relating to elections; providing for early voting; appropriating money;amending
Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 201.022, subdivision 1; 203B.001; 203B.01,
by adding a subdivision; 203B.03, subdivision 1; 203B.05, subdivision 1;
203B.081; 203B.085; 203B.121, subdivisions 1, 3, 4, 5, by adding a subdivision;
204B.28, subdivision 2; 206.82, subdivision 1; 206.83; proposing coding for new
law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 203B.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.022, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
Subdivision 1. Establishment.
The secretary of state shall maintain a statewide
voter registration system to facilitate voter registration and to provide a central database
containing voter registration information from around the state. The system must be
accessible to the county auditor of each county in the state. The system must also:
(1) provide for voters to submit their voter registration applications to any county
auditor, the secretary of state, or the Department of Public Safety;
(2) provide for the definition, establishment, and maintenance of a central database
for all voter registration information;
(3) provide for entering data into the statewide registration system;
(4) provide for electronic transfer of completed voter registration applications from
the Department of Public Safety to the secretary of state or the county auditor;
(5) assign a unique identifier to each legally registered voter in the state;
(6) provide for the acceptance of the Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota
state identification number, and last four digits of the Social Security number for each
(7) coordinate with other agency databases within the state;
(8) allow county auditors and the secretary of state to add or modify information in
the system to provide for accurate and up-to-date records;
(9) allow county auditors, municipal and school district clerks, and the secretary
of state to have electronic access to the statewide registration system for review and
(10) provide security and protection of all information in the statewide registration
system and ensure that unauthorized access is not allowed;
(11) provide access to municipal clerks to use the system;
(12) provide a system for each county to identify the precinct to which a voter
should be assigned for voting purposes;
(13) provide daily reports accessible by county auditors on the driver's license
numbers, state identification numbers, or last four digits of the Social Security numbers
submitted on voter registration applications that have been verified as accurate by the
secretary of state;
(14) provide reports on the number of absentee ballots transmitted to and returned
and cast by voters under section
2.17(15) provide reports necessary for early voting.
The appropriate state or local official shall provide security measures to prevent
unauthorized access to the computerized list established under section
Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.001, is amended to read:
2.21203B.001 ELECTION LAW APPLICABILITY.
The Minnesota Election Law is applicable to voting by absentee ballot and early
unless otherwise provided in this chapter.
Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.01, is amended by adding a subdivision
2.26 Subd. 5. Early voting. "Early voting" means voting in person before election day
2.27at the office of the county auditor or designated municipal clerk within the time period
2.28provided in section 203B.31.
Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
Subdivision 1. Violation.
No individual shall intentionally:
make or sign any false certificate required by this chapter;
make any false or untrue statement in any application for absentee ballots;
apply for absentee ballots more than once in any election with the intent
to cast an illegal ballot;
exhibit a ballot marked by that individual to any other individual;
do any act in violation of the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of
casting an illegal vote in any precinct or for the purpose of aiding another to cast an
use information from absentee ballot or early voting
materials or records for
purposes unrelated to elections, political activities, or law enforcement;
provide assistance to an absentee or early
voter except in the manner provided
204C.15, subdivision 1
solicit the vote of an absentee or early
voter while in the immediate presence
of the voter during the time the individual knows the absentee or early
voter is voting; or
alter an absentee ballot application after it has been signed by the voter,
except by an election official for administrative purposes.
Before inspecting information from absentee ballot or early voting
records, an individual shall provide identification to the public official having custody of
the material or information.
Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
Subdivision 1. Generally.
The full-time clerk of any city or town shall administer
the provisions of sections
(1) the county auditor of that county has designated the clerk to administer them; or
(2) the clerk has given the county auditor of that county notice of intention to
A clerk may only administer the provisions of sections
3.25203B.30 to 203B.35
if the clerk has technical capacity to access the statewide voter
registration system in the secure manner prescribed by the secretary of state. The secretary
of state must identify hardware, software, security, or other technical prerequisites
necessary to ensure the security, access controls, and performance of the statewide voter
registration system. A clerk must receive training approved by the secretary of state
on the use of the statewide voter registration system before administering this section.
A clerk may not use the statewide voter registration system until the clerk has received
the required training.
Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.081, is amended to read:
3.34203B.081 LOCATIONS FOR ABSENTEE VOTING IN PERSON.
