Wormer, County Surveyor, member
  • Jeanne Andersen, Senior County Attorney, member
  • Troy Kuphal, SWCD District Director, member/liaison to SWCD

Redistricting Principles and Standards

The Minnesota Legislature and federal court rulings have provided the State and local government jurisdictions with several principles and standards as guides during redistricting.  A concurrent resolution was adopted by the Minnesota Legislature in 1991 establishing the standards for legislative redistricting plans.   This is the basis for a similar concurrent resolution to be adopted by the 2021 Legislature. 

  • District populations may not vary more than 10 percent from the district population mean:  Scott County has a population of 150,928.  The district population mean is 30,186 people (150,928 divided by 5 districts).   A district's boundary would have to be between 27,167 and 33,204 persons to stay within 10 percent of the mean.   Ideally districts must be substantially equal in population.  However, given the unequal growth rates across Scott County, areas where more rapid growth is projected to occur could have districts that are smaller than the population mean.  Smaller districts may be formed in anticipation of reaching the actual population mean during the ten-year period due to growth and annexations.  


  • Ideal Population for Commissioner and SWCD Districts:   The total population of Scott County is 150,928.  There are 5 Commissioner and SWCD districts, so the ideal population is 30,186.  The Redistricting Committee will also consider where future growth will occur through development or redevelopment of existing lands, where annexations of property from Township to City may occur, and any other factors that will influence district sizes for the next decade. 

 

  • The districts must be composed of convenient contiguous territory.  A district to the extent consistent with other principles must be compact.  Compact is being defined as being as close to a square or circle as possible.  These district boundaries, furthermore, must conform to the census tract and census block boundaries and precinct boundaries.

 

  • A city or town must not be divided into more than one district except as necessary to meet equal-population requirements or to form districts that are composed of convenient contiguous territory. During the previous redistricting, Scott County was unable to keep cities intact within commissioner district boundaries, with the exception of the City of Savage.

 

  • Districts should attempt to preserve communities of interest where that can be done in compliance with other principles.  'Communities of interest' is open to interpretation, and may include ethnic interests, rural/urban interests, environmental interests, et cetera.  There must be supporting data or information upon which this consideration is identified and used in context of the establishment of districts.

 

  • The districts should attempt to not dilute the voting strength of racial or language minority populations.   Racial or language minority populations are not to be divided among districts if the result is to diminish their voting strength.  This is primarily a concern for core urban areas and some rural areas in Minnesota.

 

  • For Commissioners elected in 2020, a district election is needed in 2022 only if the redistricting results in greater than a five-percent difference from the average for all districts.   For example, if Commissioner District 2 had a population in 2020 that was six percent smaller than the average size of all districts, then an election would be held in 2022.  For Commissioner district elections held in 2022, candidates at a minimum must reside in the county after June 15, 2022.   Commissioners must reside in the district when elected. 

Additional Resources

Redistricting- Office of the Secretary of State

Redistricting 101

County Redistricting Roles and Responsibilities

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