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HF 943

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/01/2021 04:35pm

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/10/2021

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; prohibiting certain methods of compensation related to
absentee voting; requiring identification of individuals acting as an agent for an
absentee voter; requiring identification of individuals providing assistance to a
voter in a polling place; prohibiting certain activities related to voter registration
and absentee voting; increasing criminal penalties; amending Minnesota Statutes
2020, sections 203B.03, by adding a subdivision; 203B.08, subdivision 1; 204C.15,
subdivision 1; 211B.07; 211B.13, subdivision 1.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 203B.03, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 1a. new text end

new text begin Prohibited methods of compensation. new text end

new text begin (a) No individual may be compensated
for the solicitation, collection, or acceptance of absentee ballot applications from voters for
submission to the county auditor or other local election official in a manner in which payment
is calculated by multiplying (1) either a set or variable payment rate, by (2) the number of
applications solicited, collected, or accepted.
new text end

new text begin (b) No individual may be deprived of compensation or have compensation automatically
reduced exclusively for failure to solicit, collect, or accept a minimum number of absentee
ballot applications.
new text end

new text begin (c) No individual may receive additional compensation for collecting a certain number
of absentee ballot applications.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 203B.08, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Marking and return by voter.

new text begin(a) new text endAn eligible voter who receives absentee
ballots as provided in this chapter shall mark them in the manner specified in the directions
for casting the absentee ballots. The return envelope containing marked ballots may be
mailed as provided in the directions for casting the absentee ballots or may be left with the
county auditor or municipal clerk who transmitted the absentee ballots to the voter. If
delivered in person, the return envelope must be submitted to the county auditor or municipal
clerk by 3:00 p.m. on election day.

new text begin (b) new text endThe voter may designate an agent to deliver in person the sealed absentee ballot
return envelope to the county auditor or municipal clerk deleted text beginor to deposit the return envelope
in the mail
deleted text end. An agent may deliver deleted text beginor maildeleted text end the return envelopes of not more than three voters
in any election. new text beginBefore accepting an absentee ballot return envelope from a voter's agent,
the county auditor or municipal clerk must document the agent's name, address, and telephone
number and must require the agent to sign a statement certifying compliance with this
paragraph.
new text endAny person designated as an agent who tampers with either the return envelope
or the voted ballots deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end does not immediately deleted text beginmail ordeleted text end deliver the return envelope to the
county auditor or municipal clerknew text begin, or otherwise violates the requirements of this paragraphnew text end
is guilty of a deleted text beginmisdemeanordeleted text endnew text begin felonynew text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204C.15, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Physical assistance in marking ballots.

A voter who claims a need for
assistance because of inability to read English or physical inability to mark a ballot may
obtain the aid of two election judges who are members of different major political parties.
The election judges shall mark the ballots as directed by the voter and in as secret a manner
as circumstances permit. A voter in need of assistance may alternatively obtain the assistance
of any individual the voter chooses. Only the following persons may not provide assistance
to a voter: the voter's employer, an agent of the voter's employer, an officer or agent of the
voter's union, or a candidate for election. The person who assists the voter shall,
unaccompanied by an election judge, retire with that voter to a booth and mark the ballot
as directed by the voter. No person who assists another voter as provided in the preceding
sentence shall mark the ballots of more than three voters at one election. Before the ballots
are deposited, the voter may show them privately to an election judge to ascertain that they
are marked as the voter directed. An election judge or other individual assisting a voter shall
not in any manner request, persuade, induce, or attempt to persuade or induce the voter to
vote for any particular political party or candidate. The election judges or other individuals
who assist the voter shall not reveal to anyone the name of any candidate for whom the
voter has voted or anything that took place while assisting the voter.new text begin Before permitting an
individual to assist a voter, an election judge must document the individual's name, address,
and telephone number and must require the individual to sign a statement certifying
compliance with this subdivision. An individual who assists a voter in a manner not
authorized by this section is guilty of a felony.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 211B.07, is amended to read:


211B.07 UNDUE INFLUENCE ON VOTERS PROHIBITED.

A person may not directly or indirectly use or threaten force, coercion, violence, restraint,
damage, harm, loss, including loss of employment or economic reprisal, undue influence,
or temporal or spiritual injury against an individual to compel the individual tonew text begin register to
vote, to apply for an absentee ballot, or to
new text end vote for or against a candidate or ballot question.
Abduction, duress, or fraud may not be used to obstruct or prevent the free exercise of the
right to vote of a voter at a primary or election, deleted text beginordeleted text end compel new text beginan individual to register to vote,
or compel
new text enda voter to new text beginapply for an absentee ballot or new text endvote at a primary or election. Violation
of this section is a deleted text begingross misdemeanordeleted text endnew text begin felonynew text end.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 211B.13, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Bribery, advancing money, and treating prohibited.

A person who
willfully, directly or indirectly, advances, pays, gives, promises, or lends any money, food,
liquor, clothing, entertainment, or other thing of monetary value, or who offers, promises,
or endeavors to obtain any money, position, appointment, employment, or other valuable
consideration, to or for a person, in order to induce deleted text begina voterdeleted text endnew text begin an individual to do any of the
following: (1) to register to vote, (2)
new text end to refrain from voting, deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end to vote in a particular
way, new text beginor (4) to apply for an absentee ballot new text endat an election, is guilty of a felony. This section
does not prevent a candidate from stating publicly preference for or support of another
candidate to be voted for at the same primary or election. Refreshments of food or
nonalcoholic beverages having a value up to $5 consumed on the premises at a private
gathering or public meeting are not prohibited under this section.

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

new text begin This act is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end