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HF 874

4th Engrossment - 84th Legislature (2005 - 2006) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

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

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Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/10/2005
1st Engrossment Posted on 04/04/2005
2nd Engrossment Posted on 04/20/2005
3rd Engrossment Posted on 05/05/2005
4th Engrossment Posted on 05/25/2005
Unofficial Engrossments
1st Unofficial Engrossment Posted on 05/20/2005
Conference Committee Reports
CCR-HF0874 Posted on 05/23/2005

Current Version - 4th Engrossment

A bill for an act
relating to elections; setting standards for and
providing for the acquisition of electronic voting
systems; appropriating money from the Help America
Vote Act account; amending Minnesota Statutes 2004,
sections 201.022, by adding a subdivision; 204B.14,
subdivision 2; 206.56, subdivisions 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, by
adding subdivisions; 206.57, subdivisions 1, 5, by
adding a subdivision; 206.61, subdivisions 4, 5;
206.64, subdivision 1; 206.80; 206.81; 206.82,
subdivisions 1, 2; 206.83; 206.84, subdivisions 1, 3,
6; 206.85, subdivision 1; 206.90, subdivisions 1, 5,
6, 8, 9; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 206.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 201.022, is
amended by adding a subdivision to read:


Subd. 3.

Consultation with local officials.

The
secretary of state must consult with representatives of local
election officials in the development of the statewide voter
registration system.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 204B.14,
subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Separate precincts; combined polling place.

(a)
The following shall constitute at least one election precinct:

(1) each city ward; and

(2) each town and each statutory city.

(b) A single, accessible, combined polling place may be
established no later than June 1 of any year:

(1) for any city of the third or fourth class, any town, or
any city having territory in more than one county, in which all
the voters of the city or town shall cast their ballots;

(2) for two contiguous precincts in the same municipality
that have a combined total of fewer than 500 registered voters;
or

(3) for up to four contiguous municipalities located
entirely outside the metropolitan area, as defined by section
473.121, subdivision 2, that are contained in the same county;
or

(4) for noncontiguous precincts located in one or more
counties
.

A copy of the ordinance or resolution establishing a
combined polling place must be filed with the county auditor
within 30 days after approval by the governing body. A polling
place combined under clause (3) must be approved by the
governing body of each participating municipality. A polling
place combined under clause (4) must be approved by the
governing body of each participating municipality and the
secretary of state and may be located outside any of the
noncontiguous precincts.
A municipality withdrawing from
participation in a combined polling place must do so by filing a
resolution of withdrawal with the county auditor no later than
May 1 of any year.

The secretary of state shall provide a separate polling
place roster for each precinct served by the combined polling
place. A single set of election judges may be appointed to
serve at a combined polling place. The number of election
judges required must be based on the total number of persons
voting at the last similar election in all precincts to be
voting at the combined polling place. Separate ballot boxes
must be provided for the ballots from each precinct. The
results of the election must be reported separately for each
precinct served by the combined polling place, except in a
polling place established under clause (2) where one of the
precincts has fewer than ten registered voters, in which case
the results of that precinct must be reported in the manner
specified by the secretary of state.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is
amended by adding a subdivision to read:


Subd. 1a.

Assistive voting technology.

"Assistive voting
technology" means touch-activated screen, buttons, keypad,
sip-and-puff input device, keyboard, earphones, or any other
device used with an electronic ballot marker that assists voters
to use an audio or electronic ballot display in order to cast
votes.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is
amended by adding a subdivision to read:


Subd. 1b.

Audio ballot reader.

"Audio ballot reader"
means an audio representation of a ballot that can be used with
other assistive voting technology to permit a voter to mark
votes on a nonelectronic ballot or to securely transmit a ballot
electronically to automatic tabulating equipment in the polling
place.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56,
subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Automatic tabulating equipment.

"Automatic
tabulating equipment" includes apparatus machines, resident
firmware, and programmable memory units
necessary to
automatically examine and count votes designated on a
ballot cards, and data processing machines which can be used for
counting ballots and tabulating results
.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56,
subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Ballot.

"Ballot" includes ballot cards and
paper ballots, ballot cards, the paper ballot marked by an
electronic marking device, and an electronic record of each vote
cast by a voter at an election and securely transmitted
electronically to automatic tabulating equipment in the polling
place
.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56,
subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Counting center.

