Minnesota establishes statewide standards on security of ballot drop boxes

September 24, 2021

Following a year of record absentee voting, Minnesota has new standards in place to ensure the security of around-the-clock ballot drop boxes.

For future elections, these drop boxes must be continually recorded on video during the absentee voting period, designed to prevent removal or tampering, and secured against damage due to weather. Local officials also must empty the ballots from drop boxes at least once per business day. Ballots must then be date-stamped and stored in a locked ballot container or other secured space.

These provisions were included in a broader state finance bill (SF 2) passed during special session. The Legislature also allocated $2 million for local governments to adopt the new standards. According to Secretary of State Steve Simon, 58 percent of Minnesotans voted by absentee ballot in 2020; that compares to 24 percent in 2018.