CEIMN in the News

A Democracy Worth the Paper — Ballot — it’s Written on | Commentary by Mark Halvorson and Barbara Simons

December 21, 2016

As the CIA digs deep to investigate foreign influence on our election, we should recognize that we don’t need cybersecurity experts to tell us if our votes have been accurately counted. Citizen observers can do the job, if we fix the way we vote and the way we verify those votes.

Five reasons why you can count on Minnesota's voting system | StarTribune

October 25, 2016

Rigged? Fraudulent? Excuse me, but as Donald Trump might interject: “Wrong!”

In Minnesota, we can have confidence in our election outcomes. For the past 12 years, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN), a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, has worked to ensure accurate, transparent and verifiable elections in Minnesota. As the founder of CEIMN, I helped organize seven statewide observations of Minnesota’s postelection audits and recounts.

Here are five reasons you can be confident that the results of next month’s election will be accurate and verifiable.

Perez picks heavily Latino precincts in recount fight | The Sacramento Bee

July 10, 2014

When John A. Pérez pored over voting results to determine which of California’s 22,353 precincts should be recounted in his tight battle for state controller, his campaign chose the ones in which he did well. A Sacramento Bee analysis of the four largest counties to be recounted show some areas the campaign picked also have a disproportionately high population of Latinos and a disproportionately small population of whites and Asian Americans....But the strategy highlights a system now coming under national criticism from vote-monitoring groups as inherently unfair....

National Commission on Voting Rights hearing in Minneapolis on Feb. 25, 2014 | Testimony of Mark Halvorson

February 25, 2014

Recounts—Improving state laws

Testimony Presented by Mark Halvorson, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota

Recounts serve an important purpose in our democracy. Foremost, properly conducted recounts assure candidates and the public that in a close election there has been a fair examination of the procedures and an accurate count of all legally cast votes.

Recounts can also help us improve election systems. Any shortcomings in our voting equipment, ballot design, and ballot processing are revealed by the scrutiny of a recount.

Verified Voting Blog: A Valuable Resource for Election Recounts

February 11, 2014

Last week Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota released Recount Principles and Best Practices, a document providing recommendations on key recount matters such as counting methods, transparency, voter intent and challengers. The document is especially welcome as it was produced through the cooperation of election officials and citizen activists and it is the first comprehensive set of best practices for recounts.

CEIMN issues its report on Minnnesota's 2012 Post-Election Audit

June 30, 2013

CEIMN issues its report on Minnnesota's 2012 post-election audit.  This is CEIMN's fourth report on Minnesota's post-election audits--published every two years since 2006. Consistent with previous observations, the 2012 post-election audit was conducted in an efficient, transparent and accurate manner. Nonpartisan observers expressed high confidence in the integrity and the accuracy of the post-election audit procedures.

Minnesota: How to Vote Down Voter ID

January 30, 2013


CEIMN report cited in the American Prospect.

"A study by the Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota found that the total costs of the amendment—spread over the state and local governments and individuals—would range from $52 million to $150 million. 'It was really an explosive strategy to shift the debate and say this is not about civil rights,' says David Schultz, who co-authored the study, 'but that this is about costs.'"

Detroit Lakes: Letter: Elections amendment will be costly in many ways

May 11, 2012


Amid all the debate around the seriously flawed elections amendment, a critical issue has been ignored: the significant costs to the state of Minnesota’s budget and the budgets of our financially-strapped counties.

If the amendment passes, there are many unknowns about how it will be implemented, including:

The Debate - Should Minnesota pass a photo ID law for voters?

May 1, 2011

MPR's Insight Now holds a week-long debate on the photo ID law starting May 2 and going to May 6.

CEIMN Recount Searchable Database Wins National Award from the Center for Plain Language

April 28, 2011

2011 ClearMark Award Winners

The ClearMark Awards are given to the best plain language documents and web sites. They are judged by a panel of international experts, following a strict set of criteria.

Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota won in the catagory of website/dyanmic media, non-profit for the  State Recount Laws Searchable Database

Senate Republicans advance elections ID bill

April 28, 2011

By Eric Roper, Star Tribune

Anticipating a possible veto, Republicans have already crafted a constitutional amendment that would bypass Gov. Dayton.

Voter ID is not the only troublesome issue in Kiffmeyer bill, election groups say

February 6, 2011

By Jay Weiner, Minnpost.com


Another recount yields more evidence that MN's system is sound, by CEIMN Director, Mark Halvorson

December 29, 2010


The recount up-close: a look at the time it takes to count one precinct's votes

December 1, 2010

Observers from Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota are monitoring the recount.

They're posting intermittent items on a blog. Here's an item that details the slow nature of counting ballots in Hennepin County because of the growing number of challenges by Rep. Tom Emmer's campaign.

Remember, there are 425 precincts in the state's most populous and voter-filled county. So, this exercise is being repeated and repeated and ...

Posted by Jay Weiner

Governor's recount: Non-party eyes to watch process

November 10, 2010

By Jay Weiner, MinnPost

Recounts Loom for Tight Races

November 1, 2010


To read the complete article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870486510457558876126202224...

Election watchdogs release report on 08 audit & recount

May 31, 2009

St. Paul Legal Ledger, Capitol Report, By Charley Shaw, Capitol Report Staff

CEIMN Releases Audit and Recount Report.

May 25, 2009

Report Highlights lessons learned in the Minnesota audit and recounts.

Three months and counting. The interminable struggle between Al Franken and Norm Coleman

February 4, 2009

The Economist  http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13059914

A Recount to Count On. Opinion by CEIMN Founder and Director Mark Halvorson

December 20, 2008

A recount to count on, St. Paul Pioneer Press
By Mark Halvorson

As nonpartisan election integrity advocates with front-row seats at the U.S. Senate recount, we believe Minnesotans can be confident the process has been methodical and fair. The intense scrutiny given to each step of the process and to each vote in the Senate recount has provided an incredible civics lesson for Minnesotans and the nation.

CEIMN's Blog recognized: "For thoughtful remarks from non-partisan observers in the field...

November 25, 2008

"For thoughtful remarks from non-partisan observers in the field, be sure to check out Citizens for Election Integrity MN's recount blog."

From Dan Feidt, Politics in Minnesota, Nov, 25th, 2008

Woodbury Bulletin - Nonpartisan Groups Launch Observation

November 16, 2008


Coalition prepares to monitor recount

November 16, 2008

by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio St. Paul, Minn.

Why (Else) to Watch the Minnesota Senate Squeaker

November 13, 2008


Star Tribune Video of Ramsey Audit & CEIMN Volunteers

November 10, 2008

A post election audit of five precincts was held at the Ramsey County Elections Bureau. CEIMN was at the scene and widely quoted in the video.

Go to the StarTribune video

WCCO TV News Report on Audit and Recount

November 9, 2008

WCCO-TV reported on the status of the US Senate election canvass and upcoming recount with comments from CEIMN's Executive Director Mark Halvorson.

Go to the WCCO video

Minnesota’s post-election audit of the U. S. Senate, Presidential and U. S. House races begins today under non-partisan, state-wide observation

November 5, 2008

News Release

Minneapolis, MN. Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN), a state-wide, nonpartisan organization that promotes verifiable and accurate elections, has recruited and trained over 180 volunteers to observe the hand-counting of the ballots for the post-election audit.

Minnesota performs first post-election review

December 13, 2006

State-mandated audit a success, officials and advocates say

electionline Weekly - December 14, 2006, electionline.org

I. In Focus This Week, By Sean Greene

Minnesota's first-ever post-election review - a manual count of votes from randomly-selected precincts in the state - drew raves from two sides that do not always see eye-to-eye, election officials and advocacy groups.

