Take Action: Election Day - November 6, 2012

What can you do to get ready for Election Day on November 6th?

  1. Watch our videos with ASL & captions and look at our voting resources on this page – check back for new information between now and Nov. 6th!

We are providing:

  • Useful links to the Secretary of State’s MN Votes website
  • Live “Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting” workshops with the Office of the Secretary of State & MN Disability Law Center
  • Videos with ASL & captions
    • You Decide!
    • “Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting” Series
    • Information about the 2 Constitutional Amendments
  • Information about your legal rights as a voter
  • Schedule of accessible non-partisan (neutral) debates
  • Advocacy for captioning of candidate campaign ads
  • Rides to the polls for DeafBlind voters

Voting Information & Resources for Election Day 2012

Voting Resources from MNCDHH

This vlog summarizes the resources that MNCDHH has available for deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing voters with support from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

Vlog with ASL & captions

Link to text transcript

Link to text transcript for Voting Resources from MNCDHH

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MN Votes Website – Office of the Secretary of State

The MN Votes website has the following useful links:

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FREE Voting Workshops – Office of the Secretary of State

MNCDHH is partnering with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State to provide free and accessible MNVOTES: Introduction to Voting Workshops to the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing community.

  • MNVOTES: Introduction to Voting Workshops
    • This is an engaging, educational and hands-on workshop that will encourage eligible voters to get registered, get informed, and go vote.
    • In addition to simulating a day at the polls—from registration to placing your ballot — we will also cover the importance of civic engagement and other ways to get involved in the elections process.
    • By the end of this presentation, participants will feel prepared for and excited about VOTING.

OCTOBER 12th – Voting & Your Legal Rights Workshop (Open to Public)

What:
This is a FREE hands-on workshop that will encourage eligible voters to get registered, get informed, and go vote. In addition to talking about voting, we will cover other ways to get involved in the elections process and discuss your legal rights.

Presenters include:

  • Claire Wilson from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Pamela Hoopes from the Minnesota Disability Law Center.

Come ready to ask your questions about voting & enjoy some refreshments!

When:
Friday, October 12, 2012, 7:00-9:00 pm (Doors open at 6:30 pm)

Where:
Bread of Life Deaf Lutheran Church, 2901 38th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Accommodations:
ASL interpreting & captioning will be provided. Send other requests by September 28th to mncdhh.info@state.mn.us or 651-431-5961.

Sponsored By:

  • Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens
  • Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans
  • Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

OCTOBER 27th – Voting & Your Legal Rights Workshop (Open to DeafBlind People)

What:
This is a FREE hands-on workshop that will encourage eligible voters to get registered, get informed, and go vote. In addition to talking about voting, we will cover other ways to get involved in the elections process and discuss your legal rights.

Presenters include:

  • Claire Wilson from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Pamela Hoopes from the Minnesota Disability Law Center.

Come ready to ask your questions about voting & enjoy some refreshments!

When:
Saturday, October 27, 2012, 1:00-4:00 pm

Where:
Kelly Inn, 161 Saint Anthony Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103

Accommodations:
Interpreters and SSPs will be provided by DeafBlind Services of Minnesota.

Sponsored By:

  • Minnesota DeafBlind Association
  • DeafBlind Services of Minnesota
  • Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans
  • Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

Schedule of Voting Workshops for Schools

  • Friday, September 14, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm, Metro Deaf School, St. Paul
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm, CSD Adult Basic Education, Minneapolis
  • Thursday, October 25, 9:40 am to 10:25 am, Humboldt High School, St. Paul
  • Thursday, October 25, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, CSD Adult Basic Education, Bloomington
  • Friday, October 26, 8:00 am to 9:00 am, VECTOR North Transition, Brooklyn Park
  • Friday, November 2, 10:10 am to 11:30 am, Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, Faribault

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You Decide! Video

In this older video from 2008, community representatives discuss why it is important for deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing people to vote.

This video also includes some voting tips, but we recommend that you watch our new “Introduction to Voting” video series for much more information.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie signs at the end of this video!

Video with ASL & captions

Link to text transcript

Link to text transcript for You Decide!

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“Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting” Video Series

Introduction to the Video Series

There’s more to voting than marking a ballot! The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MNCDHH) and the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State (OSS) are proud to present the new “Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting” video series, which is based on the popular and successful “MNVOTES: Introduction to Voting” workshop.

Our goal is to make sure that all voters have equal access to voter education and participation. This free and accessible video series can be viewed online anywhere, anytime.

New voters can learn about voting, including how to get registered, informed, and involved, and experienced voters can refresh their knowledge. This video series can also be used by those who want to provide voter education, including teachers, parents, and volunteers.

The series is accessible through American Sign Language (ASL),, captions, voiceovers, and text and Microsoft Word transcripts of audio content with video descriptions included.

There are 4 parts:

  1. The Importance of Voting by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
  2. Get Registered
  3. Get Informed, Get Involved
  4. Get Out and Vote!

Why You Should Watch – Comments from our Volunteer Voters

We had a wonderful group of real-world voters who demonstrated what it is like to vote on Election Day for the video series, and we got some nice quotes from them about why you should watch!

  • Minnesota law requires all polling places to be fully accessible. I’m a blind voter and I am pleased that this video series discusses the use of accessible voting equipment that can benefit many Minnesotans, such as the AutoMark ballot-marking device. David Andrews, chief technology officer at State Services for the Blind
  • As a co-director of Advocating Change Together and as a long-time proponent of disability rights and self-advocacy, I hope that this video series will encourage Minnesotans to work on full inclusion in voter participation. Rick Cardenas, co-director of Advocating Change Together
  • DeafBlind people will have their own in-person workshop on voting, but for DeafBlind people who have some vision, this series provides helpful information on how to vote, what your voting rights and responsibilities are, and what to expect when you go to the polls on Election Day. I encourage everyone to watch it. John Lee Clark, writer and MNCDHH board member
  • As a lifelong voter and current deaf election judge, I encourage all members of the Deaf community to view this great video series that explains the who, why and how of voting. I am proud to be a part of it. Emory Dively, pastor at Twin Cities Deaf Assembly of God
  • As a teacher in adult basic education who specializes in Citizenship and Civics, I was thrilled that I and my deaf and hard of hearing students could take part in this important video series. I hope that everybody will use it to help new voters get ready to vote. Galinda K. Goss-Kuehn, teacher at Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.
  • Having spent much of my life in the world of elected and appointed service, politics and political campaigns, I have lived the democratic process and understand that the act of voting is paramount. However, this video series not only encourages citizens to vote, but gives them good ideas on how to get involved in other ways. John Wodele, owner of Wodele Creative and MNCDHH board member

Video 1 of 4: The Importance of Voting [5:52]

In this video, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Richie explains your rights and responsibilities as an eligible voter, ways you can get involved in the political process, how to register to vote, and where to find information about Minnesota elections.

Transcripts for Video 1 of 4: The Importance of Voting

Video 1 of 4 - The Importance of Voting - Microsoft Word Transcript [34.50KB]

Link to text transcript for Video 1 of 4: The Importance of Voting

Video 2 of 4: Get Registered [14:29]

You can’t vote if you don’t register! In this video, you will learn about Minnesota’s voter eligibility requirements and the process for pre-registering to vote using the www.mnvotes.org web site.

Transcripts for Video 2 of 4: Get Registered

Video 2 of 4 - Get Registered - Microsoft Word Transcript [44.50KB]

Link to text transcript for Video 2 of 4: Get Registered

Video 3 of 4: Get Informed, Get Involved [16:27]

Voting is an important responsibility that should be taken seriously. In this video, you will learn ways you can get involved in the political process and how to become informed about issues and candidates. It also reviews your rights and responsibilities as an eligible voter, including your right to cast an absentee ballot. You will also learn about some things you should do before going to the polls on Election Day.

Transcripts for Video 3 of 4: Get Informed, Get Involved

Video 3 of 4 - Get Informed, Get Involved - Microsoft Word Transcript [43.50KB]

Link to text transcript for Video 3 of 4: Get Informed, Get Involved

Video 4 of 4: Get Out and Vote! [17:10]

It’s Election Day! In this video, you will learn what to expect when you go to the polls, including your rights as an eligible voter, how to read a ballot, how to mark it correctly and the documentation you’ll need to provide if you plan to register at the polls on Election Day. You’ll also learn about accessible voting equipment available at all polling places and how to get assistance at the polls if you need it.

Transcripts for Video 4 of 4: Get Out and Vote!

Video 4 of 4 - Get Out and Vote! - Microsoft Word Transcript [44.00KB]

Link to text transcript for Video 4 of 4: Get Out and Vote!

Acknowledgements and Credits

The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MNCDHH) and the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State (OSS) want to express our big thanks to everybody who was involved in this exciting voter education video project!

