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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

News Review
Nearly 600 Minnesotans Use Online Registration in First Week Following Introduction
Posted Date: 10/4/2013

CONTACT: Nathan Bowie (651) 297-8919

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — In the first week since the introduction of online voter registration in Minnesota, 581 applications have been submitted for new voter registration or updating of existing registration.

According to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, since the launch of the online tool on September 26, the applications have resulted in:

  • 313 registration updates —due to voters’ address or name changes. Reflecting the experience of other states with online registration, the vast majority of transactions are registration updates.
  • 66 new voter registrations.
  • 175 applications are currently being processed.
  • 27 submitted registrations could not be processed because of incomplete or unverifiable data on applications.

Of the 581 applications, 476 were from the seven-county metro area. Hennepin County led all counties with 36 new voter registrations and 175 registration updates; Ramsey County followed with 10 new voter registrations and 44 registration updates. Applications have been submitted by residents from 45 of the state’s 87 counties.

Launched simultaneously with online voter registration was the absentee ballot application for military and overseas voters. According to the office, seven absentee ballots have been requested to-date.

“We continue to receive very positive feedback from county auditors on this tool,” says Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. “We know this is reducing workload, improving accuracy of voter rosters, and is much more cost-effective and less time-consuming than processing paper applications.”

Ritchie encourages Minnesotans to check their registration online to ensure it is up-to-date. In Minnesota, a person must re-register to vote if their address has changed, if they have changed names, or if they have not voted in the previous four years.

Election Day November 5

More than 35 municipalities across the state will hold elections November 5 for various city officers, and 113 school districts will hold elections for school board members and/or have ballot questions. Eligible voters will be able to register online up until 5 p.m. on October 15. Pre-registration is not required, and eligible voters may register at their polling place on Election Day.

Online Voter Registration Tool Process

The online tool was built to ensure that only persons providing verifiable identification numbers will be able to register, and online applications will go through the same verification process as paper registrations.

  • Information provided on the application will be verified with data from the state’s Driver and Vehicle Services or Social Security Administration.
  • County election officials will continue to review applications in the Statewide Voter Registration System and be responsible for approving an application or otherwise.
  • If approved, the applicant will be added to the voter roster, and a postcard will be mailed to the voter to verify their address and provide the location of their polling place.

View the infographic posted online to learn how online voter registration works.

Minnesota is the 15th state to offer online voter registration, joining California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Arizona first introduced online registration in 2002. Six other states, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois and West Virginia, plan to implement online registration in the near future. According to projections by the Pew Charitable Trusts, at least half of the states will employ online registration by 2016.

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