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Election Fast Fact: April 2021

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

How do I know ballot results at the polls are not being hacked and changed through the internet?

A concern of many people is that votes tabulated at the polls could be changed by hackers through the internet. This cannot 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 (Sec. 206.845 MN Statutes);

  • All vote counting machines in Minnesota are required by law to use paper ballots which have been marked by the voter (Sec. 206.80 MN Statutes);

  • 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 sum of the number of ballots used and unused at the precinct at the end of the day equals the number of blank ballots that were issued to the precinct election judges 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 conducts a post-election hand count and review of a sample of precincts to verify the reported vote count matches the paper ballots.

  • After the 2020 Election all Minnesota precincts sampled met state law requirements. State law requires the difference in a precinct to be less than 0.5% or not more than 2 votes for a precinct less than 400 votes cast. All sample precincts met this requirement. (MN Statute 206.89)

  • To see the data for yourself on post-election review results here: Minnesota Secretary Of State - Post-election reviews

  • Do you want to hear more from election officials and election judges on how the election integrity is assured? Click this link to see a video presentation with election officials from all of Minnesota discussing the 2020 election process: How We Know 2020 Elections Were Fair and Accurate - YouTube


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