Special thanks go to:

  • The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State (OSS) for their support of this project, and especially to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and MNVOTES workshop presenter Claire Wilson for their participation in the video series. They did a wonderful job!
  • All the volunteers who were willing to be filmed for the video. Their participation was really important to the success of this project!
  • The real-life voters from diverse backgrounds and experiences who were willing to spend several hours at a mock polling (voting) place to help demonstrate what it is like to vote on Election Day. Their enthusiasm was amazing! The new and experienced voters who volunteered include:
    • Claire Alexander
    • David Andrews
    • Rick Cardenas
    • John Lee Clark
    • Martha Davies
    • Emory Dively
    • Margaret Endres
    • Galinda K. Goss-Kuehn
    • Nadine Grippa
    • Larry Lubbers
    • Dawn Moder
    • Mai Vue
    • John Wodele
    • Peter Zenner

This video series was produced by ZenMation for MNCDHH and OSS.

This voter education video project was made possible by funding from OSS to promote voter education and participation in the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing community, and also by funding from MNCDHH.

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Marriage Constitutional Amendment Video

Introduction to the “Marriage Amendment: I Do, I Don’t” Video

The Marriage Amendment issue is very hot in Minnesota! Want to learn more about it before voting on November 6th?

MNCDHH has partnered with David Wermus and Bill Hanley at TPT Public Television to add American Sign Language (ASL) narration to their 1-hour special video about the Marriage Amendment issue. Captions are also available.

On November 6th, voters will decide if the State Constitution should define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, banning same-sex marriage.

The “Marriage Amendment: I Do, I Don’t” special video from the Almanac show looks at both sides of the Marriage Amendment question and interviews a variety of people, including lawmakers, families, and faith leaders.

In this special video, you will see the following topics:

  1. Marriage Amendment Nuts’n‘Bolts
  2. Battle over the Marriage Amendment
  3. Amending the Constitution: How is it done?
  4. Why are we voting on a Constitutional Amendment?
  5. Respectful talk from key lawmakers
  6. The Marriage Amendment battle in rural Minnesota
  7. Two Minnesota couples say why it really matters
  8. In-depth look at campaign ads
  9. Respectful conversations among churchgoers
  10. Minnesota’s faith leaders & the Marriage Amendment

“Marriage Amendment: I Do, I Don’t” Video – ASL & Captions [56:41]

Are you an “I do” or an “I don’t” when it comes to Minnesota’s proposed marriage amendment? In November, voters decide if the state Constitution should define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, banning same-sex marriage. Almanac host Mary Lahammer explores both sides of the high-stakes fight.

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Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Videos

Introduction to the Voter ID Videos

The Voter ID Amendment issue is very hot in Minnesota! Want to learn more about it before voting on November 6th?

Voters will decide if the State Constitution should require all voters to show photo ID to vote and if the state should provide free photo ID to eligible voters (starting on July 1, 2013).

MNCDHH has statements from Representative Mary Kiffmeyer and Representative Steve Simon about their YES and NO positions, respectively, on the Voter ID Amendment issue.

There are 3 videos with ASL and captions – please watch all 3 to learn more!

  1. Voter ID Amendment Language
  2. Vote YES on Voter ID – Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer
  3. Vote NO on Voter ID – Rep. Steve Simon

Special thanks go to Rep. Kiffmeyer and Rep. Simon for sharing their statements with us!

Part 1 of 3: Voter ID Amendment Language – ASL & Captions [5:42]

This video explains the language in the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment.

Transcript for Part 1 of 3: Voter ID Amendment Language

Link to text transcript for Part 1 of 3: Voter ID Amendment Language

Part 2 of 3: Vote YES on Voter ID – Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer – ASL & Captions [6:28]

This video presents the “Vote YES” opinion for the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment. The information is provided by State Representative Mary Kiffmeyer.

Transcript for Part 2 of 3: Vote YES on Voter ID – Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer

Link to text transcript for Part 2 of 3: Vote YES on Voter ID – Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer

Part 3 of 3: Vote NO on Voter ID – Rep. Steve Simon – ASL & Captions [6:53]

This video presents the “Vote NO” opinion for the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment. The information is provided by State Representative Steve Simon.

Transcript for Part 3 of 3: Vote NO on Voter ID – Rep. Steve Simon

Link to text transcript for Part 3 of 3: Vote NO on Voter ID – Rep. Steve Simon

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Your Voting Rights – Minnesota Disability Law Center

Want to know what your voting rights are? The Minnesota Disability Law Center has provided a flyer for you to use.

Download, print out, and take the Word or text flyer with you to the polls on Election Day!

Your Voting Rights - Flyer from Minnesota Disability Law Center (Word) [31.50KB] Your Voting Rights - Flyer from Minnesota Disability Law Center (Text) [2.70KB]

Important to remember: If you have a problem at the polls on Election Day, don’t leave!

  1. Talk to the head election judge, and if they can’t fix it, ask them to contact a county or city election official. If that doesn’t work,
  2. Contact the Minnesota Disability Law Center Voter Hotline at 612-334-5970 or 1-800-292-4150 or TDD/TTY: 612-332-4668 or Email: mndlc@mylegalaid.org or
  3. Contact Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-866-687-8683
  4. File a written complaint at your polling place.

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Accessible Debate Schedule – Learn about the candidates & issues

With the support of a grant from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, MNCDHH will provide access services such as sign language interpreting and CART captioning for select non-partisan (neutral) debates in Minnesota.

You can go to the debates to get non-partisan (neutral) information about some of the candidates and issues that will be on your ballots on November 6th.

Watch this space for schedule updates!

OCTOBER 4th – Faribault “Meet the Candidates” Open House

What:
Meet the candidates for City Council, County Board and School board at the “Candid Conversation with Candidates” OPEN HOUSE. All local candidates are planning to attend this event, which is co-sponsored by the Faribault Daily News and KDHL Radio.

Candidates will be available “expo style” so you can speak directly with as many as you wish. A brief program will be offered, giving each candidates a few minutes to speak to those who attend. This event is FREE and open to the public.

For your information, Sonny Wasilowski is deaf and running for the Faribault City Council. Come and meet him and all the other candidates!

Sign language interpreters will be available.

MNCDHH cannot endorse candidates but we wish all the local Faribault candidates good luck!

When:
Thursday, October 4, 2012, 6:00-8:00 pm

Where:
American Legion Post #43, 112 5th St. NE, Faribault, MN 55021

Accommodations:
MNCDHH is providing sign language interpreters with grant funding from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

Learn more online about the candidates and issues

Here are some tips on where to get more information about the candidates & issues:

  1. Get a copy of your ballot from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s pollfinder webpage.
  2. Get a free paper voter guide from the League of Women Voters Minnesota at your local Target store.
  3. Research the candidates by looking for information about them on TV, in papers, and online – you can even contact their offices directly to ask for information!
  4. Talk to your family, friends, coworkers, and other people that you know to share your opinions and discuss the candidates & issues.
  5. Online resources (provided as a public service by MNCDHH) include:

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Captioning of Campaign Ads in Minnesota

Minnesota Campaign Ad Captioning Law (2008)

Senator Ann Rest’s Video Explains the Law

In the Minnesota tradition of commitment to access, the 2008 Legislature passed a law requiring all candidates for office who file with the Campaign Finance Board to caption their online and television ads and post transcripts of their radio ads. Minnesota citizens who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing and who want to get information about candidates through campaign ads will now be able to do so.

In the following captioned video, Minnesota Senator Ann Rest demonstrates the power of captioning in creating accessibility. A transcript of the audio content with video descriptions is also available.

This video was produced by Senate Media Services and is used with permission.

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Transcript of Senator Ann Rest’s Video

[Woman speaking with captions.]

Hello. I’m Senator Ann Rest.

You were able to read my introduction to this video, but not hear it. The captioning allowed you to see what I said. Captioning closes the communication gap between voters who can hear and voters who are Deaf and hard of hearing. That’s 10% of all voters in Minnesota.

We passed a new law in the 2008 legislative session. Candidates who accept public funding for their campaigns must now caption their ads on TV and online. They also need to post scripts of their radio ads on their web sites.

With captioning and script posting, all potential voters with access to televisions or computers will be able to hear, or see, campaign ads. It’s easy and inexpensive. It’s the law. But more importantly, it’s also an opportunity for candidates to engage more voters in their campaigns for public office.

[Graphic – For information on vendors who provide this service and more, contact: Minnesota Campaign Finance Board www.cfboard.state.mn.us & Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans www.mncdhh.org]

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How to Comply with the Campaign Ad Captioning Law

What are the Captioning Requirements?

MNCDHH wants to help candidates comply with the campaign ad captioning law and get their messages across to all of Minnesota’s voters, including those who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing.

Minnesota Statute 10A.38 covers the captioning of campaign advertisements.

This law is governed by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

The Board has a PDF information sheet on captioning requirements for candidates who sign a public subsidy agreement.

