Minnesota voters always cast their vote on paper ballots, but special equipment is often used to count ballots, mark ballots, and sign in and register voters. Wright County currently uses equipment made by Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and KNOWiNK.
All ballot tabulators used in Minnesota are optical scan, so they “read” the ballot and record a vote for each candidate that has their target (usually an oval) filled in on the ballot. Wright County currently uses the ES&S DS200 to tabulate ballots at most polling locations. The ES&S DS450 is used at our central location to tabulate ballots.
Equipment currently used includes:
ES&S Digital Scan 200 (polling place)
ES&S Digital Scan 450(central count)
ASSISTIVE VOTING EQUIPMENT
With a few exceptions, federal law requires that all polling places must have equipment which allows private and independent voting for voters with disabilities. Assistive voting devices fulfill this role. They are separate pieces of equipment from the tabulators, and do not actually tally votes but merely help a voter mark an optical scan ballot.
This equipment includes:
Democracy Live OmniBallot
Pollbooks with electronic rosters are used on election day to check-in registered voters at their polling location. Wright County currently uses iPads supported by KNOWiNK.
KNOWiNK Poll Pad
Wright County election administrators use a number of procedures to ensure equipment will accurately record valid votes. Equipment is approved by the state, tested locally before elections, and the results audited after elections.
Before being certified for use in Minnesota, all voting equipment must be tested and certified by test labs accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and undergo detailed additional testing by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Before every election, local election officials test all equipment to be used in that election. For the preliminary testing, ballots are marked with assistive voting devices, a set of pre-marked ballots is fed into the ballot tabulators, and the machine's totals are compared with the pre-determined results. Some equipment is also tested at a Public Accuracy Test shortly before the election. Public Accuracy Tests are open to the public please contact the Wright County Elections Technology Coordinator at (763) 684-2392 for more information.
After each state general election, counties randomly draw a set of precincts where they audit the results from the ballot tabulators. In the audit, votes for certain offices are counted by hand, and that total is compared with the machine-counted results from election night. Read more information on Post Election Reviews.