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Election security

Hennepin County’s voting system combines both paper and computerized records. Paper ballots are marked by the voter and then counted by computerized ballot counters.

The county continues to work with our partners in the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office and at the Department of Homeland Security to ensure Hennepin County’s election system is safe and secure.

The Secretary of State’s Office has more information on their commitment to secure and fair elections and elections cybersecurity.

Voting equipment certification

The State of Minnesota requires all voting equipment to be tested and certified by test labs accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office also performs detailed testing and certification for use in Minnesota.  

Voting equipment testing

Hennepin County and city partners must conduct pre-election testing on all voting equipment before each election to ensure 100% accuracy. Every ballot style in an election is tested on every single ballot scanner using a pre-determined number of valid votes for each contest so the testing results on each ballot scanner can be compared to the vote total on the test ballots.

Additionally, prior to each election, a public test of voting equipment is done to demonstrate to the public that ballots are being tabulated properly. Hennepin County and city partners hold Public Accuracy Tests in the two weeks prior to each election.

Post-election audit

After every federal election, a statewide audit is conducted. The audit is a hand count of a random sample of paper ballots to ensure our ballot scanners provided the correct results.

Voter registration data

Voter registration records are part of a statewide voter registration system maintained by the Office of the Secretary of State. Only authorized Elections staff are provided with access to the voter registration system from dedicated computers.

On Election Day Hennepin County uses electronic poll books to process pre-registered voters and register new voters.