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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 361-H.F.No. 523 
           An act relating to elections; changing certain voter 
          registration procedures to increase voter 
          participation; providing for a computerized central 
          registration system, voter registration forms in state 
          income tax forms and booklets, and a combined voter 
          registration, driver's license, and identification 
          card form; appropriating money; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1986, sections 201.021; 201.054, subdivision 
          1; 201.061, subdivision 1; 201.071, subdivision 4; 
          201.081; 201.121, subdivision 1; 201.13; 201.15; 
          201.161; 201.171; 201.221, subdivisions 2 and 4; 
          290.39, by adding a subdivision; proposing coding for 
          new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 201. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  [201.022] [COMPUTERIZED CENTRAL REGISTRATION 
SYSTEM.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [ESTABLISHMENT.] The secretary of state 
shall develop and implement a statewide computerized voter 
registration system to facilitate voter registration and to 
provide a central data base containing voter registration 
information from around the state.  The system must be 
accessible to the county auditor of each county in the state. 
    Subd. 2.  [RULES.] The secretary of state shall make 
permanent and emergency rules necessary to administer the system 
required in subdivision 1.  The rules must at least: 
    (1) provide for voters to submit their registration to any 
county auditor, the secretary of state, or the department of 
public safety; 
     (2) provide for the establishment and maintenance of a 
central data base for all voter registration information; 
     (3) provide procedures for entering data into a central 
data base; 
     (4) provide for interaction with the computerized driver's 
license records of the department of public safety; 
     (5) allow the offices of all county auditors and the 
secretary of state to add, modify, and delete information from 
the system to provide for accurate and up-to-date records; 
     (6) allow the offices of all county auditors and the 
secretary of state's office to have access to the central data 
base for review and search capabilities; 
     (7) provide security and protection of all information in 
the central data base and monitor the central data base to 
ensure unauthorized entry is not allowed; 
     (8) provide a system for each county to identify the 
precinct to which a voter should be assigned for voting purposes;
    (9) prescribe a procedure for phasing in or converting 
existing computerized records to the statewide voter 
registration data base; and 
     (10) prescribe a procedure for the return of completed 
voter registration forms from the department of public safety to 
the secretary of state or the county auditor. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.021, is 
amended to read:  
    201.021 [PERMANENT REGISTRATION SYSTEM.] 
    A permanent system of voter registration by county is 
established, with the county systems linked together by a 
centralized statewide system.  The county auditor shall be chief 
registrar of voters and the chief custodian of the official 
registration records in each county.  The secretary of state is 
responsible for maintaining the centralized system. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.054, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [REGISTRATION.] An individual may register 
to vote:  
    (a) (1) at any time before the 20th day preceding any 
election as provided in section 201.061, subdivision 1, in 
counties where preregistration is allowed; or 
    (b) (2) on the day of an election as provided in section 
201.061, subdivision 3; or 
    (c) (3) when submitting an absentee ballot, by enclosing a 
completed registration card as provided in section 203B.04, 
subdivision 4; 
    (4) by submitting a registration card received in a state 
income tax form or booklet to the secretary of state's office; 
or 
    (5) by filling out the voter registration part of a 
driver's license application.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, 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 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 
registration card and submitting it in person or by mail to the 
county auditor of that county, by completing the voter 
registration part of a driver's license application, or by 
submitting in person or by mail a registration card received in 
a state income tax form or booklet or elsewhere to the secretary 
of state's office.  A registration card 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 card shall be forwarded within two working days 
after receipt to the county auditor of the county where the 
voter maintains residence. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.071, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 4.  [CHANGE OF REGISTRATION.] Any county auditor who 
receives a registration card indicating that an individual was 
previously registered in a different county in Minnesota shall 
notify the county auditor of that county on a form prescribed by 
the secretary of state.  A county auditor receiving a 
registration card indicating that a voter was previously 
registered in a different precinct in the same county or 
receiving a notification form as provided in this subdivision or 
section 204C.30, subdivision 2, shall delete that individual's 
name from the registration lists and, remove the duplicate voter 
registration card, if any, and the original voter registration 
cards from the files, and change the registration information in 
the data base of the central registration system.  Any county 
auditor who receives a registration card or notification 
requiring a change of registration records under this 
subdivision shall also check the duplicate registration card or 
file from the precinct of prior residence to determine whether 
the individual voted in that precinct in the most recent 
election. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.081, is 
amended to read:  
    201.081 [REGISTRATION FILES.] 