"Counting center" means a
place selected by the governing body of a municipality where an
a central count electronic voting system is used for the
automatic processing and counting of ballots.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is
amended by adding a subdivision to read:


Subd. 7a.

Electronic ballot display.

"Electronic ballot
display" means a graphic representation of a ballot on a
computer monitor or screen on which a voter may make vote
choices for candidates and questions for the purpose of marking
a nonelectronic ballot or securely transmitting an electronic
ballot to automatic tabulating equipment in the polling place.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is
amended by adding a subdivision to read:


Subd. 7b.

Electronic ballot marker.

"Electronic ballot
marker" means equipment that is part of an electronic voting
system that uses an electronic ballot display or audio ballot
reader to:

(1) mark a nonelectronic ballot with votes selected by a
voter; or

(2) securely transmit a ballot electronically to automatic
tabulating equipment in the polling place.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56,
subdivision 8, is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Electronic voting system.

"Electronic voting
system" means a system in which the voter records votes by means
of marking or transmitting a ballot, which is designed so that
votes may be counted by automatic tabulating equipment in the
polling place where the ballot is cast or
at a counting center.

An electronic voting system includes automatic tabulating
equipment; nonelectronic ballot markers; electronic ballot
markers, including electronic ballot display, audio ballot
reader, and devices by which the voter will register the voter's
voting intent; software used to program automatic tabulators and
layout ballots; computer programs used to accumulate precinct
results; ballots; secrecy folders; system documentation; and
system testing results.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56,
subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

manual marking device.

" Manual marking device"
means any approved device for directly marking a ballot by hand
with ink, pencil,or other substance which will enable the
ballot to be tabulated by means of automatic tabulating
equipment.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.57,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Examination and report by secretary of
state; approval.

A vendor of an electronic voting system may
apply to the secretary of state to examine the system and to
report as to its compliance with the requirements of law and as
to its accuracy, durability, efficiency, and capacity to
register the will of voters. The secretary of state or a
designee shall examine the system submitted and file a report on
it in the Office of the Secretary of State. Examination is not
required of every individual machine or counting device, but
only of each type of electronic voting system before its
adoption, use, or purchase and before its continued use after
significant changes have been made in an approved system. The
examination must include the ballot programming,; electronic
ballot marking, including all assistive technologies intended to
be used with the system;
vote counting,;and vote accumulation
functions of each voting system.

If the report of the secretary of state or the secretary's
designee concludes that the kind of system examined complies
with the requirements of sections 206.55 to 206.90 and can be
used safely, the system shall be deemed approved by the
secretary of state, and may be adopted and purchased for use at
elections in this state. A voting system not approved by the
secretary of state may not be used at an election in this
state. The secretary of state may adopt permanent rules
consistent with sections 206.55 to 206.90 relating to the
examination and use of electronic voting systems.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.57,
subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Voting system for disabled voters.

In federal
and state elections held
after December 31, 2005, and in county,
municipal, and school district elections held after December 31,
2007,
the voting method used in each polling place must include
a voting system that is accessible for individuals with
disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind
and visually impaired in a manner that provides the same
opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and
independence, as for other voters.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.57, is
amended by adding a subdivision to read:


Subd. 7.

Election assistance commission standards.

If
the federal Election Assistance Commission has not established
by January 1, 2006, standards for an electronic ballot marker or
other voting system component that is required to enable a
voting system to meet the requirements of subdivision 5, the
secretary of state may certify the voting system on an
experimental basis pending the completion of federal standards,
notwithstanding subdivision 6. Within two years after the
Election Assistance Commission issues standards for a voting
system component used in a voting system authorized under this
subdivision, the secretary of state must review or reexamine the
voting system to determine whether the system conforms to
federal standards.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.61,
subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Order of candidates.

On the "State Partisan
Primary Ballot" prepared for primary elections, and on the white
ballot prepared for the general election, the order of the names
of nominees or names of candidates for election shall be the
same as required for paper ballots. More than one column or row
may be used for the same office or party. Electronic ballot
display and audio ballot readers must conform to the candidate
order on the optical scan ballot used in the precinct.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.61,
subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Alternation.

