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SF 1960

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/10/2021 03:58pm

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; prohibiting intimidation, deceptive practices, and interference
with voter registration and voting; providing penalties; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2020, sections 8.31, subdivision 1; 211B.32, subdivision 1; proposing
coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 211B.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 8.31, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Investigate offenses against provisions of certain designated sections;
assist in enforcement.

The attorney general shall investigate violations ofnew text begin and assist in the
enforcement of the following laws as in this section provided:
new text end

new text begin (1)new text end the law of this state respecting unfair, discriminatory, and other unlawful practices
in business, commerce, or trade, and specifically, but not exclusively, the Nonprofit
Corporation Act (sections 317A.001 to 317A.909), the Act Against Unfair Discrimination
and Competition (sections 325D.01 to 325D.07), the Unlawful Trade Practices Act (sections
325D.09 to 325D.16), the Antitrust Act (sections 325D.49 to 325D.66), section 325F.67
and other laws against false or fraudulent advertising, the antidiscrimination acts contained
in section 325D.67, the act against monopolization of food products (section 325D.68), the
act regulating telephone advertising services (section 325E.39), the Prevention of Consumer
Fraud Act (sections 325F.68 to 325F.70), and chapter 53A regulating currency exchanges
deleted text begin and assist in the enforcement of those laws as in this section provided.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (2) section 211B.075 regulating voter intimidation, interference, and deceptive practices
in elections.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [211B.075] VOTER INTIMIDATION, INTERFERENCE, AND DECEPTIVE
PRACTICES PROHIBITED; CIVIL ENFORCEMENT.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Intimidation. new text end

new text begin (a) A person, whether acting under color of law or
otherwise, may not directly or indirectly use or threaten force, coercion, violence, restraint,
damage, harm, or loss, including loss of employment or economic reprisal against:
new text end

new text begin (1) an individual with respect to registering or abstaining from registering to vote, voting
or abstaining from voting, or voting for or against a candidate or ballot question;
new text end

new text begin (2) an elections official with respect to the performance of duties related to election
administration; or
new text end

new text begin (3) any person with respect to that person's efforts to encourage another to cast a ballot
or assist another in registering to vote, traveling to a polling place, casting a ballot, or
participating in any other aspect of the election process.
new text end

new text begin (b) In an action brought to prevent and restrain violations of this section or to require
the payment of civil penalties, the moving party may show that the action or attempted
action would cause a reasonable person to feel intimidated. The moving party does not need
to show that the actor intended to cause the victim to feel intimidated.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Deceptive practices. new text end

new text begin (a) No person, whether acting under color of law or
otherwise, shall within 60 days of an election cause, by any means, information to be
transmitted that the person:
new text end

new text begin (1) intends to impede or prevent another person from exercising the right to vote; and
new text end

new text begin (2) knows to be materially false.
new text end

new text begin (b) The prohibition in this subdivision includes but is not limited to information regarding
the time, place, or manner of holding an election; the qualifications for or restrictions on
voter eligibility at an election; and threats to physical safety associated with casting a ballot.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Interference with registration or voting. new text end

new text begin No person, whether acting under
color of law or otherwise, shall intentionally hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person
from voting, registering to vote, or aiding another person in casting a ballot or registering
to vote.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Vicarious liability; conspiracy. new text end

new text begin A person, whether acting under color of law
or otherwise, may be held vicariously liable for any damages resulting from the violation
of this section and may be identified in an order restraining violations of this section if that
person:
new text end

new text begin (1) intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, abets, incites, compels, or coerces a person
to violate any provision of this section or attempts to aid, advise, hire, counsel, abet, incite,
compel, or coerce a person to violate any provision of this section; or
new text end

new text begin (2) conspires, combines, agrees, or arranges with another to either commit a violation
of this section or aid, advise, hire, counsel, abet, incite, compel, or coerce a third person to
violate any provision of this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Enforcement. new text end

new text begin (a) The attorney general or any injured person may enforce this
section consistent with the authority provided in section 8.31. An action filed by an injured
person under section 8.31, subdivision 3a, is in the public interest.
new text end

new text begin (b) Remedies allowable under this section are cumulative and do not restrict any other
right or remedy otherwise available to an injured person. An action for a penalty or remedy
under this section must be brought within two years of the date the violation is alleged to
have occurred. The complaint process provided in sections 211B.31 to 211B.36 does not
apply to violations of this section.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [211B.076] VOTER INTIMIDATION, INTERFERENCE, AND DECEPTIVE
PRACTICES PROHIBITED; CRIMINAL PENALTIES.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Intimidation. new text end

new text begin A person is guilty of a crime if the person, whether acting
under color of law or otherwise, directly or indirectly uses or threatens force, coercion,
violence, restraint, damage, harm, or loss, including loss of employment or economic reprisal
against another with the intent to:
new text end

new text begin (1) compel an individual to register or abstain from registering to vote, vote or abstain
from voting, or vote for or against a candidate or ballot question;
new text end

new text begin (2) influence an elections official in the performance of duties related to election
administration; or
new text end

new text begin (3) interfere with any person's efforts to encourage another to cast a ballot or assist
another person in registering to vote, traveling to a polling place, casting a ballot, or
participating in any other aspect of the election process.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Deceptive practices. new text end

new text begin (a) A person is guilty of a crime if the person, whether
acting under color of law or otherwise, within 60 days of an election causes, by any means,
information to be transmitted that the person:
new text end

new text begin (1) intends to impede or prevent another person from exercising the right to vote; and
new text end

new text begin (2) knows to be materially false.
new text end

new text begin (b) The prohibition in this subdivision includes but is not limited to information regarding
the time, place, or manner of holding an election; the qualifications for or restrictions on
voter eligibility at an election; and threats to physical safety associated with casting a ballot.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Interference with registration or voting. new text end

new text begin A person is guilty of a crime if the
person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, intentionally hinders, interferes
with, or prevents another person from voting, registering to vote, or aiding another person
in casting a ballot or registering to vote.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Enforcement. new text end

new text begin The complaint process provided in sections 211B.31 to 211B.36
does not apply to violations of this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Penalty. new text end

new text begin A person who violates this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2021, and applies to crimes
committed on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 211B.32, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Administrative remedy; exhaustion.

(a) Except as provided in deleted text beginparagraphdeleted text endnew text begin
paragraphs
new text end (b)new text begin and (c)new text end, a complaint alleging a violation of chapter 211A or 211B must be
filed with the office. The complaint must be finally disposed of by the office before the
alleged violation may be prosecuted by a county attorney.

(b) Complaints arising under those sections and related to those individuals and
associations specified in section 10A.022, subdivision 3, must be filed with the Campaign
Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

new text begin (c) Violations of sections 211B.075 and 211B.076 may be enforced as provided in those
sections.
new text end