How can a person tell if election information is a rumor or reality? Elections are administered by state and local officials who are trusted sources of accurate information. It is always best to check with your local elections official whether something is true or not, before sharing it with others to ensure that you are not unintentionally spreading false or misleading election information.
Goodhue County has compiled below a list of myths regarding elections along with the facts and appropriate state statutes that address these misconceptions.
MYTH: The 2020 Election results are fraudulent/incorrect/wrong.
FACT: Minnesota counties are required to perform a post-election review of the votes cast for president or governor; United States senator; and United States representative. The post-election review is a comparison of the machine counted results to a hand count of the ballots cast on Election Day.
These reviews cannot begin before the 11th day after the state general election and must be completed no later than the 18th day after the state general election.
The acceptable state threshold for the review is a difference of no more than two votes in a precinct where fewer than 1,200 voters cast ballots, three votes in a precinct where between 1,200 and 1,599 voters cast ballots, four votes in a precinct where between 1,600 and 1,999 voters cast ballots, or five votes in a precinct where 2,000 or more voters cast ballots. M.S. 206.89 View results here
MYTH: Deceased voters cast ballots in 2020.
FACT: Pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, the commissioner of health shall report monthly by electronic means to the secretary of state the name, address, date of birth, and county of residence of each individual 18 years of age or older who has died while maintaining residence in Minnesota since the last previous report. The secretary of state shall determine if any of the persons listed in the report are registered to vote and shall prepare a list of those registrants for each county auditor. Within 60 days after receiving the list from the secretary of state, the county auditor shall change the status of those registrants to "deceased" in the statewide voter registration system. M.S. 201.13 Subd. 1
MYTH: If an electronic roster crashes, voters will not be allowed to vote.
FACT: A precinct using an ePollbook must have a paper roster backup for use in a process approved by the OSS if the ePollbook is not operable. Precincts may use either a back-up printed roster or Greeter’s List for the backup paper roster. M.S. 201.225 Subd. 5
MYTH: There is no paper trail with an electronic roster.
FACT: The Poll Pad provides a printed voter registration, and a space for the voter’s original signature.
For every voter, the Poll Pad provides a printed voter signature certificate, containing the voter’s name, address of residence, date of birth, voter identification number, the oath (same oath that appeared at the top of the roster page), and a space for the voter’s original signature. M.S. 201.225 Subd. 2(9)
MYTH: There are no technology requirements for an electronic roster.
FACT: State mandated technology requirements are listed in statute 201.225 Subd.2.
MYTH: Goodhue County’s ballot tabulators are connected to the internet and can be hacked.
FACT: Modem components are not resident on the ballot tabulator by default, but rather a separate board. Goodhue County did not purchase the modem component. Ballot tabulators without a modem component do not include the technology or the network architecture required to support modeming and allow a modem to operate on the machine. The configuration report printed by the ballot tabulator indicates whether a modem has been installed.
MYTH: Election Officials can’t place absentee ballots into the ballot box until after the polls close on election day.
FACT: After the close of business on the seventh day before the election, the ballots from secrecy envelopes within the signature envelopes marked "Accepted" may be opened, duplicated as needed in the manner provided in section 206.86, subdivision 5, initialed by the members of the ballot board, and deposited in the appropriate ballot box.
After the polls have closed on election day, two members of the ballot board must count the ballots, tabulating the vote in a manner that indicates each vote of the voter and the total votes cast for each candidate or question. M.S. 203B.121 Subd. 4 and M.S. 203B.121 Subd. 5
MYTH: Goodhue County keeps sending me absentee ballots.
FACT: The county will send you an absentee ballot only if you have provided an absentee ballot application.
Many times groups send out mailings encouraging voters to vote absentee. These mailings are not coming from the county but include the county’s return information. You can easily determine if what you have is a ballot or an application. If the documentation asks you to vote for a candidate, you have received a ballot. If the documentation is asking for your name, address, date of birth, you most likely were included in an absentee ballot application mailing.
MYTH: People are voting after the polls close
FACT: Polling hours are from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. As long as a voter is in line by 8:00 p.m., they will be able to vote.
MYTH: A voter can be 17 at the primary and vote as long as they are 18 by the General.
FACT: An individual who meets the following requirements on the day of an election is eligible to vote. The individual must: (1) be 18 years of age or older; (2) be a citizen of the United States; and (3) maintain residence in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding the election.
The following individuals are not eligible to vote. Any individual: (1) convicted of treason or any felony whose civil rights have not been restored; (2) under a guardianship in which the court order revokes the ward's right to vote; or (3) found by a court of law to be legally incompetent. M.S. 201.014 Subd. 1 and 2
MYTH: The post-election review precincts are selected prior to the General Election so election officials know ahead of time which precincts need to be perfect.
FACT: At the canvass of the state primary (2-3 days after the state primary), the county canvassing board in each county must set the date, time, and place for the postelection review of the general election.
At the canvass of the state general election (3-10 days after the state general), the county canvassing boards must select the precincts to be reviewed by lot. M.S. 206.89 Subd. 2