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HF 193

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 01/28/2013 01:43pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to elections; modifying eligibility requirements for voting by absentee
ballot; modifying certain procedures related to applying for or obtaining an
absentee ballot; requiring county auditors to explain absentee ballot changes to
certain voters; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 203B.02, subdivision
1; 203B.04, subdivisions 1, 6; 203B.06, subdivision 1; repealing Minnesota
Statutes 2012, section 203B.04, subdivision 5.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.02, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

deleted text beginUnable to go to polling placedeleted text endnew text begin Absentee voting; eligibilitynew text end.

deleted text begin(a)deleted text end Any
eligible voter deleted text beginwho reasonably expects to be unable to go to the polling place on election
day in the precinct where the individual maintains residence because of absence from the
precinct; illness, including isolation or quarantine under sections 144.419 to 144.4196
or United States Code, title 42, sections 264 to 272; disability; religious discipline;
observance of a religious holiday; or service as an election judge in another precinct
deleted text end may
vote by absentee ballot as provided in sections 203B.04 to 203B.15.

deleted text begin (b) If the governor has declared an emergency and filed the declaration with the
secretary of state under section 12.31, and the declaration states that the emergency has
made it difficult for voters to go to the polling place on election day, any voter in a
precinct covered by the declaration may vote by absentee ballot as provided in sections
203B.04 to 203B.15.
deleted text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, 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 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.

(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 deleted text beginmust state that the applicant is eligible to vote by
absentee ballot for one of the reasons specified in section 203B.02, and
deleted text end 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 deleted text begin5deleted text endnew text begin 6new text end to automatically receive an absentee ballot deleted text beginapplicationdeleted text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.04, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Ongoing absentee status; termination.

(a) An eligible voter may apply to
a county auditor or municipal clerk for status as an ongoing absentee voter deleted text beginwho reasonably
expects to meet the requirements of section 203B.02, subdivision 1
deleted text end. Each applicant must
automatically be provided with an absentee ballot deleted text beginapplicationdeleted text end for each ensuing election
other than an election by mail conducted under section 204B.45, and must have the status
of ongoing absentee voter indicated on the voter's registration record.new text begin Ballots sent in
accordance with this section must be sent by nonforwardable mail.
new text end

(b) Ongoing absentee voter status ends on:

(1) the voter's written request;

(2) the voter's death;

(3) return of an ongoing absentee ballot as undeliverable;

(4) a change in the voter's status so that the voter is not eligible to vote under section
201.15 or 201.155; or

(5) placement of the voter's registration on inactive status under section 201.171.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.06, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Printing and delivery of forms.

Each county auditor and municipal
clerk shall prepare and print a sufficient number of blank application forms for absentee
ballots. The county auditor or municipal clerk shall deliver a blank application form to
any voter who requests one pursuant to section 203B.04. deleted text beginBlank application forms must be
mailed to eligible voters who have requested an application pursuant to section 203B.04,
subdivision 5
or 6, at least 60 days before:
deleted text end

deleted text begin (1) each regularly scheduled primary for federal, state, county, city, or school board
office;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2) each regularly scheduled general election for city or school board office for
which a primary is not held; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3) a special primary to fill a federal or county office vacancy or special election to
fill a federal or county office vacancy, if a primary is not required to be held pursuant to
section 204D.03, subdivision 3, or 204D.07, subdivision 3; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (4) any election held in conjunction with an election described in clauses (1) to (3);
deleted text end

deleted text begin or at least 45 days before any other primary or other election for which a primary is not held.
deleted text end

Sec. 5. new text beginEXPLANATION OF ABSENTEE BALLOT CHANGES; COUNTY
AUDITOR DUTIES.
new text end

new text begin By May 1, 2014, each county auditor shall mail an explanation of the changes to the
ongoing absentee balloting process and an updated ongoing absentee voter application
to every voter with ongoing absentee ballot status in the county auditor's county. Each
county auditor shall also mail this explanation to every voter in the county auditor's
county with permanent absentee ballot status on the voter's voter record as of the effective
date of this act. A voter must return the application to maintain the voter's status as an
ongoing absentee voter.
new text end

new text begin Upon receipt of a completed application, the county auditor shall scan and retain an
image of the application until the ongoing absentee voter's status ends.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.04, subdivision 5, new text end new text begin is repealed.
new text end