Minnesota Secretary Of State - 15,116 Minnesotans Registered to Vote Using Automatic Voter Registration
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15,116 Minnesotans Registered to Vote Using Automatic Voter Registration

June 18, 2024

Automatic Voter Registration system has been operational for 7 weeks

SAINT PAUL – On June 18, 2024, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon announced that in the first seven weeks of operation, 15,116 Minnesotans had been successfully registered to vote through the new Automatic Voter Registration system. In addition, 13,283 16-and 17-year-old Minnesotans had been pre-registered to vote through the new system.

With Automatic Voter Registration, eligible Minnesotans who are applying for or renewing a state-issued ID will be registered to vote without needing to affirmatively “opt-in.” The system includes an intensive review process by state and local government officials to verify registrants' identity and residence and confirm their eligibility to vote. Secretary Simon certified that the state’s new Automatic Voter Registration system is ready for use on April 29, 2024.

“In just a few weeks, Automatic Voter Registration has already brought more than 28,000 eligible Minnesotans into our democracy,” said Secretary Simon. “For years, I've advocated for Automatic Voter Registration – as a common-sense policy that will increase security and access to our already strong election system. I am grateful for the dedicated public employees in state and local government that are bringing this system to life.”

The verification process starts with a Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) employee reviewing the documentation provided by the applicant at current and previous transactions to determine if the applicant is a U.S. citizen. If the applicant provided citizenship-affirming documentation, then their information will be sent to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. If citizenship-affirming documentation was not provided, no information is sent.

“DVS has been securely processing identification cards and driver’s licenses for years, and part of that process for certain licenses and IDs is verifying citizenship documents,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Bob Jacobson. “Ensuring the integrity of the licensing and identification system is critical to our work, and that will continue under automatic voter registration.”

State election officials will review the information provided to remove exact matches for existing voting records and ensure that the applicant’s right to vote has not been taken away by a court. If confirmed, the applicant’s information will be provided to their county election office to be registered to vote.

After that process, if the applicant is not already a registered voter, they will be mailed an opt-out notice to their residence. This notice provides the applicant with the option to decline to be registered to vote. If the notice is returned within 20 days, then the applicant will not be registered. If the applicant does not return the notice, they will be registered to vote. If the applicant was previously registered to vote with another name or address, their voter record will be updated.

Download a flowchart of the Automatic Voter Registration process.

Due to the thoroughness of the review and verification process, eligible Minnesotans should expect voter registration processing to take 4-6 weeks.

Automatic Voter Registration was approved by the Minnesota legislature and signed into law in 2023. Before this law, applicants at a Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office needed to check a box “opting in” to voter registration.

Twenty-three other states and the District of Columbia have implemented Automatic Voter Registration since 2015.

Additional information about Automatic Voter Registration is available on the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

Watch the press conference. View photos from the press conference.