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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 1153

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/07/2019 07:26pm

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/14/2019

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; allowing the presidential nomination primary to be conducted
by mail; restricting access to voter party designation; requiring the use of a single
ballot in the presidential nomination primary; authorizing additional reimbursements
to counties for conducting the presidential nomination primary; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 201.091, subdivision 4; 204B.14, subdivisions
2, 4; 204C.10; 207A.12; 207A.13; 207A.14; 207A.15, subdivision 2; proposing
coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 207A.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 201.091, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Public information lists.

The county auditor shall make available for inspection
a public information list which must contain the name, address, year of birth, and voting
history of each registered voter in the county. deleted text beginThe list must include the party choice of any
voter who voted in the most recent presidential nomination primary.
deleted text end The telephone number
must be included on the list if provided by the voter. The public information list may also
include information on voting districts. The county auditor may adopt reasonable rules
governing access to the list. No individual inspecting the public information list shall tamper
with or alter it in any manner. No individual who inspects the public information list or who
acquires a list of registered voters prepared from the public information list may use any
information contained in the list for purposes unrelated to elections, political activities, or
law enforcement. The secretary of state may provide copies of the public information lists
and other information from the statewide registration system for uses related to elections,
political activities, or in response to a law enforcement inquiry from a public official
concerning a failure to comply with any criminal statute or any state or local tax statute.

Before inspecting the public information list or obtaining a list of voters or other
information from the list, the individual shall provide identification to the public official
having custody of the public information list and shall state in writing that any information
obtained from the list will not be used for purposes unrelated to elections, political activities,
or law enforcement. Requests to examine or obtain information from the public information
lists or the statewide registration system must be made and processed in the manner provided
in the rules of the secretary of state.

Upon receipt of a statement signed by the voter that withholding the voter's name from
the public information list is required for the safety of the voter or the voter's family, the
secretary of state and county auditor must withhold from the public information list the
name of a registered voter.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, 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
deleted text begin November 1 if a presidential nomination primary is scheduled to occur in the following
year or
deleted text end May 1 of any deleted text beginotherdeleted text end 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 contiguous precincts in the same municipality;

(3) for up to four contiguous municipalities located entirely outside the metropolitan
area, as defined by section 200.02, subdivision 24, that are contained in the same county;
or

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

Subject to the requirements of paragraph (c), a single, accessible, combined polling place
may be established after May 1 of any year in the event of an emergency.

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 deleted text beginOctober 1 if a presidential nomination primary is
scheduled to occur in the following year or
deleted text end April 1 of any deleted text beginotherdeleted text end year.

The secretary of state shall provide a separate polling place roster for each precinct
served by the combined polling place, except that in a precinct that uses electronic rosters
the secretary of state shall provide separate data files for each precinct. 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.

(c) If a local elections official determines that an emergency situation preventing the
safe, secure, and full operation of a polling place on election day has occurred or is imminent,
the local elections official may combine two or more polling places for that election pursuant
to this subdivision. To the extent possible, the polling places must be combined and the
election conducted according to the requirements of paragraph (b), except that:

(1) polling places may be combined after May 1 and until the polls close on election
day;

(2) any city or town, regardless of size or location, may establish a combined polling
place under this paragraph;

(3) the governing body is not required to adopt an ordinance or resolution to establish
the combined polling place;

(4) a polling place combined under paragraph (b), clause (3) or (4), must be approved
by the local election official of each participating municipality;

(5) the local elections official must immediately notify the county auditor and the
secretary of state of the combination, including the reason for the emergency combination
and the location of the combined polling place. As soon as possible, the local elections
official must also post a notice stating the reason for the combination and the location of
the combined polling place. The notice must also be posted on the governing board's website,
if one exists. The local elections official must also notify the election judges and request
that local media outlets publicly announce the reason for the combination and the location
of the combined polling place; and

(6) on election day, the local elections official must post a notice in large print in a
conspicuous place at the polling place where the emergency occurred, if practical, stating
the location of the combined polling place. The local election official must also post the
notice, if practical, in a location visible by voters who vote from their motor vehicles as
provided in section 204C.15, subdivision 2. If polling place hours are extended pursuant to
section 204C.05, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), the posted notices required by this paragraph
must include a statement that the polling place hours at the combined polling place will be
extended until the specified time.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 204B.14, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Boundary change procedure.

