A 24-hour absentee ballot dropbox has been placed in the drive in front of the entrance to Hastings City Hall. A state grant paid for the box and equipment to monitor it.Photo by Bruce Karnick
24-hour ballot drop box installed in Hastings, absentee voting underway

Absentee voting started Sept. 23 for the statewide general election on Nov. 8.

You may request an absentee ballot, complete it according to the enclosed instructions and return it in the envelopes provided. Absentee ballots must arrive by Election Day.

Absentee voting is one of three ways to cast your ballot. You can also vote early during the week before Election Day.

In early voting, you cast your ballot and feed it directly into a ballot counter at the Dakota County Administration Center in Hastings or at your city hall. Early voting is available 8 a.m. Nov. 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 7.

Voters can also cast their ballot in person on Election Day. Polling place hours are 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

In Hastings, absentee ballots can be returned in the ballot drop box at the front of city hall 24 hours per day. The city purchased the ballot drop box through grant funding from the Minnesota Secretary of State offices.

Under the ballot drop box program, the ballot drop box: •Must be continually recorded during the absentee voting period.

•Must be designed to prevent unauthorized person from moving, removing, or tampering with the drop box.

•If placed in an outdoor location must be fastened to a building, bolted to a concrete pad, or otherwise attached to a similarly secure structure.

•Ballots deposited in a drop box must be secured against access by an unauthorized person or damage due to weather.

The cost of installing the ballot box and video monitoring equipment for the city was $7,400, with full reimbursement from the grant program.

The Hastings City Council unanimously approved the city’s participation in the 24hour absentee ballot dropoff program in July, and the box was installed last week.

September 28, 2022