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HF 3833

2nd Engrossment - 84th Legislature (2005 - 2006) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; modifying the postelection review process; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 204B.40; proposing coding for new law in
Minnesota Statutes, chapter 206; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2004, section
204C.50, subdivisions 3, 4, 5, 6; Minnesota Statutes 2005 Supplement, section
204C.50, subdivisions 1, 2.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 204B.40, is amended to read:


204B.40 BALLOTS; ELECTION RECORDS AND OTHER MATERIALS;
DISPOSITION; INSPECTION OF BALLOTS.

The county auditors, municipal clerks, and school district clerks shall retain all
election materials returned to them after any election for at least 22 months from the date
of that election. All election materials involved in a contested election must be retained for
22 months or until the contest has been finally determined, whichever is later. Abstracts
filed by canvassing boards shall be retained permanently by any officer with whom those
abstracts are filed. Election materials no longer required to be retained pursuant to this
section shall be disposed of in accordance with sections 138.163 to 138.21. Sealed
envelopes containing voted ballots must be retained unopened, except as provided in this
section, in a secure location. The county auditor, municipal clerk, or school district clerk
shall not permit any voted ballots to be tampered with or defaced.

After the time for filing a notice of contest for an election has passed, the secretary
of state may, for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating election procedures: (1) open
the sealed ballot envelopes and inspect the ballots for that election maintained by the
county auditors, municipal clerks, or school district clerks for the purpose of monitoring
and evaluating election procedures.
; (2) inspect the polling place rosters and completed
voter registration applications; or (3) examine other forms required in the Minnesota
election laws for use in the polling place.
No inspected ballot or document may be
marked or identified in any manner. After inspection, all ballots must be returned to the
ballot envelope and the ballot envelope must be securely resealed. Any other election
materials inspected or examined must be secured or resealed. No polling place roster
may be inspected until the voting history for that precinct has been posted. No voter
registration application may be inspected until the information on it has been entered into
the statewide registration system.

Sec. 2.

[206.89] POSTELECTION REVIEW OF VOTING SYSTEMS.

Subdivision 1.

Selection for review; notice.

At the canvass of the state primary,
the county canvassing board in each county must set the date, time, and place for the
postelection review of the state general election to be held under this section. The review
must be conducted at the location where the voted ballots have been securely stored after
the state general election or at another location chosen by the county canvassing board.
The review must be completed no later than two days before the meeting of the state
canvassing board to certify the results of the state general election.

At the canvass of the state general election, the county canvassing boards must select
the precincts to be reviewed. The county canvassing board of a county with fewer than
50,000 registered voters must select at least two precincts for postelection review. The
county canvassing board of a county with between 50,000 and 100,000 registered voters
must select at least three precincts for review. The county canvassing board of a county
with over 100,000 registered voters must select at least four precincts. The precincts must
be selected by lot at a public meeting. At least one precinct selected in each county must
have had more than 150 votes cast at the general election.

Each county auditor must notify the secretary of state of the precincts that have been
chosen for review and the time and place the postelection review for that county will
be conducted, as soon as the decisions are made. The secretary of state must post this
information on the office Web site.

Subd. 2.

Scope and conduct of review.

Postelection review must be conducted
of the votes cast for President or governor; United States Senator; and United States
Representative. The recount officials may conduct postelection review of the votes cast
for additional offices.

The postelection review must be conducted in public. The recount official for the
precincts selected must conduct the postelection review and may be assisted by election
judges designated by the recount official for this purpose. The party balance requirement
of section 204B.19 applies to election judges designated for the review. The postelection
review must consist of a manual count of the ballots used in the precincts selected and
must be performed in the manner provided by section 204C.21. The postelection review
must be conducted in the manner provided for recounts under section 204C.361 to the
extent practicable.

Upon completion of the postelection review, the recount official must immediately
report the results to the county auditor. The county auditor must then immediately submit
the results of the postelection review electronically or in writing to the secretary of state no
later than two days before the State Canvassing Board meets to canvass the state general
election. The secretary of state shall report the results of the preelection review at the
meeting of the State Canvassing Board to canvass the state general election.

Subd. 3.

Standard of acceptable performance by voting system.

(a) Each
comparison of the results compiled by the voting system with the postelection review
described in this section must be accurate to within one-half of one percent variation from
the manual count of the offices reviewed. Valid votes that have been marked by the voter
outside the vote targets or using a manual marking device that cannot be read by the voting
system must not be included in making the determination whether the voting system has
met the standard of acceptable performance for any precinct.

(b) If the postelection review reveals a difference greater than one-half of one
percent, the recount official must, within two days, conduct an additional review of at least
three precincts in the same jurisdiction where the discrepancy was discovered. If all
precincts in that jurisdiction have been reviewed, the county auditor must immediately
publicly select by lot at least three additional precincts for review. The recount official
must complete the additional review within two days after the precincts are selected and
report the results immediately to the county auditor. If the second review also indicates a
difference in the voting totals compiled by the voting system that is greater than one-half
of one percent from the result indicated by the postelection review, the county auditor
must conduct a review of the ballots from all the remaining precincts in the county. This
review must be completed no later than six weeks after the state general election.

(c) If the results from the countywide reviews from one or more counties comprising
in the aggregate more than ten percent of the total number of persons voting in the election
clearly indicate that an error in vote counting has occurred, the recount official must
conduct a manual recount of all the ballots in the district for the affected office. The
recount must be completed and the results reported to the appropriate canvassing board no
later than ten weeks after the state general election.

Subd. 4.

Update of vote totals.

If the postelection review under this section results
in a change in the number of votes counted for any candidate, the revised vote totals must
be incorporated in the official result from those precincts.

Subd. 5.

Effect on voting systems.

If a voting system is found to have failed
to record votes accurately and in the manner provided by the Minnesota election law,
the voting system must not be used at another election until it has been examined and
recertified by the secretary of state. If the voting system failure is attributable to either its
design or to actions of the vendor, the vendor must forfeit the vendor bond required by
section 206.57 and the performance bond required by section 206.66.

Subd. 6.

Costs of review.

The costs of the postelection review required by this
section must be allocated as follows:

(1) the governing body responsible for each precinct selected for review must pay
the costs incurred for the review conducted under subdivision 2 or 3, paragraph (b);

(2) the vendor of the voting system must pay any costs incurred by the secretary
of state to examine and recertify the voting system; and

(3) the secretary of state must reimburse local units of government for the costs of
any recount required under subdivision 3, paragraph (c).

Subd. 7.

Time for filing election contest.

The time for notice of a contest of
election does not begin to run until all reviews under this section have been completed.

Sec. 3.

[206.895] SECRETARY OF STATE MONITOR.

The secretary of state must monitor and evaluate election procedures in precincts
subject to the audit provided for in section 206.89 in at least four precincts in each
congressional district. The precincts must be chosen by lot by the State Canvassing Board
at its meeting to canvass the state general election.

Sec. 4. REPEALER.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 204C.50, subdivisions 3, 4, 5, and 6, and

Minnesota Statutes 2005 Supplement, section 204C.50, subdivisions 1 and 2, are repealed.

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