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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Voter Registration

What is online voter registration?
Online voter registration allows eligible voters to apply to register to vote or update a registration to a new address or name through a secure Internet site.

How do I register online to vote?
To apply to register to vote you must complete a voter registration application online. Applicants need to provide a Minnesota state driver’s license number, state ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number, and an email address. If you cannot provide these, you cannot apply online but may submit a paper application.

Is online voter registration secure?
Yes, the online voter registration system was built with security as the top priority. The online voter registration system uses the same technology that banks and retailers use to encrypt and protect a customer’s personal information. The Office of the Secretary of State’s network has a firewall protecting it from unauthorized access. In addition, the Office worked with both the state’s IT Department (MNIT) and one of the most respected IT security firms in the US, Veracode, to test the security of the system before it was launched.

How is my application processed?
If you provide a Minnesota driver’s license or state ID card number, your application will be verified with data from the state’s Driver and Vehicle Services. If you provide the last four digits of your Social Security number, your application will be verified with data from the Social Security Administration.

If the information you provide on your application is verified, your county election official will then review your application in the state’s Voter Registration System. If approved, you will be added to the voter roster and you will receive an email confirmation. The county will mail you a postcard to verify your address and provide the location of your polling place.

If your information cannot be verified, you will be notified by email that you will need to take further action to register.

No matter how you turn in your registration application – online or on paper – when it comes to determining a person's eligibility to vote, preventing duplicate registrations, and adding a person to Minnesota's official voter rolls, all the same safeguards are in place.

Which other states offer online voter registration?
In 2002, Arizona became the first state to offer online voter registration. Since then 13 other states have made online voter registration available, including California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington. According to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts, at least half of the states will use online registration by 2016.

Am I automatically registered to vote when I submit the online application?
No. The online voter registration application is an easy way for submitting your information but the information will be verified with data from the state’s Driver and Vehicle Services. If you provide the last four digits of your Social Security number, your application will be verified with data from the Social Security Administration. After it has been verified, it will be reviewed and accepted by your county elections official.

Do I need to sign my application?
Yes. You will need to sign the oath by typing your name on the application in the signature field and checking a box acknowledging that your typed name is your signature. Under Minnesota law an electronic signature has the same legal effect as a pen and ink signature, placing you under the same penalties for perjury, a felony, for false statements.

Will I be notified after registering?
Yes. An email confirmation will be sent informing you whether your application could be successfully processed. Like all voter registrations after being successfully accepted and entered onto the voter roster, a postcard will be mailed to you by your county election office informing you of your polling place and verifying your address.

Can I vote online? Is online voter registration related to online voting?
No. In Minnesota, all voters vote on paper ballots. Military and overseas voters may receive ballots electronically but hard copies must be returned by mail or other package delivery service.

Can I still register to vote on Election Day?
Yes. Minnesota voters may register to vote on Election Day. To register at your polling location, you must provide proof of residence, complete a voter registration application, and sign an oath stating that you are eligible to vote in the precinct. For details, see our Registering to Vote page.

Can I register to vote electronically on Election Day?
No. Election Day registration is completed in-person using a paper voter registration application at your local polling location.

If I have problems registering to vote or have additional questions who should I contact?
Call the Secretary of State's toll-free voter hotline at (877) 600-VOTE (8683) or contact your county elections office, which is where your voter registration record is maintained.

Is voter registration information confidential?
The voter registration rolls are not available to the general public. However, Minnesota law allows certain voter information to be released to an individual registered to vote in Minnesota who agrees to only use the information for purposes related to elections, politics or law enforcement. Email addresses are not included in this information.

Other Resources:
How Online Voter Registration Works

Map of States with Online Voter Registration

 

Last updated: 12/6/2013 3:46:38 PM