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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 162-H.F.No. 874 
                  An act relating to elections; setting standards for 
                  and providing for the acquisition of electronic voting 
                  systems; appropriating money from the Help America 
                  Vote Act account; amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, 
                  sections 201.022, by adding a subdivision; 204B.14, 
                  subdivision 2; 206.56, subdivisions 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, by 
                  adding subdivisions; 206.57, subdivisions 1, 5, by 
                  adding a subdivision; 206.61, subdivisions 4, 5; 
                  206.64, subdivision 1; 206.80; 206.81; 206.82, 
                  subdivisions 1, 2; 206.83; 206.84, subdivisions 1, 3, 
                  6; 206.85, subdivision 1; 206.90, subdivisions 1, 5, 
                  6, 8, 9; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
                  Statutes, chapter 206. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 201.022, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [CONSULTATION WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS.] The 
        secretary of state must consult with representatives of local 
        election officials in the development of the statewide voter 
        registration system.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 204B.14, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [SEPARATE PRECINCTS; COMBINED POLLING PLACE.] (a) 
        The following shall constitute at least one election precinct:  
           (1) each city ward; and 
           (2) each town and each statutory city.  
           (b) A single, accessible, combined polling place may be 
        established no later than June 1 of any year: 
           (1) for any city of the third or fourth class, any town, or 
        any city having territory in more than one county, in which all 
        the voters of the city or town shall cast their ballots; 
           (2) for two contiguous precincts in the same municipality 
        that have a combined total of fewer than 500 registered voters; 
        or 
           (3) for up to four contiguous municipalities located 
        entirely outside the metropolitan area, as defined by section 
        473.121, subdivision 2, that are contained in the same county; 
        or 
           (4) for noncontiguous precincts located in one or more 
        counties. 
           A copy of the ordinance or resolution establishing a 
        combined polling place must be filed with the county auditor 
        within 30 days after approval by the governing body.  A polling 
        place combined under clause (3) must be approved by the 
        governing body of each participating municipality.  A polling 
        place combined under clause (4) must be approved by the 
        governing body of each participating municipality and the 
        secretary of state and may be located outside any of the 
        noncontiguous precincts.  A municipality withdrawing from 
        participation in a combined polling place must do so by filing a 
        resolution of withdrawal with the county auditor no later than 
        May 1 of any year. 
           The secretary of state shall provide a separate polling 
        place roster for each precinct served by the combined polling 
        place.  A single set of election judges may be appointed to 
        serve at a combined polling place.  The number of election 
        judges required must be based on the total number of persons 
        voting at the last similar election in all precincts to be 
        voting at the combined polling place.  Separate ballot boxes 
        must be provided for the ballots from each precinct.  The 
        results of the election must be reported separately for each 
        precinct served by the combined polling place, except in a 
        polling place established under clause (2) where one of the 
        precincts has fewer than ten registered voters, in which case 
        the results of that precinct must be reported in the manner 
        specified by the secretary of state.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [ASSISTIVE VOTING TECHNOLOGY.] "Assistive voting 
        technology" means touch-activated screen, buttons, keypad, 
        sip-and-puff input device, keyboard, earphones, or any other 
        device used with an electronic ballot marker that assists voters 
        to use an audio or electronic ballot display in order to cast 
        votes. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1b.  [AUDIO BALLOT READER.] "Audio ballot reader" 
        means an audio representation of a ballot that can be used with 
        other assistive voting technology to permit a voter to mark 
        votes on a nonelectronic ballot or to securely transmit a ballot 
        electronically to automatic tabulating equipment in the polling 
        place. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [AUTOMATIC TABULATING EQUIPMENT.] "Automatic 
        tabulating equipment" includes apparatus machines, resident 
        firmware, and programmable memory units necessary to 
        automatically examine and count votes designated on a 
        ballot cards, and data processing machines which can be used for 
        counting ballots and tabulating results.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [BALLOT.] "Ballot" includes ballot cards and 
        paper ballots, ballot cards, the paper ballot marked by an 
        electronic marking device, and an electronic record of each vote 
        cast by a voter at an election and securely transmitted 
        electronically to automatic tabulating equipment in the polling 
        place.  
