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HF 2096

2nd Engrossment - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 04/10/2014 09:06am

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; modifying campaign finance definition; providing for
submission of voter registration and absentee ballot applications online;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 10A.01, subdivision 26; 201.061,
subdivision 1, by adding a subdivision; 201.071, subdivisions 1, 3; 201.081;
203B.04, by adding a subdivision; 203B.17; Minnesota Statutes 2013
Supplement, sections 201.275; 203B.04, subdivision 1.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.01, subdivision 26, is amended to read:


Subd. 26.

Noncampaign disbursement.

"Noncampaign disbursement" means
a purchase or payment of money or anything of value made, or an advance of credit
incurred, or a donation in kind received, by a principal campaign committee for any of
the following purposes:

(1) payment for accounting and legal services;

(2) return of a contribution to the source;

(3) repayment of a loan made to the principal campaign committee by that committee;

(4) return of a public subsidy;

(5) payment for food, beverages, and necessary utensils and supplies, entertainment,
and facility rental for a fund-raising event;

(6) services for a constituent by a member of the legislature or a constitutional officer
in the executive branch, including the costs of preparing and distributing a suggestion or
idea solicitation to constituents, performed from the beginning of the term of office to
adjournment sine die of the legislature in the election year for the office held, and half
the cost of services for a constituent by a member of the legislature or a constitutional
officer in the executive branch performed from adjournment sine die to 60 days after
adjournment sine die;

(7) payment for food and beverages consumed by a candidate or volunteers while
they are engaged in campaign activities;

(8) payment for food or a beverage consumed while attending a reception or meeting
directly related to legislative duties;

(9) payment of expenses incurred by elected or appointed leaders of a legislative
caucus in carrying out their leadership responsibilities;

(10) payment by a principal campaign committee of the candidate's expenses for
serving in public office, other than for personal uses;

(11) costs of child care for the candidate's children when campaigning;

(12) fees paid to attend a campaign school;

(13) costs of a postelection party during the election year when a candidate's name
will no longer appear on a ballot or the general election is concluded, whichever occurs first;

(14) interest on loans paid by a principal campaign committee on outstanding loans;

(15) filing fees;

(16) post-general election holiday or seasonal cards, thank-you notes, or
advertisements in the news media mailed or published prior to the end of the election cycle;

(17) the cost of campaign material purchased to replace defective campaign material,
if the defective material is destroyed without being used;

(18) contributions to a party unit;

(19) payments for funeral gifts or memorials;

(20) the cost of a magnet less than six inches in diameter containing legislator
contact information and distributed to constituents;

(21) costs associated with a candidate attending a political party state or national
convention in this state;

(22) other purchases or payments specified in board rules or advisory opinions as
being for any purpose other than to influence the nomination or election of a candidate or
to promote or defeat a ballot question; and

(23) costs paid to a third party for processing contributions made by a credit card,
debit card, or electronic check.

The board must determine whether an activity involves a noncampaign disbursement
within the meaning of this subdivision.

A noncampaign disbursement is considered to be made in the year in which the
candidate made the purchase of goods or services or incurred an obligation to pay for
goods or services.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.061, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Prior to election day.

(a) At any time except during the 20
days immediately preceding any regularly scheduled election, an eligible voter or any
individual who will be an eligible voter at the time of the next election may register to vote
in the precinct in which the voter maintains residence by completing a voter registration
application as described in section 201.071, subdivision 1, and submitting it. A completed
application may be submitted:

(1) in person or by mail to the county auditor of that county or to the Secretary
of State's Office; or

(2) electronically through a secure Web site that shall be maintained by the secretary
of state for this purpose, if the applicant has an e-mail address and provides the applicant's
verifiable Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota state identification card number,
or the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number
.

A registration that is received in person or by mail no later than 5:00 p.m. on the
21st day preceding any election, or a registration received electronically through the
secretary of state's secure Web site no later than 11:59 p.m. on the 21st day preceding any
election,
shall be accepted. An improperly addressed or delivered registration application
shall be forwarded within two working days after receipt to the county auditor of the
county where the voter maintains residence. A state or local agency or an individual that
accepts completed voter registration applications from a voter must submit the completed
applications to the secretary of state or the appropriate county auditor within ten calendar
days after the applications are dated by the voter.

