Election ballots can be placed in drop box outside the Cook County Courthouse
Kalli Hawkins

Election ballots can be placed in drop box outside the Cook County Courthouse

Many voters in Cook County are familiar with voting by mail. Indeed, Minnesota county auditors may provide secure drop boxes for the return of absentee ballots or those who are allowed to vote by mail as long as they meet the requirements of this state statute.

As voting by mail or absentee ballot becomes more common (and scrutinized) across the country, it’s important to know where the local drop box is for Cook County voters.

The location of the drop box to place ballots is outside the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais. The drop box is near the front (west) entrance to the courthouse. View the photos accompanying this story to see what the drop box looks like.

On a recent day outside the Cook County Courthouse, some local voters were confused about the drop box and if it was indeed where they should place their ballots. WTIP checked in with Cook County Auditor Braidy Powers to confirm the drop box location and to see if supplemental signage would be coming to inform voters about where they should place their ballots. In an email dated Oct. 19, Powers said, “We did attach one sentence earlier today (we had this from 2020) that says voters may drop their own ballot in this box.  That probably wasn’t there when the community members you heard from were here.  We need additional language stating that it is an official county drop box and to point out that if they are delivering someone else’s ballot they cannot put those in the drop box but must go to the auditor’s office.  We also have to say that absentee ballots returned to the drop box will only be accepted if the signature envelope is properly sealed and completed.”

Election Day is Nov. 8. Minnesota voters may only return ballots to a drop box operated by the county they live in. Returning the ballot by postal mail is also an option if using the drop box or returning the ballot to the auditor’s office is not preferred.

Many Grand Marais voters head to the polls on Election Day, as voting in these precincts takes place in person at the courthouse of community center.