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, 
        subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [COUNTING CENTER.] "Counting center" means a 
        place selected by the governing body of a municipality where an 
        a central count electronic voting system is used for the 
        automatic processing and counting of ballots.  
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 7a.  [ELECTRONIC BALLOT DISPLAY.] "Electronic ballot 
        display" means a graphic representation of a ballot on a 
        computer monitor or screen on which a voter may make vote 
        choices for candidates and questions for the purpose of marking 
        a nonelectronic ballot or securely transmitting an electronic 
        ballot to automatic tabulating equipment in the polling place. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 7b.  [ELECTRONIC BALLOT MARKER.] "Electronic ballot 
        marker" means equipment that is part of an electronic voting 
        system that uses an electronic ballot display or audio ballot 
        reader to:  
           (1) mark a nonelectronic ballot with votes selected by a 
        voter; or 
           (2) securely transmit a ballot electronically to automatic 
        tabulating equipment in the polling place. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM.] "Electronic voting 
        system" means a system in which the voter records votes by means 
        of marking or transmitting a ballot, which is designed so that 
        votes may be counted by automatic tabulating equipment in the 
        polling place where the ballot is cast or at a counting center. 
           An electronic voting system includes automatic tabulating 
        equipment; nonelectronic ballot markers; electronic ballot 
        markers, including electronic ballot display, audio ballot 
        reader, and devices by which the voter will register the voter's 
        voting intent; software used to program automatic tabulators and 
        layout ballots; computer programs used to accumulate precinct 
        results; ballots; secrecy folders; system documentation; and 
        system testing results.  
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.56, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [MANUAL MARKING DEVICE.] "Manual marking device" 
        means any approved device for directly marking a ballot by hand 
        with ink, pencil, or other substance which will enable the 
        ballot to be tabulated by means of automatic tabulating 
        equipment.  
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.57, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [EXAMINATION AND REPORT BY SECRETARY OF 
        STATE; APPROVAL.] A vendor of an electronic voting system may 
        apply to the secretary of state to examine the system and to 
        report as to its compliance with the requirements of law and as 
        to its accuracy, durability, efficiency, and capacity to 
        register the will of voters.  The secretary of state or a 
        designee shall examine the system submitted and file a report on 
        it in the Office of the Secretary of State.  Examination is not 
        required of every individual machine or counting device, but 
        only of each type of electronic voting system before its 
        adoption, use, or purchase and before its continued use after 
        significant changes have been made in an approved system.  The 
        examination must include the ballot programming,; electronic 
        ballot marking, including all assistive technologies intended to 
        be used with the system; vote counting,; and vote accumulation 
        functions of each voting system. 
           If the report of the secretary of state or the secretary's 
        designee concludes that the kind of system examined complies 
        with the requirements of sections 206.55 to 206.90 and can be 
        used safely, the system shall be deemed approved by the 
        secretary of state, and may be adopted and purchased for use at 
        elections in this state.  A voting system not approved by the 
        secretary of state may not be used at an election in this 
        state.  The secretary of state may adopt permanent rules 
        consistent with sections 206.55 to 206.90 relating to the 
        examination and use of electronic voting systems.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.57, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [VOTING SYSTEM FOR DISABLED VOTERS.] In federal 
        and state elections held after December 31, 2005, and in county, 
        municipal, and school district elections held after December 31, 
        2007, the voting method used in each polling place must include 
        a voting system that is accessible for individuals with 
        disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind 
        and visually impaired in a manner that provides the same 
        opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and 
        independence, as for other voters. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.57, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION STANDARDS.] If 
        the federal Election Assistance Commission has not established 
        by January 1, 2006, standards for an electronic ballot marker or 
        other voting system component that is required to enable a 
        voting system to meet the requirements of subdivision 5, the 
        secretary of state may certify the voting system on an 
        experimental basis pending the completion of federal standards, 
        notwithstanding subdivision 6.  Within two years after the 
        Election Assistance Commission issues standards for a voting 
        system component used in a voting system authorized under this 
        subdivision, the secretary of state must review or reexamine the 
        voting system to determine whether the system conforms to 
        federal standards. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.61, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [ORDER OF CANDIDATES.] On the "State Partisan 
        Primary Ballot" prepared for primary elections, and on the white 
        ballot prepared for the general election, the order of the names 
        of nominees or names of candidates for election shall be the 
        same as required for paper ballots.  More than one column or row 
        may be used for the same office or party.  Electronic ballot 
        display and audio ballot readers must conform to the candidate 
        order on the optical scan ballot used in the precinct. 