(b) An application submitted electronically under paragraph (a), clause (2), may only
be transmitted to the county auditor for processing if the secretary of state has verified the
application information matches the information in a government database associated with
the applicant's driver's license number, state identification card number, or Social Security
number. The secretary of state must review all unverifiable voter registration applications
submitted electronically for evidence of suspicious activity and must forward any such
application to an appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.

An individual may not electronically submit a voter registration application on
behalf of any other individual.

(c) For purposes of this section, mail registration is defined as a voter registration
application delivered to the secretary of state, county auditor, or municipal clerk by the
United States Postal Service or a commercial carrier.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.061, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 8.

Web site security.

The secretary of state shall maintain a log of each
Internet Protocol address used to submit a voter registration application electronically
under subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), and must monitor the log, volume of
Web site use, and other appropriate indicators for suspicious activity. Evidence of
suspicious activity that cannot be resolved by the secretary of state must be forwarded to
an appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.071, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Form.

Both paper and electronic voter registration applications must
contain the same information unless otherwise provided by law.
A voter registration
application must be of suitable size and weight for mailing and contain spaces for the
following required information: voter's first name, middle name, and last name; voter's
previous name, if any; voter's current address; voter's previous address, if any; voter's
date of birth; voter's municipality and county of residence; voter's telephone number, if
provided by the voter; date of registration; current and valid Minnesota driver's license
number or Minnesota state identification number, or if the voter has no current and valid
Minnesota driver's license or Minnesota state identification, the last four digits of the
voter's Social Security number; and voter's signature. The paper registration application
may include the voter's e-mail address, if provided by the voter, and. The electronic
voter registration application must include the voter's e-mail address. The registration
application may include
the voter's interest in serving as an election judge, if indicated by
the voter. The application must also contain the following certification of voter eligibility:

"I certify that I:

(1) will be at least 18 years old on election day;

(2) am a citizen of the United States;

(3) will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding election day;

(4) maintain residence at the address given on the registration form;

(5) am not under court-ordered guardianship in which the court order revokes my
right to vote;

(6) have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote;

(7) have the right to vote because, if I have been convicted of a felony, my felony
sentence has expired (been completed) or I have been discharged from my sentence; and

(8) have read and understand the following statement: that giving false information
is a felony punishable by not more than five years imprisonment or a fine of not more
than $10,000, or both."

The certification must include boxes for the voter to respond to the following
questions:

"(1) Are you a citizen of the United States?" and

"(2) Will you be 18 years old on or before election day?"

And the instruction:

"If you checked 'no' to either of these questions, do not complete this form."

A paper voter registration application must be of suitable size and weight for
mailing.
The form of the voter registration application and the certification of voter
eligibility must be as provided in this subdivision and approved by the secretary of state.
Voter registration forms authorized by the National Voter Registration Act must also be
accepted as valid. The federal postcard application form must also be accepted as valid if
it is not deficient and the voter is eligible to register in Minnesota.

An individual may use a voter registration application to apply to register to vote in
Minnesota or to change information on an existing registration.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.071, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Deficient registration.

No voter registration application is deficient if it
contains the voter's name, address, date of birth, current and valid Minnesota driver's
license number or Minnesota state identification number, or if the voter has no current and
valid Minnesota driver's license or Minnesota state identification number, the last four
digits of the voter's Social Security number, if the voter has been issued a Social Security
number, prior registration, if any, and signature. The absence of a zip code number does
not cause the registration to be deficient. Failure to check a box on an application form
that a voter has certified to be true does not cause the registration to be deficient. The
election judges shall request an individual to correct a voter registration application if it is
deficient or illegible. No eligible voter may be prevented from voting unless the voter's
registration application is deficient or the voter is duly and successfully challenged in
accordance with section 201.195 or 204C.12.

A voter registration application accepted prior to August 1, 1983, is not deficient
for lack of date of birth. The county or municipality may attempt to obtain the date of
birth for a voter registration application accepted prior to August 1, 1983, by a request to
the voter at any time except at the polling place. Failure by the voter to comply with this
request does not make the registration deficient.

A voter registration application accepted before January 1, 2004, is not deficient for
lack of a valid Minnesota driver's license or state identification number or the last four
digits of a Social Security number. A voter registration application submitted by a voter
who does not have a Minnesota driver's license or state identification number, or a Social
Security number, is not deficient for lack of any of these numbers.

