Election Fast Fact: How do I know the ballot results are not being hacked?

A concern of many people is that votes tabulated at the polls could be changed by hackers through the internet. This cannot and does not happen in Minnesota. Here’s why we say that:

  • Minnesota state law forbids connecting any vote recording or counting equipment to the internet, a local or wide-area network, or to a wireless connection (MN Statute 206.845).

  • All vote counting machines in Minnesota use optical scanners to read a paper ballot which has been marked by the voter regardless of the equipment manufacturer (MN Statute 206.80).

  • Before the precinct ballot count is finalized on Election Day, Election Judges verify that the number of ballots used that day matches the number of votes recorded.

  • Election Judges verify that the total of the number of ballots used and unused at the precinct at the end of the day is the same as the number that were issued to the precinct by the county elections office at the beginning of the day (e.g. no extra ballots were counted and no ballots were lost).

  • Before election results are sent to county election officials, a paper tape is printed from the ballot counting equipment to provide a documented record of ballot results.

  • After every general election county election staff conduct a post-election review of a sample of precincts to verify the reported vote count matches the paper ballots. After the 2020 Election all Minnesota precincts sampled were found to have acceptable results. You can find the post-election review results here:

  • Minnesota Secretary of State - Post-election reviews

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