An eligible voter may vote by absentee ballot in the office of the county auditor and
at any other polling place designated by the county auditor during the 46 days before:
(1) a regularly scheduled election for federal, state, county, city, or school board
(2) a special election for a federal or county office; and
(3) an election held in conjunction with an election described in clauses (1) and (2),
and during the 30 days before any other election, except that an eligible voter may not vote
4.8by absentee ballot in person during the period designated for early voting, as provided in
. The county auditor shall make such designations at least 14 weeks before
the election. At least one voting booth in each polling place must be made available by the
county auditor for this purpose. The county auditor must also make available at least one
electronic ballot marker in each polling place that has implemented a voting system that is
accessible for individuals with disabilities pursuant to section
206.57, subdivision 5
Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.085, is amended to read:
4.15203B.085 COUNTY AUDITOR'S AND MUNICIPAL CLERK'S OFFICES TO
4.16REMAIN OPEN DURING CERTAIN HOURS PRECEDING ELECTION.
The county auditor's office in each county and the clerk's office in each city or
town authorized under section
to administer absentee balloting must be open
for acceptance of absentee ballot applications and casting of absentee ballots from 8:00
4.20a.m. to 12:00 noon on the day immediately preceding an election subject to early voting
4.21under section 203B.30 unless that day falls on a Sunday. When performing the duties of
4.22the county auditor in an election not subject to early voting under section 203B.30, the
4.23clerk's office must be open
from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and until 5:00 p.m.
on the day immediately preceding a primary, special, or general election unless that day
falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Town clerks' offices must be open for absentee voting from
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on the Saturday before a town general election held in March.
The school district clerk, when performing the county auditor's election duties, need not
comply with this section.
Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
Subdivision 1. Establishment; applicable laws.
(a) The governing body of each
county, municipality, and school district with responsibility to accept and reject absentee
ballots or to administer early voting
must, by ordinance or resolution, establish a ballot
board. The board must consist of a sufficient number of election judges trained in the
handling of absentee ballots and appointed as provided in sections
The board may include staff trained as election judges.
(b) Each jurisdiction must pay a reasonable compensation to each member of that
jurisdiction's ballot board for services rendered during an election.
(c) Except as otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of the Minnesota
Election Law apply to a ballot board.
Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:
5.9 Subd. 2a. Duties of ballot board; early voting. The members of the ballot board
5.10shall administer the process of early voting as prescribed in section 203B.35, and shall
5.11make a record of voters who cast ballots early and count those ballots as provided in
5.12subdivisions 4 and 5.
Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
Subd. 3. Record of voting.
(a) When applicable, the county auditor or municipal
clerk must immediately record that a voter's absentee ballot has been accepted or that the
5.16voter has cast a ballot pursuant to the early voting procedures provided in this chapter. A
5.17voter whose record indicates that the voter has cast an early ballot must not be permitted
5.18to cast another ballot in that election
. After the close of business on the
fourth day before
5.19 the election day prior to the beginning of the early voting period as provided in section
, a voter whose record indicates that an absentee ballot has been accepted must
not be permitted to cast another ballot at that election. In a state primary, general, or state
special election for federal
state, or county
office, the auditor or clerk must also record
this information in the statewide voter registration system.
(b) The roster must be marked, and a supplemental report of absentee and early
voters who submitted a voter registration application with their ballot must be created, no
later than the start of voting on election day to indicate the voters that have already cast a
ballot at the election. The roster may be marked either:
(1) by the county auditor or municipal clerk before election day;
(2) by the ballot board before election day; or
(3) by the election judges at the polling place on election day.
The record of a voter whose absentee ballot was received after the close of business
on the fourth day before the election is not required to be marked on the roster or contained
in a supplemental report as required by this paragraph.
Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 4, is amended to read:
Subd. 4. Opening of envelopes.
After the close of business on the
6.3 before the election day prior to the beginning of the early voting period as provided in
, the ballots from return envelopes marked "Accepted" may be opened,
duplicated as needed in the manner provided in section
206.86, subdivision 5
, initialed by
the members of the ballot board, and deposited in the appropriate ballot box. If more than
one ballot is enclosed in the ballot envelope, the ballots must be returned in the manner
provided by section
for return of spoiled ballots, and may not be counted.
Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 5, is amended to read:
Subd. 5. Storage and counting of absentee and early voting ballots.
(a) On a
day on which absentee or early voting
ballots are inserted into a ballot box, two members
of the ballot board must:
(1) remove the ballots from the ballot box at the end of the day;
(2) without inspecting the ballots, ensure that the number of ballots removed from
the ballot box is equal to the number of voters who cast early votes and
ballots were accepted that day; and
(3) seal and secure all voted and unvoted ballots present in that location at the end
of the day.