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.61, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [ALTERNATION.] The provisions of the election 
        laws requiring the alternation of names of candidates must be 
        observed as far as practicable by changing the order of the 
        names on an electronic voting system in the various precincts so 
        that each name appears on the machines or marking devices used 
        in a municipality substantially an equal number of times in the 
        first, last, and in each intermediate place in the list or group 
        in which they belong.  However, the arrangement of candidates' 
        names must be the same on all voting systems used in the same 
        precinct.  If the number of names to be alternated exceeds the 
        number of precincts, the election official responsible for 
        providing the ballots, in accordance with subdivision 1, shall 
        determine by lot the alternation of names. 
           If an electronic ballot marker is used with a paper ballot 
        that is not an optical scan ballot card, the manner of 
        alternation of candidate names on the paper ballot must be as 
        prescribed for optical scan ballots in this subdivision.  If a 
        machine is used to securely transmit a ballot electronically to 
        automatic tabulating equipment in the polling place, the manner 
        of alternation of candidate names on the transmitting machine 
        must be as prescribed for optical scan ballots in this 
        subdivision.  
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.64, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ELECTRONIC SYSTEM 
        VOTING.] Each electronic voting system booth must be placed and 
        protected so that it is accessible to only one voter at a time 
        and is in full view of all the election judges and challengers 
        at the polling place.  The election judges shall admit one 
        individual at a time to each booth after determining that the 
        individual is eligible to vote.  Voting by electronic voting 
        system must be secret, except for voters who need request 
        assistance.  A voter may remain inside the voting booth for 
        three minutes the time reasonably required for the voter to 
        complete the ballot.  A voter who refuses to leave the voting 
        booth after a reasonable amount of time, but not less than three 
        minutes, must be removed by the election judges. 
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.80, is 
        amended to read: 
           206.80 [ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS.] 
           (a) An electronic voting system may not be employed unless 
        it: 
           (1) permits every voter to vote in secret; 
           (2) permits every voter to vote for all candidates and 
        questions for whom or upon which the voter is legally entitled 
        to vote; 
           (3) provides for write-in voting when authorized; 
           (4) automatically rejects by means of the automatic 
        tabulating equipment, except as provided in section 206.84 with 
        respect to write-in votes, all votes for an office or question 
        when the number of votes cast on it exceeds the number which the 
        voter is entitled to cast; 
           (5) permits a voter at a primary election to select 
        secretly the party for which the voter wishes to vote; and 
           (6) automatically rejects, by means of the automatic 
        tabulating equipment, all votes cast in a primary election by a 
        voter when the voter votes for candidates of more than one 
        party; and 
           (7) provides every voter an opportunity to verify votes 
        recorded on the permanent paper ballot or paper record, either 
        visually or using assistive voting technology, and to change 
        votes or correct any error before the voter's ballot is cast and 
        counted, produces an individual, discrete, permanent, paper 
        ballot or paper record of the ballot cast by the voter, and 
        preserves the paper ballot or paper record as an official record 
        available for use in any recount. 
           (b) An electronic voting system purchased on or after the 
        effective date of this section may not be employed unless it: 
           (1) accepts and tabulates, in the polling place or at a 
        counting center, a marked optical scan ballot; 
           (2) creates a marked optical scan ballot that can be 
        tabulated in the polling place or at a counting center by 
        automatic tabulating equipment certified for use in this state; 
        or 
           (3) securely transmits a ballot electronically to automatic 
        tabulating equipment in the polling place while creating an 
        individual, discrete, permanent paper record of each vote on the 
        ballot.  
           Sec. 19.  [206.805] [STATE VOTING SYSTEMS CONTRACTS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CONTRACTS REQUIRED.] (a) The secretary of 
        state, with the assistance of the commissioner of 
        administration, shall establish one or more state voting systems 
        contracts.  The contracts should, if practical, include 
        provisions for maintenance of the equipment purchased.  The 
        voting systems contracts must address precinct-based optical 
        scan voting equipment, ballot marking equipment for persons with 
        disabilities and other voters, and assistive voting machines 
        that combine voting methods used for persons with disabilities 
        with precinct-based optical scan voting machines.  The contracts 
        must give the state a perpetual license to use and modify the 
        software.  The contracts must include provisions to escrow the 
        software source code, as provided in subdivision 2.  Bids for 
        voting systems and related election services must be solicited 
        from each vendor selling or leasing voting systems that have 
        been certified for use by the secretary of state.  The contracts 
        must be renewed from time to time.  
           (b) The secretary of state shall appoint an advisory 
        committee, including representatives of the state chief 
        information officer, county auditors, municipal clerks who have 
        had operational experience with the use of electronic voting 
        systems, and members of the disabilities community to advise the 
        secretary of state in reviewing and evaluating the merits of 
        proposals submitted from voting equipment vendors for the state 
        contracts. 
           (c) Counties and municipalities may purchase or lease 
        voting systems and obtain related election services from the 
        state contracts. 
           Subd. 2.  [ESCROW OF SOURCE CODE.] The contracts must 
        require the voting system vendor to provide a copy of the source 
        code for the voting system to an independent third-party 
        evaluator selected by the vendor, the secretary of state, and 
        the chairs of the major political parties.  The evaluator must 
        examine the source code and certify to the secretary of state 
        that the voting system will record and count votes as 
        represented by the vendor.  Source code that is trade secret 
        information must be treated as nonpublic information, in 
        accordance with section 13.37.  Each major political party may 
        designate an agent to examine the source code to verify that the 
        voting system will record and count votes as represented by the 
        vendor; the agent must not disclose the source code to anyone 
        else. 
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.81, is 
        amended to read: 
           206.81 [ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS; EXPERIMENTAL USE.] 
           (a) The secretary of state may approve certify an 
        electronic voting system for experimental use at an election 
        prior to its approval for general use. 
           (b) The secretary of state must approve one or more direct 
        recording electronic voting systems for experimental use at an 
        election before their approval for general use and may impose 
        restrictions on their use.  At least one voting system approved 
        under this paragraph must permit sighted persons to vote and at 
        least one system must permit a blind or visually impaired voter 
        to cast a ballot independently and privately.  
           (c) Experimental use must be observed by the secretary of 
        state or the secretary's designee and the results observed must 
        be considered at any subsequent proceedings for 
        approval certification for general use. 
           (d) (c) The secretary of state may adopt rules consistent 
        with sections 206.55 to 206.90 relating to experimental use.  
        The extent of experimental use must be determined by the 
        secretary of state. 
           Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.82, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROGRAM.] A program or programs for use in 
        an election conducted by means of an electronic voting system or 
        using an electronic ballot marker shall be prepared at the 
        direction of the county auditor or municipal clerk who is 
        responsible for the conduct of the election and shall be 
        independently verified by a competent person designated by that 
        official.  The term "competent person" as used in this section 
        means a person who can demonstrate knowledge as a computer 
        programmer and who is other than and wholly independent of any 
        person operating or employed by the counting center or the 
        corporation or other preparer of the program.  A test deck 
        prepared by a competent person shall be used for independent 
        verification of the program; it shall test the maximum digits 
        used in totaling the returns and shall be usable by insertion 
        during the tabulation process as well as prior to tabulation.  A 
        test deck must also be prepared using the electronic ballot 
        marker program and must also be used to verify that all valid 
        votes counted by the vote tabulator may be selected using the 
        electronic ballot marker.  The secretary of state shall adopt 
        rules further specifying test procedures.  
