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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1803

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/27/2019 04:17pm

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; providing a process to challenge election day registrants;
requiring voter registration requirements to be satisfied before counting a ballot
cast by challenged election day registrant; amending public voter information to
include changes in voter status; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections
201.061, subdivisions 4, 7; 201.091, subdivision 4; 203B.121, subdivision 2;
204C.12, by adding a subdivision.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 201.061, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Registration by election judges; procedures.

new text begin(a) new text endRegistration at the polling
place on election day shall be conducted by the election judges. Before registering an
individual to vote at the polling place, the election judge must reviewnew text begin:
new text end

new text begin (1)new text end any list of absentee election day registrants provided by the county auditor or
municipal clerk to see if the person has already voted by absentee ballot. If the person's
name appears on the list, the election judge must not allow the individual to register or to
vote in the polling placedeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (2) any list of individuals ineligible to vote based on information provided to the secretary
of state under section 201.145. The secretary of state shall prepare a list and distribute it to
each county auditor for this purpose. If the individual attempting to register appears on the
list, the election judge must inform the individual of their ineligibility to vote. If the individual
maintains that they are eligible despite being provided that information, the election judge
must permit the person to register with a "challenged" status and cast a ballot according to
the procedure for voters with a challenged status under section 204C.12, subdivision 3a.
new text end

new text begin (b) new text endThe election judge who registers an individual at the polling place on election day
shall not handle that voter's ballots at any time prior to the opening of the ballot box after
the voting ends. Registration applications and forms for oaths shall be available at each
polling place. If an individual who registers on election day proves residence by oath of a
registered voter, the form containing the oath shall be attached to the individual's registration
application. Registration applications completed on election day shall be forwarded to the
county auditor who shall add the name of each voter to the registration system unless the
information forwarded is substantially deficient. A county auditor who finds an election
day registration substantially deficient shall give written notice to the individual whose
registration is found deficient. An election day registration shall not be found deficient
solely because the individual who provided proof of residence was ineligible to do so.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 201.061, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Record of attempted registrations.

new text begin(a) new text endThe election judge responsible for
election day registration shall attempt to keep a record of the number of individuals who
attempt to register on election day but who cannot provide proof of residence as required
by this section. The record shall be forwarded to the county auditor with the election returns
for that precinct.

new text begin (b) The election judge responsible for election day registration shall keep a record of
the identity of each individual who registers to vote with a challenged status. The record
shall be forwarded to the county auditor with the election returns for that precinct. Before
the canvass of the election, the county auditor must forward a comprehensive list of all
individuals registering with a challenged status, including a copy of each individual's voter
registration application and signature on the polling place roster, to the canvassing board.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 201.091, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Public information lists.

new text begin(a) new text endThe county auditor shall make available for
inspection a public information list which must contain the name, address, year of birth,
and voting history of each registered voter in the county. new text beginThe list must include registered
voters with an inactive status. For each registered voter, the list must include the history of
each change in status and the date that the change to that status was made.
new text endThe list must
include the party choice of any voter who voted in the most recent presidential nomination
primary. The telephone number must be included on the list if provided by the voter. The
public information list may also include information on voting districts.

new text begin (b) The county auditor must maintain a list, either as part of the public information list
or as a separate public information list, that includes each individual who was removed
from the statewide voter registration system and the reason for the removal. If the list is
separate from the list in paragraph (a), this list must also include the name, address, year of
birth, and voting history of each individual on the list.
new text end

new text begin (c) new text endThe county auditor may adopt reasonable rules governing access to the deleted text beginlistdeleted text endnew text begin lists
required by this section
new text end. No individual inspecting the public information list shall tamper
with or alter it in any manner. No individual who inspects the public information list or who
acquires a list of registered voters prepared from the public information list may use any
information contained in the list for purposes unrelated to elections, political activities, or
law enforcement.

new text begin (d) new text endThe secretary of state may provide copies of the public information lists and other
information from the statewide registration system for uses related to elections, political
activities, or in response to a law enforcement inquiry from a public official concerning a
failure to comply with any criminal statute or any state or local tax statute.

new text begin (e) new text endBefore inspecting the public information list or obtaining a list of voters or other
information from the list, the individual shall provide identification to the public official
having custody of the public information list and shall state in writing that any information
obtained from the list will not be used for purposes unrelated to elections, political activities,
or law enforcement. Requests to examine or obtain information from the public information
lists or the statewide registration system must be made and processed in the manner provided
in the rules of the secretary of state.

new text begin (f) For a voter who is a program participant under the address confidentiality program
established in chapter 5B, and
new text endupon receipt of a statement signed by deleted text beginthedeleted text end new text beginany other new text endvoter that
withholding the voter's name from the public information list is required for the safety of
the voter or the voter's family, the secretary of state and county auditor must withhold from
the public information list the name of a registered voter.

Sec. 4.

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 envelopenew text begin and the voter's eligibility to
vote has been verified against the information provided to the secretary of state under section
201.145
new text end;

(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.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 204C.12, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 3a. new text end

new text begin Procedure for challenged voters. new text end

new text begin (a) This subdivision applies only to ballots
cast by voters registering on election day whose registration status is challenged under
section 201.061, subdivision 4, clause (2).
new text end

new text begin (b) Before providing a ballot to a challenged voter, the election judge must write on the
back of the ballot the voter's identification number, if available, or other information sufficient
to locate the voter's registration along with the notation "challenged." The election judge
shall provide the ballot to the voter, who may complete the ballot and deposit it into the
ballot box. A ballot containing identifying information about a voter as required under this
paragraph is not a defective ballot under section 204C.22, subdivision 13.
new text end

new text begin (c) When canvassing the returns of an election, the canvassing board must review any
ballots marked with the notation "challenged" to determine the voter's eligibility. In reviewing
the voter's eligibility, the canvassing board must consider the information provided by the
county auditor under section 201.061, subdivision 7, information provided to the secretary
of state under section 201.145, and any other relevant information or testimony as determined
by the board.
new text end

new text begin (d) If the canvassing board determines that a challenged ballot was cast by a voter who
was eligible to vote, the votes contained on the ballot must be included in the election results
certified by the board. If the canvassing board determines that a challenged ballot was cast
by a voter who was not eligible to vote, the canvassing board:
new text end

new text begin (1) must not certify the votes contained on that ballot in its certification of the election
results;
new text end

new text begin (2) must direct the county auditor to notify, in writing, any voter whose ballot was not
counted of the reason for the board's finding of ineligibility; and
new text end

new text begin (3) must forward all information related to the board's finding to the county attorney.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin This act is effective the day following final enactment. Information on status changes
or individuals removed from the statewide voter registration system collected prior to that
date must not be included on a public information list.
new text end