Election Judges Don't Have Any Way of Verifying Vote Tallies in Current Minnesota Process

At Linwood Township Supervisor Board Meeting starting 6pm Tuesday Sept 27, 2022, election integrity was first on the agenda.

After two advocates for publishing the CVR (Lisa Hendrickson) and doing a hand tally concurrently with the machine tally on election day (Erik van Mechelen) spoke, the Township Clerk Pam Olsen offered her thoughts.

While I disagree regarding the necessity of publishing the cast vote record, which is public data (even San Francisco County, CA publishes this to their website) which already two Minnesota counties have released free of charge for the 2020 general election, the rest of what she says is powerful and in alignment with transparency in elections.

“The CVR is already programmed into the software…”
“We’re already used a portion of what’s already in the software.”
“At the end of election night, you have to print out the tapes that show all of the results. What are we signing?, ask the election judges. Each judge has to sign saying these are accurate numbers. Question came up, How do we know that what went in, is coming out on those sheets of paper that they sign. But my only answer is, You don’t know. You only know that that paper came out of that machine. What happened, how the machines read those votes, there’s not a way to certify or verify that.

However, if township supervisors (or county commissioners) decided to pass a resolution to hand tally AND machine tally on election night, then election judges would have a way to verify the accuracy of the tabulators.

Townships, cities, or counties taking this approach would have a measureable increase in accuracy versus those opting only to machine tally.

A majority vote from a board is required to pass a resolution.

With plenty of time to organize election judges to perform a hand tally alongside a machine tally, it may come to pass that additional townships, cities, and even counties consider and implement this approach for additional transparency.