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.82, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [PLAN.] The municipal clerk in a municipality 
        where an electronic voting system is used and the county auditor 
        of a county in which an electronic voting system is used in more 
        than one municipality and the county auditor of a county in 
        which a counting center serving more than one municipality is 
        located shall prepare a plan which indicates acquisition of 
        sufficient facilities, computer time, and professional services 
        and which describes the proposed manner of complying with 
        section 206.80.  The plan must be signed, notarized, and 
        submitted to the secretary of state more than 60 days before the 
        first election at which the municipality uses an electronic 
        voting system.  Prior to July 1 of each subsequent general 
        election year, the clerk or auditor shall submit to the 
        secretary of state notification of any changes to the plan on 
        file with the secretary of state.  The secretary of state shall 
        review each plan for its sufficiency and may request technical 
        assistance from the Department of Administration or other agency 
        which may be operating as the central computer authority.  The 
        secretary of state shall notify each reporting authority of the 
        sufficiency or insufficiency of its plan within 20 days of 
        receipt of the plan.  The attorney general, upon request of the 
        secretary of state, may seek a district court order requiring an 
        election official to fulfill duties imposed by this subdivision 
        or by rules promulgated pursuant to this section.  
           Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.83, is 
        amended to read: 
           206.83 [TESTING OF VOTING SYSTEMS.] 
           Within 14 days before election day, the official in charge 
        of elections shall have the voting system tested to ascertain 
        that the system will correctly mark or securely transmit to 
        automatic tabulating equipment in the polling place ballots 
        using all methods supported by the system, including through 
        assistive technology, and count the votes cast for all 
        candidates and on all questions within 14 days prior to election 
        day.  Public notice of the time and place of the test must be 
        given at least two days in advance by publication once in 
        official newspapers.  The test must be observed by at least two 
        election judges, who are not of the same major political party, 
        and must be open to representatives of the political parties, 
        candidates, the press, and the public.  The test must be 
        conducted by (1) processing a preaudited group of ballots 
        punched or marked to record a predetermined number of valid 
        votes for each candidate and on each question, and must include 
        for each office one or more ballot cards which have votes in 
        excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability 
        of the voting system tabulator and electronic ballot marker to 
        reject those votes; and (2) processing an additional test deck 
        of ballots marked using the electronic ballot marker for the 
        precinct, including ballots marked or ballots securely 
        transmitted electronically to automatic tabulating equipment in 
        the polling place using the electronic ballot display, audio 
        ballot reader, and any assistive voting technology used with the 
        electronic ballot marker.  If any error is detected, the cause 
        must be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count must be 
        made before the voting system may be used in the election.  
        After the completion of the test, the programs used and ballot 
        cards must be sealed, retained, and disposed of as provided for 
        paper ballots. 
           Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.84, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [INSTRUCTION OF JUDGES, VOTERS.] The 
        officials in charge of elections shall determine procedures to 
        instruct election judges and voters in the use of electronic 
        voting system manual marking devices and the electronic ballot 
        marker, including assistive voting technology.  
           Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.84, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [BALLOTS.] The ballot information must be in the 
        same order provided for paper ballots, except that the 
        information may be in vertical or horizontal rows, or on a 
        number of separate pages.  The secretary of state shall provide 
        by rule for standard ballot formats for electronic voting 
        systems.  Electronic ballot displays and audio ballot readers 
        shall be in the order provided for on the optical scan ballot.  
        Electronic ballot displays may employ zooms or other devices as 
        assistive voting technology.  Audio ballot readers may employ 
        rewinds or audio cues as assistive voting technology.  
           Ballot cards may contain special printed marks and holes as 
        required for proper positioning and reading of the ballots by 
        electronic vote counting equipment.  Ballot cards must contain 
        an identification of the precinct for which they have been 
        prepared which can be read visually and which can be tabulated 
        by the automatic tabulating equipment. 
           Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.84, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [DUTIES OF OFFICIAL IN CHARGE.] The official in 
        charge of elections in each municipality where an electronic 
        voting system is used shall have the voting systems put in 
        order, set, adjusted, and made ready for voting when delivered 
        to the election precincts.  The official shall also provide each 
        precinct with a container for transporting ballot cards to the 
        counting location after the polls close.  The container shall be 
        of sturdy material to protect the ballots from all reasonably 
        foreseeable hazards including auto collisions.  The election 
        judges shall meet at the polling place at least one hour before 
        the time for opening the polls.  Before the polls open the 
        election judges shall compare the ballot cards used with the 
        sample ballots, electronic ballot displays, and audio ballot 
        reader furnished to see that the names, numbers, and letters on 
        both agree and shall certify to that fact on forms provided for 
        the purpose.  The certification must be filed with the election 
        returns.  
