- Elections & Voting
- Mail Ballot Precincts
Mail Ballot Precincts
Eight precincts in Sibley County vote by mail ballots for all State Primary and General Elections:
- Green Isle City
- Arlington Township
- Bismarck Township
- Cornish Township
- Faxon Township
- Henderson Township
- Sibley Township
- Washington Lake
If you live in one of these mail ballot precincts, your traditional polling place will not be open on Election Day. Instead, if you are registered to vote at your current address, you will receive your ballot in the mail approximately one month prior to each election.
When are Ballots Sent?
Per Minnesota Statute, mail ballots must be sent out between 46 days and 14 days prior to each election for registered voters in a mail ballot precinct; the Sibley County Auditor-Treasurer's Office will send them out approximately one month prior to each election.
Returning Your Mail Ballot
After voting a mail ballot, return the voted ballot as soon as possible. The most important things to remember:
- Follow the instructions provided in the mailed packet.
- Be sure all required information and signatures are provided. A witness is required.
- Ballots must be received by the Sibley County Auditor-Treasurer's Office by 8:00 pm on Election Day to be counted.
Mail ballot voters have three options for returning their voted ballots:
- Postage on the return envelope is prepaid and the envelope is pre-addressed so ballots can be mailed to the Sibley County Auditor-Treasurer's Office.
- Track the status of your ballot to confirm it was received and accepted by the Ballot Board.
- Return your ballot in the provided envelopes by dropping it off to the Auditor-Treasurer's Office at the Courthouse in Gaylord or in the drop box in the lobby of the Auditor-Treasurer's Office.
- Please note: laws have changed since the 2020 State General Election; therefore, the locked drop box on the outside of the West entrance of the Courthouse is NOT for ballot drop. If your ballot is deposited in the outside drop box, it will not be counted.
- Return your ballot by designated agent. The agent must be at least 18 years old, must bring in a photo ID, and will need to complete a short form documenting the delivery of the ballot (limit of three others’ ballots can be returned as an agent).
Voting In Person
Mail ballot voters may vote in person at the Auditor-Treasurer's Office at the Courthouse in Gaylord during normal business hours of 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Please bring the ballot that was mailed to you, if possible, or we can issue a replacement.
The following additional times are also available for voting:
- The Wednesday before each election from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
- The Saturday before each election from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
- The Monday before each election until 5:00 pm
- On Election Day from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
Unfortunately, Minnesota law does not allow a mail ballot precinct voter to put their voted ballot directly into the tabulator/ballot box on Election Day. Voters who wish to put their voted ballot directly into the tabulator/ballot box may do so beginning 7 days prior to each election until the day before at the Auditor-Treasurer's Office. This is considered part of the absentee process and is called Direct Balloting.
Non-Registered Voters in a Mail Ballot Precinct
For those who are new to a mail ballot precinct, have not previously registered to vote, or their voter registration record has become inactivated due to not voting at least once every four years, will need to complete an absentee ballot application and a new voter registration application.
If the voter is not registered at least 20 days before Election Day (pre-registered), they will need to provide a proof of residence as part of an Election Day registration with their absentee ballot. Voters who are not pre-registered must have a witness to verify their proof of residence and sign their absentee ballot return envelope.
In Minnesota, cities outside the Twin Cities metro area with fewer than 400 registered voters, or townships of any size, can choose to vote exclusively by mail by resolution of their city council or township board; the state and county do not have the authority to make any precinct move to mail balloting. Minnesota has had these mail ballot precincts for over 30 years; the legislation authorizing this type of voting for residents of small, non-metro jurisdictions became law in 1987. Thousands of Minnesotans have been voting in mail ballot precincts in every state election cycle since that time.
While the council or board of supervisors can decide to switch to mail balloting for any reason, the following are some of the most common:
- hiring election judges to serve may be difficult
- cost of voting equipment, annual maintenance, licensing and software updates
- suitable buildings for an Election Day polling place within a jurisdiction’s boundaries might not be possible due to:
- lack of running water or the need to rent temporary outdoor restrooms
- surface parking issues for those with mobility issues
- lack of heat for a building in the early part of November
- trouble with keeping roads and/or parking lots plowed in the winter months
Please visit the Secretary of State's website for further information.