Marking Your Ballot
Every Minnesota voter uses a paper ballot. There are three choices available to you to mark your ballot:
Minnesota voters most commonly use a pen to mark their ballot. Depending on the type of ballot, the voter may fill in an oval, connect an arrow, or mark an 'X'.
The AutoMARK ballot-marking device is voting equipment that provides Minnesota voters additional accessibility at the polling place. The device allows voters with disabilities to vote independently and privately by providing various accessibility options for marking their ballot. The device is equipped with a screen that can enlarge text for easier viewing, a high contrast display of the ballot for voters with limited vision, has headphones to allow a voter to listen privately to an audio version of the ballot, and has an additional connection for other accessibility devices.
Voters using the AutoMARK ballot-marking device are able to select their candidates by touching the screen, using a key pad, or using an external accessibility device. The AutoMARK reads the voter's choices and completes the ovals on the ballot for the selection made. The voter then deposits the marked paper ballot into the ballot box.
You are not required to use the AutoMARK. Election judges will instruct you on the available options.
Using the AutoMARK video
If you need assistance due to the inability to read English or have a physical inability to mark a ballot you may obtain the assistance of any individual you choose with the exception of the following: your employer, agent of your employer, officer or agent of your union, or a candidate for election. Alternatively, you may obtain the aid of two election judges who are members of different political parties. See Minnesota Statutes, Section 204C.15 for more information.
Casting and Counting Your Ballot
There will likely be a mechanical ballot counter in your polling location. Inserting your ballot directly into the ballot counter allows the equipment to detect common ballot-marking errors and alerts voters so they can fix errors before leaving the polling place. The most common precinct ballot counters in Minnesota are the ES&S M100 and the Diebold Accuvote. Older equipment still used in some areas includes the Optech IIIP and Eagle.
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