Any change in the boundary of an election
precinct must be adopted at least ten weeks before the date of the next election and, for the
state primary and general election deleted text beginor presidential nomination primarydeleted text end, no later than deleted text beginDecemberdeleted text end
new text begin June new text end1 in the deleted text beginyear prior to thedeleted text end year of the state general election. The precinct boundary
change shall not take effect until notice of the change has been posted in the office of the
municipal clerk or county auditor for at least 56 days.

The county auditor must publish a notice illustrating or describing the congressional,
legislative, and county commissioner district boundaries in the county in one or more
qualified newspapers in the county at least 14 days before the first day to file affidavits of
candidacy for the state general election in the year ending in two.

Alternate dates for adopting changes in precinct boundaries, posting notices of boundary
changes, and notifying voters affected by boundary changes pursuant to this subdivision,
and procedures for coordinating precinct boundary changes with reestablishing local
government election district boundaries may be established in the manner provided in the
rules of the secretary of state.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 204C.10, is amended to read:


204C.10 POLLING PLACE ROSTER; VOTER SIGNATURE CERTIFICATE;
VOTER RECEIPT.

(a) An individual seeking to vote shall sign a polling place roster or voter signature
certificate which 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: "I 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."

deleted text begin (b) At the presidential nomination primary, the polling place roster must also state: "I
am in general agreement with the principles of the party for whose candidate I intend to
vote, and I understand that my choice of a party's ballot will be public information." This
statement must appear separately from the statements required in paragraph (a). The felony
penalty provided for in paragraph (a) does not apply to this paragraph.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (c)deleted text end new text begin(b) new text endA judge may, before the applicant signs the roster or voter signature certificate,
confirm the applicant's name, address, and date of birth.

deleted text begin (d)deleted text end new text begin(c) new text endAfter the applicant signs the roster or voter signature certificate, 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.

deleted text begin (e)deleted text end new text begin(d) new text endWhenever a challenged status appears on the polling place roster, an election
judge must ensure that the challenge is concealed or hidden from the view of any voter other
than the voter whose status is challenged.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 207A.12, is amended to read:


207A.12 CONDUCTING PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION PRIMARY.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Election law applies. new text end

deleted text begin(a)deleted text end Except as otherwise provided by law, the
presidential nomination primary must be conducted, and the results canvassed and returned,
in the manner provided by law for the state primarynew text begin and for absentee votingnew text end.

deleted text begin (b) An individual seeking to vote at the presidential nomination primary must be
registered to vote pursuant to section 201.054, subdivision 1. The voter must request the
ballot of the party for whose candidate the individual wishes to vote. Notwithstanding section
204C.18, subdivision 1, the election judge must record in the polling place roster the name
of the political party whose ballot the voter requested. When posting voter history pursuant
to section 201.171, the county auditor must include the name of the political party whose
ballot the voter requested. The voter instruction posters, pamphlets, and other informational
materials prepared for a presidential primary by the secretary of state pursuant to section
204B.27 must include information about the requirements of this paragraph, including a
notice that the voter's choice of a political party's ballot will be recorded and is public
information.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (c) Immediately after the state canvassing board declares the results of the presidential
nomination primary, the secretary of state must notify the chair of each party of the results.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (d) The results of the presidential nomination primary must bind the election of delegates
in each party.
deleted text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Mail balloting. new text end

new text begin (a) The presidential nomination primary shall be conducted by
mail with no polling place other than the office of the county auditor or other locations
designated by the county auditor. The voter may return the ballot by mail or in person to
the office of the county auditor or other location as designated by the county auditor.
new text end

new text begin (b) Not more than 46 days nor later than 14 days before the date of the presidential
nomination primary, the county auditor shall mail ballots by nonforwardable mail to all
voters registered in the county. No later than 14 days before the election, the county auditor
must make a subsequent mailing of ballots to those voters who register to vote after the
initial mailing but before the 20th day before the presidential nomination primary. Eligible
voters not registered at the time the ballots are mailed may apply for ballots as provided in
chapter 203B.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 207A.13, is amended to read:


