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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2288

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/14/2014 05:01pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to elections; providing for submission of voter registration and absentee
ballot applications online; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 201.061,
subdivision 1; 201.071, subdivisions 1, 3; 203B.17; Minnesota Statutes 2013
Supplement, section 203B.04, subdivision 1.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.061, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Prior to election day.

At any time except during the 20 days
immediately preceding any regularly scheduled election, an eligible voter or any
individual who will be an eligible voter at the time of the next election may register to vote
in the precinct in which the voter maintains residence by completing a voter registration
application as described in section 201.071, subdivision 1deleted text begin, and submitting itdeleted text endnew text begin. A completed
application may be submitted:
new text end

new text begin (1)new text end in person or by mail to the county auditor of that county or to the Secretary
of State's Officedeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (2) electronically through a secure Web site that shall be maintained by the secretary
of state for this purpose, if the applicant has an e-mail address and provides the applicant's
verifiable Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota state identification card number,
or the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number.
new text end

A registration that is received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 21st day preceding any
election shall be accepted. An improperly addressed or delivered registration application
shall be forwarded within two working days after receipt to the county auditor of the
county where the voter maintains residence. A state or local agency or an individual that
accepts completed voter registration applications from a voter must submit the completed
applications to the secretary of state or the appropriate county auditor within ten calendar
days after the applications are dated by the voter.new text begin No individual shall submit an electronic
voter registration on behalf of any other individual.
new text end

For purposes of this section, mail registration is defined as a voter registration
application delivered to the secretary of state, county auditor, or municipal clerk by the
United States Postal Service or a commercial carrier.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.071, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Form.

new text beginBoth paper and electronic voter registration applications must
contain the same information unless otherwise provided by law.
new text endA voter registration
application must deleted text beginbe of suitable size and weight for mailing anddeleted text end contain spaces for the
following required information: voter's first name, middle name, and last name; voter's
previous name, if any; voter's current address; voter's previous address, if any; voter's
date of birth; voter's municipality and county of residence; voter's telephone number, if
provided by the voter; date of registration; current and valid Minnesota driver's license
number or Minnesota state identification number, or if the voter has no current and valid
Minnesota driver's license or Minnesota state identification, the last four digits of the
voter's Social Security number; and voter's signature. The new text beginpaper new text endregistration application
may include the voter's e-mail address, if provided by the voterdeleted text begin, anddeleted text endnew text begin. The electronic
voter registration application must include the voter's e-mail address. The registration
application may include
new text end the voter's interest in serving as an election judge, if indicated by
the voter. The application must also contain the following certification of voter eligibility:

"I certify that I:

(1) will be at least 18 years old on election day;

(2) am a citizen of the United States;

(3) will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding election day;

(4) maintain residence at the address given on the registration form;

(5) am not under court-ordered guardianship in which the court order revokes my
right to vote;

(6) have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote;

(7) have the right to vote because, if I have been convicted of a felony, my felony
sentence has expired (been completed) or I have been discharged from my sentence; and

(8) have read and understand the following statement: that giving false information
is a felony punishable by not more than five years imprisonment or a fine of not more
than $10,000, or both."

The certification must include boxes for the voter to respond to the following
questions:

"(1) Are you a citizen of the United States?" and

"(2) Will you be 18 years old on or before election day?"

And the instruction:

"If you checked 'no' to either of these questions, do not complete this form."

new text begin A paper voter registration application must be of suitable size and weight for
mailing.
new text endThe form of the voter registration application and the certification of voter
eligibility must be as provided in this subdivision and approved by the secretary of state.
Voter registration forms authorized by the National Voter Registration Act must also be
accepted as valid. The federal postcard application form must also be accepted as valid if
it is not deficient and the voter is eligible to register in Minnesota.

An individual may use a voter registration application to apply to register to vote in
Minnesota or to change information on an existing registration.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 201.071, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Deficient registration.

No voter registration application is deficient if it
contains the voter's name, address, date of birth, current and valid Minnesota driver's
license number or Minnesota state identification number, or if the voter has no current and
valid Minnesota driver's license or Minnesota state identification number, the last four
digits of the voter's Social Security number, if the voter has been issued a Social Security
number, prior registration, if any, and signature. The absence of a zip code number does
not cause the registration to be deficient. Failure to check a box on an application form
that a voter has certified to be true does not cause the registration to be deficient. The
election judges shall request an individual to correct a voter registration application if it is
deficient or illegible. No eligible voter may be prevented from voting unless the voter's
registration application is deficient or the voter is duly and successfully challenged in
accordance with section 201.195 or 204C.12.

A voter registration application accepted prior to August 1, 1983, is not deficient
for lack of date of birth. The county or municipality may attempt to obtain the date of
birth for a voter registration application accepted prior to August 1, 1983, by a request to
the voter at any time except at the polling place. Failure by the voter to comply with this
request does not make the registration deficient.

