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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2571

as introduced - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 03/11/2016 09:28am

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; authorizing military and overseas voters to return absentee
ballots by e-mail or facsimile; amending Minnesota Statutes 2014, sections
203B.21, subdivision 3; 203B.225, subdivision 2; 203B.28; proposing coding
for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 203B.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 203B.21, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Back of return envelope.

new text begin(a) new text endOn the back of the return envelope a
certificate shall appear with space for:

(1) the voter's address of present or former residence in Minnesota;

(2) the voter's current e-mail address, if the voter has one;

(3) a statement indicating the category described in section 203B.16 to which the
voter belongs;

(4) a statement that the voter has not cast and will not cast another absentee ballot
in the same election or elections;

(5) a statement that the voter personally marked the ballots without showing them to
anyone, or if physically unable to mark them, that the voter directed another individual
to mark them; and

(6) the same 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 as provided on the
absentee ballot application; if the voter does not have access to any of these documents, the
voter may attest to the truthfulness of the contents of the certificate under penalty of perjury.

new text begin (b) new text endThe certificate deleted text beginshalldeleted text end new text beginmust new text endalso contain a signed oath in the form required by
section 705 of the Help America Vote Act, Public Law 107-252, which must read:

"I swear or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that:

I am a member of the uniformed services or merchant marine on active duty or
an eligible spouse or dependent of such a member; a United States citizen temporarily
residing outside the United States; or other United States citizen residing outside the
United States; and I am a United States citizen, at least 18 years of age (or will be by the
date of the election), and I am eligible to vote in the requested jurisdiction; I have not
been convicted of a felony, or other disqualifying offense, or been adjudicated mentally
incompetent, or, if so, my voting rights have been reinstated; and I am not registering,
requesting a ballot, or voting in any other jurisdiction in the United States except the
jurisdiction cited in this voting form. In voting, I have marked and sealed my ballot in
private and have not allowed any person to observe the marking of the ballot, except for
those authorized to assist voters under state or federal law. I have not been influenced.

new text begin If I return my ballot by e-mail or facsimile, I understand that I am voluntarily
waiving my right to a secret ballot.
new text end

The information on this form is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my
knowledge. I understand that a material misstatement of fact in completion of this
document may constitute grounds for a conviction for perjury."

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 203B.225, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Returning voted ballots.

The voter deleted text beginmustdeleted text end new text beginmay new text endreturn the voted ballots and
the certificate of voter eligibility to the county auditornew text begin by one of the following methods:
new text end

new text begin (1) new text end in a sealed envelopedeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin by mail or a package delivery service;
new text end

new text begin (2) by e-mail as provided in section 203B.229; or
new text end

new text begin (3) by facsimile as provided in section 203B.229.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [203B.229] RETURNING BALLOTS BY E-MAIL OR FACSIMILE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Returning voted ballots. new text end

new text begin (a) A voter returning a voted ballot by
e-mail or facsimile must comply with the requirements of this section. If returning a voted
ballot by e-mail or facsimile, the voter must return the ballot to the e-mail delivery address
or facsimile number designated pursuant to paragraph (b). Unless otherwise provided by
law, absentee ballots returned by e-mail or facsimile must be treated in the same manner
as other absentee ballots.
new text end

new text begin (b) Each county auditor must designate an e-mail delivery address and a facsimile
number to be used for the return of voted ballots. The designated e-mail delivery address
and facsimile number must be regularly monitored.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Time of receipt. new text end

new text begin An absentee ballot that is returned by e-mail or facsimile
must be received by the county auditor not later than 8:00 p.m. on election day in order to be
counted. The voter assumes the risk that faulty e-mail or facsimile transmission may occur.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Ballot secrecy. new text end

new text begin Access to voted absentee ballots before they are placed in
an absentee ballot envelope must be strictly limited to election officials who must process
the ballot. Any election official who views the ballots before they are placed in the secrecy
envelope has the duty to protect the secrecy of the ballot choices. Failure of an election
official to comply with this subdivision does not invalidate a ballot.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Receiving voted ballots. new text end

new text begin (a) When a ballot is received by e-mail or
facsimile, the county auditor must note on the certificate of voter eligibility the date and
time the ballot was received and whether the ballot was received by e-mail or facsimile.
The county auditor must remove the ballot portion of the transmission from any other
portion that identifies the voter and place the ballot in a secrecy envelope. The secrecy
envelope must be sealed in a signature envelope. The county auditor must attach the
certificate of voter eligibility to the signature envelope. The envelope must then be placed
with other absentee ballots.
new text end

new text begin (b) An election official must not accept multiple transmissions of a voted ballot
submitted by the voter. If multiple ballots are submitted by the same voter, before the
close of business on the seventh day before the election, the election official must accept
the submitted ballot with the date and time closest to the close of business on the seventh
day before the election and reject all other versions. If multiple ballots are submitted by
the same voter after the close of business on the seventh day before the election, the
election official must accept the submitted ballot with the earliest date and time and reject
all other versions.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 203B.28, is amended to read:


203B.28 POSTELECTION REPORT TO LEGISLATURE.

By January 15 of every odd-numbered year, the secretary of state shall provide to the
chair and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over
elections a statistical report related to absentee voting in the most recent general election
cycle. The statistics must be organized by county, and include:

(1) the number of absentee ballots transmitted to voters;

(2) the number of absentee ballots returned by voters;

(3) the number of absentee ballots that were rejected, categorized by the reason
for rejection;

(4) the number of absentee ballots submitted pursuant to sections 203B.16 to
203B.27, along with the number of new text beginballots new text endreturned new text beginby e-mail or facsimile, and the number
of
new text endballots that were accepted, rejected, and the reason for any rejections; and

(5) the number of absentee ballots that were not counted because the ballot return
envelope was received after the deadlines provided in this chapter.

Sec. 5. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 4 are effective June 15, 2016.
new text end