Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 733

as introduced - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 02/28/2011 09:55am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/28/2011

Current Version - as introduced

Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19
2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23
2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28
2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16
3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31
3.32 3.33 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13
4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 6.35 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35
8.1 8.2 8.3
8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8
8.9 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14
8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24
8.25 8.26 8.27 8.28 8.29
8.30 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10
9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 9.30 9.31 9.32 9.33 9.34 9.35 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4
10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 10.25 10.26 10.27 10.28
10.29 10.30 10.31 10.32 10.33 11.1 11.2

A bill for an act
relating to elections; providing for early voting; amending Minnesota Statutes
2010, sections 201.022, subdivision 1; 203B.001; 203B.01, by adding a
subdivision; 203B.03, subdivision 1; 203B.05, subdivision 1; 203B.081;
203B.121; 204C.10; 206.83; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 203B.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 201.022, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

The secretary of state shall maintain a statewide
voter registration system to facilitate voter registration and to provide a central database
containing voter registration information from around the state. The system must be
accessible to the county auditor of each county in the state. The system must also:

(1) provide for voters to submit their voter registration applications to any county
auditor, the secretary of state, or the Department of Public Safety;

(2) provide for the definition, establishment, and maintenance of a central database
for all voter registration information;

(3) provide for entering data into the statewide registration system;

(4) provide for electronic transfer of completed voter registration applications from
the Department of Public Safety to the secretary of state or the county auditor;

(5) assign a unique identifier to each legally registered voter in the state;

(6) provide for the acceptance of the Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota
state identification number, and last four digits of the Social Security number for each
voter record;

(7) coordinate with other agency databases within the state;

(8) allow county auditors and the secretary of state to add or modify information in
the system to provide for accurate and up-to-date records;

(9) allow county auditors, municipal and school district clerks, and the secretary
of state to have electronic access to the statewide registration system for review and
search capabilities;

(10) provide security and protection of all information in the statewide registration
system and ensure that unauthorized access is not allowed;

(11) provide access to municipal clerks to use the system;

(12) provide a system for each county to identify the precinct to which a voter
should be assigned for voting purposes;

(13) provide daily reports accessible by county auditors on the driver's license
numbers, state identification numbers, or last four digits of the Social Security numbers
submitted on voter registration applications that have been verified as accurate by the
secretary of state; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(14) provide reports on the number of absentee ballots transmitted to and returned
and cast by voters under section 203B.16deleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; andnew text end

new text begin (15) provide rosters, master lists, and other reports necessary for early voting.
new text end

The appropriate state or local official shall provide security measures to prevent
unauthorized access to the computerized list established under section 201.021.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 203B.001, is amended to read:


203B.001 ELECTION LAW APPLICABILITY.

The Minnesota Election Law is applicable to voting by absentee ballot new text beginand early
voting
new text endunless otherwise provided in this chapter.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 203B.01, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Early voting. new text end

new text begin "Early voting" means voting in person before election day at
the office of the county auditor or any other location authorized in this chapter within the
time period provided in section 203B.31.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 203B.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Violation.

No individual shall intentionally:

(a) make or sign any false certificate required by this chapter;

(b) make any false or untrue statement in any application for absentee ballots;

(c) apply for absentee ballots more than once in any election with the intent to
cast an illegal ballot;

(d) exhibit a ballot marked by that individual to any other individual;

(e) do any act in violation of the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of casting
an illegal vote in any precinct or for the purpose of aiding another to cast an illegal vote;

(f) use information from absentee ballot new text beginor early voting new text endmaterials or records for
purposes unrelated to elections, political activities, or law enforcement;

(g) provide assistance to an absentee new text beginor early new text endvoter except in the manner provided by
section 204C.15, subdivision 1;

(h) solicit the vote of an absentee new text beginor early new text endvoter while in the immediate presence of
the voter during the time the individual knows the absentee new text beginor early new text endvoter is voting; or

(i) alter an absentee ballot application after it has been signed by the voter, except by
an election official for administrative purposes.