A voter registration application accepted before January 1, 2004, is not deficient for
lack of a valid Minnesota driver's license or state identification number or the last four
digits of a Social Security number. A voter registration application submitted by a voter
who does not have a Minnesota driver's license or state identification number, or a Social
Security number, is not deficient for lack of any of these numbers.

new text begin A voter registration application submitted electronically through the Web site of the
secretary of state prior to the effective date of this section is not invalid as a result of
its electronic submission.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, 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 deleted text beginand shall be submitteddeleted text endnew text begin. An application may be
submitted in person or by mail
new text end 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.

new text begin For a federal, state, or county election, an absentee ballot application may alternatively
be submitted electronically through a secure Web site that shall be maintained by the
secretary of state for this purpose. Notwithstanding paragraph (b), the secretary of state
must require applicants using the Web site to submit the applicant's e-mail address and
verifiable Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota state identification card number,
or the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number.
new text end

(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 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 5 to automatically receive an absentee ballot application.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 203B.17, is amended to read:


203B.17 APPLICATION FOR BALLOT.

Subdivision 1.

Submission of application.

(a) An application for absentee ballots
for a voter described in section 203B.16new text begin must be in writing andnew text end may be submitted in
deleted text beginwriting ordeleted text endnew text begin person, by mail,new text end by electronic facsimile device, deleted text beginordeleted text end by electronic mailnew text begin, or
electronically through a secure Web site that shall be maintained by the secretary of state
for this purpose,
new text end upon determination by the secretary of state that security concerns have
been adequately addressed. An application for absentee ballots for a voter described in
section 203B.16 may be submitted by that voter or by that voter's parent, spouse, sister,
brother, or child over the age of 18 years. For purposes of an application under this
subdivision, a person's Social Security number, no matter how it is designated, qualifies as
the person's military identification number if the person is in the military.

(b) An application for a voter described in section 203B.16, subdivision 1, shall be
submitted to the county auditor of the county where the voter maintains residencenew text begin or
through the secure Web site maintained by the secretary of state
new text end.

(c) An application for a voter described in section 203B.16, subdivision 2, shall be
submitted to the county auditor of the county where the voter last maintained residence in
Minnesotanew text begin or through the secure Web site maintained by the secretary of statenew text end.

(d) An application for absentee ballots shall be valid for any primary, special
primary, general election, or special election from the time the application is received
through the end of that calendar year.

(e) There shall be no limitation of time for filing and receiving applications for
ballots under sections 203B.16 to 203B.27.

Subd. 2.

Required information.

An application shall be accepted if it contains the
following information stated under oath:

(a) the voter's name, birthdate, and present address of residence in Minnesota, or
former address of residence in Minnesota if the voter is living permanently outside the
United States;

(b) a statement indicating that the voter is in the military, or is the spouse or
dependent of an individual serving in the military, or is temporarily outside the territorial
limits of the United States, or is living permanently outside the territorial limits of the
United States and voting under federal law;

(c) a statement that the voter expects to be absent from the precinct at the time
of the election;

(d) the address to which absentee ballots are to be mailed;

(e) the voter's signature or the signature and relationship of the individual authorized
to apply on the voter's behalf; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(f) the voter's passport number, Minnesota driver's license or state identification card
number, or the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number; if the voter does not
have access to any of these documents, the voter or other individual requesting absentee
ballots may attest to the truthfulness of the contents of the application under penalty
of perjurynew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (g) the voter's e-mail address, if the application was submitted electronically through
the secure Web site maintained by the secretary of state
new text end.

new text begin Notwithstanding clause (f), an application submitted through the secretary of state's Web
site must include the voter's verifiable Minnesota driver's license number, Minnesota state
identification card number, or the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text beginCERTIFICATION OF WEB SITE SECURITY; REPORT TO
LEGISLATURE.
new text end

new text begin No later than 30 days following the effective date of this section, the secretary
of state shall certify that the Web site maintained for electronic submission of voter
registration applications and the Web site maintained for electronic submission of absentee
ballot applications have been tested and include sufficient security measures to prevent
unauthorized access to data submitted to each site.
new text end

new text begin By January 15, 2015, the secretary of state shall report to the chairs and ranking
minority members of the house of representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction
over elections issues on implementation and use of the voter registration Web site and the
absentee ballot application Web site. The report must detail the number of applications
processed, the number of individuals who attempted to apply but whose applications were
rejected, any documented costs or savings associated with the operation of each Web site,
any security issues arising out of Web site operations or in receiving and maintaining
data, including the manner in which the issues were resolved, and other relevant data or
information as determined by the secretary of state.
new text end

Sec. 7. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 6 are effective the day following final enactment.
new text end