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SF 13

as introduced - 91st Legislature, 2020 5th Special Session (2020 - 2020) Posted on 10/13/2020 07:49am

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; requiring notice for absentee ballot board meetings; requiring
notice of public accuracy tests to be given to the secretary of state; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 203B.121, subdivision 2; 206.83.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 203B.121, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Duties of ballot board; absentee ballots.

(a) The members of the ballot board
shall take possession of all return envelopes delivered to them in accordance with section
203B.08. Upon receipt from the county auditor, municipal clerk, or school district clerk,
two or more members of the ballot board shall examine each return envelope and shall mark
it accepted or rejected in the manner provided in this subdivision. Election judges performing
the duties in this section must be of different major political parties, unless they are exempt
from that requirement under section 205.075, subdivision 4, or section 205A.10, subdivision
2
.

(b) The members of the ballot board shall mark the return envelope "Accepted" and
initial or sign the return envelope below the word "Accepted" if a majority of the members
of the ballot board examining the envelope are satisfied that:

(1) the voter's name and address on the return envelope are the same as the information
provided on the absentee ballot application;

(2) the voter signed the certification on the envelope;

(3) the voter's Minnesota driver's license, state identification number, or the last four
digits of the voter's Social Security number are the same as a number on the voter's absentee
ballot application or voter record. If the number does not match, the election judges must
compare the signature provided by the applicant to determine whether the ballots were
returned by the same person to whom they were transmitted;

(4) the voter is registered and eligible to vote in the precinct or has included a properly
completed voter registration application in the return envelope;

(5) the certificate has been completed as prescribed in the directions for casting an
absentee ballot; and

(6) the voter has not already voted at that election, either in person or, if it is after the
close of business on the seventh day before the election, by absentee ballot.

The return envelope from accepted ballots must be preserved and returned to the county
auditor.

(c)(1) If a majority of the members of the ballot board examining a return envelope find
that an absentee voter has failed to meet one of the requirements provided in paragraph (b),
they shall mark the return envelope "Rejected," initial or sign it below the word "Rejected,"
list the reason for the rejection on the envelope, and return it to the county auditor. There
is no other reason for rejecting an absentee ballot beyond those permitted by this section.
Failure to place the ballot within the security envelope before placing it in the outer white
envelope is not a reason to reject an absentee ballot.

(2) If an envelope has been rejected at least five days before the election, the envelope
must remain sealed and the official in charge of the ballot board shall provide the voter with
a replacement absentee ballot and return envelope in place of the rejected ballot.

(3) If an envelope is rejected within five days of the election, the envelope must remain
sealed and the official in charge of the ballot board must attempt to contact the voter by
telephone or e-mail to notify the voter that the voter's ballot has been rejected. The official
must document the attempts made to contact the voter.

(d) The official in charge of the absentee ballot board must mail the voter a written notice
of absentee ballot rejection between six and ten weeks following the election. If the official
determines that the voter has otherwise cast a ballot in the election, no notice is required.
If an absentee ballot arrives after the deadline for submission provided by this chapter, the
notice must be provided between six to ten weeks after receipt of the ballot. A notice of
absentee ballot rejection must contain the following information:

(1) the date on which the absentee ballot was rejected or, if the ballot was received after
the required deadline for submission, the date on which the ballot was received;

(2) the reason for rejection; and

(3) the name of the appropriate election official to whom the voter may direct further
questions, along with appropriate contact information.

(e) An absentee ballot return envelope marked "Rejected" may not be opened or subject
to further review except in an election contest filed pursuant to chapter 209.

new text begin (f) The governing body of each county, municipality, and school district must provide
notice to the public of each ballot board meeting occurring under the governing body's
jurisdiction where two or more members of the ballot board are scheduled to meet to examine
return envelopes and mark them as accepted or rejected. The notice must be posted on the
county, municipal, or school district website and include the time, date, and place of each
ballot board meeting occurring before the end of and after the completion of the election.
The notice must be posted at least three weeks before the first ballot board meeting is
scheduled to occur before an election. The governing body of each jurisdiction must also
provide the notice information to the secretary of state at least three weeks before the first
ballot board meeting. The time, date, or place of a ballot board meeting as described in this
paragraph may not be changed without providing three weeks notice of the change. The
changed meeting time, date, or place must be posted on the jurisdiction's website and be
provided to the secretary of state.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2021.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 206.83, is amended to read:


206.83 TESTING OF VOTING SYSTEMS.

new text begin (a) By October 1 before a general election and new text endwithin 14 days before new text beginany other new text endelection
deleted text begin daydeleted text end, the official in charge of elections shall have the voting system tested to ascertain that
the system will correctly mark ballots using all methods supported by the system, including
through assistive technology, and count the votes cast for all candidates and on all questions.
new text begin The official in charge of elections must provide notice to the secretary of state of the time,
date, and place of the test at least three weeks in advance of the test. The official in charge
of elections must also provide the
new text endpublic notice of the timenew text begin, date,new text end and place of the test deleted text beginmust
be given
deleted text end at least deleted text begintwo daysdeleted text endnew text begin three weeksnew text end in advance by publication once in official newspapers.
The test must be observed by at least two election judges, who are not of the same major
political party, and must be open to representatives of the political parties, candidates, the
press, and the public. new text beginThe election official must report to the secretary of state the number
of election judges by party affiliation who were present at each testing.
new text end

new text begin (b) The secretary of state must compile a list for each county that includes the time, date,
and place of each test required under paragraph (a). The secretary of state must post the
notice information for each test on its website as soon as practicable after receiving the
information from each election official. The secretary of state must categorize the information
on the secretary of state's website by county.
new text end

new text begin (c) After the completion of each test required under this section, the secretary of state
must post on its website the number of election judges by party affiliation who were present
at each testing site. The secretary of state must categorize the information on the secretary
of state's website by county.
new text end

new text begin (d) new text endThe test new text beginrequired under this section new text endmust be conducted by (1) processing a preaudited
group of ballots punched or marked to record a predetermined number of valid votes for
each candidate and on each question, and must include for each office one or more ballot
cards which have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability
of the voting system tabulator and electronic ballot marker to reject those votes; and (2)
processing an additional test deck of ballots marked using the electronic ballot marker for
the precinct, including ballots marked using the electronic ballot display, audio ballot reader,
and any assistive voting technology used with the electronic ballot marker. If any error is
detected, the cause must be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count must be made
before the voting system may be used in the election. After the completion of the test, the
programs used and ballot cards must be sealed, retained, and disposed of as provided for
paper ballots.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2021.
new text end