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HF 3429

4th Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/13/2020 12:41pm

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

Current Version - 4th Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; providing special procedures for the safe and secure conduct
of the 2020 state primary and state general elections; appropriating money for
various election-related purposes, including administration, security, accessibility,
training, public health and safety, and public outreach; authorizing local grants;
requiring a report; transferring and appropriating money for purposes of the Help
America Vote Act, the federal CARES Act, and the federal Consolidated
Appropriations Act.

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

Section 1. new text beginSAFE AND SECURE CONDUCT OF 2020 STATE PRIMARY AND
STATE GENERAL ELECTIONS; SPECIAL PROCEDURES.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Application; definition. new text end

new text begin (a) This section applies only to the state primary
and state general elections conducted in 2020.
new text end

new text begin (b) As used in this section, "the Minnesota Election Law" has the meaning given in
Minnesota Statutes, section 200.01.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Local authority. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the Minnesota Election
Law to the contrary, a county or municipality, by ordinance or resolution of its governing
body, may:
new text end

new text begin (1) designate polling places after the deadline required by Minnesota Statutes, section
204B.16, subdivision 1, but no later than July 1, 2020;
new text end

new text begin (2) train and designate employees of a health care facility or hospital to administer the
absentee voting process to temporary or permanent residents or patients in those facilities
under Minnesota Statutes, section 203B.11; and
new text end

new text begin (3) extend the period during which absentee ballots are processed, to include no more
than two days following the date of the election, along with any corresponding delay of the
local canvassing dates necessary to accommodate the extension. This clause does not
authorize a county or municipality to extend the deadlines for the timely receipt of absentee
ballots as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 203B.08. A county must report to the
secretary of state the number of absentee ballots remaining to be counted after the 24-hour
period prescribed in Minnesota Statutes, section 203B.121, subdivision 5, paragraph (c).
The report must be made as soon as practicable, but not more than four hours after that
period ends. The secretary of state must publish these data on the secretary's website as
soon as practicable, but not more than 24 hours after its receipt.
new text end

new text begin (b) A governing body of a municipality or county must only use a school as a polling
place when no other public or private location is reasonably available for use as a polling
place. If a municipality or county has designated a school as a polling place, the municipality
or county must work with school staff to ensure that contact between students and voters
is minimized. For purposes of this paragraph, a school is any public or private school,
college, or university.
new text end

new text begin (c) Nothing in this subdivision prohibits a local election official from responding to the
outbreak of the infectious disease known as COVID-19 by exercising powers granted by
the Minnesota Election Law to address emergency situations that prevent the safe, secure,
and full operation of a polling place on election day.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Processing of absentee ballots prior to election. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota
Statutes, section 203B.121, subdivisions 3 and 4, the county auditor or municipal clerk, and
the applicable ballot board, must begin processing absentee ballots 14 days prior to the date
of the election. After the close of business on the 14th day before the election, a voter whose
record indicates that an absentee ballot has been accepted must not be permitted to cast
another ballot at that election.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Electronic candidate filings. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section
325L.18, paragraph (a), or any provision of the Minnesota Election Law to the contrary, a
filing officer must accept electronic mail, facsimile, or other electronic submissions of any
of the following:
new text end

new text begin (1) an affidavit of candidacy under Minnesota Statutes, section 204B.06, including any
applicable filing fees;
new text end

new text begin (2) a nominating petition under Minnesota Statutes, section 204B.07 or 204B.08,
including petition signatures collected electronically; and
new text end

new text begin (3) a request that a write-in candidate's votes be counted, consistent with Minnesota
Statutes, section 204B.09, subdivision 3, or other applicable law.
new text end

new text begin (b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), this subdivision does not waive any other
requirements provided in law or rule related to the format, content, or submission of an
affidavit, petition, or request.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginNOMINATION OF 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS AND ALTERNATES.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 208.03, the chairs of each major political
party may submit the names of presidential electors and alternates nominated to be elected
at the 2020 state general election no fewer than 67 days prior to the date of the election.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginHELP AMERICA VOTE ACT APPROPRIATIONS AND TRANSFER;
FEDERAL CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Federal funds appropriation. new text end

new text begin $7,389,506 in fiscal year 2020 is
appropriated from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) account established in Minnesota
Statutes, section 5.30, to the secretary of state for the purposes authorized by subdivision
4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin State match transfer and appropriation. new text end

new text begin $1,477,901 in fiscal year 2020 is
transferred from the general fund to the Help America Vote Act account established in
Minnesota Statutes, section 5.30, and is appropriated to the secretary of state for the purposes
authorized in subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Accrued interest appropriated. new text end

new text begin Any interest earned on the amounts
appropriated under subdivisions 1 and 2 is appropriated from the HAVA account to the
secretary of state for the purposes authorized in subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Authorized uses. new text end

new text begin Amounts appropriated by this section are subject to the federal
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, Public Law 116-93, Title V, and may be used for
any of the following purposes:
new text end

new text begin (1) modernizing, securing, and updating the statewide voter registration system and for
cybersecurity upgrades as authorized by federal law;
new text end

new text begin (2) improving accessibility;
new text end

new text begin (3) preparing training materials and training local election officials;
new text end