The provisions of the election
laws requiring the alternation of names of candidates must be
observed as far as practicable by changing the order of the
names on an electronic voting system in the various precincts so
that each name appears on the machines or marking devices used
in a municipality substantially an equal number of times in the
first, last, and in each intermediate place in the list or group
in which they belong. However, the arrangement of candidates'
names must be the same on all voting systems used in the same
precinct. If the number of names to be alternated exceeds the
number of precincts, the election official responsible for
providing the ballots, in accordance with subdivision 1, shall
determine by lot the alternation of names.

If an electronic ballot marker is used with a paper ballot
that is not an optical scan ballot card, the manner of
alternation of candidate names on the paper ballot must be as
prescribed for optical scan ballots in this subdivision. If a
machine is used to securely transmit a ballot electronically to
automatic tabulating equipment in the polling place, the manner
of alternation of candidate names on the transmitting machine
must be as prescribed for optical scan ballots in this
subdivision.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.64,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General provisions for electronic system
voting.

Each electronic voting system booth must be placed and
protected so that it is accessible to only one voter at a time
and is in full view of all the election judges and challengers
at the polling place. The election judges shall admit one
individual at a time to each booth after determining that the
individual is eligible to vote. Voting by electronic voting
system must be secret, except for voters who need request
assistance. A voter may remain inside the voting booth for
three minutes the time reasonably required for the voter to
complete the ballot
. A voter who refuses to leave the voting
booth after a reasonable amount of time, but not less than three
minutes,must be removed by the election judges.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.80, is
amended to read:


206.80 ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS.

(a) An electronic voting system may not be employed unless
it:

(1) permits every voter to vote in secret;

(2) permits every voter to vote for all candidates and
questions for whom or upon which the voter is legally entitled
to vote;

(3) provides for write-in voting when authorized;

(4) automatically rejects by means of the automatic
tabulating equipment
, except as provided in section 206.84 with
respect to write-in votes, all votes for an office or question
when the number of votes cast on it exceeds the number which the
voter is entitled to cast;

(5) permits a voter at a primary election to select
secretly the party for which the voter wishes to vote; and

(6) automatically rejects, by means of the automatic
tabulating equipment,
all votes cast in a primary election by a
voter when the voter votes for candidates of more than one
party; and

(7) provides every voter an opportunity to verify votes
recorded on the permanent paper ballot or paper record, either
visually or using assistive voting technology, and to change
votes or correct any error before the voter's ballot is cast and
counted, produces an individual, discrete, permanent, paper
ballot or paper record of the ballot cast by the voter, and
preserves the paper ballot or paper record as an official record
available for use in any recount
.

(b) An electronic voting system purchased on or after the
effective date of this section may not be employed unless it:

(1) accepts and tabulates, in the polling place or at a
counting center, a marked optical scan ballot;

(2) creates a marked optical scan ballot that can be
tabulated in the polling place or at a counting center by
automatic tabulating equipment certified for use in this state;
or

(3) securely transmits a ballot electronically to automatic
tabulating equipment in the polling place while creating an
individual, discrete, permanent paper record of each vote on the
ballot.

Sec. 19.

[206.805] STATE VOTING SYSTEMS CONTRACTS.

Subdivision 1.

Contracts required.

(a) The secretary of
state, with the assistance of the commissioner of
administration, shall establish one or more state voting systems
contracts. The contracts should, if practical, include
provisions for maintenance of the equipment purchased. The
voting systems contracts must address precinct-based optical
scan voting equipment, ballot marking equipment for persons with
disabilities and other voters, and assistive voting machines
that combine voting methods used for persons with disabilities
with precinct-based optical scan voting machines. The contracts
must give the state a perpetual license to use and modify the
software. The contracts must include provisions to escrow the
software source code, as provided in subdivision 2. Bids for
voting systems and related election services must be solicited
from each vendor selling or leasing voting systems that have
been certified for use by the secretary of state. The contracts
must be renewed from time to time.

(b) The secretary of state shall appoint an advisory
committee, including representatives of the state chief
information officer, county auditors, municipal clerks who have
had operational experience with the use of electronic voting
systems, and members of the disabilities community to advise the
secretary of state in reviewing and evaluating the merits of
proposals submitted from voting equipment vendors for the state
contracts.

(c) Counties and municipalities may purchase or lease
voting systems and obtain related election services from the
state contracts.

Subd. 2.

Escrow of source code.