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Captioning Resources in Minnesota

The U.S. Department of Education, in collaboration with the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), maintains an Approved Captioning Service Vendors list which is available on the DCMP website.

As of April 2012, three Minnesota companies are on the Approved Captioning Service Vendors list. Their contact information is provided below as a public service.

  1. The Ads Group
    2155 Niagara Lane North
    Plymouth, MN 55447
    VOICE 800-759-0992
    FAX 763-449-5555
    E-MAIL Dan Piepho dan@power-house.com
    WEB http://www.power-house.com/ or http://www.theadsgroupdifference.com
  2. Armour Captioning
    920 Stryker Avenue
    West Saint Paul, MN 55118
    VOICE 651-457-6845
    E-MAIL John Armour john@armourcaption.com
    WEB http://www.armourcaptioning.com
  3. CaptionMax
    2438 27th Avenue South
    Minneapolis, MN 55406
    VOICE 612-341-3566
    FAX 612-341-2345
    E-MAIL Donna Horn donna@captionmax.com
    WEB http://www.captionmax.com

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Advocacy Resources for “Caption Your Ads – It’s the Law!”

How Can You Help Advocate for Captioned Ads?

MNCDHH and the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing community in Minnesota have been working together to help candidates comply with the campaign ad captioning law.

You can help in these ways:

  • learn about the campaign ad captioning law.
  • watch campaign ads to see which ones are not captioned.
  • contact the candidates and ask them to caption their campaign ads.
  • contact us for other ways to help.

Information to Help You Advocate for Captioned Ads

The Caption Campaign Ads advocacy website was set up in 2010 to help track the captioning of campaign ads in Minnesota.

This website also provides resources for both candidates and watchdogs. The resources available include the following:

  • Easy Captioning Primer is MNCDHH’s nifty free online course, “Video Captioning Essentials,” that teaches you how to caption your videos.
  • Facebook for Caption Campaign Ads – visit and click the “Like!” button to show your support.
  • Talking Points provides basic talking points on political captioning and the law. This is information that you can give to candidates to help them understand what they are supposed to do and why.
  • The Law gives you a quick introduction to the political captioning law in Minnesota.
  • Watchdogs gives you information on what to do about good and bad captioning.

MNCDHH also has a free online course, Making Your Case, that teaches you how to advocate for positive changes.

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Text transcripts for vlogs & videos

Text transcript for Voter Resources from MNCDHH

[Narrator Trudy Suggs signs.]

This fall, Election day will be on Tuesday, November 6th.

Elections will be held for U.S. President, U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative, all of the State Legislature, and local officials.

There are also two amendments to the Minnesota constitution that people need to vote on.

Are you ready to vote? Or do you need resources and help? If you need assistance, we have good news!

The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans is excited to announce that we have funding from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State to help voters get registered, get informed, and go vote.

We have voting resources for you at www.mncdhh.org/take-action/.

Check it out between now and November 6th and watch for new information. You can also sign up for updates. MNCDHH will have a variety of resources.

You can learn about voting.

We will provide free workshops such as “Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting” in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of State.

If you can’t attend the workshops, we have other resources for you.

In October, we will post our “Introduction to Voting” video series. The videos will be on our web site with ASL and captions.

You can learn about the candidates and issues.

We have information posted about how you can find out what is on your ballot.

We will also provide access (like interpreters and CART) for some “hot” non-partisan debates in Minnesota where you can go and listen and learn.

In October we will also post videos about some of the candidates and issues. The videos will be online with ASL and captions.

You can get information about registering to vote and also where to vote. We have information posted about this, and it will also be included in our “Introduction to Voting” video series with ASL and captions.

We will also inform candidates about their responsibility to caption their campaign ads, and provide rides to the polls for DeafBlind voters.

Are you excited to vote already?

Your vote counts!

Please visit www.mncdhh.org/take-action/ to get informed, and then vote on November 6th!

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Text transcript for You Decide!

[Text “You Decide” and image of Minnesota State Capitol]

[Narrator Trudy Suggs signing in the Senate chamber at the Minnesota State Capitol]

I’m here in a very significant room at the Capitol in St. Paul. This is where legislators come together to discuss many important issues and pass laws that affect you. Such issues include:

[Text: Education Funding, Taxes, Civil Rights, Newborn Hearing Tests]

More issues are also discussed and key decisions are made in this room, as well as at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

However, who makes the decision of who should serve in the legislature? Who decides that?

[People signing “You decide!” are John Gournaris, unidentified woman, Nadine Grippa, Doug Bahl, Nancy Starr, and John Lee Clark]

You decide!

[Elise Knopf, Chair of MCDHH, signing in the Senate chamber at the Minnesota State Capitol]

In Minnesota, there are about 500,000 people who are eligible to vote who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or DeafBlind, but almost half of them don’t vote. What happens when they give up their right to decide?

[Roger Brown, Minnesota Voter, signing next to an American flag]

It’s important to know that Congress and the president listen to those who vote. So, voting is the key to getting their attention. So people need to continue voting, please.

[Narrator Trudy Suggs signing]

Voting is indeed really important. If you’d like to share your opinions, experiences and insights with legislators, they’re more likely to listen to you if you have registered to vote. But how do you do that? If you’re not sure of the process for registering and voting, here is some….

[Text “Information about Registering” and image of Minnesota Voter Registration Application]

[Narrator Trudy Suggs signing]

If you’d like to go ahead and register to vote, you’ll get a voter registration card, which looks like this.

[Image of Minnesota Voter Registration Application to the left of Trudy]

You’ll fill out answers to questions such as your name, address and birthdate and that you are a U.S. citizen who is 18 on or before election day. If you have any questions about this form, you can contact either

[Text: Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MCDHH)]

or

[Text: Minnesota Secretary of State]

These agencies are responsible for assisting people with registering and voting, and will answer any of your questions.

Once you fill out your registration card and send it in, you will receive a postcard in the mail telling you where to go and vote.

[Images of both sides of “You are now registered to vote” postcard]

It’s easy to register and it’s also easy to actually get out and vote. Even if you lose the postcard that comes in the mail and don’t know where to vote, just go to the Secretary of State’s website and use their pollfinder service. You simply type in your address in the pollfinder area, and it gives you your voting location. It’s a simple process.

[Image of Minnesota Secretary of State’s Polling Place Finder webpage showing address being entered and polling place address and district information being displayed]

Once you are registered and know where to go, you may need assistance in driving to the polling place. If you aren’t able to make it because you can’t drive, for instance, contact MCDHH and they can assist in finding someone to bring you to your voting place.

Voting takes place in a variety of community locations. It might be in a church, school, or local government building.

[Image of two men setting up an American flag, a disability parking sign, and a “Vote Here” sign outside of a building]

Once you arrive, you’ll see a table of people who will ask for your name and address.

[Image of woman signing in at a table with two female election judges and a few other voters in the background]

You’ll also sign a roster of registered voters.

[Image of a male election judge picking up a large manila folder with a ballot inside and showing it to a male voter who is holding a little kid]

After that, you’ll receive a ballot with the names of the candidates. Take this ballot to a booth where you can privately make your choices.

[Image of two female voters standing at election booths and marking their ballots]

After that, slide your ballot through the accounting machine.

[Image of ballot going into a counting machine]

[Narrator Trudy Suggs signing in the entrance to the House of Representatives at the Minnesota State Capitol with a painting of Abraham Lincoln visible in the background]

Registering to vote and going to vote is a simple process. Voting is significant, and Kim will share more about that significance.

[Kim Wassenaar, St. Paul/Mpls Black Deaf Advocates, signing]

We need to vote for people who agree on issues in the Deaf community and agree about how we can get the best services for our community.

[Narrator Trudy Suggs in the House of Representatives entrance]

What Kim just said is true. There are a lot of issues that might be important to you, For example,

[Text: Economy, Jobs, Conflicts around the world (and more)]

These issues are not just important only for you, but also for other Minnesotans who are Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing. And the way to get legislators to listen to what you have to say is to…

[People signing “Vote!” are John Gournaris, unidentified woman, John Lee Clark, unidentified man, Nadine Grippa, Doug Bahl, and Sherri Rademacher]

Vote!

[Lee Clark signing]

Whether you are Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing, get out and vote.

[Narrator Trudy Suggs signs that Election Day is on November 4, 2008, but this is old information now]

[Text: Election Day is the First Tuesday in November – Make Sure Your Vote counts!]

[Eight images of the sign for “Vote” and text: On the first Tuesday in November, what will happen?]

[Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State, signing]

You decide!

[Text: For more information: www.mncdhh.org, www.sos.state.mn.us]

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Text transcript for Video 1 of 4: The Importance of Voting

[Visual of the seal of the Secretary of State with the following title – Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting – Video 1 of 4: The Importance of Voting]

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

Hello. I’m Mark Ritchie and I’m honored to serve you as Minnesota’s Secretary of State.