(b) After the polls have closed on election day, two members of the ballot board
must count the ballots, tabulating the vote in a manner that indicates each vote of the voter
and the total votes cast for each candidate or question. In state primary and state general
elections, the results must indicate the total votes cast for each candidate or question in each
precinct and report the vote totals tabulated for each precinct. The count shall be public.
No vote totals from ballots may be made public before the close of voting on election day.
In state primary and state general elections, these vote totals shall be added to the
vote totals on the summary statements of the returns for the appropriate precinct. In other
elections, these vote totals may be added to the vote totals on the summary statement of
returns for the appropriate precinct or may be reported as a separate total.
(c) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b), if the task has not been
completed previously, the members of the ballot board must verify as soon as possible, but
no later than 24 hours after the end of the hours for voting, that voters whose absentee
ballots arrived after the rosters were marked or supplemental reports were generated
and whose ballots were accepted did not vote in person on election day. An absentee
ballot submitted by a voter who has voted in person on election day must be rejected. All
other accepted absentee ballots must be opened, duplicated if necessary, and counted by
members of the ballot board. The vote totals from these ballots must be incorporated into
the totals with the other absentee ballots and handled according to paragraph (b).
Sec. 13. [203B.30] EARLY VOTING; APPLICABILITY.
7.4 (a) Any eligible voter may vote in person in a federal, state, or county election prior
7.5to the date of the election, in the manner provided in sections 203B.31 to 203B.35.
7.6 (b)(1) Subject to clause (2), for city elections not held in conjunction with a federal,
7.7state, or county election, the city may authorize eligible voters to vote in the manner
7.8provided in sections 203B.31 to 203B.35 upon resolution of the governing body of the
7.9city, adopted prior to the first day for filing affidavits of candidacy for the election. In the
7.10case of a home rule charter city, authorization may alternatively be made by amendment to
7.11the city's charter for this purpose.
7.12 (2) A city may only authorize voting under sections 203B.31 to 203B.35 if the
7.13municipal clerk has the technical capacity to access the statewide voter registration
7.14system in the secure manner prescribed by the secretary of state. The secretary of state
7.15must identify hardware, software, security, or other technical prerequisites necessary to
7.16ensure the security, access controls, and performance of the statewide voter registration
7.17system. The clerk must receive training approved by the secretary of state on the use of
7.18the statewide voter registration system before administering voting authorized under
7.19this paragraph. The clerk may not use the statewide voter registration system until the
7.20clerk has received the required training.
Sec. 14. [203B.31] TIME PERIOD FOR EARLY VOTING.
7.22Early voting must be available to any eligible voter as provided in section 203B.32
7.23for every primary, general, and special election subject to early voting under section
7.24203B.30 from 15 days before the election through 5:00 p.m. on the third day before
7.25the election. All voters in line at 5:00 p.m. on the third day before the election must be
7.26allowed to vote in the same manner as provided in section 204C.05, subdivision 2.
Sec. 15. [203B.32] HOURS FOR EARLY VOTING.
7.28Early voting must be available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on
7.29each weekday during the time period provided in section 203B.31, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00
7.30p.m. on at least one weekday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the two Saturdays
7.31before the election.
Sec. 16. [203B.33] LOCATIONS FOR EARLY VOTING.
8.1(a) Early voting must be made available at polling places designated in the county
8.2auditor's offices in county-owned or operated buildings, at the municipal clerk's office
8.3in every municipality that has been delegated the responsibility to administer absentee
8.4voting as provided in section 203B.05 or which is conducting an election that includes
8.5early voting, as authorized in section 203B.30, and at any other county or city-owned or
8.6operated buildings designated by the county auditor or municipal clerk. At least one
8.7voting station and one ballot marking device for disabled voters must be made available in
8.8each polling place.
8.9(b) The county auditor or municipal clerk must make an electronic ballot counter
8.10available in each polling place.
Sec. 17. [203B.34] NOTICE TO VOTERS.
8.12The county auditor or municipal clerk must prepare a notice to the voters of the days,
8.13times, and locations for early voting. This notice must be posted on the county's Web site,
8.14if applicable, and the Web site for each municipality in the county where an early voting
8.15location is designated for the election at least 14 days before the first day for early voting.