    The original registration file and the duplicate 
registration file shall be the record of registered voters.  The 
original and duplicate registration files and the terminal 
providing access to the central registration system shall be 
kept in the office of the county auditor or in the office of a 
public official to whom the county auditor has delegated the 
responsibility of keeping either file.  The files shall not be 
removed except that the duplicate file shall be delivered as 
provided in section 201.221, subdivision 3, to the duly 
authorized election judges for use on election day. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.121, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [ENTRY OF REGISTRATION INFORMATION.] Upon 
receiving a registration card properly completed and submitted 
in accordance with sections 201.061 and 201.071, the county 
auditor shall enter in the appropriate registration files and in 
the central registration system the registration card or the 
information contained on it. 
    Upon receiving a completed registration card or form, the 
secretary of state may electronically transmit the information 
on the card or form to the appropriate county auditor as soon as 
possible for review by the county auditor before final entry 
into the central registration system.  The secretary of state 
shall mail the registration card or form to the county auditor 
for placement in the appropriate files. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.13, is 
amended to read:  
    201.13 [LOCAL REGISTRAR OF VITAL STATISTICS, REPORT DEATHS 
TO COUNTY AUDITOR.] 
    The local registrar of vital statistics in each county or 
municipality shall report monthly to the county auditor the name 
and address of each individual 18 years of age or older who has 
died while maintaining residence in that county or municipality 
since the last previous report.  Upon receipt of the report, the 
county auditor shall remove from the files the original and 
duplicate registration cards of the voters reported to be 
deceased and make the appropriate changes in the data base of 
the central registration system. 
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.15, is 
amended to read:  
    201.15 [PROBATE JUDGE, REPORT GUARDIANSHIPS AND 
COMMITMENTS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [GUARDIANSHIPS, INCOMPETENTS AND 
PSYCHOPATHS.] The probate judge in each county shall report 
monthly to the county auditor the name and address of each 
individual 18 years of age or over, who maintains residence in 
that county and who, during the month preceding the date of the 
report:  
    (a) was placed under a guardianship of the person;  
    (b) adjudged legally incompetent by reason of mental 
illness, mental deficiency, or inebriation; or 
    (c) was adjudged a psychopathic personality.  
    The judge shall also report the same information for each 
individual transferred to the jurisdiction of the court who 
meets a condition specified in clause (a), (b) or (c).  Upon 
receipt of the report, the county auditor shall determine 
whether any individual named in the report is registered to 
vote.  The county auditor shall attach a notice to the original 
and duplicate registration cards of any individual named in the 
report informing the election judges that the individual is not 
eligible to reregister or vote.  The notice shall contain the 
reason for ineligibility, the date of the determination, and the 
dated signature of the county auditor.  The cards may be 
retained in the registration file for the entire period of the 
voter's ineligibility and need not be purged in accordance with 
section 201.171.  The county auditor shall also make the 
appropriate changes in the data base of the central registration 
system. 
    Subd. 2.  [RESTORATION TO CAPACITY.] The probate judge in 
each county shall report monthly to the county auditor the name 
and address of each individual transferred from guardianship to 
conservatorship or who is restored to capacity by the court 
after being ineligible to vote for any of the reasons specified 
in subdivision 1.  Upon notice from the judge of probate of a 
restoration to capacity, or of a transfer from guardianship to 
conservatorship, the county auditor shall remove the notice from 
the individual's registration cards and thereafter process the 
cards in the same manner as if no guardianship or adjudication 
had occurred.  The county auditor shall also make the 
appropriate changes in the data base of the central registration 
system.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.161, is 
amended to read:  
    201.161 [DRIVER'S LICENSE CHANGES AND IDENTIFICATION CARD 
APPLICATIONS.] 
