Absentee Ballots now available in Minnesota; voters can now register online

By KBJR News 1

June 27, 2014 Updated Jun 27, 2014 at 7:36 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- If you will be out of town for the Minnesota primary this August, you can now order your absentee ballot online to vote.

Starting this election cycle there is a series of new laws that will make it easier for you to vote in the state of Minnesota.

There are new online tools that will let you register online and check the status of your ballot on the Secretary of State's website.

Before the change, Minnesotans who requested absentee ballots had to provide a specific reason to why they would not be physically able to travel to their polling place on Election Day.

That explanation is no longer needed to obtain an absentee ballot.

Some lawmakers, including State Senator Tom Bakk, said the changes will help the state maintain its high turnout status.

"I would encourage people if there is any question at all, something may happen, to get an absentee ballot," Sen. Bakk said.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie enacted an online registration system last year, which was challenged in court by Republicans.

The court ruled that the system had to be approved by the legislature, where the online system eventually passed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Nick Minock