8.16If a county or municipality does not have a Web site, the county auditor or municipal clerk
8.17must publish the notice at least once in the jurisdiction's official newspaper at least seven
8.18days and not more than 14 days before the first day for early voting.
Sec. 18. [203B.35] PROCEDURES FOR EARLY VOTING.
8.20 Subdivision 1. Voting procedure. Each voter shall sign the certification provided in
8.21section 204C.10. An individual who is not registered to vote must register in the manner
8.22provided in section 201.061, subdivision 3.
8.23After the voter has signed the certification, a member of the ballot board must
8.24provide a ballot to the voter. Ballots must be prepared and distributed by members of the
8.25ballot board in the manner provided in section 204C.09. The voter must mark the ballot
8.26and deposit it in either a precinct voting system or a sealed ballot box. A voter may
8.27not leave the polling place with the ballot.
8.28 Subd. 2. Processing of ballots. Ballots cast pursuant to sections 203B.30 to
8.29203B.35 must be processed and counted by a ballot board.
Sec. 19. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 204B.28, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
Subd. 2. Election supplies; duties of county auditors and clerks. (a)
otherwise provided for absentee ballots in this section and
, the county auditor shall complete the preparation of the election materials for which
the auditor is responsible at least four days before every state primary and state general
election. At any time after all election materials are available from the county auditor
but not later than four days before the election each municipal clerk shall secure from
the county auditor:
the forms that are required for the conduct of the election;
any printed voter instruction materials furnished by the secretary of state;
any other instructions for election officers; and
a sufficient quantity of the official ballots, registration files, envelopes for
ballot returns, and other supplies and materials required for each precinct in order to
comply with the provisions of the Minnesota Election Law. The county auditor may
furnish the election supplies to the municipal clerks in the same manner as the supplies are
furnished to precincts in unorganized territory pursuant to section
204B.29, subdivision 1
9.13(b) The county auditor must prepare and make available election materials for early
9.14voting to city clerks designated to administer early voting under section 203B.05 at least
9.15one day prior to the beginning of the early voting period as provided in section 203B.31.
Sec. 20. Minnesota Statutes 2012, 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 computer program for
9.30any election and an exact duplicate of the program for use as backup must be completed
9.31and delivered to the election jurisdiction or the county auditor in charge of a common
9.32central counting center at least 27 days prior to the election.
The secretary of state shall
adopt rules further specifying test procedures.
Sec. 21. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 206.83, is amended to read:
10.2206.83 TESTING OF VOTING SYSTEMS.
days before election day, the official in charge of elections shall have
the voting system tested to ascertain that the system will correctly mark ballots using all
methods supported by the system, including through assistive technology, and count the
votes cast for all candidates and on all questions. Public notice of the time and place of the
test must be given at least two days in advance by publication once in official newspapers.
The test must be observed by at least two election judges, who are not of the same major
political party, and must be open to representatives of the political parties, candidates, the
press, and the public. The test must be conducted by (1) processing a preaudited group
of ballots punched or marked to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each
candidate and on each question, and must include for each office one or more ballot cards
which have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of
the voting system tabulator and electronic ballot marker to reject those votes; and (2)
processing an additional test deck of ballots marked using the electronic ballot marker
for the precinct, including ballots marked using the electronic ballot display, audio ballot
reader, and any assistive voting technology used with the electronic ballot marker. If any
error is detected, the cause must be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count must
be made before the voting system may be used in the election. After the completion of
the test, the programs used and ballot cards must be sealed, retained, and disposed of as
provided for paper ballots.
Sec. 22. EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICABILITY.
10.23The provisions of this act related to early voting are effective when the secretary
10.24of state has certified that:
10.25(1) the statewide voter registration system has been tested and shown to properly
10.26allow for the tracking of the information required to conduct early voting, and can handle
10.27the expected volume of use; and
10.28(2) precinct voting equipment that can tabulate at least 30 different ballot styles
10.29has been certified for use in this state. Upon certification pursuant to this section, the
10.30provisions of this act related to early voting apply to all federal, state, and county elections
10.31held on August 1, 2014, and thereafter. A jurisdiction may implement the requirements
10.32of this act prior to the date provided in this section, if the secretary of state has made the
10.33required certifications at least 90 days prior to the date of the election at which early
10.34voting will be used.
Sec. 23. APPROPRIATION.
11.2$....... is appropriated in fiscal year 2014 from the general fund to the secretary of
11.3state to implement this act.