Current Safeguards Against Ineligible Voting
Minnesota has a number of election safeguards in place, including:
1. Voter Registration
Minnesotans are required to document their identity and residency when registering to vote.
2. Registration Oath
Voters sign the Minnesota Voter Registration Application, affirming their eligibility to vote and verifying the accuracy of the information provided.
3. Voter Verification
The names, addresses, dates of birth and, when available, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and/or driver’s license numbers of newly registered voters are sent to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for review. Ineligible voters are deleted from voter rolls. If ongoing questions exist, County Auditors review records; in cases where those offices cannot verify information, voters’ names are flagged for challenge at the polls.
4. Statewide Database
Registered voter names and information are housed in one database, which allows County Auditors to determine if a voter is registered elsewhere. Older registrations are purged in favor of updates.
5. Postal Verification
Newly registered voters or those updating their information are sent a postcard. Postcards returned for bad addresses are noted in precinct poll books to be challenged on Election Day by election officials.
6. Corrections Data
County-level election administrators review data from the Minnesota Department of Corrections to remove current felon names or mark them as “challenged” in poll books. Since 2010, data are updated on a daily basis.
7. Election Day Oaths
All voters sign an oath affirming they are whom they claim to be and are eligible to vote in their precinct.
8. Election Day Challenge
Partisan challengers are allowed to question the eligibility of any voter based on personal knowledge. They also can report any activity when they believe fraud has occurred.
9. Post-Election Review
State and County elections officials conduct internal reviews of all voters, including same-day registrants. Cases of possible ineligible voting are referred to County Attorneys.
10. County Attorney Investigation
It is a felony to intentionally register or vote when unqualified. County Attorneys investigate such allegations and bring charges when merited.