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Fact or Fiction?

Are these five statements fact or fiction? 

1) Fact or Fiction? Every ballot cast in MN is associated with a registered, eligible voter.

          —Fact: When someone registers to vote in MN, they must prove that they are who they say they are. It’s a felony to falsify voter information.

2) Fact or Fiction? There are discrepancies and mismatches between ballots cast and registered voters.

          —Fiction. One of the most common forms of disinformation claims to use voter data to show that somehow the numbers of ballots and voters don’t add up. These claims are entirely false. They’re all based on misuse of data and are intended to destroy faith in our election system.

3) Fact or Fiction? Hand counting ballots is a viable way to conduct an election.

         — Fiction. Hand counting has been proven to be far less accurate and introduces significant opportunity for human error. Hand counting would also mean weeks or months before election results are known, as each race or each ballot needs to be counted separately. (Additional note: I heard an election official from Colorado speak the other day. He said that it took 24 people working an entire week in order to count 8,000 ballots by hand.)

4) Fact or Fiction? Voters receive multiple ballots without requesting them.

          —Fiction: There have been many accounts of voters mistaking ballot applications for actual ballots. When an eligible, registered voter requests a ballot, one ballot, and one ballot only, is sent to that person.

5) Fact or Fiction? Ballot-counting machines are tested, verified for accuracy, and certified before every election.

          —Fact: Election equipment is carefully scrutinized in public testing before any election takes place. This testing is required under law and is open to the public for observation.

(Information taken from the MN Secretary of State’s website.)

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The Big Pivot

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After twenty-five years on the farm, I’m adjusting to the adventures of city life. Part of that adjustment is figuring out what I want to write about now, since sheep are no longer part of my daily life. I’m challenging myself creatively by painting with pastels and playing the ukelele as I seek my new writing path.

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Catherine Friend is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.