new text begin (4) implementing security improvements for election systems;
new text end

new text begin (5) funding other activities to improve the security of elections; and
new text end

new text begin (6) any activities authorized by section 4, subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Further uses prohibited. new text end

new text begin Use of funds appropriated by this section for any
purpose not authorized by the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, as further
restricted by subdivision 4, is prohibited. The secretary of state, and any political subdivision
receiving a grant, must cooperate with any audits related to the use of these funds conducted
by the United States Election Assistance Commission, Office of the Inspector General.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Availability of appropriations. new text end

new text begin The appropriations provided in this section
are onetime and available until December 21, 2024.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginHELP AMERICA VOTE ACT APPROPRIATION AND TRANSFER;
FEDERAL CARES ACT.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Federal funds appropriation. new text end

new text begin $6,930,610 in fiscal year 2020 is
appropriated from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) account established in Minnesota
Statutes, section 5.30, to the secretary of state for the purposes authorized by subdivision
4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin State match transfer and appropriation. new text end

new text begin (a) $1,386,122 in fiscal year 2021
is transferred from the general fund to the HAVA account and is appropriated to the secretary
of state for the purposes authorized by subdivision 4 if, as of July 1, 2020, a state match is
required to secure the amount made available to the state under the federal Coronavirus
Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.
new text end

new text begin (b) If, as of July 1, 2020, a state match is not required to secure the amount made available
to the state under the federal CARES Act, the transfer and appropriation provided by
paragraph (a) must not be made. If the requirement of a state match is waived after July 1,
2020, any unspent amounts are canceled to the general fund.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Accrued interest appropriated. new text end

new text begin Any interest earned on the amounts
appropriated under subdivisions 1 and 2 is appropriated from the HAVA account to the
secretary of state for the purposes authorized in subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Authorized uses. new text end

new text begin Amounts appropriated in this section are subject to the
requirements of the federal CARES Act and may be used for any of the following purposes:
new text end

new text begin (1) ensuring the health and safety of election officials and in-person voters, including
the purchase of sanitation and disinfectant supplies;
new text end

new text begin (2) public outreach and preparations for implementing social distancing guidelines related
to voting, including additional signs and staff;
new text end

new text begin (3) facilitation, support, and preparation for increased absentee voting, including voter
education materials, printing, and postage;
new text end

new text begin (4) preparation of training materials and administration of additional training of local
election officials;
new text end

new text begin (5) preparation of new polling place locations;
new text end

new text begin (6) purchasing an electronic roster system meeting the technology requirements of
Minnesota Statutes, section 201.225, subdivision 2, along with equipment necessary to
support the system; and
new text end

new text begin (7) issuing grants authorized by the local grant program established in subdivision 6,
and administering that program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Further uses prohibited. new text end

new text begin Use of funds appropriated by this section for any
purpose not authorized by the federal CARES Act, as further restricted by subdivision 4,
is prohibited. The secretary of state, and any political subdivision receiving a grant, must
cooperate with any audits related to the use of these funds conducted by the United States
Election Assistance Commission, Office of the Inspector General.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Local grants. new text end

new text begin (a) The secretary of state must administer grants to political
subdivisions to support the activities authorized in subdivision 4. The secretary may make
a grant only after receiving an application from the county auditor or municipal clerk
responsible for administering the election within that political subdivision. The application
must contain the following information:
new text end

new text begin (1) the date the application is submitted;
new text end

new text begin (2) the name of the political subdivision requesting the grant;
new text end

new text begin (3) the name and title of the individual who prepared the application;
new text end

new text begin (4) a description of the purpose of the grant request;
new text end

new text begin (5) the political subdivision's anticipated cost for efforts to prevent, prepare for, and
respond to the outbreak of the infectious disease known as COVID-19 at the 2020 state
primary and state general elections;
new text end

new text begin (6) the total number of registered voters, as of the date of the application, in each precinct
within the political subdivision;
new text end

new text begin (7) the total amount of the grant requested;
new text end

new text begin (8) a certified statement by the official responsible for the application that the grant will
be used only for purposes authorized in subdivision 4; and
new text end

new text begin (9) any other information required by the secretary of state.
new text end

new text begin (b) A political subdivision is eligible to receive a grant of no more than 75 percent of
the total cost of purchasing an electronic roster system and necessary support equipment
and no more than 80 percent of the total cost of any other activities authorized under
subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin (c) The secretary of state must establish a deadline for receipt of grant applications, a
procedure for awarding and distributing grants consistent with this subdivision, and a process
for verifying the proper use of the grants after distribution. In evaluating an application, the
secretary of state must consider only the information set forth in the application and is not
subject to Minnesota Statutes, chapter 14. If the secretary of state determines that the
application has been fully and properly completed, and there is a sufficient balance available
to fund the grant, either in whole or in part, the secretary of state may approve the application.
new text end

new text begin (d) No later than January 15, 2021, the secretary of state must submit a report to the
legislative committees with jurisdiction over elections policy and state government finance
on the use of funds appropriated by this section. The report must detail the state's use of the
funds and identify each jurisdiction receiving a grant and the amount of each grant awarded.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Availability of appropriations. new text end

new text begin The appropriations provided in this section
are onetime and available until March 27, 2022.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end