Voting Equipment

Minnesota voters always cast their vote on paper ballots, but special equipment is often used to count ballots and mark ballots. Goodhue County currently uses equipment made by Election Systems & Software (ES&S) and Democracy Live. 

ballot tabulators

All ballot tabulators used in Minnesota are optical scan, so they "read" the ballot and record a vote for each candidate that has their target (usually an oval) filled in on the ballot. Goodhue County currently uses the ES&S DS200 to tabulate ballots at polling locations. The ES&S DS450 is used at our central location to tabulate Absentee Ballots.

Equipment currently used includes:

ES&S Digital Scan 200 (polling place)

ES&S Digital Scan 450 (central location)

Assistive Voting Equipment

With a few exceptions, federal law requires that all polling places must have equipment which allows private and independent voting for voters with disabilities. Assistive voting devices fulfill this role. They are separate pieces of equipment from the tabulators, and do not actually tally votes, but merely help a voter mark an optical scan ballot. 

This equipment includes:

Democracy Live OmniBallot

Equipment testing

Goodhue County election administrators use a number of procedures to ensure equipment will accurately record valid votes. Equipment is approved by the state, tested locally before elections, and the results audited after elections. 

equipment certification 

Before being certified for use in Minnesota, all voting equipment must be tested and certified by test labs accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and undergo detailed additional testing by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. 

Pre-election testing

Before every election, local election officials test all equipment to be used in that election. For the preliminary testing, ballots are marked with assistive voting devices, a set of pre-marked ballots is fed into the ballot tabulators, and the machine's totals are compared with the pre-determined results. Some equipment is also tested at a Public Accuracy Test shortly before the election. Public Accuracy Tests are open to the public. Please contact Goodhue County Elections at 651-385-3040 for more information.  

Post-election reviews

After each state general election, counties randomly draw a set of precincts where they audit the results from the ballot tabulators. In the audit, votes for certain offices are counted by hand, and the total is compared with the machine-counted results from election night. Read more information on Post Election Reviews