Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

HF 1372

2nd Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/26/2020 04:20pm

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/18/2019
1st Engrossment Posted on 02/19/2020
2nd Engrossment Posted on 02/26/2020

Current Version - 2nd Engrossment

Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23
2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11
3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28
4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13
5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 7.1 7.2
7.3 7.4

A bill for an act
relating to elections; allowing voters to join a permanent absentee voter list;
requiring absentee ballots to automatically be sent before election to voters on
permanent absentee voter list; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 201.071,
subdivision 1; 203B.04, subdivision 5; 203B.06, subdivisions 1, 3; 203B.121,
subdivision 2.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 201.071, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Form.

Both paper and electronic voter registration applications must
contain the same information unless otherwise provided by law. A voter registration
application must 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; new text begina box to indicate a voter's preference
to join the permanent absentee voter list;
new text endand voter's signature. The paper registration
application may include the voter's e-mail address, if provided by the voter. The electronic
voter registration application must include the voter's e-mail address. The registration
application may include 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."

The 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. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 203B.04, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Permanent absentee voter status.

(a) An eligible voter may apply to a county
auditor or municipal clerk to automatically receive an absentee ballot deleted text beginapplicationdeleted text end before
each election, other than an election by mail conducted under section 204B.45, and to have
the status as a permanent absentee voter indicated on the voter's registration record. An
eligible voter listed as an ongoing absentee voter as of July 31, 2013, pursuant to laws in
effect on that date, shall be treated as if the voter applied for status as a permanent absentee
voter pursuant to this subdivision.

(b) A voter who applies under paragraph (a) must automatically be provided an absentee
ballot deleted text beginapplicationdeleted text end for each eligible election. A voter's permanent absentee status ends and
automatic ballot deleted text beginapplicationdeleted text end delivery must be terminated on:

(1) the voter's written request;

(2) the voter's death;

(3) return of an absentee ballot as undeliverable; or

(4) a change in the voter's status to "challenged" or "inactive" in the statewide voter
registration system.

(c) The secretary of state shall adopt rules governing procedures under this subdivision.

new text begin (d) This subdivision does not apply to a voter residing in a jurisdiction that conducts
elections entirely by mail under section 204B.45.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 203B.06, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Printing and delivery of forms.

Each county auditor and municipal
clerk shall prepare and print a sufficient number of blank application forms for absentee
ballots. The county auditor or municipal clerk shall deliver a blank application form to any
voter who requests one pursuant to section 203B.04. deleted text beginBlank application forms must be mailed
to eligible voters who have requested an application pursuant to section 203B.04, subdivision
5
, at least 60 days before:
deleted text end

deleted text begin (1) each regularly scheduled primary for federal, state, county, city, or school board
office;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2) each regularly scheduled general election for city or school board office for which
a primary is not held; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3) a special primary to fill a federal or county office vacancy or special election to fill
a federal or county office vacancy, if a primary is not required to be held pursuant to section
204D.03, subdivision 3, or 204D.07, subdivision 3; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (4) any election held in conjunction with an election described in clauses (1) to (3);
deleted text end

deleted text begin or at least 45 days before any other primary or other election for which a primary is not
held.
deleted text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 203B.06, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Delivery of ballots.

(a) new text beginThe county auditor or municipal clerk, or full-time
clerk of any city or town administering an election pursuant to section 203B.05, shall mail
absentee ballots to voters on the permanent absentee ballot list pursuant to section 203B.04,
subdivision 5, at least 46 days before:
new text end

new text begin (1) each regularly scheduled primary or general election for federal, state, county, city,
or school board office;
new text end

new text begin (2) each special primary or special election to fill a federal, state, county, city, or school
board vacancy; except
new text end

new text begin (3) town clerks administering absentee ballots for a town general election held in March
shall deliver absentee ballots at least 30 days before the election.
new text end

new text begin (b) new text endThe commissioner of corrections must provide the secretary of state with a list of
the names and mailing addresses of state adult correctional facilities. An application for an
absentee ballot that provides an address included on the list provided by the commissioner
of corrections must not be accepted and an absentee ballot must not be provided to the
applicant. The county auditor or municipal clerk must promptly transmit a copy of the
application to the county attorney. The Department of Corrections must implement procedures
to ensure that absentee ballots issued under this chapter are not received or mailed by
offenders incarcerated at state adult correctional facilities.

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end If an application for absentee ballots is accepted at a time when absentee ballots
are not yet available for distribution, the county auditor, or municipal clerk accepting the
application shall file it and as soon as absentee ballots are available for distribution shall
mail them to the address specified in the application. If an application for absentee ballots
is accepted when absentee ballots are available for distribution, the county auditor or
municipal clerk accepting the application shall promptly:

(1) mail the ballots to the voter whose signature appears on the application if the
application is submitted by mail and does not request commercial shipping under clause
(2);

(2) ship the ballots to the voter using a commercial shipper requested by the voter at the
voter's expense;

(3) deliver the absentee ballots directly to the voter if the application is submitted in
person; or

(4) deliver the absentee ballots in a sealed transmittal envelope to an agent who has been
designated to bring the ballots, as provided in section 203B.11, subdivision 4, to a voter
who would have difficulty getting to the polls because of incapacitating health reasons, or
who is disabled, or who is a patient in a health care facility, a resident of a facility providing
assisted living services governed by chapter 144G, a participant in a residential program
for adults licensed under section 245A.02, subdivision 14, or a resident of a shelter for
battered women as defined in section 611A.37, subdivision 4.

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end If an application does not indicate the election for which absentee ballots are
sought, the county auditor or municipal clerk shall mail or deliver only the ballots for the
next election occurring after receipt of the application. Only one set of ballots may be mailed,
shipped, or delivered to an applicant for any election, except as provided in section 203B.121,
subdivision 2
, or when a replacement ballot has been requested by the voter for a ballot that
has been spoiled or lost in transit.

Sec. 5.

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 applicationnew text begin or voter recordnew text end;

(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.

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

new text begin This act is effective July 1, 2020, and applies to elections conducted on or after that date.
new text end