Before inspecting information from absentee ballot new text beginor early voting new text endmaterials or
records, an individual shall provide identification to the public official having custody of
the material or information.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 203B.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Generally.

The full-time clerk of any city or town shall administer
the provisions of sections 203B.04 to 203B.15 new text beginand 203B.30 to 203B.35 new text endif:

(1) the county auditor of that county has designated the clerk to administer them; or

(2) the clerk has given the county auditor of that county notice of intention to
administer them.

A clerk may only administer the provisions of sections 203B.04 to 203B.15 new text beginand
203B.30 to 203B.35
new text endif the clerk has technical capacity to access the statewide voter
registration system in the secure manner prescribed by the secretary of state. The secretary
of state must identify hardware, software, security, or other technical prerequisites
necessary to ensure the security, access controls, and performance of the statewide voter
registration system. A clerk must receive training approved by the secretary of state
on the use of the statewide voter registration system before administering this section.
A clerk may not use the statewide voter registration system until the clerk has received
the required training.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 203B.081, is amended to read:


203B.081 LOCATIONS FOR ABSENTEE VOTING IN PERSON.

An eligible voter may vote by absentee ballot in the office of the county auditor and
at any other polling place designated by the county auditor during the 46 days before:

(1) a regularly scheduled election for federal, state, county, city, or school board
office;

(2) a special election for a federal or county office; and

(3) an election held in conjunction with an election described in clauses (1) and (2),

and during the 30 days before any other electionnew text begin, except that an eligible voter may not
vote by absentee ballot in person during the period for early voting, as provided in section
203B.31
new text end. The county auditor shall make such designations at least 14 weeks before the
election. At least one voting booth in each polling place must be made available by the
county auditor for this purpose. The county auditor must also make available at least one
electronic ballot marker in each polling place that has implemented a voting system that is
accessible for individuals with disabilities pursuant to section 206.57, subdivision 5.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 203B.121, is amended to read:


203B.121 BALLOT BOARDS.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment; applicable laws.

(a) The governing body of each
county, municipality, and school district with responsibility to new text beginadminister early voting or
new text endaccept and reject absentee ballots must, by ordinance or resolution, establish a ballot
board. The board must consist of a sufficient number of election judges trained in the
handling of absentee ballots and appointed as provided in sections 204B.19 to 204B.22.
The board may include staff trained as election judges.

(b) Each jurisdiction must pay a reasonable compensation to each member of that
jurisdiction's ballot board for services rendered during an election.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of the Minnesota
Election Law apply to a ballot board.

Subd. 2.

Duties of ballot board; absentee ballots.

(a) The members of the ballot
board shall take possession of all return envelopes delivered to them in accordance with
section 203B.08. Upon receipt from the county auditor, municipal clerk, or school district
clerk, two or more members of the ballot board shall examine each return envelope and
shall mark it accepted or rejected in the manner provided in this subdivision. Election
judges performing the duties in this section must be of different major political parties,
unless they are exempt from that requirement under section 205.075, subdivision 4, or
section 205A.10, subdivision 2.

(b) The members of the ballot board shall mark the return envelope "Accepted" and
initial or sign the return envelope below the word "Accepted" if a majority of the members
of the ballot board examining the envelope are satisfied that:

(1) the voter's name and address on the return envelope are the same as the
information provided on the absentee ballot application;

(2) the voter signed the certification on the envelope;

(3) the voter's Minnesota driver's license, state identification number, or the last four
digits of the voter's Social Security number are the same as the number provided on the
voter's application for ballots. If the number does not match the number as submitted on
the application, or if a number was not submitted on the application, the election judges
must compare the signature provided by the applicant to determine whether the ballots
were returned by the same person to whom they were transmitted;

(4) the voter is registered and eligible to vote in the precinct or has included a
properly completed voter registration application in the return envelope;

(5) the certificate has been completed as prescribed in the directions for casting an
absentee ballot; and

(6) the voter has not already voted at that election, either in person or, if it is after the
close of business on the fourth day before the election, by absentee ballot.