           Sec. 27.  [206.845] [BALLOT RECORDING AND COUNTING 
        SECURITY.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROHIBITED CONNECTIONS.] The county 
        auditor and municipal clerk must secure ballot recording and 
        tabulating systems physically and electronically against 
        unauthorized access.  Except for wired connections within the 
        polling place, ballot recording and tabulating systems must not 
        be connected to or operated on, directly or indirectly, any 
        electronic network, including a local area network, a wide-area 
        network, the Internet, or the World Wide Web.  Wireless 
        communications may not be used in any way in a vote recording or 
        vote tabulating system.  Wireless, device-to-device capability 
        is not permitted.  No connection by modem is permitted. 
           Transfer of information from the ballot recording or 
        tabulating system to another system for network distribution or 
        broadcast must be made by disk, tape, or other physical means of 
        communication, other than direct or indirect electronic 
        connection of the vote recording or vote tabulating system. 
           Subd. 2.  [TRANSMISSION TO CENTRAL REPORTING 
        LOCATION.] After the close of the polls, the head election judge 
        must create a printed record of the results of the election for 
        that precinct.  After the record has been printed, the head 
        election judge in a precinct that employs automatic tabulating 
        equipment may transmit the accumulated tally for each device to 
        a central reporting location using a telephone, modem, Internet, 
        or other electronic connection.  During the canvassing period, 
        the results transmitted electronically must be considered 
        unofficial until the canvassing board has performed a complete 
        reconciliation of the results. 
           Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.85, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DUTIES OF RESPONSIBLE OFFICIAL.] The 
        official in charge of elections in a municipality where an 
        electronic voting system is used at a counting center must:  
           (a) be present or personally represented throughout the 
        counting center proceedings; 
           (b) be responsible for acquiring sufficient facilities and 
        personnel to ensure timely and lawful processing of votes; 
           (c) be responsible for the proper training of all personnel 
        participating in counting center proceedings and deputize all 
        personnel who are not otherwise election judges; 
           (d) maintain actual control over all proceedings and be 
        responsible for the lawful execution of all proceedings in the 
        counting center whether or not by experts; 
           (e) be responsible for assuring the lawful retention and 
        storage of ballots and read-outs; and 
           (f) arrange for observation by the public and by 
        candidates' representatives of counting center procedures by 
        publishing the exact location of the counting center in a legal 
        newspaper at least once during the week preceding the week of 
        election and in the newspaper of widest circulation once on the 
        day preceding the election, or once the week preceding the 
        election if the newspaper is a weekly.  
           The official may make arrangements with news reporters 
        which permit prompt reporting of election results but which do 
        not interfere with the timely and lawful completion of counting 
        procedures. 
           Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] For the purposes of this 
        section, "optical scan voting system" means an electronic voting 
        system approved for use under sections 206.80 to 206.81 in which 
        the voter records votes by marking with a pencil or other 
        writing instrument device, including an electronic ballot 
        marker, a ballot on which the names of candidates, office 
        titles, party designation in a partisan primary or election, and 
        a statement of any question accompanied by the words "Yes" and 
        "No" are printed. 
           Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [INSTRUCTION OF JUDGES, VOTERS.] In instructing 
        judges and voters under section 206.84, subdivision 1, officials 
        in charge of election precincts using optical scan voting 
        systems shall include instruction on the proper mark for 
        recording votes on ballot cards marked with a pencil or other 
        writing instrument and the insertion by the voter of the ballot 
        card into automatic tabulating equipment that examines and 
        counts votes as the ballot card is deposited into the ballot box.
           Officials shall include instruction on the insertion by the 
        voter of the ballot card into an electronic ballot marker that 
        can examine votes before the ballot card is deposited into the 
        ballot box. 
           Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [BALLOTS.] In precincts using optical scan voting 
        systems, a single ballot card on which all ballot information is 
        included must be printed in black ink on white colored material 
        except that marks not to be read by the automatic tabulating 
        equipment may be printed in another color ink.  
