Let’s face it, voting can be stressful. Voting for the first time over the summer made me extremely nervous. I didn't know how to register, where to vote, or who was even running. Fortunately, the internet saved me in the process. So for those of you who are new to voting or avoid voting because you don’t know how it works, here are some things you need to know.

First things first, register to vote. Registering is the first step to voting and it doesn't take long. It actually takes longer to read this article than it does to register. Can’t remember if you registered to vote? Check your registration status here.

If you didn't already know, Minnesota has same-day registration, so you can register at your polling place on election day. Don't know where to vote? Find your polling place here. Scroll down to Minnesota polling place locator and type in your zip code, house number, and street name.

If you are unable to vote in person on election day get an absentee ballot. Especially for Minnesota residents who attend college in a different state, or you are a student in Minnesota and vote in another state, absentee ballots are how you will vote. You do need to mail your ballot soon enough that it is received by election day.

If you're like most people, you probably don't know much about the candidates running. So to help you out here’s a complete chart of candidates running in the Minnesota 2018 election with links to their websites. You can check out their experiences, views on certain issues and much more information.


Dem: Tim Walz

Rep: Jeff Johnson

Grassroots: Chris Wright

Libertarian: Josh Welter

Attorney General:

Dem: Keith Ellison

Rep: Doug Wardlow

Grassroots: Noah Johnson 

Secretary of State:

Dem: Steve Simon

Rep: John Howe

Independent: William Denney 

State Auditor:

Dem: Julie Blaha

Rep: Pam Myhra

Legal Marijuana Now: Michael Ford 

Libertarian: Chris Dock 

Senate- Class 1:

Dem: Amy Klobuchar

Rep: Jim Newberger

Green: Paula Overby 

Legal Marijuana Now: Dennis Schuller 

Senate- Class 2:

Dem: Tina Smith

Rep: Karin Housley

Independent: Jerry Trooien 

Legal Marijuana Now: Sarah Wellington

Congressional District 1:

Dem: Dan Feehan

Rep: Jim Hagedorn

Congressional District 2:

Dem: Angie Craig

Rep: Jason Lewis

Congressional District 3:

Dem: Dean Phillips

Rep: Erik Paulsen

Congressional District 4:

Dem: Betty McCollum

Rep: Greg Ryan

Legal Marijuana Now: Susan Pendergast Sindt 

Congressional District 5:

Dem: Ilhan Omar

Rep: Jennifer Zielinski

Congressional District 6:

Dem: Ian Todd

Rep: Tom Emmer

Congressional District 7:

Dem: Collin Peterson

Rep: David Hughes

Congressional District 8:

Dem: Joe Radinovich

Rep: Pete Stauber

Independent: Ray “Skip” Sandman 

If you’re registered to vote, you don’t  need to show ID when you sign in at your polling place. Your name will appear on a list of voters and all you’ll need to do is sign by your name.

If you didn’t  register before Election day and are registering at your polling place, you must show proof of your current address. This includes a Minnesota driver’s license or a state ID. You may show a photo ID that has your old address, but you must include a bill that shows your current address.

If you have no clue when upcoming elections are, sign up to get election reminders here and never miss out on what’s happening. This will be extremely helpful in the future and only takes fifteen seconds.

Finally, don’t let this stress you out. Voting isn't as scary as you think, but the possible repercussions of not voting are much more important than you think. So get out there and vote November 6th!