One of the most important aspects of my job is protecting the integrity of Minnesota’s elections

[Visual of two people participating in a voter workshop and using an AutoMark machine]

and making sure that every eligible voter has the opportunity to shape the future of our state by participating in the election process – whether that means marking a ballot in your polling place…

…sending a completed absentee ballot in from overseas…

[Visual of a student completing a ballot at a university]

…from a university…

[Visual of a woman completing a ballot at home]

…or from your home.

[Visual of a student completing and mailing a registration form]

Your vote is your voice…and elected officials listen.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

Minnesota has a long history of fair and open elections.

[Visual of a woman registering at a voter workshop]

We take the right to vote seriously.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

We are recognized throughout the country for our active involvement in the elections process. The state has more than 3.1 million registered voters.

[Visual of a polling place with voters and Election Judges]

We consistently lead the nation in voter turnout and Minnesotans vote at a much higher rate than the rest of the country.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

We can only retain this first in the nation standing if every eligible voter participates in the democratic process.

[Visual of a woman voting in a voting booth]

The right to vote is an important responsibility that should be taken seriously.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

A strong election system depends on committed, informed voters

[Visual of a deaf woman meeting with a State Representative with the help of an ASL interpreter]

who take the time to understand what’s important to them personally and to learn where candidates stand on these issues.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

Informed voters ask questions and gather information. Informed voters analyze what they’ve learned and look for and use objective information to make their choices

[Series of visuals of different people within a polling setting]

and responsible voters participate in the process by encouraging others to join them.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

Local election officials are the backbone of our election system. They make it work.

[Visual of a polling place with a number of election judges helping out voters]

More than 30,000 volunteer election judges are needed to administer a typical statewide election.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

Being an election judge is an important way to get involved but it’s not the only way.

[Visual of a young man facilitating a voter workshop]

You can help out with voter registration drives or support a candidate’s campaign. You can go to a debate or organize a voter workshop to help eligible voters understand the voting process.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

Your local election officials and civic organizations can help you find opportunities to get involved before, during and after the election.

The Secretary of State’s office is committed in helping that Minnesota elections are accessible to all voters

[Visual of a deafblind man inserting a ballot into a ballot counter with the help of an Election Judge]

and that all eligible Minnesotans have the opportunity to cast their ballots.

[Visual of the outside of the Office of the Secretary of State with the office’s seal and the words “Election Center”]

It’s important that all Minnesotans understand the voting process and who is eligible to vote

[Visual of the registration application]

and follow-through by getting registered!

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

There are many resources available to you.

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website]

The Secretary of State’s web site – mnvotes.org – offers a wealth of information about the voting process and your voting rights,

[Visual of a demonstration in using mnvotes.org to find your polling place – a map appears indicating the location of the polling place]

as well as simple, easy-to-use tools for registering to vote, finding your polling place,

[Visual of a sample ballot]

learning about what’s in your ballot and obtaining an absentee ballot.

[Text appears indicating the four videos in this video series:

Video 1: The Importance of Voting

Video 2: Get Registered

Video 3: Get Informed, Get Involved

Video 4: Get Out and Vote!]

This video series has been created to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a voter, and ways to become informed on what to expect on Election Day.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

I hope they help you to become as passionate about the democratic process as I am.

[Visual of a man in a wheelchair inserting a ballot into the ballot counter with the help of an Election Judge]

Every vote counts. Your vote can make a difference.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

I encourage you to get registered if you’re eligible.

[Visual of an Election Judge talking with a voter]

Get involved.

Get informed.

[Visual of a number of voters at a polling place]

Most important of all, I encourage you to get out and vote. It’s your right.

[Visual of Mark Ritchie speaking from his office at the State Office Building]

Thank you very much for being part of our democratic process. I’m Mark Ritchie and I’m honored to be your Secretary of State.

[Text appears: www.mnvotes.org]

For more information, go to www.mnvotes.org.

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Text transcript for Video 2 of 4: Get Registered

[Visual of the seal of the Secretary of State with the following title – Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting – Video 2 of 4: Get Registered]

[Visual of a deaf woman at a polling place talking with two Election Judges. She signs in and receives a ballot]

The foundation of a democracy is the right to vote. By voting, eligible citizens elect new leaders and decide important issues. Your vote is your chance to influence public policy and the decisions that affect you.

[Visual of a deaf woman voting in a voting booth]

Your vote helps shape the future of your local community, our state – even the nation.

There are three key steps in the voting process:

[Text appears on the screen describing each of the following steps]

1. First, you need to register.

2. Second, you need to learn about the candidates and issues so you can make informed decisions.

3. And, finally, you have to actually vote to let others know your choices.

[Visual of a polling place with various people voting and a man in a wheelchair leaving the polling place]

We have taken important steps to make sure that Minnesota elections are honest, fair and open.

[Visual of a voter registration application]

In this video, you’ll learn how to register to vote.

[Visual of a man registering at the polling place]

You’re eligible to vote in Minnesota if:

[Text appears on the screen describing the following points]

• You will be at least 18 years old on Election Day.

• You’re a citizen of the United States and

• You’ve lived in Minnesota for at least 20 days before Election Day.

[Visual of a woman attending a voter workshop. She is filling out a registration application and practicing how to use an AutoMark machine]

Even if you meet these criteria, your right to vote can be taken away in some circumstances. However, only the courts can do this – not a family member, doctor or lawyer.

[Visual of an “I Pledge to Vote” post card]

And no one can tell you how to vote.

For example, you can’t vote – or register to vote – if you’re currently in jail, on parole or on probation for a felony conviction. However, you are eligible to vote if you have a misdemeanor conviction or if you have completed your felony sentence.

In rare situations, a judge can take away a person’s voting rights as part of a guardianship agreement or decide that someone is legally incompetent and, therefore, unable to make an informed vote.

[Visual of the home page of the mnvotes.org website – a green arrow is pointing at the “Check Your Registration” button]

You can check the status of your voter registration by visiting the Minnesota Votes web site and clicking on “Check Your Registration.”

[Visual of an Election Judge handing a registration form to a voter at a polling place – a sign says “Register to Vote Here”]

If you are not currently registered, registering to vote is easy and takes just a few minutes.

Your voter registration remains in effect:

• until you move to a new address,

• change your name,

• or don’t vote for four consecutive years.

[Visual of a busy polling place with a number of voters and Election Judges – a man in a wheelchair is using the voting booth designed for people who need to sit]

Once you register, you will be assigned to vote at a specific polling place in your neighborhood. This is where you go to vote.

[Visual of a postcard indicating a specific polling place]

By voting at a specific polling place, you will be able to vote for the candidates who want to represent the people who live in your area, as well as voice your opinion on any local ballot questions that you and your neighbors are being asked.

There are many ways to register to vote in Minnesota elections.

[Visual of a woman at home filling out a voter registration application]

You can register in advance by completing an application and returning it to your local or state election officials 20 days before Election Day…

[Visual of a polling place with two Election Judges explaining how to register at the polling place]

…or you can register at your polling place on Election Day.

[Visual of a Minnesota Driver’s License]

You also can register to vote at the same time that you renew your Minnesota Driver’s License or when you apply for a license for the first time.

[Visual of a young man hosting a voter workshop with a number of attendees]

You can register at voter registration events or voter workshops held around the state.

[Visual of the Minnesota State Fair logo]

You can even register when you visit the State Fair!

[Visual of an Election Judge searching for a voter’s name in a roster – the voter signs her name]

Registering to vote before Election Day has many advantages, including saving you time on Election Day. Simply check in with an election judge, sign your name on the list of registered voters, get a ballot and get in line! No need to fill in any forms.

[Visual of a Minnesota Voter Registration Application]

You can pre-register up to 20 days before Election Day by mailing or dropping off a completed Voter Registration Application form to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State or your local election official.

There are several ways to obtain a copy of the Voter Registration Application.

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website]

You can go online and download and print a copy from the Minnesota Votes web site.

[Visual of the outside of a city building – signage says “City of St. Paul – City Hall and Court House”

Or you can pick up an application at your county courthouse or city offices.

[Visual of the outside of the Office of the Secretary of State with the office’s seal and the words “Election Center”]

You also can contact the Office of the Secretary of State and ask to have an application sent to you.

The application is available in six languages:

• English.

• Hmong.

• Russian.

• Somali.

• Spanish.

• And Vietnamese.

There’s also a large print version.

[Visual of a Minnesota Voter Registration Application]

The Minnesota Voter Registration Application is just one page.

It has three parts.

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to Part 1: Personal Information & Qualifications]

Part 1 is used to gather basic information.

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to the first two questions]

The first two questions on the application address your eligibility to vote – whether you are a U.S. citizen and 18 years or older. If you answer “no” to either question, you aren’t eligible to vote in Minnesota and you don’t need to complete or return the form.

