We are pleased to announce that ANMN was a recipient of the Minnesota Asian Power grant from the Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP), a non-partisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2013. AAOP works to empower young Asian Minnesotans to create systems change for an equitable, conscious, and just society.
The grant is part of AAOP’s ongoing effort of creating collective impact as part of the Ignite Minnesota Asian Power (IMAP) coalition. This grant has provided us with resources to build educational tools and content that will encourage our Nepalese community in Minnesota to become aware of voting rights and empower community members to make informed, educated choices in local and national elections.
We are looking for youth in the community to volunteer with us (you can sign yourself up or someone you know who may be the right fit.) Volunteers will be empowered to lead this work in the community with our support and funding from AAOP.
Who can vote?
To vote in Minnesota, you must be:
- A U.S. Citizen
- At least 18 years old on Election Day
- A resident of Minnesota for 20 days
- Finish all parts of felony convictions
- Be registered to vote on Election Day
How to register to vote
- You will need a Minnesota Driver’s License or Minnesota Identification Card and the last four digits of your social security number.
- You will need an email address
- Enter personal information
- Enter your current address
- Signature and Oath
Register on Paper
- Print the application choosing which language is best for you
- Fill the application form
- Drop off or mail to your county election office
- Drop off or mail to the Secretary of State Office
Secretary of State
60 Empire Dr. Suite 100
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Register on Election Day
- ID with current name and address
- Approved Photo ID which can be a state ID or school ID with bill to your address, account, or statement within 30 days of the election
- A registered voter who can confirm your address known as vouching. You can vouch up to 8 voters.
- A 17-year-old can pre-register to vote if turning 18 years old by election day
- Minnesota has a same day registration unlike other states
How to check your registration
Link to check your registration: https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterStatus.aspx
Why is it important to check?
- If you’ve had a change of address
- If you’ve had a change of name
- Secretary of State cleans data every four years
Types of Voting
- Vote early with an Absentee Ballot at Local Election Office which is open 46 days before Election Day
- Primary Election: Voting for a candidate within a single group
- General Election: Voting for a candidate from many different groups
- Special Elections: When a chair is vacant, there is a special election to fill the chair
Absentee Voting (Mail)
- Apply for a ballot request form for an absentee ballot
- Can apply for an absentee ballot year-round except for the day of the election
- Ballot must be returned by election day or will not be counted
- You can return your ballot in person to your polling location by 3pm on Election Day
Election Day Voting
- Find your polling location and vote between 7am to 8pm
- Bring your ID or identification material with you
- If you are in line by 8pm, you have the right to vote
- You have the right to have assistance when asked for
Know your voting rights!
- Voting Rights Act Section 203 requires certain counties to provide language assistance materials and Section 208 allows voters to bring someone into the voting booth to help them cast a ballot. To learn more about section 208 and voting rights here: https://aaopmn.org/do-you-know-voting-rights/
- Each polling location should have resources and materials in the language(s) you need to cast your ballot
Get a replacement vote
- If you make a mistake, ask an election judge for a new ballot
Bring children to polling location
- All polling locations are community places like schools or churches, and you are able to bring children with you to cast your ballot
You have the right to take time off of work to vote
- Employers have to pay you, they cannot make you take time off or vacation hours or limit your time to go vote
- Secretary of State has a letter for you to bring to your employer https://www.sos.state.mn.us/media/3111/letter-to-employers-from-secretary-simon.pdf
You can vote if you’re in line by 8pm.
In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was enacted, which did not allow ethnic groups, mostly Asian Americans, to vote. Once Asian Americans started becoming citizens in greater number in 1943, the laws and perception on voting started to change. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law. Also known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, this law prohibited racial discrimination in voting and created a path for Asian Americans, including Nepali Americans, to be able to vote.
Learn more about the history of Asian American Voting:
Barriers to Voting
Even though the law protects the voting right of every American citizen, many groups employ various tactics to keep Asian Americans and other marginalized communities from fully exercising their right to vote.
- Limited Language Access– 77% of Asian Americans speak another language, for example, Hmong, Karen, Nepalese, and many more. Many are unsure of how to vote or who to vote for because information is not provided in their language. There is a lack of language resources and support.
- Voter Suppression – Voter suppression is real and prevents many Asian Americans from voting. Discriminating against people with Asian sounding name and based on spoken languages, providing misleading and deceptive information, intimidating people at the polling stations, etc. are all examples of voter suppression.
- Lack of outreach efforts – Community organizers might not reach out to certain marginalized groups because of various reasons. They are not effective in providing resources and there is an overall lack of support.
As a voter, what can you do?
Fight Voter Suppression by:
- Reporting Voter Suppression incident
- To the Election Monitors or the Election office or by calling 1-888-API-VOTE
- To Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE
- To U.S. Department of Justice voting rights Hotline: 1-800-253-393
You need the information below to report:
- Record/take notes of details, incident, people, place, words that were said.
- Details of that person or group
- What was said towards you
- Where was the interaction
Learn more about voter suppression:
Know your voting rights
- According to Section 208, which is a part of the Voting Rights Act, you have the right to bring someone of your choice to the voting booth if you need help with language assistance to vote.
To learn more about your voting rights and things you can do to vote: