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HF 334

1st Engrossment - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/13/2013 06:50pm

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


Version List Authors and Status

1.1A bill for an act
1.2relating to elections; providing for early voting; appropriating money;amending
1.3Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 201.022, subdivision 1; 203B.001; 203B.01,
1.4by adding a subdivision; 203B.03, subdivision 1; 203B.05, subdivision 1;
1.5203B.081; 203B.085; 203B.121, subdivisions 1, 3, 4, 5, by adding a subdivision;
1.6204B.28, subdivision 2; 206.82, subdivision 1; 206.83; proposing coding for new
1.7law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 203B.

1.9    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.022, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
1.10    Subdivision 1. Establishment. The secretary of state shall maintain a statewide
1.11voter registration system to facilitate voter registration and to provide a central database
1.12containing voter registration information from around the state. The system must be
1.13accessible to the county auditor of each county in the state. The system must also:
1.14(1) provide for voters to submit their voter registration applications to any county
1.15auditor, the secretary of state, or the Department of Public Safety;
1.16(2) provide for the definition, establishment, and maintenance of a central database
1.17for all voter registration information;
1.18(3) provide for entering data into the statewide registration system;
1.19(4) provide for electronic transfer of completed voter registration applications from
1.20the Department of Public Safety to the secretary of state or the county auditor;
1.21(5) assign a unique identifier to each legally registered voter in the state;
1.22(6) provide for the acceptance of the Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota
1.23state identification number, and last four digits of the Social Security number for each
1.24voter record;
1.25(7) coordinate with other agency databases within the state;
2.1(8) allow county auditors and the secretary of state to add or modify information in
2.2the system to provide for accurate and up-to-date records;
2.3(9) allow county auditors, municipal and school district clerks, and the secretary
2.4of state to have electronic access to the statewide registration system for review and
2.5search capabilities;
2.6(10) provide security and protection of all information in the statewide registration
2.7system and ensure that unauthorized access is not allowed;
2.8(11) provide access to municipal clerks to use the system;
2.9(12) provide a system for each county to identify the precinct to which a voter
2.10should be assigned for voting purposes;
2.11(13) provide daily reports accessible by county auditors on the driver's license
2.12numbers, state identification numbers, or last four digits of the Social Security numbers
2.13submitted on voter registration applications that have been verified as accurate by the
2.14secretary of state; and
2.15(14) provide reports on the number of absentee ballots transmitted to and returned
2.16and cast by voters under section 203B.16.; and
2.17(15) provide reports necessary for early voting.
2.18The appropriate state or local official shall provide security measures to prevent
2.19unauthorized access to the computerized list established under section 201.021.

2.20    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.001, is amended to read:
2.22The Minnesota Election Law is applicable to voting by absentee ballot and early
2.23voting unless otherwise provided in this chapter.

2.24    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.01, is amended by adding a subdivision
2.25to read:
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.

2.29    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
2.30    Subdivision 1. Violation. No individual shall intentionally:
2.31(a) (1) make or sign any false certificate required by this chapter;
2.32(b) (2) make any false or untrue statement in any application for absentee ballots;
3.1(c) (3) apply for absentee ballots more than once in any election with the intent
3.2to cast an illegal ballot;
3.3(d) (4) exhibit a ballot marked by that individual to any other individual;
3.4(e) (5) do any act in violation of the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of
3.5casting an illegal vote in any precinct or for the purpose of aiding another to cast an
3.6illegal vote;
3.7(f) (6) use information from absentee ballot or early voting materials or records for
3.8purposes unrelated to elections, political activities, or law enforcement;
3.9(g) (7) provide assistance to an absentee or early voter except in the manner provided
3.10by section 204C.15, subdivision 1;
3.11(h) (8) solicit the vote of an absentee or early voter while in the immediate presence
3.12of the voter during the time the individual knows the absentee or early voter is voting; or
3.13(i) (9) alter an absentee ballot application after it has been signed by the voter,
3.14except by an election official for administrative purposes.
3.15Before inspecting information from absentee ballot or early voting materials or
3.16records, an individual shall provide identification to the public official having custody of
3.17the material or information.

3.18    Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
3.19    Subdivision 1. Generally. The full-time clerk of any city or town shall administer
3.20the provisions of sections 203B.04 to 203B.15 if:
3.21(1) the county auditor of that county has designated the clerk to administer them; or
3.22(2) the clerk has given the county auditor of that county notice of intention to
3.23administer them.
3.24A clerk may only administer the provisions of sections 203B.04 to 203B.15 and
3.25203B.30 to 203B.35 if the clerk has technical capacity to access the statewide voter
3.26registration system in the secure manner prescribed by the secretary of state. The secretary
3.27of state must identify hardware, software, security, or other technical prerequisites
3.28necessary to ensure the security, access controls, and performance of the statewide voter
3.29registration system. A clerk must receive training approved by the secretary of state
3.30on the use of the statewide voter registration system before administering this section.
3.31A clerk may not use the statewide voter registration system until the clerk has received
3.32the required training.