For the next questions, you will enter:

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to each of the following items]

• Your full name

• Your address

• Date of birth

• School district, if you know it, and the name of the county you live in

• Your telephone number and

• An email address, if you have one.

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to the Minnesota Driver’s License section]

Next, enter the number of your Minnesota driver’s license or Minnesota identification card if you have one and check the first box.

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to the Social Security Number section]

If you don’t have a Minnesota driver’s license or state identification, enter the last four digits of your social security number. DO NOT enter your entire social security number. Then check the second box.

If you don’t have any of these numbers, check the third box.

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to the “Registration Updates” section]

If you’re registering to vote for the first time, you don’t need to complete the second part of the application that asks for updated information.

However, you should complete this part if you are updating your information because you’ve changed your name or moved since the last time you voted.

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to the “Read And Sign Only If All Parts Apply To You” section]

The third and final part certifies that you meet all of the state’s voting eligibility criteria. Be sure to read each statement carefully.

[Visual of a green arrow pointing to the signature line]

If every statement applies to you, sign your name next to the X and enter the date that you completed the form.

[Visual of a young woman completing a registration form and dropping it into a mailbox]

You must return the completed and signed form to the offices of your local election officials within 10 days.

[Visuals of the outside of the State Office Building and the Ramsey County Government
Center]

You can either mail it or drop it off at the Secretary of State’s office or your county auditor’s office. You cannot submit a completed registration form electronically.

[Visual of a registration post card indicating your polling place]

Once you’re registered, you will receive a postcard telling you where you should go to vote.

[Visual of an Election Judge looking for a voter’s name in the roster of registered voters]

Your name will appear on the list of registered voters at your polling place.

[Visual of two women registering at a polling place]

Of course, you also can register to vote or update your registration information on Election Day.

However, you can only do this at the polling place assigned to your address so it’s important to find out where you should go before Election Day.

[Visual of a Minnesota Driver’s License]

If you plan to register at your polling place on Election Day, be sure to bring a valid ID.

[Visual of a utility bill from Xcel Energy]

If you do not have a valid ID, bring a current or expired photo ID and, a utility bill that includes your name and an address in your voting district. A rent statement that includes itemized utility use is also OK.

If you don’t have a valid ID, photo ID or a utility bill, you can ask someone who is registered to vote in your precinct to vouch for you.

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website – a green arrow is pointing to the “Register to Vote” button]

Visit the Minnesota Votes web site and click on “Register to Vote” to see a list of proofs of residence that are acceptable for registration,

[Visual of the seal of the Office of the Secretary of State – text appears: Get Out and Vote!]

or watch the video in this series titled “Get Out and Vote!” to learn more about this.

You will learn more about registering on Election Day later.

[Visual of the “I Pledge to Vote” postcard]

That’s it! Now, it’s up to you.

If you have questions or need assistance registering to vote you can:

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website]

Go to the Minnesota Votes web site.

[Visual of the signage outside the Office of the Secretary of State indicates open hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm]

Or contact the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, the County Auditor for your county or your local election officials.

[Visual of a college student registering to vote on campus]

In this video, you learned how to register to vote. The next video in the series, “Get Informed, Get Involved,”

[Visual of a voter at a polling place]

discusses some of the ways you can get involved in the election process and how you can get informed before you vote.

[Visual of a voting ballot]

You will also learn about absentee voting if you can’t vote on Election Day.

Be sure to check it out!

[Text appears: www.mnvotes.org]

For more information, go to www.mnvotes.org.

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Text transcript for Video 3 of 4: Get Informed, Get Involved

[Visual of the seal of the Secretary of State with the following title – Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting – Video 3 of 4: Get Informed, Get Involved]

[Visual of a polling place with a number of voters and Election Judges. A man in a wheelchair is leaving the polling place]

Minnesota is known for its open, fair elections.

[Visual of a deafblind man inserting his ballot into the ballot counter with the help of an Election Judge]

Our election process is stronger when voters of all ages and political viewpoints are involved and informed.

[Visual a deaf woman who is pointing at her “I Voted” sticker]

There are a lot of ways to become involved in the voting process.

[Visual of a Voter Registration Application]

First, register to vote if you’re eligible! Remember, you can’t vote if you’re not registered. If you pre-register to vote, you’ll save time on Election Day.

[Visual of a young man volunteering at a voter workshop – text appears describing all of the different ways you can get involved in the election process]

Consider volunteering for a candidate who shares your views on issues that are important to you.

Or, attend a live debate. You can learn a lot about candidates by watching them in action. You can contact the debate organizers to ask for accommodations so that you can attend and participate.

If you can’t make a live debate in person, you might be able to catch one on television, the radio or the Internet. Local debates might be broadcast on your local cable channel.

You can get involved early on in the election process by going to a caucus to help select candidates or, if you’re a registered voter, you can vote in a primary election to choose the final candidates.”

Other ways to get involved include organizing or attending a “meet the candidate” event in your community or helping with a voter registration effort.

[Visuals of different Election Judges volunteering at a polling place]

You also can help out at the polling places on Election Day by volunteering as an Election Judge. More than 30,000 local Election Judges will be needed to staff local polling places on Election Day. Their job is to ensure that the rights of voters are protected and that the voting process is fair and honest.

[Visual of an Election Judge setting up a voting booth]

Election judges are responsible for setting up the polling place and operating voting equipment throughout the day.

[Visual of an Election Judge handing out a ballot and indicating where to vote]

Election judges also confirm voter registrations, register new voters, distribute ballots and help voters who need assistance.

[Visual of a ballot counter]

After the polling places close, election judges determine election results.

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website]

You can find out more about the role of an Election Judge and how to apply on the Minnesota Votes web site.

[Visual of the outside of a city building – signage says “City of St. Paul – City Hall and Court House”]

Or, contact your local election officials.

[Visual of the outside of the Ramsey County Government Center]

You can also ask your local election officials about accommodations that you might need to be an Election Judge.

[Visual of a woman voting in a voting booth]

Voting is the best way to get involved in the democratic process.

[Visual of another woman voting in a voting booth]

You have the right to vote but

[Visual of a blind man talking with a man in a wheelchair at a polling place]

it’s also a big responsibility.

[Visual of a man in wheelchair approaching the ballot counter to insert his ballot. An Election Judge assists the man]

It’s important to get the facts and understand the issues before Election Day so you can make informed choices on Election Day.

[Visual of a man talking with an Election Judge at a polling place]

No one can tell you who to vote for or how to vote on a particular issue. Your vote is just that – your vote. No one else’s. It’s up to you to decide what’s important to you and which candidates support your views.

Before Election Day, try to:

[Text appears on the screen describing the following points]

• Understand what each candidate plans to do if he or she is elected.

• Decide if you agree or disagree with the candidate’s priorities and position on important issues.

• Choose the candidate you think will do the best job if he or she is elected.

[Visual of a woman facilitating a voter workshop]

Good information is important in making informed choices. Find resources that are nonpartisan, meaning that they are neutral. Be sure they don’t take sides and aren’t associated with a particular political party or with a position on an issue.

[Visual of an “I Pledge to Vote” postcard]

In addition to getting informed, there are several other things you can do to get ready for Election Day.

[Visual of a postcard indicating a voter’s polling place]

First, find out where your polling place is so you know where to go to vote.

A few weeks after you registered, you received a postcard notifying you of your polling place and the hours that the polling places are open.

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website – a green arrow points at the “Find Your Polling Place” button]

You also can use the Minnesota Votes web site to find your polling place. If you don’t have access to a computer or the Internet, your county auditor or other local election official will be able to help you.

[Visual of a cursor clicking on the “Find Your Polling Place button]

To find your polling place online, go to the Minnesota Votes web site and click on “Find Your Polling Place.”

[Visual of someone entering a zip code and clicking “Go”]

Enter your zip code or the name of your county, then click on “Go”.

[Visual of someone entering a house number and clicking “Go”]

On the next screen, enter your house number and select the name of your street and then click on “Go” to learn:

• The date of the upcoming election,

• The location of your polling place and directions for getting there, as well as

• Other information about your voting district.

[Visual of someone clicking on “Google” to pull up a google map]

You also can access a map and get directions to your polling place.

[Visual of an Election Judge checking on a voter’s registration]

If you have pre-registered, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your registration has been processed.

Checking your registration online is easy and takes just a few minutes. If you don’t have a computer or Internet access, contact your county auditor’s office.

[Visual of someone clicking on the “Check Your Registration” button]

To check your registration online, go to the Minnesota Votes web site and click on “Check Your Registration.”

[Visual of someone entering “John” and “Doe” and selecting the dropdown menus for indicating date of birth]

Type in your first and last name and date of birth.

