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Online voter registration now available in Minnesota

Those registering online will be verified the same way as those filling out paper voter registration forms.

Minnesotans can now register to vote with a new online system that was unveiled this week on the Minnesota secretary of state’s website.

Anyone registering online at the site will be subject to the same verification as someone registering on paper, said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

Online voter registration, already available in 14 other states, is secure and saves taxpayer’s money, Ritchie said.

It’s also more convenient for voters and will reduce errors and save time and money for local election officials, his office said.

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Paper applications will still be available for those who don’t want to register online.

The SOS website also now has an easier way for military and overseas voters to get their absentee ballots, eliminating the need to print and scan the ballots before returning them.

Only those with verifiable identification numbers — either driver’s licenses or state IDs, or Social Security numbers — can use the online registration system. Those numbers will then be checked by local election officials using the the state or Social Security system.

Debby Erickson, deputy auditor and elections coordinator for Crow Wing County, and chair of the Elections Committee for the Minnesota Association of County Officers, said in a statement:

“It’s going to significantly reduce the time and associated costs of manual data entry and processing. We’ll have more accurate voter rosters at the polling place.”