3.33    Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.081, is amended to read:
4.1    An eligible voter may vote by absentee ballot in the office of the county auditor and
4.2at any other polling place designated by the county auditor during the 46 days before:
4.3(1) a regularly scheduled election for federal, state, county, city, or school board
4.5(2) a special election for a federal or county office; and
4.6(3) an election held in conjunction with an election described in clauses (1) and (2),
4.7and 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
4.9section 203B.31. The county auditor shall make such designations at least 14 weeks before
4.10the election. At least one voting booth in each polling place must be made available by the
4.11county auditor for this purpose. The county auditor must also make available at least one
4.12electronic ballot marker in each polling place that has implemented a voting system that is
4.13accessible for individuals with disabilities pursuant to section 206.57, subdivision 5.

4.14    Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.085, is amended to read:
4.17The county auditor's office in each county and the clerk's office in each city or
4.18town authorized under section 203B.05 to administer absentee balloting must be open
4.19for 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.
4.24on the day immediately preceding a primary, special, or general election unless that day
4.25falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Town clerks' offices must be open for absentee voting from
4.2610:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on the Saturday before a town general election held in March.
4.27The school district clerk, when performing the county auditor's election duties, need not
4.28comply with this section.

4.29    Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
4.30    Subdivision 1. Establishment; applicable laws. (a) The governing body of each
4.31county, municipality, and school district with responsibility to accept and reject absentee
4.32ballots or to administer early voting must, by ordinance or resolution, establish a ballot
4.33board. The board must consist of a sufficient number of election judges trained in the
5.1handling of absentee ballots and appointed as provided in sections 204B.19 to 204B.22.
5.2The board may include staff trained as election judges.
5.3(b) Each jurisdiction must pay a reasonable compensation to each member of that
5.4jurisdiction's ballot board for services rendered during an election.
5.5(c) Except as otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of the Minnesota
5.6Election Law apply to a ballot board.

5.7    Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, is amended by adding a
5.8subdivision 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.

5.13    Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
5.14    Subd. 3. Record of voting. (a) When applicable, the county auditor or municipal
5.15clerk 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
5.19the election day prior to the beginning of the early voting period as provided in section
5.20203B.31, a voter whose record indicates that an absentee ballot has been accepted must
5.21not be permitted to cast another ballot at that election. In a state primary, general, or state
5.22special election for federal or, state, or county office, the auditor or clerk must also record
5.23this information in the statewide voter registration system.
5.24(b) The roster must be marked, and a supplemental report of absentee and early
5.25 voters who submitted a voter registration application with their ballot must be created, no
5.26later than the start of voting on election day to indicate the voters that have already cast a
5.27ballot at the election. The roster may be marked either:
5.28(1) by the county auditor or municipal clerk before election day;
5.29(2) by the ballot board before election day; or
5.30(3) by the election judges at the polling place on election day.
5.31The record of a voter whose absentee ballot was received after the close of business
5.32on the fourth day before the election is not required to be marked on the roster or contained
5.33in a supplemental report as required by this paragraph.

6.1    Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 4, is amended to read:
6.2    Subd. 4. Opening of envelopes. After the close of business on the fourth day
6.3before the election day prior to the beginning of the early voting period as provided in
6.4section 203B.31, the ballots from return envelopes marked "Accepted" may be opened,
6.5duplicated as needed in the manner provided in section 206.86, subdivision 5, initialed by
6.6the members of the ballot board, and deposited in the appropriate ballot box. If more than
6.7one ballot is enclosed in the ballot envelope, the ballots must be returned in the manner
6.8provided by section 204C.25 for return of spoiled ballots, and may not be counted.