207A.13 FORM OF BALLOTSnew text begin AND ENVELOPESnew text end; CANDIDATES ON BALLOT.

Subdivision 1.

Formnew text begin of ballotsnew text end.

(a) Except as provided by law, presidential nomination
primary ballots shall be printed in the same manner as state primary ballots as far as
practicable. A sufficient number of deleted text begineach ballotdeleted text end new text beginballots new text endshall be printed for each precinct and
ward in the state.

(b) There must be deleted text beginseparate ballots for the names of the candidates of each political party.
Each ballot must be
deleted text end new text begina single ballot for the presidential nomination primary. The ballot shall
be
new text endheaded by the words "Presidential Nomination Primary Ballot." deleted text beginThe heading must also
indicate the party that appears on the ballot
deleted text endnew text begin The presidential nomination primary is exempt
from the base rotation requirements of Minnesota Rules, part 8220.0825
new text end.

(c) If requested by a party chair, the new text begincolumn on the new text endballot for that party must contain a
place for a voter to indicate a preference for having delegates to the party's national
convention remain uncommitted. If requested by a party chair, the new text begincolumn on the new text endballot for
that party must contain a blank line printed below the other choices on the ballot so that a
voter may write in the name of a person who is not listed on the ballot. A request under this
paragraph must be submitted to the secretary of state no later than 63 days before the
presidential nomination primary.

new text begin Subd. 1a. new text end

new text begin Form of envelope. new text end

new text begin The signature envelope must include:
new text end

new text begin (1) a place for the voter to select which party the voter will vote for; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the following statement: "I am in general agreement with the principles of the party
for whose candidate I intend to vote."
new text end

Subd. 2.

Candidates on the ballot.

(a) Each party must determine which candidates are
to be placed on the presidential nomination primary ballot for that party. The chair of each
party must submit to the secretary of state the names of the candidates to appear on the
ballot deleted text beginfor that partydeleted text end no later than 63 days before the presidential nomination primary. Once
submitted, changes must not be made to the candidates that will appear on the ballot.

(b) No later than the seventh day before the presidential nomination primary, the chair
of each party must submit to the secretary of state the names of write-in candidates, if any,
to be counted for that party.

Sec. 7.

new text begin [207A.131] BALLOT BOARD; PARTY LISTS; PRIMARY RESULTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Ballot board. new text end

new text begin (a) The county auditor must appoint a ballot board to
examine the signature envelopes and mark them "accepted" or "rejected" as provided in
section 203B.121. For each signature envelope examined, the county auditor, or designee
on the ballot board, must record in the polling place roster the name of the political party
selected by the voter. If a voter did not select a party or selected more than one party, the
ballot board must reject the ballot. The selection of a political party must not be included
in the voter's history or the public information list.
new text end

new text begin (b) After opening a signature envelope, the secrecy envelope must be removed and
placed into the pile corresponding to the party selected by the voter on the signature envelope.
When the secrecy envelopes are opened, a ballot must be spoiled if:
new text end

new text begin (1) there are votes for more than one party; or
new text end

new text begin (2) the party voted for does not correspond to the party in which pile the ballot was
placed.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Party list. new text end

new text begin The secretary of state must maintain a list of each voter who voted
in the presidential nomination primary and the party selected by that voter. Information
maintained on the list is private data on individuals as defined under section 13.02,
subdivision 12, except that the secretary of state must provide to the chair of each major
political party a list of voters who selected that party for the most recent presidential
nomination primary.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Results. new text end

new text begin Immediately after the state canvassing board declares the results of
the presidential nomination primary, the secretary of state must notify the chair of each
party of the results. The results of the presidential nomination primary must bind the election
of delegates in each party.
new text end

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 207A.14, is amended to read:


207A.14 NOTICE OF PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION PRIMARY; SAMPLE
BALLOTS.