The contracts must
require the voting system vendor to provide a copy of the source
code for the voting system to an independent third-party
evaluator selected by the vendor, the secretary of state, and
the chairs of the major political parties. The evaluator must
examine the source code and certify to the secretary of state
that the voting system will record and count votes as
represented by the vendor. Source code that is trade secret
information must be treated as nonpublic information, in
accordance with section 13.37. Each major political party may
designate an agent to examine the source code to verify that the
voting system will record and count votes as represented by the
vendor; the agent must not disclose the source code to anyone
else.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.81, is
amended to read:


206.81 ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS; EXPERIMENTAL USE.

(a) The secretary of state may approve certify an
electronic voting system for experimental use at an election
prior to its approval for general use.

(b) The secretary of state must approve one or more direct
recording electronic voting systems for experimental use at an
election before their approval for general use and may impose
restrictions on their use. At least one voting system approved
under this paragraph must permit sighted persons to vote and at
least one system must permit a blind or visually impaired voter
to cast a ballot independently and privately.

(c) Experimental use must be observed by the secretary of
state or the secretary's designee and the results observed must
be considered at any subsequent proceedings for
approval certification for general use.

(d) (c) The secretary of state may adopt rules consistent
with sections 206.55 to 206.90 relating to experimental use.
The extent of experimental use must be determined by the
secretary of state.

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.82,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Program.

A program or programs for use in
an election conducted by means of an electronic voting system or
using an electronic ballot marker
shall be prepared at the
direction of the county auditor or municipal clerk who is
responsible for the conduct of the election and shall be
independently verified by a competent person designated by that
official. The term "competent person" as used in this section
means a person who can demonstrate knowledge as a computer
programmer and who is other than and wholly independent of any
person operating or employed by the counting center or the
corporation or other preparer of the program. A test deck
prepared by a competent person shall be used for independent
verification of the program; it shall test the maximum digits
used in totaling the returns and shall be usable by insertion
during the tabulation process as well as prior to tabulation. A
test deck must also be prepared using the electronic ballot
marker program and must also be used to verify that all valid
votes counted by the vote tabulator may be selected using the
electronic ballot marker.
The secretary of state shall adopt
rules further specifying test procedures.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.82,
subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Plan.

The municipal clerk in a municipality
where an electronic voting system is used and the county auditor
of a county in which an electronic voting system is used in more
than one municipality and the county auditor of a county in
which
a counting center serving more than one municipality is
located shall prepare a plan which indicates acquisition of
sufficient facilities, computer time, and professional services
and which describes the proposed manner of complying with
section 206.80. The plan must be signed, notarized, and
submitted to the secretary of state more than 60 days before the
first election at which the municipality uses an electronic
voting system. Prior to July 1 of each subsequent general
election year, the clerk or auditor shall submit to the
secretary of state notification of any changes to the plan on
file with the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall
review each plan for its sufficiency and may request technical
assistance from the Department of Administration or other agency
which may be operating as the central computer authority. The
secretary of state shall notify each reporting authority of the
sufficiency or insufficiency of its plan within 20 days of
receipt of the plan. The attorney general, upon request of the
secretary of state, may seek a district court order requiring an
election official to fulfill duties imposed by this subdivision
or by rules promulgated pursuant to this section.

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.83, is
amended to read:


206.83 TESTING OF VOTING SYSTEMS.

Within 14 days before election day,the official in charge
of elections shall have the voting system tested to ascertain
that the system will correctly mark or securely transmit to
automatic tabulating equipment in the polling place ballots
using all methods supported by the system, including through
assistive technology, and
count the votes cast for all
candidates and on all questions within 14 days prior to election
day
. 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 or ballots securely
transmitted electronically to automatic tabulating equipment in
the polling place 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.

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.84,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Instruction of judges, voters.

The
officials in charge of elections shall determine procedures to
instruct election judges and voters in the use of electronic
voting system manual marking devices and the electronic ballot
marker, including assistive voting technology
.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.84,
subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Ballots.

The ballot information must be in the
same order provided for paper ballots, except that the
information may be in vertical or horizontal rows, or on a
number of separate pages. The secretary of state shall provide
by rule for standard ballot formats for electronic voting
systems. Electronic ballot displays and audio ballot readers
shall be in the order provided for on the optical scan ballot.
Electronic ballot displays may employ zooms or other devices as
assistive voting technology. Audio ballot readers may employ
rewinds or audio cues as assistive voting technology.