Minnesota performs first post-election review

December 13, 2006

State-mandated audit a success, officials and advocates say

electionline Weekly - electionline.org

I. In Focus This Week, By Sean Greene

Minnesota's first-ever post-election review - a manual count of votes from randomly-selected precincts in the state - drew raves from two sides that do not always see eye-to-eye, election officials and advocacy groups.

"I believe that Minnesota has done a most remarkable job at making every vote count and count correctly," said Janet Straub, a Minnesota resident and observer of the post-election review.

Voting Woes

December 3, 2006

Letter to the Editor, Mark Halvorson, Director, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the Star Tribune's Nov. 26 editorial both weighed in on critical issues posed by paperless electronic voting machines.

Krugman focused on Sarasota County, Florida, where 18,000 votes went unrecorded in the 13th Congressional District race.

In 2004, complaints about voting machines changing or losing votes were reported by voters across the country.

Post-election review checks accuracy of voting machines

November 16, 2006

Brad Swenson Bemidji Pioneer

A test of Beltrami Countys voting integrity on Thursday found a single glitch, one easily explained and which raised no red flags.

Not only am I happy with the outcome, but this was also an opportunity to test the system and build public trust, Beltrami County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack said after the nearly two-hour post-election review.

Election officials count ballots the old-fashioned way

November 13, 2006

By Natalie J. Ostgaard, City Editor, Crookston Daily Times

A handful of Polk County election officials got a taste of how ballot counting was done in the old days - more than two decades ago - when they conducted the newly mandated Post Election Equipment Review (PEER) Monday afternoon. The group spent 2 1/2 hours hand counting 476 ballots, but only for the offices of governor, U. S. senator and U. S. representative.

A New Breed of Watchdog For Election Day

November 5, 2006

By JUNE KRONHOLZ, The Wall Street Journal, Page B1

When Americans go to vote tomorrow, a new breed of activist will be on guard, monitoring polling stations for everything from voting-machine glitches to long lines to registration snafus.

Energized by disputed results in 2000 and 2004, they have left jobs as music conductors, real-estate agents and software engineers to form groups that expect to turn out thousands of volunteers who don't trust the country's ability to count its votes and have decided to do something about it.

Minnesota officials aren't fretting about new voting technology

October 30, 2006

The state's system has safeguards, lacking in other states, to allay worries of fraud and malfunction.

John Reinan, Star Tribune

Minnesota officials aren't fretting about new voting technology

Linda Mickelson hopes to go home early on election night -- say, around midnight.

That's a better deal than it sounds. Mickelson, deputy auditor in Grant County, usually gets to bed about 4 a.m. on Election Night after counting more than 3,000 votes by hand.

Keeping an eye on the machines that count Minnesotan's votes

October 23, 2006

By Helen Palmer and Mark Halvorson, St. Paul Pioneer Press

When Minnesotans are asked to raise their hands if they think our electronic voting machines accurately count their votes, almost all hands go up. However, when asked if they think votes in other states are counted accurately, only a few hands go up. Voters in our state have confidence in our voting machines.

Election integrity not always upheld

September 26, 2006

Austin Daily Herald
Columnists: Sheila Donnelly

Ohio Recount Op Ed

December 28, 2004

Published on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 by the Star Tribune / Minneapolis

We May Never Know What Happened in the Ohio Vote

by Mark Halvorson and Kirk Lund

The right to vote and to have each vote count is the cornerstone of democracy, but deep cracks are showing in this cornerstone.

Disturbing reports of voting irregularities in Ohio recently led nine of us from Minnesota to monitor the recount of its presidential election. The recount was not only to verify the outcome of the Ohio vote but also to ensure accountability in a flawed system.

Minnesota’s 2013 omnibus elections bill will bring changes to audits and recounts


Mpls., MN 5/28/2013. Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota.

Last week Governor Dayton signed into law the 2013 omnibus elections bill (HF 894, Chapter 131).  This was the culmination of a bipartisan legislative process that resulted in the law’s passage in the Minnesota House 99-32, and in the Minnesota Senate 56-9.  As HF 894 passed through the committee process, it evolved to include changes that CEIMN has supported for years.

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