The return envelope from accepted ballots must be preserved and returned to the
county auditor.

(c)(1) If a majority of the members of the ballot board examining a return envelope
find that an absentee voter has failed to meet one of the requirements provided in
paragraph (b), they shall mark the return envelope "Rejected," initial or sign it below the
word "Rejected," list the reason for the rejection on the envelope, and return it to the
county auditor. There is no other reason for rejecting an absentee ballot beyond those
permitted by this section. Failure to place the ballot within the security envelope before
placing it in the outer white envelope is not a reason to reject an absentee ballot.

(2) If an envelope has been rejected at least five days before the election, the
envelope must remain sealed and the official in charge of the ballot board shall provide the
voter with a replacement absentee ballot and return envelope in place of the rejected ballot.

(3) If an envelope is rejected within five days of the election, the envelope must
remain sealed and the official in charge of the ballot board must attempt to contact the
voter by telephone or e-mail to notify the voter that the voter's ballot has been rejected.
The official must document the attempts made to contact the voter.

(d) The official in charge of the absentee ballot board must mail the voter a written
notice of absentee ballot rejection between six and ten weeks following the election. If the
official determines that the voter has otherwise cast a ballot in the election, no notice is
required. If an absentee ballot arrives after the deadline for submission provided by this
chapter, the notice must be provided between six to ten weeks after receipt of the ballot. A
notice of absentee ballot rejection must contain the following information:

(1) the date on which the absentee ballot was rejected or, if the ballot was received
after the required deadline for submission, the date on which the ballot was received;

(2) the reason for rejection; and

(3) the name of the appropriate election official to whom the voter may direct further
questions, along with appropriate contact information.

(e) An absentee ballot return envelope marked "Rejected" may not be opened or
subject to further review except in an election contest filed pursuant to chapter 209.

new text begin Subd. 2a. new text end

new text begin Duties of ballot board; early voting. new text end

new text begin The members of the ballot board
shall administer the process of early voting as prescribed in section 203B.35, and shall
make a record of voters who cast ballots early and count those ballots as provided in
subdivisions 3 and 5.
new text end

Subd. 3.

Record of voting.

(a) When applicable, the county auditor or municipal
clerk must immediately record that a voter's absentee ballot has been accepteddeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin or that the
voter has cast a ballot pursuant to the early voting procedures provided in this chapter.
After a voter's record indicates that the voter has cast a ballot pursuant to the early voting
procedures in this chapter, or
new text end after the close of business on the fourth day before the
electionnew text begin if the record indicates that an absentee ballot has been accepted from the voternew text end,
a voter deleted text beginwhose record indicates that an absentee ballot has been accepteddeleted text end must not be
permitted to cast another ballot at that election. In a state primary, general, or state special
election for federal or state office, the auditor or clerk must also record this information
in the statewide voter registration system.

(b) The roster must be marked, and a supplemental report of deleted text beginabsenteedeleted text end voters who
submitted a voter registration application with their ballot must be created, no later than
the start of voting on election day to indicate the voters that have already cast a ballot at
the election. The roster may be marked either:

(1) by the county auditor or municipal clerk before election day;

(2) by the ballot board before election day; or

(3) by the election judges at the polling place on election day.

The record of a voter whose absentee ballot was received after the close of business
on the fourth day before the election is not required to be marked on the roster or contained
in a supplemental report as required by this paragraph.

Subd. 4.

Opening of envelopes.

After the close of business on the fourth day
before the election, the ballots from return envelopes marked "Accepted" may be opened,
duplicated as needed in the manner provided in section 206.86, subdivision 5, initialed by
the members of the ballot board, and deposited in the appropriate ballot box. If more than
one ballot is enclosed in the ballot envelope, the ballots must be returned in the manner
provided by section 204C.25 for return of spoiled ballots, and may not be counted.

Subd. 5.