Ballot cards may contain special printed marks and holes as
required for proper positioning and reading of the ballots by
electronic vote counting equipment. Ballot cards must contain
an identification of the precinct for which they have been
prepared which can be read visually and which can be tabulated
by the automatic tabulating equipment.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.84,
subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Duties of official in charge.

The official in
charge of elections in each municipality where an electronic
voting system is used shall have the voting systems put in
order, set, adjusted, and made ready for voting when delivered
to the election precincts. The official shall also provide each
precinct with a container for transporting ballot cards to the
counting location after the polls close. The container shall be
of sturdy material to protect the ballots from all reasonably
foreseeable hazards including auto collisions. The election
judges shall meet at the polling place at least one hour before
the time for opening the polls. Before the polls open the
election judges shall compare the ballot cards used with the
sample ballots, electronic ballot displays, and audio ballot
reader
furnished to see that the names, numbers, and letters on
both agree and shall certify to that fact on forms provided for
the purpose. The certification must be filed with the election
returns.

Sec. 27.

[206.845] BALLOT RECORDING AND COUNTING
SECURITY.

Subdivision 1.

Prohibited connections.

The county
auditor and municipal clerk must secure ballot recording and
tabulating systems physically and electronically against
unauthorized access. Except for wired connections within the
polling place, ballot recording and tabulating systems must not
be connected to or operated on, directly or indirectly, any
electronic network, including a local area network, a wide-area
network, the Internet, or the World Wide Web. Wireless
communications may not be used in any way in a vote recording or
vote tabulating system. Wireless, device-to-device capability
is not permitted. No connection by modem is permitted.

Transfer of information from the ballot recording or
tabulating system to another system for network distribution or
broadcast must be made by disk, tape, or other physical means of
communication, other than direct or indirect electronic
connection of the vote recording or vote tabulating system.

Subd. 2.

Transmission to central reporting
location.

After the close of the polls, the head election judge
must create a printed record of the results of the election for
that precinct. After the record has been printed, the head
election judge in a precinct that employs automatic tabulating
equipment may transmit the accumulated tally for each device to
a central reporting location using a telephone, modem, Internet,
or other electronic connection. During the canvassing period,
the results transmitted electronically must be considered
unofficial until the canvassing board has performed a complete
reconciliation of the results.

Sec. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.85,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Duties of responsible official.

The
official in charge of elections in a municipality where an
electronic voting system is used at a counting center must:

(a) be present or personally represented throughout the
counting center proceedings;

(b) be responsible for acquiring sufficient facilities and
personnel to ensure timely and lawful processing of votes;

(c) be responsible for the proper training of all personnel
participating in counting center proceedings and deputize all
personnel who are not otherwise election judges;

(d) maintain actual control over all proceedings and be
responsible for the lawful execution of all proceedings in the
counting center whether or not by experts;

(e) be responsible for assuring the lawful retention and
storage of ballots and read-outs; and

(f) arrange for observation by the public and by
candidates' representatives of counting center procedures by
publishing the exact location of the counting center in a legal
newspaper at least once during the week preceding the week of
election and in the newspaper of widest circulation once on the
day preceding the election, or once the week preceding the
election if the newspaper is a weekly.

The official may make arrangements with news reporters
which permit prompt reporting of election results but which do
not interfere with the timely and lawful completion of counting
procedures.

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Definition.

For the purposes of this
section, "optical scan voting system" means an electronic voting
system approved for use under sections 206.80 to 206.81 in which
the voter records votes by marking with a pencil or other
writing instrument device, including an electronic ballot
marker,
a ballot on which the names of candidates, office
titles, party designation in a partisan primary or election, and
a statement of any question accompanied by the words "Yes" and
"No" are printed.

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90,
subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Instruction of judges, voters.

In instructing
judges and voters under section 206.84, subdivision 1, officials
in charge of election precincts using optical scan voting
systems shall include instruction on the proper mark for
recording votes on ballot cards marked with a pencil or other
writing instrument and the insertion by the voter of the ballot
card into automatic tabulating equipment that examines and
counts votes as the ballot card is deposited into the ballot box.

Officials shall include instruction on the insertion by the
voter of the ballot card into an electronic ballot marker that
can examine votes before the ballot card is deposited into the
ballot box.

Sec. 31.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90,
subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Ballots.

In precincts using optical scan voting
systems, a single ballot card on which all ballot information is
included must be printed in black ink on white colored material
except that marks not to be read by the automatic tabulating
equipment may be printed in another color ink.