A voter registration application submitted electronically through the Web site of the
secretary of state prior to the effective date of this section is not invalid as a result of
its electronic submission.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.081, is amended to read:


201.081 REGISTRATION FILES.

(a) The statewide registration system is the official record of registered voters.
The voter registration applications and the terminal providing access to the statewide
registration system must be under the control of the county auditor or the public official
to whom the county auditor has delegated the responsibility for maintaining voter
registration records. The voter registration applications and terminals providing access
to the statewide registration system must not be removed from the control of the county
auditor except as provided in this section. The county auditor may make photographic
copies of voter registration applications in the manner provided by section 138.17.

(b) A properly completed voter registration application that has been submitted
electronically or in paper form to the secretary of state or a county auditor must be
maintained by the secretary of state or the county auditor for at least 22 months after the
date that the information on the application is entered into the database of the statewide
registration system. The secretary of state or the county auditor may dispose of the
applications after retention for 22 months in the manner provided by section 138.17.

(c) Data contained on a voter registration application submitted electronically
through the secure Web site established in section 201.061, subdivision 1, must be
maintained in its original form, in a manner suitable for printing, for the period required
by this section. The Internet Protocol address used to submit an application electronically
must be maintained with the voter registration application data.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 201.275, is amended to read:


201.275 INVESTIGATIONS; PROSECUTIONS.

A law enforcement agency that is notified by affidavit of an alleged violation of this
chapter shall promptly investigate. Upon receiving an affidavit alleging a violation of this
chapter, a county attorney shall promptly forward it to a law enforcement agency with
jurisdiction for investigation. If there is probable cause for instituting a prosecution,
the county attorney shall proceed by complaint or present the charge, with whatever
evidence has been found, to the grand jury. A county attorney who refuses or intentionally
fails to faithfully perform this or any other duty imposed by this chapter is guilty of
a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall forfeit office. The county attorney, under
the penalty of forfeiture of office, shall prosecute all violations of this chapter except
violations of this section; if, however, a complainant withdraws an allegation under this
chapter, the county attorney is not required to proceed with the prosecution.

Where the matter relates to a voter registration application submitted electronically
through the secure Web site established in section 201.061, subdivision 1, alleged
violations of this chapter may be investigated and prosecuted in the county in which the
individual registered or attempted to register.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 203B.04, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Application procedures.

(a) Except as otherwise allowed by
subdivision 2 or by section 203B.11, subdivision 4, an application for absentee ballots for
any election may be submitted at any time not less than one day before the day of that
election. The county auditor shall prepare absentee ballot application forms in the format
provided by the secretary of state and shall furnish them to any person on request. By
January 1 of each even-numbered year, the secretary of state shall make the forms to be
used available to auditors through electronic means. An application submitted pursuant
to this subdivision shall be in writing and shall be submitted. An application may be
submitted in person or by mail
to:

(1) the county auditor of the county where the applicant maintains residence; or

(2) the municipal clerk of the municipality, or school district if applicable, where
the applicant maintains residence.

For a federal, state, or county election, an absentee ballot application may alternatively
be submitted electronically through a secure Web site that shall be maintained by the
secretary of state for this purpose. Notwithstanding paragraph (b), the secretary of state
must require applicants using the Web site to submit the applicant's e-mail address and
verifiable Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota state identification card number,
or the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number.

An application submitted electronically under this paragraph may only be transmitted to
the county auditor for processing if the secretary of state has verified the application
information matches the information in a government database associated with the
applicant's driver's license number, state identification card number, or Social Security
number. The secretary of state must review all unverifiable applications for evidence
of suspicious activity and must forward any such application to an appropriate law
enforcement agency for investigation.

(b) An application shall be approved if it is timely received, signed and dated by
the applicant, contains the applicant's name and residence and mailing addresses, date
of birth, and at least one of the following:

(1) the applicant's Minnesota driver's license number;

(2) Minnesota state identification card number;

(3) the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number; or

(4) a statement that the applicant does not have any of these numbers.

(c) To be approved, the application must contain an oath that the information
contained on the form is accurate, that the applicant is applying on the applicant's own
behalf, and that the applicant is signing the form under penalty of perjury.

