Investigation of 2016 election finds almost no illegal voting, so vote Aug. 14


With the primary election coming up on Tuesday, Aug. 14, this is a good time to encourage Hennepin County residents to get out and vote and know that our election system is fair and well-monitored.

For instance, in the 2016 presidential election, 229 cases of possible ineligible voting by Hennepin County residents were referred to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office for investigation. After investigation, 25 of those cases were referred to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for review for potential criminal charges.

Ultimately, six people were charged with a crime for violating voting laws. Five of them were for a felon voting while still on probation. One was charged with a felon registering to vote while still on probation. One case still is under investigation. In that election, 685,043 ballots were cast in Hennepin County.

“The cases of so-called voter fraud in Hennepin County is infinitesimally small and is nearly always the case where a felon has finished serving time in prison or jail and now thinks he or she can vote, not realizing they have to wait until after their probation expires,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “This is one reason I have been lobbying the legislature to change the law to allow felons to vote as soon as they are released from prison. But I urge all eligible county residents to vote Aug. 14, secure in the knowledge that we have an excellent voting system.”

Of those 229 cases referred for investigation, most of them were unfounded because the person was eligible to vote.

Click here to watch a video from Mike Freeman about voting in Hennepin County.