[Visual of someone entering a zip code and clicking on the “Continue” button]

Then, enter either your zip code or the county that you live in and click on “Continue.”

[Visual of someone entering a house number]

On the second screen, type in your house number then select the name of your street from the drop down menu.

[Visual of someone clicking on the “Find Registration” button]

Click on “Find Registration.”

[Visual of the location of your polling place]

The third screen will confirm your registration and provide information about the next election and the location of your polling place.

[Visual of a Minnesota Voter Registration Application]

If you have moved since you last voted or have changed your name, you will need to update your voter registration information by completing a new Voter Registration form at least 20 days before Election Day or when you check in on Election Day.

[Visual of a ballot]

You also need to decide if you will be voting by absentee ballot. In Minnesota, every voter completes an individual paper voting form called a ballot.

[Visual of a woman completing an absentee ballot at home]

If you can’t go to your polling place on Election Day, you can get an absentee ballot to complete.

[Visual of a ballot]

This ballot can be mailed to you, or you can complete it at the office of your local election officials.

[Visual of a student mailing an absentee ballot]

The absentee ballot must be returned before the end of Election Day in order for your vote to be counted.

[Visual of a university setting]

Absentee ballots are a good option for people who will be away from the state or their community on Election Day.

[Visuals of different residential facilities]

It is also a good option for people who find it difficult to get to the polling places because of an illness, transportation issues, a disability or a scheduling conflict. Many people who live in care facilities prefer to use an absentee ballot.

[Visual of a ballot]

There are two ways to vote by absentee ballot in Minnesota.

You can complete your ballot in person at your county auditor’s office beginning 46 days before Election Day. A staff member will give you a ballot when you get there.

You also can vote by mail after you have completed and sent in an Absentee Ballot Application.

[Visual of the Absentee Voting section of mnvotes.org – an arrow points at the “Absentee Ballot Application” link]

You can download the application from the Minnesota Votes web page and print it out,

[Visual of the Absentee Ballot Application]

or you can ask your local election official to send one to you. An absentee ballot will be mailed to you as soon as it is ready.

[Visual of an Absentee Ballot Return Envelope]

If you return your ballot by mail, it must be received by your local election official by Election Day. If it arrives later, it won’t be counted.

You can mail it back in the pre-paid envelope that came with your ballot.

[Visual of the Election Official Directory on the mnvotes.org website]

You also can return your sealed ballot or have someone else return your sealed ballot to your local election official any time before or on Election Day.

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website – a green arrow points at the “Vote Absentee” button]

You’ll find more detailed information on absentee voting by clicking on the “Vote Absentee” link on the Minnesota Votes web site.

You can also contact your local election official for more information.

[Visual of a sample ballot]

Another way to get ready for Election Day is to review a sample ballot to make sure that you understand how to complete it. You can also see which candidates are running for open offices and any ballot questions that are being presented to voters.

[Visual of someone clicking on the “My Ballot” button within the mnvotes.org website]

To see the candidates and questions on your ballot, go to the Minnesota Votes website and click on “My Ballot”.

[Visual of someone entering a zip code and clicking the “Go” button]

Enter your zip code or the name of your county, then click “Go”.

[Visual of someone entering a house number and clicking the “Go” button]

On the next screen, enter your house number and select the name of your street.
Then click on “Go” to see the list of candidates and questions who will appear on your ballot.

[Visual of a list of candidates]

There may be links to candidates’ websites if they provided them.

There will also be links to any proposed Constitutional Amendments or local questions that will appear on your ballot. Be sure to read these ahead of time so that you know what you’re voting on.

[Visual of someone clicking on the “Click Here for Sample Ballot” link]

At the bottom of the list of candidates, there will be a link to an image of your actual ballot if your county has provided it. You can print this out, mark your choices, and bring it with you when you go to vote.

[Visual of a ballot]

As you can see, the ballot contains a lot of information. You will have a lot of decisions to make!

[Visual of a student on campus filling out a sample ballot]

You can fill in a sample ballot before you go to your polling place and take it with you into the voting booth.

[Visual of a woman at a voting booth at a polling place]

However, you will need to complete an official ballot in order for your vote to count.

[Visual of the seal of the Office of the Secretary of State with the following text – Video 4 of 4: Get Out and Vote!]

Be sure to check out the next video in the series, “Get Out and Vote!,” so you know what to expect on Election Day.

[Text appears: www.mnvotes.org]

For more information, go to www.mnvotes.org.

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Text transcript for Video 4 of 4: Get Out and Vote!

[Visual of the seal of the Secretary of State with the following title – Minnesota Votes: Introduction to Voting – Video 4 of 4: Get Out and Vote!]

[Visual of a polling place. A man in a wheelchair is checking in with an Election Judge and a line has formed to get into the polling place]

It’s Election Day!

Are you ready?

[Visual of a blind man and three other women waiting to get into the polling place]

Be sure you know the location of your polling place and how to get there. Remember, you are only allowed to vote at the polling place that your address has been assigned to.

[Visual of a postcard indicating a voter’s polling place]

If you have pre-registered, you should have received a postcard telling you where your polling place is.

[Visual of the mnvotes.org website. The cursor clicks on the “Find Your Polling Place” button and then a zip code is entered and the cursor clicks the “Go” button. Next, the house number is entered and the cursor clicks the “Go” button. A screen is displayed indicating the polling place location]

If you’re not sure where to go, you can use the Minnesota Votes web site to find your polling place.

[Visual of a front door of a polling place is swinging open. A sign indicates that the polling place is open today from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm]

If you haven’t pre-registered, you can register to vote at your assigned polling place on Election Day.

The polling places open early on Election Day morning, usually at 7:00. They stay open until 8:00 that night so that people can vote when it’s convenient for them.

Your employer is required to let you take time off to vote, and you can’t be penalized for voting.

[Visual of a close-up of a blind man and three women waiting in line to get into the polling place]

If you’re already in line when the polling place closes, you can still vote – even if the line extends around the building! However, if you arrive in line after 8:00 p.m., you won’t be allowed to vote.

[Visual of a graphic indicating an accessible entrance – the words “Enter Here” are displayed on the graphic]

Minnesota law requires all polling places to be fully accessible. If a polling place is on an upper level of the building, there must be an elevator or accessible entrance.

[Visual of a volunteer communicating with a deaf woman via ASL]

Poll volunteers are on hand to answer questions and assist voters.

[Visual of a row of voting booths and one of the booths is in a lower position to accommodate people who need to sit while voting]

Each polling place also must provide a private voting area that is accessible to people who use wheelchairs

[Visual of a man in a wheelchair moving from the voting booth to the ballot counter]

or who need to sit down while marking their ballots.

[Visual of a person checking in with two Election Judges. An Election Judge opens a roster to check a person’s name. The voter signs her name]

The first thing you will do when you get to your polling place on Election Day is to check in with an Election Judge.

He or she will check the list of people who are registered to vote in that polling place.

If you have pre-registered, all that you will need to do is sign your name next to your printed name on the list of registered voters.

[Visual of a man talking with two Election Judges]

If you aren’t able to sign your name, an Election Judge can assist you.

If you have moved to another address or have changed your name since the last time that you voted,

[Visual of two women completing Voter Registration Applications at the polling place]

you will need to update your registration information by completing a new voter registration application. Be sure to bring proof of your residence.

[Visual of an Election Judge opening a manual called “Precinct Finder” and looking through it]

If you go to the wrong polling place, the Election Judge can help direct you to the right place.

[Visual of an Election Judge looking over proof of identification]

A lot of rules have been put in place to make sure that Minnesota’s elections are honest and fair. It’s up to the Election Judges to know and enforce these rules.

[Visual of the Minnesota Voter’s Bill of Rights]

The Minnesota Voter’s Bill of Rights protects your right to an open, fair election process. A copy of this Bill of Rights is available at all polling places. Take a few minutes to read through it.

[Visual of a voter talking with an Election Judge]

You can talk to the head election judge if you think there’s a problem at the polling place. You also can file a written complaint.

If you have any questions or concerns, an Election Judge will be able to help you.

[Visual of a close-up of a woman with an “I Voted” sticker]

Every eligible voter has the right to vote on Election Day. However, a person’s eligibility to vote can be challenged. This is an important part of keeping our elections honest and fair.

A person’s right to vote can only be legally challenged by someone who has personal knowledge that another person is not eligible to vote because he or she doesn’t meet the eligibility requirements.

A person’s right to vote can’t be challenged because of their race, language, the way they dress, the way they look or because someone thinks another voter isn’t capable of voting because of a disability.

If someone legally challenges your right to vote and you are eligible, tell an Election Judge. He or she will put you under oath and ask you if you are eligible to vote.

If you truthfully answer yes, you MUST be allowed to vote. It’s your right under the Constitution of the United States.

Remember, you have the right to vote if you’re eligible!

