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Secretary of State offers online services

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Minnesotans visiting the office's outreach booth at the State Fair this year will have an opportunity to use the office's new online service to check whether they are registered to vote this fall.

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"Often, voters are unsure if they're registered or are unaware that their registration is out-of-date because they may have recently moved," Ritchie said. "In just seconds, this easy-to-use service will quickly inform voters whether they are registered at their current address and provide links to resources to guide voters on what to do if they are not."

Voters can visit www.sos.state.mn.us and select the office's Voter Registration Lookup Service. Voters simply enter their name, birthday, and address and the service will quickly tell voters whether they are registered at that address. If they are not, the service will provide links to information on how and where to register. The service will also provide voters the date of their next election and the location of their polling place if they are registered to vote.

The office continues to use technology in an effort to help voters participate in their democracy. In addition to the new voter registration lookup, the office has partnered with the United States Postal Service (USPS) since 2009 to update voter registrations automatically.

Minnesotans who move and complete a USPS change-of-address form to permanently forward their mail to their new residence may now receive a green postcard in the mail confirming their registration was updated automatically. Approximately 14 percent of Minnesota residents change their residence annually. The office has already helped update more than 100,000 voter registrations through this program.

In 2008, the office partnered with the Overseas Vote Foundation to create an online service to make it easier for Minnesota's military and overseas voters serving abroad to participate in elections. More than 5,000 voters used the service to request their absentee ballots in 2008. The service helped to increase the number of ballots returned from 27 percent in 2006 to 76 percent in 2008.

"The Voter Registration Lookup is another innovation this office created to help voters participate in the upcoming election," Ritchie said. "Stop by the office's State Fair booth to get registered, get informed, and get ready to vote on Nov. 2."

The Minnesota State Fair marks the beginning of the office's fall drive to register and educate voters about the November election. The office has planned statewide college campus visits, will attend numerous festivals and community events and conduct voter education workshops.

For more information about voter eligibility, registration and elections, visit the office at www.mnvotes.org.

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