1st Engrossment - 84th Legislature (2005 - 2006) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to elections; setting standards for and 1.3 providing for the acquisition of voting systems; 1.4 appropriating money from the Help America Vote Act 1.5 account; amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 1.6 206.80; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 1.7 Statutes, chapter 206. 1.8 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.9 Section 1. [206.585] [STATE VOTING SYSTEMS CONTRACT.] 1.10 The secretary of state, in cooperation with the 1.11 commissioner of administration, shall establish a state voting 1.12 systems contract. The contract should, if practical, include 1.13 provisions for maintenance of the equipment purchased. Bids for 1.14 voting systems and related election services must be solicited 1.15 from each vendor selling or leasing voting systems that have 1.16 been certified for use by the secretary of state. The contract 1.17 must be renewed no later than July 1 of each odd-numbered year. 1.18 Counties and municipalities may purchase or lease voting systems 1.19 and obtain related election services from the state contract. 1.20 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.80, is 1.21 amended to read: 1.22 206.80 [ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS.] 1.23 (a) An electronic voting system may not be employed unless 1.24 it: 1.25 (1) permits every voter to vote in secret; 1.26 (2) permits every voter to vote for all candidates and 2.1 questions for whom or upon which the voter is legally entitled 2.2 to vote; 2.3 (3) provides for write-in voting when authorized; 2.4 (4) rejects by means of the automatic tabulating equipment, 2.5 except as provided in section 206.84 with respect to write-in 2.6 votes, all votes for an office or question when the number of 2.7 votes cast on it exceeds the number which the voter is entitled 2.8 to cast; 2.9 (5) permits a voter at a primary election to select 2.10 secretly the party for which the voter wishes to vote;
and2.11 (6) rejects, by means of the automatic tabulating 2.12 equipment, all votes cast in a primary election by a voter when 2.13 the voter votes for candidates of more than one party; and 2.14 (7) provides every voter an opportunity to verify votes and 2.15 to change votes or correct any error before the voter's ballot 2.16 is cast and counted, produces a permanent paper ballot cast by 2.17 the voter that is preserved as an official record available for 2.18 use in any recount. 2.19 (b) An electronic voting system purchased on or after the 2.20 effective date of this section may not be employed unless it 2.21 accepts and tabulates, in the precinct or at a counting center, 2.22 a marked optical scan ballot or creates a marked optical scan 2.23 ballot that can be tabulated in the precinct or at a counting 2.24 center by an optical scan machine certified for use in this 2.25 state. 2.26 Sec. 3. [APPROPRIATIONS.] 2.27 Subdivision 1. [ASSISTED VOTING EQUIPMENT.] $18,000,000 is 2.28 appropriated from the Help America Vote Act account to the 2.29 secretary of state for grants to counties to purchase electronic 2.30 voting systems equipped for individuals with disabilities that 2.31 meet the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 206.80, and 2.32 have been certified by the secretary of state under Minnesota 2.33 Statutes, section 206.57. The secretary of state shall make a 2.34 grant to each county in the amount of $4,400 times the number of 2.35 polling places in the county as certified by the county, which 2.36 must not be more than the number of polling places used by the 3.1 county in the state general election of 2004. Each polling 3.2 place used after January 1, 2006, must be equipped with an 3.3 electronic voting system equipped for individuals with 3.4 disabilities. 3.5 Subd. 2. [OPTICAL SCAN EQUIPMENT; OPERATING COSTS.] (a) 3.6 $18,000,000 is appropriated from the Help America Vote Act 3.7 account to the secretary of state for grants to counties to 3.8 purchase optical scan voting systems that meet the requirements 3.9 of Minnesota Statutes, section 206.80, and have been certified 3.10 by the secretary of state under Minnesota Statutes, section 3.11 206.57, and to pay for operating costs of the systems purchased 3.12 under this subdivision or subdivision 1. The amount allocated 3.13 to each county must be in proportion to the number of polling 3.14 places used by the county in the state general election of 2004. 3.15 (b) "Operating costs" may include county and municipal 3.16 costs for hardware maintenance, election day technical support, 3.17 software licensing, voting system testing, training of county or 3.18 municipal staff in the use of the voting system, transportation 3.19 of the voting systems to and from the polling places, and 3.20 storage of the voting systems between elections. Total annual 3.21 operating costs of a county or municipality may not exceed $450 3.22 per polling place. 3.23 (c) To receive a grant, a county must apply to the 3.24 secretary of state on forms prescribed by the secretary of state 3.25 that set forth how the grant money will be spent. A county may 3.26 submit more than one grant application, so long as the 3.27 appropriation remains available and the total amount granted to 3.28 the county does not exceed the county's allocation. 3.29 Subd. 3. [LOCAL EQUIPMENT PLANS.] (a) The county auditor 3.30 shall convene a working group of the city and town election 3.31 officials in each county to create a local equipment plan. The 3.32 working group must continue to meet until the plan is completed, 3.33 which must be no later than June 30, 2005. The plan must: 3.34 (1) contain procedures to implement assisted voting 3.35 technology for use by disabled voters in each polling location; 3.36 (2) define who is responsible for any capital or operating 4.1 costs related to election equipment not covered by federal money 4.2 from the Help America Vote Act account; and 4.3 (3) outline how the grants under subdivisions 1 and 2 will 4.4 be spent. 4.5 (b) A county plan must provide funding to purchase 4.6 precinct-based optical scan equipment for any polling place 4.7 whose city or town requests it, if the requesting city or town 4.8 agrees with the county on who will be responsible for operating 4.9 and replacement costs related to the use of the precinct-based 4.10 equipment. 4.11 (c) The county board of commissioners must adopt the local 4.12 equipment plan after a public hearing. Money from the Help 4.13 America Vote Act account may not be expended until the plan is 4.14 adopted. The county auditor shall file the adopted local 4.15 equipment plan with the secretary of state. 4.16 Subd. 4. [REPORT.] Each county receiving a grant under 4.17 subdivision 1 or 2 must report to the secretary of state by 4.18 January 15, 2006, the amount spent for the purchase of each kind 4.19 of electronic voting system and for operating costs of the 4.20 systems purchased. The secretary of state shall compile this 4.21 information and report it to the legislature by February 15, 4.22 2006. 4.23 Subd. 5. [AVAILABILITY.] The appropriations in this 4.24 section are available until June 30, 2009. 4.25 Sec. 4. [MAIL BALLOTING.] 4.26 Nothing in this act is intended to preclude the use of mail 4.27 balloting in those precincts where it is allowed under state law. 4.28 Sec. 5. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 4.29 This act is effective the day following final enactment.