    When an individual applies for a corrected duplicate 
driver's license pursuant to section 171.11, the department of 
public safety shall transmit a voter registration card to the 
applicant.  Voter registration cards shall also be available 
from clerks and agents who receive applications pursuant to 
sections 171.06 and 171.07.  Voter registration cards shall be 
provided at no cost to the department of public safety by the 
secretary of state The department of public safety shall change 
its applications for an original, duplicate, or change of 
address driver's license or identification card so that the 
forms may also serve as voter registration cards.  The forms 
must contain spaces for the information required in section 
201.071, subdivision 1, and applicable rules of the secretary of 
state.  Applicants for driver's licenses or identification cards 
must be asked if they want to register to vote at the same 
time.  A copy of each application containing a completed voter 
registration must be sent to the county auditor of the county in 
which the voter maintains residence or to the secretary of state 
as soon as possible.  The computerized driver's license record 
information relating to name, address, date of birth, driver's 
license number, county, town, and city must be made available 
for access by the secretary of state and interaction with the 
statewide voter registration system.  
    Sec. 11.  [201.162] [DUTIES OF STATE AGENCIES.] 
     The commissioner or chief administrative officer of each 
state agency or community-based public agency or nonprofit 
corporation that contracts with the state agency to carry out 
obligations of the state agency shall provide voter registration 
services for employees and the public.  A person may complete a 
voter registration application or apply to change a voter 
registration name or address if the person has the proper 
qualifications on the date of application.  Nonpartisan voter 
registration assistance, including routinely asking members of 
the public served by the agency whether they would like to 
register to vote and, if necessary, assisting them in preparing 
the registration forms must be part of the job of appropriate 
agency employees. 
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.171, is 
amended to read:  
    201.171 [FAILURE TO VOTE; REGISTRATION REMOVED.] 
    After the close of each calendar year, the county auditor 
shall remove the original and duplicate registration cards of 
any voter who has not voted during the four preceding calendar 
years in any election, including but not limited to a school 
district election where the permanent voter registration system 
is used.  Although not counted in an election, a late absentee 
ballot shall be considered a vote for the purpose of continuing 
registration.  The county auditor shall also make the 
appropriate changes in the data base of the central registration 
system. 
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.221, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  [UNIFORM PROCEDURES FOR COUNTIES.] The secretary 
of state shall assist local election officers by devising 
uniform forms and procedures.  The secretary of state shall 
provide uniform rules for counties maintaining voter 
registration records on data processing systems so that the 
systems are compatible with a uniform system of electronic data 
maintenance and the central computerized voter registration 
system.  The secretary of state shall supervise the development 
and use of the system to insure that it conforms to applicable 
laws and rules. 
     Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.221, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [COUNTY RULES.] The county auditor of each county 
may adopt rules which delegate to municipal officials in that 
county the duties assigned to county auditors by this 
chapter.  Delegation to a municipal official requires the 
approval of the governing body of the municipality.  Delegation 
by the county auditor of the duty to accept registrations does 
not relieve the county auditor of the duty to accept 
registrations.  When a municipal official is delegated duties 
given to the county auditor by this chapter, the governing body 
of the municipality shall immediately provide the necessary 
funds, equipment and facilities, establish a place of 
registration and put the registration plan into operation 
without delay. 
    Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 290.39, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [VOTER REGISTRATION FORM.] The commissioner shall 
insert securely in each individual income tax return form or 
instruction booklet a voter registration form, returnable to the 
secretary of state, designed according to rules adopted by the 
secretary of state.  
    Sec. 16.  [APPROPRIATION.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SECRETARY OF STATE.] $1,053,500 is 
appropriated from the special revenue fund to the secretary of 
state to implement and administer the computerized central voter 
registration system under section 1, to be available for the 
fiscal biennium ending June 30, 1989.  The approved complement 
of the office of the secretary of state shall be increased by 
six persons. 
    Subd. 2.  [COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY.] $80,492 is 
appropriated from the trunk highway fund to the commissioner of 
public safety to implement the combined application and voter 
registration system mandated in section 10, to be available for 
the fiscal biennium ending June 30, 1989. 
    Subd. 3.  [COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE.] $56,000 is 
appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of 
revenue to implement the voter registration insert program 
mandated in section 15, to be available for the fiscal biennium 
ending June 30, 1989. 
    Approved June 2, 1987