Minnesota polling places ready for 'smooth and secure' Election Day

- Voters are already heading to the polls, but there's still a large turnout expected for tomorrow. 

Every election, the goal remains the same: to have everything go smoothly and securely.

Early voting wrapped up Monday night at the Dakota County Service Center in Apple Valley, and officials are striving for a more seamless process after issues last election.

In 2016, the county had some issues counting votes and getting results out. But, officials insist they are ready to go this year.

“My biggest concern would be to make sure we report as cleanly and easily as possible after polls close. We’ve worked on every other part of it,” said Andy Lokken, Dakota County Elections Director.

During the 2016 presidential cycle, the county took hours to tabulate results after discovering a balloting error during the early absentee voting period.

Lokken insists they’ve learned their lesson.

He points out the county has enhanced its technology by moving to electronic poll books rather than paper rosters at polling sites. They’ve also focused a ton of attention on security to protect the integrity of the process.

“We put clear emphasis on chain of custody and security and ways to look out for things that are secure and working with it to shore up everything we have as secure as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Steve Simon believes Minnesota as a whole has made huge strides since 2016.

“They’re smarter, better, more secured and more modern than two years ago,” he said.

The Secretary of State said his biggest issue is security after attempts to hack Minnesota’s systems a couple years ago. Homeland Security is helping to make sure there are no issues of that end.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, there are a total of 4,113 precincts in Minnesota and about 4,064,389 eligible voters. As of Monday, about 3,315,625 voters are registered.

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