Storage and counting of new text beginearly and new text endabsentee ballots.

(a) On a day on
which new text beginearly or new text endabsentee ballots are inserted into a ballot box, two members of the ballot
board must:

(1) remove the ballots from the ballot box at the end of the day;

(2) without inspecting the ballots, ensure that the number of ballots removed from
the ballot box is equal to the number of voters new text beginwho cast early ballots or new text endwhose absentee
ballots were deleted text beginaccepteddeleted text endnew text begin inserted into the boxnew text end that day; and

(3) seal and secure all voted and unvoted ballots present in that location at the end
of the day.

(b) After the polls have closed on election day, two members of the ballot board
must count the ballots, tabulating the vote in a manner that indicates each vote of the voter
and the total votes cast for each candidate or question. In state primary and state general
elections, the results must indicate the total votes cast for each candidate or question in
each precinct and report the vote totals tabulated for each precinct. The count shall be
public. No vote totals from ballots may be made public before the close of voting on
election day.

In state primary and state general elections, these vote totals shall be added to the
vote totals on the summary statements of the returns for the appropriate precinct. In other
elections, these vote totals may be added to the vote totals on the summary statement of
returns for the appropriate precinct or may be reported as a separate total.

(c) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b), if the task has not been
completed previously, the members of the ballot board must verify as soon as possible, but
no later than 24 hours after the end of the hours for voting, that voters whose absentee
ballots arrived after the rosters were marked or supplemental reports were generated
and whose ballots were accepted did not vote in person on election day. An absentee
ballot submitted by a voter who has voted in person on election day must be rejected. All
other accepted absentee ballots must be opened, duplicated if necessary, and counted by
members of the ballot board. The vote totals from these ballots must be incorporated into
the totals with the other absentee ballots and handled according to paragraph (b).

Sec. 8.

new text begin [203B.30] EARLY VOTING.
new text end

new text begin An eligible voter may vote in person before election day in the manner provided
in sections 203B.31 to 203B.35.
new text end

Sec. 9.

new text begin [203B.31] TIME PERIOD FOR EARLY VOTING.
new text end

new text begin Early voting must be available to an eligible voter as provided in section 203B.32 for
every primary, general, and special election from 15 days before the election through 5:00
p.m. on the fourth day before the election. All voters in line at 5:00 p.m. on the fourth day
before the election must be allowed to vote.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [203B.32] HOURS FOR EARLY VOTING.
new text end

new text begin Early voting must be available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on
each weekday during the time period provided in section 203B.31, unless one of these
days is a holiday, in which case early voting will not be available on that day; from 8:00
a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on at least one of those days; and from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on
the second Saturday before the election.
new text end

Sec. 11.

new text begin [203B.33] LOCATIONS FOR EARLY VOTING.
new text end

new text begin (a) Early voting must be made available at a polling place designated in the county
auditor's office, at the municipal clerk's office in every municipality that has been
delegated the responsibility to administer absentee voting as provided in section 203B.05,
and at any other location designated at least 90 days before the election by the county
auditor or municipal clerk. At least one voting station and one ballot marking device for
disabled voters must be made available in each polling place.
new text end

new text begin (b) The county auditor must make at least one ballot box available in each polling
place. As soon as practicable following the public accuracy test, the county auditor must
make an electronic ballot counter available.
new text end

Sec. 12.

new text begin [203B.34] NOTICE TO VOTERS.
new text end

new text begin The county auditor must prepare a notice to the voters of the days, times, and
locations for early voting. This notice must be posted on the county's Web site and the
Web site for each municipality in the county where an early voting location is designated
for the election at least 14 days before the first day for early voting.
new text end

Sec. 13.

new text begin [203B.35] PROCEDURES FOR EARLY VOTING.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Voting procedure. new text end

new text begin Each voter shall sign an early voting roster that
includes the certification provided in section 204C.10. An individual who is not registered
to vote must register in the manner provided in section 201.061, subdivision 3. Ballots
must be prepared and distributed by members of the ballot board in the manner provided
in sections 204C.09 and 204C.10. The voter must mark the ballot and deposit it in either a
precinct voting system or a sealed ballot box. A voter may not leave the polling place
with the ballot.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Processing of ballots. new text end

new text begin Ballots cast pursuant to sections 203B.30 to 203B.35
must be processed and counted by a ballot board, and a record that voters who cast a ballot
early have voted at the election must be created, as required in section 203B.121.
new text end

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 204C.10, is amended to read:


204C.10 PERMANENT REGISTRATION; VERIFICATION OF
REGISTRATION.