On the front of the ballot must be printed the words
"Official Ballot" and the date of the election and lines for the
initials of at least two election judges.

When optical scan ballots are used, the offices to be
elected must appear in the following order: federal offices;
state legislative offices; constitutional offices; proposed
constitutional amendments; county offices and questions;
municipal offices and questions; school district offices and
questions; special district offices and questions; and judicial
offices.

On optical scan ballots, the names of candidates and the
words "yes" and "no" for ballot questions must be printed as
close to their corresponding vote targets as possible.

The line on an optical scan ballot for write-in votes must
contain the words "write-in, if any."

If a primary ballot contains both a partisan ballot and a
nonpartisan ballot, the instructions to voters must include a
statement that reads substantially as follows: "THIS BALLOT
CARD CONTAINS A PARTISAN BALLOT AND A NONPARTISAN BALLOT. ON
THE PARTISAN BALLOT YOU ARE PERMITTED TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES OF
ONE POLITICAL PARTY ONLY." If a primary ballot contains
political party columns on both sides of the ballot, the
instructions to voters must include a statement that reads
substantially as follows: "ADDITIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE
PRINTED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS BALLOT. VOTE FOR ONE
POLITICAL PARTY ONLY." At the bottom of each political party
column on the primary ballot, the ballot must contain a
statement that reads substantially as follows: "CONTINUE VOTING
ON THE NONPARTISAN BALLOT." The instructions in section
204D.08, subdivision 4, do not apply to optical scan partisan
primary ballots. Electronic ballot displays and audio ballot
readers must follow the order of offices and questions on the
optical scan or paper ballot used in the same precinct, or the
sample ballot posted for that precinct.

Sec. 32.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90,
subdivision 8, is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Duties of election officials.

The official in
charge of elections in each municipality where an optical scan
voting system is used shall have the electronic ballot marker
that examines and marks votes on ballot cards or the machine
that securely transmits a ballot electronically to automatic
tabulating equipment in the polling place and
the automatic
tabulating equipment that examines and counts votes as ballot
cards are deposited into ballot boxes put in order, set,
adjusted, and made ready for voting when delivered to the
election precincts.

Sec. 33.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90,
subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Spoiled ballot cards.

Automatic tabulating
equipment and electronic ballot markers must be capable of
examining a ballot card for defects and returning it to the
voter before it is counted and deposited into the ballot box and
must be programmed to return as a spoiled ballot a ballot card
with votes for an office or question which exceed the number
which the voter is entitled to cast and at a primary a ballot
card with votes for candidates of more than one party.

Sec. 34. APPROPRIATIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Assistive voting technology.

(a)
$29,000,000 is appropriated from the Help America Vote Act
account to the secretary of state for grants to counties for the
following purposes:

(1) to purchase electronic voting systems equipped for
individuals with disabilities that meet the requirements of
Minnesota Statutes, section 206.80, and have been certified by
the secretary of state under Minnesota Statutes, section 206.57;
the systems may be either ballot marking equipment for persons
with disabilities and other voters or assistive voting machines
that combine voting methods used for persons with disabilities
with precinct-based optical scan voting machines;

(2) to defray operating costs of the assistive voting
equipment purchased under clause (1), up to $600 per polling
place per year; and

(3) to the extent that money remains after purchasing an
assistive voting system for each polling place, to purchase
precinct-count or central-count optical scan electronic voting
systems.

This appropriation is available until June 30, 2009.

(b) "Operating costs" include actual county and municipal
costs for hardware maintenance, election day technical support,
software licensing, system programming, voting system testing,
training of county or municipal staff in the use of the
assistive voting system, transportation of the assistive voting
systems to and from the polling places, and storage of the
assistive voting systems between elections.

(c) The secretary of state shall allocate the amount to
each county in proportion to the number of precincts used by the
county in the state general election of 2004.

Subd. 2.

Optical scan equipment.

$6,000,000 is
appropriated from the Help America Vote Act account to the
secretary of state for grants to counties to purchase optical
scan voting equipment. Counties are eligible for grants to the
extent that they decide to purchase ballot marking machines and
as a result do not have sufficient Help America Vote Act grant
money remaining to also purchase a compatible precinct-based
optical scan machine or central-count machine. These grants
must be allocated to counties at a rate of $3,000 per eligible
precinct until the appropriation is exhausted, with priority in
the payment of grants to be given to counties currently using
hand- and central-count voting systems and counties using
precinct-count optical scan voting systems incompatible with
assistive voting systems or ballot marking machines. This
appropriation is available until June 30, 2009.

