People use both terms, absentee and early voting for voting before Election Day. Absentee voting started on Friday, September 18, 2020, 46 days prior to the election. The early voting portion of absentee voting, where you are able to put your ballot directly into the ballot counter starts 7 days prior to the General Election. The date this year is Tuesday, October 27. Both processes require the voter to fill out an absentee ballot application. The only difference is that through October 26, the ballots go into envelopes (secrecy and signature) and are hand delivered to the County that the voter lives in for processing. Both Rice and Dakota Counties serve as Northfield’s absentee ballot board. Starting October 27, the ballots go directly into a ballot machine in the city’s absentee voting office at City Hall. The vote totals are sent to the respective county on Election Day and reported with our polling place results on election night.