6.9    Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.121, subdivision 5, is amended to read:
6.10    Subd. 5. Storage and counting of absentee and early voting ballots. (a) On a
6.11day on which absentee or early voting ballots are inserted into a ballot box, two members
6.12of the ballot board must:
6.13(1) remove the ballots from the ballot box at the end of the day;
6.14(2) without inspecting the ballots, ensure that the number of ballots removed from
6.15the ballot box is equal to the number of voters who cast early votes and whose absentee
6.16ballots were accepted that day; and
6.17(3) seal and secure all voted and unvoted ballots present in that location at the end
6.18of the day.
6.19(b) After the polls have closed on election day, two members of the ballot board
6.20must count the ballots, tabulating the vote in a manner that indicates each vote of the voter
6.21and the total votes cast for each candidate or question. In state primary and state general
6.22elections, the results must indicate the total votes cast for each candidate or question in each
6.23precinct and report the vote totals tabulated for each precinct. The count shall be public.
6.24No vote totals from ballots may be made public before the close of voting on election day.
6.25In state primary and state general elections, these vote totals shall be added to the
6.26vote totals on the summary statements of the returns for the appropriate precinct. In other
6.27elections, these vote totals may be added to the vote totals on the summary statement of
6.28returns for the appropriate precinct or may be reported as a separate total.
6.29(c) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b), if the task has not been
6.30completed previously, the members of the ballot board must verify as soon as possible, but
6.31no later than 24 hours after the end of the hours for voting, that voters whose absentee
6.32ballots arrived after the rosters were marked or supplemental reports were generated
6.33and whose ballots were accepted did not vote in person on election day. An absentee
6.34ballot submitted by a voter who has voted in person on election day must be rejected. All
6.35other accepted absentee ballots must be opened, duplicated if necessary, and counted by
7.1members of the ballot board. The vote totals from these ballots must be incorporated into
7.2the totals with the other absentee ballots and handled according to paragraph (b).

7.3    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.

7.21    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.

7.27    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.

7.32    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.

8.11    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.

8.19    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.

8.30    Sec. 19. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 204B.28, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
8.31    Subd. 2. Election supplies; duties of county auditors and clerks. (a) Except as
8.32otherwise provided for absentee ballots in this section and in section 204B.35, subdivision
, the county auditor shall complete the preparation of the election materials for which
9.1the auditor is responsible at least four days before every state primary and state general
9.2election. At any time after all election materials are available from the county auditor
9.3but not later than four days before the election each municipal clerk shall secure from
9.4the county auditor:
9.5(a) (1) the forms that are required for the conduct of the election;
9.6(b) (2) any printed voter instruction materials furnished by the secretary of state;
9.7(c) (3) any other instructions for election officers; and
9.8(d) (4) a sufficient quantity of the official ballots, registration files, envelopes for
9.9ballot returns, and other supplies and materials required for each precinct in order to
9.10comply with the provisions of the Minnesota Election Law. The county auditor may
9.11furnish the election supplies to the municipal clerks in the same manner as the supplies are
9.12furnished 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.

9.16    Sec. 20. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 206.82, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
9.17    Subdivision 1. Program. A program or programs for use in an election conducted
9.18by means of an electronic voting system or using an electronic ballot marker shall be
9.19prepared at the direction of the county auditor or municipal clerk who is responsible for
9.20the conduct of the election and shall be independently verified by a competent person
9.21designated by that official. The term "competent person" as used in this section means a
9.22person who can demonstrate knowledge as a computer programmer and who is other than
9.23and wholly independent of any person operating or employed by the counting center or the
9.24corporation or other preparer of the program. A test deck prepared by a competent person
9.25shall be used for independent verification of the program; it shall test the maximum digits
9.26used in totaling the returns and shall be usable by insertion during the tabulation process
9.27as well as prior to tabulation. A test deck must also be prepared using the electronic ballot
9.28marker program and must also be used to verify that all valid votes counted by the vote
9.29tabulator 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
9.33adopt rules further specifying test procedures.

10.1    Sec. 21. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 206.83, is amended to read:
10.3Within 14 22 days before election day, the official in charge of elections shall have
10.4the voting system tested to ascertain that the system will correctly mark ballots using all
10.5methods supported by the system, including through assistive technology, and count the
10.6votes cast for all candidates and on all questions. Public notice of the time and place of the
10.7test must be given at least two days in advance by publication once in official newspapers.
10.8The test must be observed by at least two election judges, who are not of the same major
10.9political party, and must be open to representatives of the political parties, candidates, the
10.10press, and the public. The test must be conducted by (1) processing a preaudited group
10.11of ballots punched or marked to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each
10.12candidate and on each question, and must include for each office one or more ballot cards
10.13which have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of
10.14the voting system tabulator and electronic ballot marker to reject those votes; and (2)
10.15processing an additional test deck of ballots marked using the electronic ballot marker
10.16for the precinct, including ballots marked using the electronic ballot display, audio ballot
10.17reader, and any assistive voting technology used with the electronic ballot marker. If any
10.18error is detected, the cause must be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count must
10.19be made before the voting system may be used in the election. After the completion of
10.20the test, the programs used and ballot cards must be sealed, retained, and disposed of as
10.21provided for paper ballots.

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.

11.1    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.

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