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Bloomington voters will soon get to decide whether to remove a section of the City Charter that regulates intoxicating liquor.
What is a ballot question?
A “ballot question" is a proposition placed on the ballot to be voted on by the voters of one or more political subdivisions but not by all the voters of the State. Minnesota Rules govern the form of the ballot question. The heading must read “CITY QUESTIONS.” Below this, instructions will read: “To vote for a question, fill in the oval next to the word “YES” for that question. To vote against a question, fill in the oval next to the word “NO” for that question.”
What is the ballot question that will be on the November 5, 2019 ballot?
REMOVE ALCOHOL REGULATIONS FROM THE CITY CHARTER
Shall the Bloomington City Charter be amended to delete Section 12.12, which would allow the City Council to adopt ordinances authorizing additional types of places to serve and sell alcohol in the City?
What does this ballot question mean?
There are two types of cities in Minnesota: charter and statutory. Bloomington is a charter city which means that it has its own “constitution” that provides additional regulations and opportunities. One such provision in section 12.12 in the Bloomington City Charter regulates on-sale and off-sale of intoxicating liquor in the City. The question asks voters whether to remove alcohol regulations from the City Charter. If approved, alcohol would still be regulated by state law and the city code.
Why is there a question on the ballot?
State law requires charter amendments related to the sale of intoxicating liquor be placed on the ballot. (Minnesota Statutes Section 410.121) On May 16, 2019, the Charter Commission approved a resolution recommending that the City Council adopt ballot language to amend the City Charter to remove the regulations on intoxicating liquor in section 12.12 of the Charter. (Resolution 2019-1-C) On July 15, 2019, the City Council approved a charter amendment question to be included on the November 5, 2019, General Election Ballot. It would authorize the City Council to adopt ordinances that would allow for new types of liquor establishments such as tap rooms and cocktail rooms. (Resolution 2019-92)
When can I vote on this ballot question?
The General Election is scheduled for November 5, 2019. Absentee (“early voting”) begins on September 20. Direct balloting starts at City Hall on October 29. Voting information can be found below.
How many votes are required for passage or failure of this ballot question?
Passage requires a “yes” vote from 55 percent of people voting on the question. A non-vote on the question has no impact on the calculation of the vote.
If the ballot question passes, how soon would the change take effect?
If approved, section 12.12 of the City Charter would be removed 30 days after the election.
If the ballot question passes, can the City issue licenses to new types of places?
In order for the City to issue new types of liquor licenses, the City Code will need to be amended after public notice and a public hearing. One potential license that is allowed by state law but not currently in the city code is a taproom license.
Can the City advocate or promote the passage or failure of the ballot question?
Cities may spend a reasonable amount of money to educate and inform voters on relevant facts and the potential effects of the passage or failure of a ballot question. The City is prohibited from using public funds to promote or advocate for the passage/defeat of a ballot question. City Council members and commissioners are not prohibited from orally advocating for a measure so long as no public funds are used for the speaking engagement.
- May 21 – June 4 Candidate filing period
- June 6 Candidate withdrawal deadline
- June 28 Absentee voting ("early voting") begins
- July 23 Voter pre-registration closes at 5 p.m.
- August 6 Direct balloting begins at City Hall
- August 10 Saturday hours (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) for absentee voting
- August 12 Direct balloting closes at 5 p.m.
- August 13 Primary Election
- September 20 Absentee voting ("early voting") begins
- October 15 Voter pre-registration closes at 5 p.m.
- October 29 Direct balloting begins at City Hall
- November 2 Saturday hours (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) for absentee voting
- November 4 Direct balloting closes at 5 p.m.
- November 5 General Election
2020 Presidential Primary
Become an Election Judge
Citizens are encouraged to serve as election judges as an opportunity to learn more about elections and to provide a great service to the community. Election judges are entitled to paid time off from their employer. The City of Bloomington pays its judges the following rates:
- Students (ages 16 - 17) – $10 per hour
- Regular election judges – $11.25 per hour
- Assistant head judges – $12.50 per hour
- Head judges – $13 per hour
To learn more, click the following links or contact the Elections Office at 952-563-8729.
Political divisions and maps
Absentee ballots, regular voters - Vote by mail
Submit your completed absentee ballot application to Hennepin County Elections either in person, by mail, email or fax:
Hennepin County Elections
C190 Government Center
300 South 6th Street
Minneapolis MN 55487
When you'll receive your mailed ballot
- If you apply more than 46 days before the election, your ballot will be mailed to you at least 46 days prior to the election.
- If you apply within 46 days of the election, your ballot will be mailed to you within a day or two of your application being received.
How to return your voted absentee ballot
- Voted ballots must be received on or before election day in one of the following ways:
Return by mail
Mail your ballot back in the pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope that was provided with your ballot materials.
- Ballot must be received on or before election day.
- If you don't think your ballot will be received in time using regular mail, you may choose to pay for an express delivery service.