Subdivision 1.

Notice of primary to counties deleted text beginand municipalitiesdeleted text end.

Twenty weeks before
a presidential nomination primary is to be held, the secretary of state shall provide notice
to the county auditor of each county of the date of the presidential nomination primary.
deleted text begin Within ten days after notification by the secretary of state, each county auditor shall provide
notice of the date of the presidential nomination primary to each municipal clerk in the
county.
deleted text end

Subd. 2.

Sample ballots.

No later than 70 days before the presidential nomination
primary, the secretary of state must supply each county auditor with new text begina new text endsample deleted text beginballotsdeleted text end new text beginballot
new text end to be used at the presidential nomination primary. The sample deleted text beginballotsdeleted text end new text beginballot new text endmust illustrate
the format required for the ballots used in the presidential nomination primary.

Subd. 3.

Notice of primary to public.

At least 15 days before the date of the presidential
nomination primary, each deleted text beginmunicipal clerkdeleted text end new text begincounty auditor new text endshall post a public notice stating
the date of the presidential nomination primarydeleted text begin, the location of each polling place in the
municipality, the hours during which the polling places in the municipality will be open,
and information about the requirements of section 207A.12, paragraph (b), including a
notice that the voter's choice of a political party's ballot will be recorded and is public
information. The county auditor shall post a similar notice in the auditor's office with
information for any polling places in unorganized territory in the county
deleted text end. The governing
body of deleted text begina municipality ordeleted text end new text begina new text endcounty may publish the notice in addition to posting it. Failure
to give notice does not invalidate the election.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 207A.15, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Reimbursable local expenses.

(a) The secretary of state shall reimburse the
counties and municipalities for expenses incurred in the administration of the presidential
nomination primary from money contained in the presidential nomination primary elections
account. The following expenses are eligible for reimbursement: preparation and printing
of ballots; postage for deleted text beginabsenteedeleted text end new text beginmailing and returning new text endballots; publication of the sample
ballot; deleted text beginpreparation of polling places in an amount not to exceed $150 per polling place;
preparation of electronic voting systems in an amount not to exceed $100 per precinct;
deleted text end
compensation for temporary staff or overtime payments; salaries of election judges; deleted text beginanddeleted text end
compensation of county canvassing board membersnew text begin; and other expenses as approved by the
secretary of state
new text end.

(b) Within 60 days after the results of a presidential nomination primary are certified
by the State Canvassing Board, the county auditor must submit a request for payment of
the costs incurred by the county for conducting the presidential nomination primary, and
the municipal clerk must submit a request for payment of the costs incurred by the
municipality for conducting the presidential nomination primary. The request for payment
must be submitted to the secretary of state, and must be accompanied by an itemized
description of actual county or municipal expenditures, including copies of invoices. In
addition, the county auditor or municipal clerk must certify that the request for reimbursement
is based on actual costs incurred by the county or municipality in the presidential nomination
primary.

(c) The secretary of state shall provide each county and municipality with the appropriate
forms for requesting payment and certifying expenses under this subdivision. The secretary
of state must not reimburse expenses unless the request for payment and certification of
costs has been submitted as provided in this subdivision. The secretary of state must complete
the issuance of reimbursements to the counties and municipalities no later than 90 days after
the results of the presidential nomination primary have been certified by the State Canvassing
Board.

Sec. 10. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin This act is effective July 1, 2019, and applies to presidential nomination primaries
conducted on or after that date.
new text end