(a) An individual seeking to vote shall sign a polling place roster deleted text beginwhich states
that the individual is at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, has resided
in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding the election, maintains residence at
the address shown, is not under a guardianship in which the court order revokes the
individual's right to vote, has not been found by a court of law to be legally incompetent
to vote or has the right to vote because, if the individual was convicted of a felony, the
felony sentence has expired or been completed or the individual has been discharged from
the sentence, is registered and has not already voted in the election. The roster must also
state: "
deleted text endnew text begin. The polling place roster must state: "I certify that I have not already voted in
this election and after casting my ballot today, I will not vote again in this election. I
certify that I am at least 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States; that I reside at
the address shown and have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding this
election; that I am not under guardianship of the person in which the court order revokes
my right to vote, have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote, and
that if convicted of a felony, my felony sentence has expired (been completed) or I have
been discharged from my sentence; and that I am registered and will be voting only in this
precinct.
new text endI understand that deliberately providing false information is a felony punishable
by not more than five years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $10,000, or both."new text begin
The words "I have not already voted in this election" and "I understand that deliberately
providing false information is a felony" must be in bold type.
new text end

(b) A judge may, before the applicant signs the roster, confirm the applicant's name,
address, and date of birth.

(c) After the applicant signs the roster, the judge shall give the applicant a voter's
receipt. The voter shall deliver the voter's receipt to the judge in charge of ballots as proof
of the voter's right to vote, and thereupon the judge shall hand to the voter the ballot. The
voters' receipts must be maintained during the time for notice of filing an election contest.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 206.83, is amended to read:


206.83 TESTING OF VOTING SYSTEMS.

deleted text begin Within 14 days before election day,deleted text end The official in charge of elections shall have
the voting system tested to ascertain that the system will correctly mark ballots using all
methods supported by the system, including through assistive technology, and count the
votes cast for all candidates and on all questions. Public notice of the time and place of the
test must be given at least two days in advance by publication once in official newspapers.
The test must be observed by at least two election judges, who are not of the same major
political party, and must be open to representatives of the political parties, candidates, the
press, and the public. The test must be conducted by (1) processing a preaudited group
of ballots punched or marked to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each
candidate and on each question, and must include for each office one or more ballot cards
which have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of
the voting system tabulator and electronic ballot marker to reject those votes; and (2)
processing an additional test deck of ballots marked using the electronic ballot marker
for the precinct, including ballots marked using the electronic ballot display, audio ballot
reader, and any assistive voting technology used with the electronic ballot marker. If any
error is detected, the cause must be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count must
be made before the voting system may be used in the election. After the completion of
the test, the programs used and ballot cards must be sealed, retained, and disposed of as
provided for paper ballots.

new text begin Testing of equipment used for early voting must be conducted as soon as practicable
after the equipment has been programmed. Testing of equipment used on the day of the
election must be conducted within the 14 days before election day.
new text end

Sec. 16. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICABILITY.
new text end

new text begin Section 14 is effective July 1, 2012, for all elections held after that date. Sections 1
to 13 and 15 are effective on June 25, 2012, for all federal, state, county, and city elections
or, if voting equipment that can tabulate at least 30 different ballot styles has not been
certified for use in this state by that date, 45 days before the next state primary or general
election held after this voting equipment is certified. Sections 1 to 13 and 15 are effective
for all elections held after January 1, 2015.
new text end