Return in person
- Return your own ballot in person to Hennepin County Elections or to the Bloomington City Clerk’s Office
- by 3 p.m. on election day
- Someone else may return your voted ballot to Hennepin County Elections or to the Bloomington City Clerk’s Office
- by 3 p.m. on election day
- Persons delivering ballots may not do so for more than three voters.
Absentee ballots, regular voters - Vote in person
Starting 46 days before an election, you may vote in person at:
Bloomington City Hall
City Clerk’s Office
1800 West Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington MN 55431
In person voting hours are:
- During regular business hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- During additional hours before Election Day:
- August 10, 2019, 10:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- August 12, 2019, until 5 p.m.
Absentee ballots - Military and overseas voters
If you are in the military or living overseas, see Hennepin County's link for military and overseas voter services.
All polling sites are accessible. They can help you in several ways.
Ask the election judges for assistance:
- To read or mark a ballot.
- To obtain a magnifying device or a chair to use in the voting booth.
- To vote at the curb.
- To use an AutoMARK voter assistance terminal.
For more information, contact any of the following:
Is "early voting" the same as "absentee voting"?
Yes. If you wish to vote before Election Day, you may do so by casting an absentee ballot.
What is "direct balloting"?
During the final seven days before an Election Day, absentee voters who vote in person are allowed to place their ballots through a tabulator instead of sealing them into an envelope for later processing. This allows the voters to watch as their ballots are tabulated and to be made aware of any errors the tabulator may detect as the ballots are processed.
Am I registered to vote?
To find out if you are registered to vote, use the Secretary of State's Voter Registration Lookup Service.
How do I register to vote?
To be eligible to vote in Minnesota, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be a Minnesota resident for at least 20 days on Election Day.
- Maintain residence at the address on the voter registration application.
You must re-register if you have:
- Moved to a different address (even if only the apartment number has changed).
- Changed your name.
- Have not voted once within the last four years.
In Minnesota, you can preregister up until 20 days before Election Day. If the election is within 20 days, you must register at your polling place on Election Day. Once you are registered, you will receive a postcard with your voting information, and your name will appear on the list of pre-registered voters at your polling place.
- Complete an online Voter Registration Application at the Hennepin County Elections Web site; print, sign, and mail to Hennepin County Voter Registration Office at
- C190 Government Center
300 South 6th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55487-0012; or
- C190 Government Center
- Register in person at the City of Bloomington or at Hennepin County; or
- If English is not your first language,
- Visit the Secretary of State’s website for voter registration applications in Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Russian, and Vietnamese or
- Visit our foreign language resources page for links to PDF applications in these languages.
Election Day registration
To register at the polling place on Election Day, you must have authorized proof of residence:
- Valid Minnesota Driver's License, Learner's Permit or receipt of either with current address located in precinct.
- Valid Minnesota I.D. or receipt with current address located in precinct.
- A registered voter in the precinct who can vouch for you.
- Registration in the same precinct indicating a previous name or address.
- Mailed notice from the Registration Office indicating late registration.
- A tribal I.D. with name, address, signature, and picture of the individual.
Voters may register with a combination of two documents: one photo ID and one current bill (see below for specifics).
- The Photo ID must contain voter's current name and photo. It may contain the voter's old address or lack an address. Approved photo IDs:
- MN Driver's License
- MN State ID
- MN post-secondary student ID
- Tribal ID
- U.S. Military ID
- U.S. Passport
The current bill (delivered electronically or by mail) must show voter's current name and address in the precinct. The following bills are acceptable:
- Utility bill, due within 30 days of the Election Day (electric, garbage, gas, Internet service, sewer, solid waste, telephone—land line, cell or VOIP, TV—cable or satellite, water)
- Rent statement dated within 30 days of the Election Day that itemizes utilities
- Current student fee statement
How does the AutoMARK terminal assist individuals with disabilities?
The voters receive the same optical scan paper ballot whether they will vote using a pen or the AutoMARK ballot marking device. The AutoMARK is a tool - an "electronic pen" - to assist the voter in marking the ballot. The AutoMARK has special features to assist voters with disabilities that make it difficult to mark an optical scan paper ballot (i.e. blind, poor eyesight, unable to hold a pen). When the voter inserts the ballot into the AutoMARK, an electronic version of the ballot appears on the screen. The screen provides options for reverse contrast, enlargement for easier reading, or for being turned off for privacy if a voter chooses to access the ballot by using earphones and keypad. The recorded audio description of the ballot can be used in place of or in conjunction with the visual version on the screen. The voter makes selections by the touch screen, the keypad, or alternative adaptive method.
The AutoMARK ballot marking device provides voters the opportunity to review and verify their selections. Upon the voter's direction, the AutoMARK marks the ovals on the optical scan ballot. The voter then inserts the ballot into the DS200 ballot counter used by all voters in the precinct. The voting process remains the same for voters who do not need the assistance of the AutoMARK for marking a ballot. Votes are tallied by the ballot counter to produce precinct results.
For further information, contact the City Clerk's Office at 952-563-8729 or find more information about AutoMARK on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.
What hours are polling places open on Election Day?
Polling sites are open for voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.