(d) An applicant's full date of birth, Minnesota driver's license or state identification
number, and the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number must not be
made available for public inspection. An application may be submitted to the county
auditor or municipal clerk by an electronic facsimile device. An application mailed or
returned in person to the county auditor or municipal clerk on behalf of a voter by a
person other than the voter must be deposited in the mail or returned in person to the
county auditor or municipal clerk within ten days after it has been dated by the voter and
no later than six days before the election. The absentee ballot applications or a list of
persons applying for an absentee ballot may not be made available for public inspection
until the close of voting on election day.

(e) An application under this subdivision may contain an application under
subdivision 5 to automatically receive an absentee ballot application.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.04, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 7.

Web site security.

The secretary of state shall maintain a log of each
Internet Protocol address used to submit an absentee ballot application electronically under
this section, and must monitor the log, volume of Web site use, and other appropriate
indicators for suspicious activity. Evidence of suspicious activity that cannot be resolved
by the secretary of state must be forwarded to an appropriate law enforcement agency for
investigation.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.17, is amended to read:


203B.17 APPLICATION FOR BALLOT.

Subdivision 1.

Submission of application.

(a) An application for absentee ballots
for a voter described in section 203B.16 must be in writing and may be submitted in
writing or person, by mail, by electronic facsimile device, or by electronic mail, or
electronically through a secure Web site that shall be maintained by the secretary of state
for this purpose,
upon determination by the secretary of state that security concerns have
been adequately addressed. An application for absentee ballots for a voter described in
section 203B.16 may be submitted by that voter or by that voter's parent, spouse, sister,
brother, or child over the age of 18 years. For purposes of an application under this
subdivision, a person's Social Security number, no matter how it is designated, qualifies as
the person's military identification number if the person is in the military.

(b) An application for a voter described in section 203B.16, subdivision 1, shall be
submitted to the county auditor of the county where the voter maintains residence or
through the secure Web site maintained by the secretary of state
.

(c) An application for a voter described in section 203B.16, subdivision 2, shall be
submitted to the county auditor of the county where the voter last maintained residence in
Minnesota or through the secure Web site maintained by the secretary of state.

(d) An application for absentee ballots shall be valid for any primary, special
primary, general election, or special election from the time the application is received
through the end of that calendar year.

(e) There shall be no limitation of time for filing and receiving applications for
ballots under sections 203B.16 to 203B.27.

Subd. 2.

Required information.

An application shall be accepted if it contains the
following information stated under oath:

(a) the voter's name, birthdate, and present address of residence in Minnesota, or
former address of residence in Minnesota if the voter is living permanently outside the
United States;

(b) a statement indicating that the voter is in the military, or is the spouse or
dependent of an individual serving in the military, or is temporarily outside the territorial
limits of the United States, or is living permanently outside the territorial limits of the
United States and voting under federal law;

(c) a statement that the voter expects to be absent from the precinct at the time
of the election;

(d) the address to which absentee ballots are to be mailed;

(e) the voter's signature or the signature and relationship of the individual authorized
to apply on the voter's behalf; and

(f) the voter's passport number, Minnesota driver's license or state identification card
number, or the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number; if the voter does not
have access to any of these documents, the voter or other individual requesting absentee
ballots may attest to the truthfulness of the contents of the application under penalty
of perjury; and

(g) the voter's e-mail address, if the application was submitted electronically through
the secure Web site maintained by the secretary of state
.

Notwithstanding clause (f), an application submitted through the secretary of state's Web
site must include the voter's verifiable Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota state
identification card number, or the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number,
and may only be transmitted to the county auditor for processing if the secretary of
state has verified the application information matches the information in a government
database associated with the applicant's driver's license number, state identification card
number, or Social Security number. The secretary of state must review all unverifiable
applications for evidence of suspicious activity and must forward any such application to
an appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.

Subd. 3.

Web site security.

The secretary of state shall maintain a log of each
Internet Protocol address used to submit an absentee ballot application electronically under
this section, and must monitor the log, volume of Web site use, and other appropriate
indicators for suspicious activity. Evidence of suspicious activity that cannot be resolved
by the secretary of state must be forwarded to an appropriate law enforcement agency for
investigation.

Sec. 11. EFFECTIVE DATE.

Sections 1 to 10 are effective the day following final enactment.

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 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36
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 3.34
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 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8
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6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 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 8.31 8.32 8.33 8.34
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

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