[Visual of a Minnesota Voter Registration Application]

If you haven’t registered or need to update your registration, you can still vote on Election Day.

[Visual of an Election Judge handing out a registration application to a man – a sign indicates “Register to Vote Here”]

An Election Judge will help you complete a Minnesota Voter Registration form at the poll.

[Visual of a Minnesota Driver’s License]

You’ll also need to provide proof of residence. The most common form used is a Minnesota Driver’s License or state ID card with your current name and address.

[Visual of a utility bill from Xcel Energy]

If your photo ID doesn’t include your current name and an address in the precinct, you can show the election judge both a photo ID and a utility bill that shows your current address.

Election judges can only accept a utility bill that contains your current name and address in the precinct. It also must be due within 30 days of Election Day.

The bill can be for:

• Telephone services, including a landline or cell phone

• Cable or satellite television services

• Internet services

• Electric, gas, water or sewer services or

• Solid waste disposal

A rent statement that is dated within 30 days and shows itemized utility expenses is also acceptable.

[Visual of a campus setting – a student is sitting outside at a table with a laptop]

If you’re a student living in campus housing and the college or university you attend has sent a list of student housing to the poll, you can register by showing a valid student ID card that includes your photo and signature.

If you’re a student who doesn’t live in campus housing, your student ID and a current student fee statement with your current address will work.

If you don’t have any of these forms of identification, you can ask another registered voter who knows you and lives in the same precinct to vouch for you. This person will be required to confirm that you live in the precinct by signing an oath.

[Visual of the outside of a residential facility – cars are driving by]

If you live in a residential facility, an employee of the facility can swear that you live there.

[Visual of an envelope with the text: Absentee Ballot Return Envelope]

Many people who live in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and group homes also sometimes find that it’s easier to vote by absentee ballot. An administrator of the facility can give you more information about this process.

[Visual of an Election Judge giving a ballot to a voter and going over its contents. The Election Judge places the ballot in a folder and hands it to the voter]

Once you’re registered, the Election Judge will give you an official paper ballot and a cardboard folder to hold your completed ballot. He or she also will tell you where to wait until it is your turn to vote.

[Visual of an Election Judge standing next to a man in a voting booth]

Election Judges are there to help you mark your ballot if you need it. All you have to do is ask!

[Visual of a man in a wheelchair reading a ballot to a blind man]

You can ask to have the ballot read to you if you’re unable to read English.

[Visual of an ASL Interpreter signing the ballot to a deaf woman]

If you are deaf and communicate in ASL, you can arrange to have someone read the ballot to you. This person is allowed to accompany you into the voting booth.

You also can have someone you know help you mark your ballot. This can be a family member, friend, or service provider. However, your employer, someone from your union, or a candidate cannot assist you.

Just let the Election Judge know that you have asked the person for help. This person is allowed to accompany you into the voting booth. They cannot influence your decision,

[Visual of a man completing his registration and the Election Judge hands him a ballot and indicates where to vote]

When it’s your turn to vote, the Election Judge will direct you to an open voting booth that meets your needs.

You can bring your sample ballot along with you if you want to remember your choices. However, a sample ballot is not the same as an official ballot. You will need to fill in your choices on the official ballot that the Election Judge gave you.

And if you have a small child or children with you, they can accompany you into the voting booth. This is a good chance to demonstrate to them that voting is important and show them how the process works.

[Visual of a woman voting in a voting booth. The booth is surrounded by three walls to provide privacy]

The voting booth has partitions for privacy and a pen that you can use to complete your ballot.

[Visual of a ballot. A green arrow points at the “instructions” area]

Always read the instructions carefully and fill in your ballot carefully so that your choices are clear.

[Visual of a ballot. A green arrow points at a circle that can be filled in]

Be sure to completely fill in the circle next to the name of the candidate you’re voting for. If the machine can’t read your choices, they may not be counted.

If you make a mistake, ask the Election Judge for a new ballot. Remember to:

• Mark your ballot clearly, with no scribbles or notes and

• Vote for only candidate per race unless the ballot asks you to choose more than one.

[Visual of a blind man operating an AutoMark machine with a touch-screen monitor and a keypad to enter instructions]

Every polling place has an AutoMark machine that can mark your ballot for you electronically. It is especially helpful for voters who are blind or have a physical disability that makes it difficult to mark their choices on a ballot. However, any voter can use the AutoMark machine to mark a ballot.

An Election Judge will show you how to use it and answer any questions you have.

The AutoMark machines allow every voter the chance to vote in private, without assistance. The AutoMark allows voters to:

[Visual of the man selecting the “Zoom In/Out” button]

• Enlarge the size of the text on the ballot so that it is easier to see.

[Visual of the man selecting the “High Contrast” button]

• Display text in a high contrast format and

[Visual of the man listening to headphones]

• Listen to an audio version of the ballot using headphones.

[Visual of the man pressing the arrows on a Braille keypad]

You also can use a touch screen or Braille keypad to enter your choices.

[Visual of the AutoMark machine printing out a completed ballot]

Once you have entered your votes, the AutoMark device will print out a completed ballot that includes all of your choices.

However, the AutoMark does not count votes. If you use the AutoMark device, you still need to insert your completed ballot into the ballot counting machine.

[Visual of a ballot]

Once your ballot has been cast and counted, your vote is final.

You can’t change it after that, so be sure to take a minute to review your choices one last time before you put your ballot into the counting machine. If you find a mistake or change your mind, you can give your ballot to the Election Judge and ask for a new one.

[Visual of a deafblind man walking towards the ballot counter and entering the ballot into the machine. An Election Judge is assisting the deafblind man]

When you’re satisfied, tuck your completed ballot inside the cardboard folder and slide the ballot into the counting machine. If your polling place doesn’t have a ballot counting machine, give it to an Election Judge.

The Election Judge can help you if you need it.

The machine automatically grabs the ballot for counting.

The equipment will detect ballot marking errors so you can fix them before you leave the poll.

[Visual of a man in a wheelchair inserting his ballot into the ballot counter. The Election Judge places an “I Voted” stick on the man’s lapel of his coat]

An Election Judge will be standing by in case you need help and to give you an “I VOTED!” sticker.

[Visuals of a series of close-up shots of people who have voted and are wearing the “I Voted” stickers]

Wear it proudly and encourage others to vote.

So, that’s it! You’ve voted!

Your choices, along with the votes of thousands of other Minnesotans, will elect the next leaders for your local area, the state – even the United States!

[Text appears: www.mnvotes.org]

For more information, go to www.mnvotes.org.

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Text transcript for Part 1 of 3: Voter ID Amendment Language

[Text: Proposed Constitutional Amendment: Photo ID for Voting]

[Text: Information in ASL produced by the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (M[N]CDHH)]

[Narrator Doug Bowen-Bailey presents the following information in ASL]

This video provides information about the proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show a photo ID.

The video has several parts.

First, it will explain the language voters will see on the ballot.

Then, it will explain what language will be added to the constitution if the vote passes.

There are also videos with different perspectives from a supporter and opponent of the amendment proposal.

These videos provide reasons to vote yes or to vote no on this amendment.

First, let’s take a look at what voters will see on their ballot about this issue.

[Text: What Minnesotans will see on the ballot – Amendment 2, Photo Identification Required for Voting: Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013? Vote Yes or No.]

So, this question asks: Shall the Minnesota constitution be amended to add the requirement for a voter to show a valid photo ID before receiving a ballot to vote?

If a person is eligible to vote, but does not have the appropriate ID, the state government is required to provide an ID at no charge to the voter.

This will take effect on July 1, 2013.

The choices for voting are either “Yes” or “No.”

A “Yes” vote is in favor of requiring photo ID in the constitution.

A “No” vote is a vote against changing the constitution to include this proposal.

If a voter leaves this question blank, it will be counted as a “No” vote opposing the amendment.

If the amendment does pass, more language will be inserted in the state Constitution.

Here is the actual language that will be added.

[Text: (b) All voters voting in person must present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot. The state must issue photographic identification at no charge to an eligible voter who does not have a form of identification meeting the requirements of this section. A voter unable to present government-issued photographic identification must be permitted to submit a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot must only be counted if the voter certifies the provisional ballot in the manner provided by law.]

[Text: (c ) All voters, including those not voting in person, must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.]

Here is an explanation of the constitutional language.

A voter must have a valid ID issued by the government to receive a ballot and cast a vote.

If someone does not have a valid ID, this person receives a provisional ballot.

This means the person can cast their vote, but the ballot is not included in the count until the voter is able to provide a valid ID to verify their identity as required by the law.

If the voter does not verify their identity, the provisional ballot would not be included in the votes counted.

This refers to the in-person voting process.

If someone does not vote in-person, but rather through the mail or by absentee ballot, the law requires a “substantially equivalent” verification process that the person is eligible to vote.

How that will happen is to be determined, but the amendment requires that there be a “substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification.”