Subd. 3.

Grant application.

To receive a grant under
subdivision 1 or 2, a county must apply to the secretary of
state on forms prescribed by the secretary of state that set
forth how the grant money will be spent, which must be in
accordance with the plan adopted under section 35. A county may
submit more than one grant application, so long as the
appropriation remains available and the total amount granted to
the county does not exceed the county's allocation.

Subd. 4.

Report; audit records.

Each county receiving a
grant under subdivision 1 or 2 must report to the secretary of
state by January 15, 2006, the amount spent for the purchase of
each kind of electronic voting system and for operating costs of
the systems purchased. The secretary of state shall compile
this information and report it to the legislature by February
15, 2006.

In addition to the report required by this section, each
county receiving a grant under this act must maintain financial
records for each grant sufficient to satisfy federal audit
standards and must transmit those records to the secretary of
state upon request of the secretary of state.

Subd. 5.

Access to polling places.

$290,000 is
appropriated from the Help America Vote Act account to the
secretary of state to make grants to counties and municipalities
to improve access to polling places for individuals with
disabilities, to be available until June 30, 2007.

Subd. 6.

Administrative costs.

$3,000,000 is
appropriated from the Help America Vote Act account to the
secretary of state for the following purposes, to be available
until June 30, 2007:

(1) $1,218,000 to maintain the statewide voter registration
system and to develop the capacity to handle registration and
election transactions at the polling place;

(2) $20,000 to verify voter registration data against the
Department of Public Safety driver's license and Social Security
number database;

(3) $200,000 to make the statewide voter registration
system available for use by local election officials;

(4) $440,000 to assist local election officials using the
statewide voter registration system;

(5) $79,000 to develop and operate the system for matching
Social Security numbers against driver's license records;

(6) $83,000 for the state court administrator to automate
the interchange of information between the state courts and the
statewide voter registration system;

(7) $200,000 to administer implementation of the Help
America Vote Act and to audit the grants to counties and
municipalities under this section;

(8) $120,000 to process complaints received under Minnesota
Statutes, section 200.04;

(9) $40,000 to establish the state voting systems contracts
required by new Minnesota Statutes, section 206.805, and to
administer the grants to counties and municipalities under this
section;

(10) $200,000 to train local election officials on the use,
maintenance, and implementation of the new electronic voting
systems purchased with the appropriations in this section; and

(11) $400,000 to educate voters on how to vote using the
new electronic voting systems purchased with the appropriations
in this section.

Subd. 7.

Use of balance.

Any balance remaining in the
Help America Vote Act account after previous appropriations and
the appropriations in this section is reserved for future
appropriations to supplement those made in subdivisions 1 and 2
of this section.

Sec. 35. LOCAL EQUIPMENT PLANS.

(a) The county auditor shall convene a working group of all
city, town, and school district election officials in each
county to create a local equipment plan. The working group must
continue to meet until the plan is completed, which must be no
later than September 15, 2005, or 45 days after state
certification of assistive voting systems, whichever is later.
The plan must:

(1) contain procedures to implement voting systems as
defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 206.80, in each polling
location;

(2) define who is responsible for any capital or operating
costs related to election equipment not covered by federal money
from the Help America Vote Act account; and

(3) outline how the federal money from the Help America
Vote Act account will be spent.

(b) A county plan must provide funding to purchase either
precinct-based optical scan voting equipment or assistive voting
machines that combine voting methods used for persons with
disabilities with precinct-based optical scan voting machines
for any precinct whose city or town requests it, if the
requesting city or town agrees with the county on who will be
responsible for operating and replacement costs related to the
use of the precinct-based equipment.

(c) The plan must be submitted to the secretary of state
for review and comment.

(d) The county board of commissioners must adopt the local
equipment plan after a public hearing. Money from the Help
America Vote Act account may not be expended until the plan is
adopted. The county auditor shall file the adopted local
equipment plan with the secretary of state.

Sec. 36. MAIL BALLOTING.

Nothing in this act is intended to preclude the use of mail
balloting in those precincts where it is allowed under state law.

Sec. 37. EFFECTIVE DATE.

This act is effective the day following final enactment.

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700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569