Views from the Voting Booth: Deaf Perspectives on the Importance of Voting

Get Updated Information on Voting

This video was created in 2004. Some of the information may be out of date. Please be sure to check with the Secretary of State (or other responsible official) in your state for more current information.

In this video, Elise Knopf explains the basics of voter registration. She refers to a voter registration card. These cards can be obtained from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. The cards are also available in different languages as well large print versions. Minnesotans can also register online.

MCDHH has been working with the Secretary of State’s office to ensure that all of its voter registration materials are as accessible as possible for all Minnesota residents.

More information for Voters

  • Register to Vote in Minnesota:  The Minnesota Secretary of State’s website has printable registration forms and answers to many questions about registering to vote in Minnesota.
  • Find Your Polling Place in Minnesota  This site, from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website, allows you to put in your address and zip code and find the address of your polling place, as well as see a map to your polling place.
  • The Power is in Your Hands:  See a 21 minute video on the web about the importance of voting. Created in Massachusetts, it is worthwhile viewing for people from any state.

English Translation of Video

Minnesota Voter Registration CardRegistering to Vote

Good day. My name is Elise Knopf, and I’m with the Minnesota Participation Project.

I have undergone training to learn how to help people register to vote. It’s important that you have the right to vote, but many people don’t know how. Today, I’m going to explain to try to give you an idea of how to go about this. Next, we’ll have a card so you can see what a registration card looks like.

How to register? You can go to City Hall in your hometown, the county auditor’s office, or any public place, like a library, a courthouse, a tax office, or another place that has public information. Generally, these places should have a stack of registration cards available.

Once you have a card, here’s what you do. First, you fill out your name, address, and other identifying information. It’s important to have a driver’s license, a Minnesota picture ID, or the last four digits of your social security number. If you need help, you can contact the Secretary of State’s office or MCDHH, or you could ask a friend to assist you in reading through the card.

If you’re unsure of your eligibility to vote, here are the basics. You can vote if you’re over 18 years of age, if you’re a U.S. citizen, and a Minnesota resident – meaning you have lived in Minnesota for at least 20 days prior to the election. If you meet those three requirements, you can go ahead and vote.

If you are concerned that because of your work schedule, you’re not sure that you can get to vote because your boss might not allow you to leave to vote. It actually is okay, because Minnesota has a law that permits you to take time off from work on the morning of an election to go and vote without risking your job. Remember that it is only in the morning, and this law doesn’t apply to the afternoon or evening. Additionally, most polling places are open from 7 in the morning to 8 at night.

When to register? It’s important to register at least 20 days before the election. This year’s election is November 2, 2004. It’s on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. If you are going to register by mail, it’s important that you do it 20 days in advance, which translates into the second week of October. If you haven’t registered, you can still do it on election day at your polling place.

If you don’t know where to go to vote, you can go on the internet to the Secretary of State’s web site, or to to find a site where you can put in your address and find the address of your polling place.

Here’s a brief description of absentee voting. It is for people who are ill, or disabled, or recovering from surgery, or for some reason can’t get out of the house to vote on election day. They can register to vote absentee. That means you don’t have to vote on Tuesday, November 2. You can vote any time before election day. To do it, you can go to City Hall in your home town, to the county Auditor’s office. Or if you live in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area, you can go into the Secretary of State’s office. There, you can register to vote absentee with the reason why. Some people may be out of town on vacation so they won’t be around to vote on election day, but still want to vote. That is another purpose for using an absentee ballot.