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Text transcript for Part 2 of 3: Vote YES on Voter ID – Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer

[Photo of Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer with Text: Vote Yes Position from Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer]

[Narrator Doug Bowen-Bailey presents the following information in ASL]

Easy to Vote….Hard to Cheat!

The photo ID constitutional amendment will add integrity to the voter registration election system currently wide open for fraud and yet preserve the necessary flexibility to keep it easy to vote.

Same day registration, absentee voting, vote by mail and military voting methods will continue with the photo ID constitutional amendment.

98% of Minnesotans already have an ID and in the usual Minnesota style, Democrats and Republicans plus all our civic organizations can all work together to help anyone who has need of the free ID.

An ID is a valuable tool such that you can hardly function in society today without it.

The cost to the state is the free ID and should include voter education funding.

There are no mandated costs to local government in the photo ID constitutional amendment.

Provisional ballots are used in 43 other states.

In Minnesota, this expands the ability of the voter to cast a ballot that does not exist today.

In Indiana, a similar size state to Minnesota, there were less than 1 provisional ballots per precinct.

In photo ID states, turnout has increased or stayed the same and amongst Democrat more than Republican areas.

There is not one single court case that has documented voter disenfranchisement.

For example, from the 2008 presidential election, according to the secretary of state’s office, 23,000 postal verification cards were returned as undeliverable due to no such person or address.

To this date, there are still over 6,224 voters that cannot be found.

Local units of government have looked and checked.

Meantime, those over 6,224 ballots are cast and counted.

Without a photo ID shown to an election judge, how does the election judge know you are who you say you are?

With 2.3 million pre-registered voters coming into the polling place, we have no assurance that the voter entitled to the ballot is actually the one voting.

We had nearly 1,100 felons who were not eligible to vote, yet cast their ballot.

The statute of limitations has ended and there are over 200 convictions.

Sadly, their ballots still counted thus disenfranchising other eligible voters.

The difference in that election for the top office in the state was 312.

It should be decided by eligible voters, not the cheaters.

Minnesota spends money to catch and prosecute after the election.

Let’s put that money to better use in prevention.

The measure of a good election system is hardly measured by counting or recounting ballots that should never have been in the ballot box to begin with.

Just because we have the end of the [election] system down is not the measure to use.

The entire system should be conducted with integrity from registration, casting a ballot to a recount.

It is also being sure that eligible voters are not disenfranchised by the dishonest.

With vouching and other loose policies, our Minnesota voter registration system is full of loopholes and ripe for a major problem which would be an embarrassment to the state.

To think that liars, cheaters and stealers exist all around us, but somehow only angels come to vote is naive and lacks common sense.

The photo ID amendment will keep it easy to vote, but hard to cheat.

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Text transcript for Part 3 of 3: Vote NO on Voter ID – Rep. Steve Simon

[Photo of Rep. Steve Simon with Text: Vote No Position from Rep. Steve Simon]

[Narrator Doug Bowen-Bailey presents the following information in ASL]

A misguided ‘solution’ in search of a problem

The proposed “Photo ID” constitutional amendment is too harsh.

While its surface-level appeal is understandable (since most people use photo ID in everyday life), its real-world effects could bring radical and unpopular changes that may undermine election integrity.

The nursing home resident, the college student, the military service member deployed overseas, and even the person who moves to a new neighborhood just before an election — all could face new burdens that keep them from voting.

Minnesotans should see the proposal for what it is: A cynical and misguided attempt to place permanent barriers where none are needed.

The proposed amendment is a misguided “solution” in search of a problem.

There’s almost no election fraud in Minnesota.

The 2008 election yielded 38 convictions (out of a state of 5 million people) for illegal voting or registration – all of which involved an ineligible felon.

Because felons have valid photo identification, the amendment wouldn’t even solve the only (and tiny) problem that exists.

Instead, the proposal targets something for which there has been no recent conviction: Voter impersonation.

The amendment’s wording would make Minnesota the harshest state in America for voter verification.

For example, the proposal would require “government-issued photo identification.”

A student at the University of Minnesota could use a student ID to vote, but a student at St. Thomas couldn’t.

More generally, the “government-issued” requirement is much stricter than the photo ID laws in most other states, where any college ID, bank statement, utility bill or even a “neighborhood ID card” will do.

The amendment could undercut or eliminate reforms that make Minnesota a national model.

Our voter turnout is consistently the highest in the nation, in part because of same-day voter registration.

But that system may soon be unconstitutional — because the amendment would require that all voters be subject to “substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification.”

Even the amendment’s authors can’t say what that awkward phrase means.

Right now, Minnesota screens pre-election registrants using several methods that can’t be duplicated for same-day registrants.

The same lack of “substantially equivalent” procedures applies to mail-in absentee ballots, which hundreds of thousands of voters use.

Amendment backers want to provide “provisional ballots” to voters who either lack the correct “government-issued” ID or who want to vote in way that is not “substantially equivalent” to in-person voting.

But a “provisional ballot” sits uncounted until the voter has complied with (as yet unspecified) requirements for eligibility verification.

Based on recent same-day registration and absentee voting, over 500,000 Minnesotans may have to vote provisionally if the amendment passes.

Apart from delaying election results, the hassle of voting provisionally could drive down turnout — particularly among seniors, students, and Minnesotans overseas.

A mess is avoidable.

Voting “No” in November means choosing a more thoughtful approach to voter verification.

Changes to fundamental rights like voting deserve careful scrutiny.

There’s no good reason to amend our Constitution with something as strict and sloppy as the current “Photo ID” proposal.

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Alerts

Updates from MCDHH: Sign up to receive these directly.

01/06/2011

Register for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Lobby Day! Wednesday, March 2, 2011

01/03/2011

Senate Session Captioned, Starts Tomorrow

10/20/2010

Twin Cities Gubernatorial debate at the Fitzgerald Theatre on October 31st!

10/19/2010

Two Accessible Live Debates on October 26, 2010: Minnesota Governor, and 6th Congressional District

10/13/2010

Urgent! Save Children’s Mental Health Services for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing

10/08/2010

Voting News, Save the Dates, and Free Online Self-Study Courses

09/15/2010

Hearne Award for $10,000 – seeking emerging leaders.

09/08/2010

All Governor Debates, Online and Captioned; Need Volunteers

8/26/2010

MCDHH’s Jamie Taylor, Technology Specialist, spoke on net neutrality and is quoted in Time Magazine

08/10/2010

August 10th Primary Election Basics for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

08/03/2010

Contact Senators Klobuchar and Franken

07/31/2010

Minnesota Legislative Captioning Service Seeks Your Input

07/28/2010

View ADA Video and Editorials, Articles Online-Thank Media

07/22/2010

Five announcements, Including Cynthia Weitzel Live TPT-TV

07/12/2010

Message from Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology: Congress Needs to Hear from You

07/12/2010

NAD Presents Awards to Minnesota’s Cynthia Weitzel, and Barb Schmidt

07/12/2010

Minnesota Public Radio To Do Story on 20th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act

07/01/2010

Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Day, at the new fully accessible stadium: Target Field – and Call to Action Sign the US Census Petition —> insure the inclusion of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing People in Future US Census, and Federal Petititons

05/17/2010

Contact the Governor’s Office

05/13/2010

We are in the final days – Please Contact Legislators Now!!

05/10/2010

Update at the Capitol/All bills have to be passed off the floors of both the House and the Senate by Sunday May 16th at midnight. There is still a lot of work to do

05/03/2010

Education Advocates Come to Two Important Events!

04/28/2010

Call/Email Senate Education Committee ASAP and ask that they include the MDS-MNSA cashflow bill SF3000 in ED Omnibus Bill

05/10/2010

Openings for the Minnesota Resource Center Advisory Committee: Deaf/Hard of Hearing Minnesota Statute 125a.63

04/24/2010

Presentation by Emmy Award Winning Rachel Coleman, Parent of a Deaf Daughter and Creator of Signing Time

04/15/2010

Today is NAD Virtual Legislative Day in support of Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009

04/06/2010

MCDHH News Update April 6, 2010

03/29/2010

Special Education Advisory Panel Vacancies

03/23/2010

S.F. 3000

03/21/2010

Call/Email Members of the House Education Committee and Support Metro Deaf School-Minnesota Northstar

03/12/2010

Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Quarterly Meeting on Monday

03/12/2010

Stand Up, Be Counted – Help spread the word about the importance of Census 2010

02/26/2010

Airport Making Good on Its Promise!

02/23/2010

Airport Making Good on Its Promise!

02/01/2010

Caucuses are Tomorrow Night Tues February 2nd

01/31/2010

2010 Session Line Up

01/27/2010

Attend Your Precinct Caucus! Tuesday, February 2nd

01/08/2010

Mark Your Calendars & Register for Free Trainings Friday, Feb 5th