           On the front of the ballot must be printed the words 
        "Official Ballot" and the date of the election and lines for the 
        initials of at least two election judges. 
           When optical scan ballots are used, the offices to be 
        elected must appear in the following order:  federal offices; 
        state legislative offices; constitutional offices; proposed 
        constitutional amendments; county offices and questions; 
        municipal offices and questions; school district offices and 
        questions; special district offices and questions; and judicial 
        offices. 
           On optical scan ballots, the names of candidates and the 
        words "yes" and "no" for ballot questions must be printed as 
        close to their corresponding vote targets as possible. 
           The line on an optical scan ballot for write-in votes must 
        contain the words "write-in, if any." 
           If a primary ballot contains both a partisan ballot and a 
        nonpartisan ballot, the instructions to voters must include a 
        statement that reads substantially as follows:  "THIS BALLOT 
        CARD CONTAINS A PARTISAN BALLOT AND A NONPARTISAN BALLOT.  ON 
        THE PARTISAN BALLOT YOU ARE PERMITTED TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES OF 
        ONE POLITICAL PARTY ONLY."  If a primary ballot contains 
        political party columns on both sides of the ballot, the 
        instructions to voters must include a statement that reads 
        substantially as follows:  "ADDITIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE 
        PRINTED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS BALLOT.  VOTE FOR ONE 
        POLITICAL PARTY ONLY."  At the bottom of each political party 
        column on the primary ballot, the ballot must contain a 
        statement that reads substantially as follows:  "CONTINUE VOTING 
        ON THE NONPARTISAN BALLOT."  The instructions in section 
        204D.08, subdivision 4, do not apply to optical scan partisan 
        primary ballots.  Electronic ballot displays and audio ballot 
        readers must follow the order of offices and questions on the 
        optical scan or paper ballot used in the same precinct, or the 
        sample ballot posted for that precinct. 
           Sec. 32.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [DUTIES OF ELECTION OFFICIALS.] The official in 
        charge of elections in each municipality where an optical scan 
        voting system is used shall have the electronic ballot marker 
        that examines and marks votes on ballot cards or the machine 
        that securely transmits a ballot electronically to automatic 
        tabulating equipment in the polling place and the automatic 
        tabulating equipment that examines and counts votes as ballot 
        cards are deposited into ballot boxes put in order, set, 
        adjusted, and made ready for voting when delivered to the 
        election precincts. 
           Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 206.90, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [SPOILED BALLOT CARDS.] Automatic tabulating 
        equipment and electronic ballot markers must be capable of 
        examining a ballot card for defects and returning it to the 
        voter before it is counted and deposited into the ballot box and 
        must be programmed to return as a spoiled ballot a ballot card 
        with votes for an office or question which exceed the number 
        which the voter is entitled to cast and at a primary a ballot 
        card with votes for candidates of more than one party. 
           Sec. 34.  [APPROPRIATIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [ASSISTIVE VOTING TECHNOLOGY.] (a) 
        $29,000,000 is appropriated from the Help America Vote Act 
        account to the secretary of state for grants to counties for the 
        following purposes: 
           (1) to purchase electronic voting systems equipped for 
        individuals with disabilities that meet the requirements of 
        Minnesota Statutes, section 206.80, and have been certified by 
        the secretary of state under Minnesota Statutes, section 206.57; 
        the systems may be either ballot marking equipment for persons 
        with disabilities and other voters or assistive voting machines 
        that combine voting methods used for persons with disabilities 
        with precinct-based optical scan voting machines; 
           (2) to defray operating costs of the assistive voting 
        equipment purchased under clause (1), up to $600 per polling 
        place per year; and 
           (3) to the extent that money remains after purchasing an 
        assistive voting system for each polling place, to purchase 
        precinct-count or central-count optical scan electronic voting 
        systems.  
           This appropriation is available until June 30, 2009.  
           (b) "Operating costs" include actual county and municipal 
        costs for hardware maintenance, election day technical support, 
        software licensing, system programming, voting system testing, 
        training of county or municipal staff in the use of the 
        assistive voting system, transportation of the assistive voting 
        systems to and from the polling places, and storage of the 
        assistive voting systems between elections. 
           (c) The secretary of state shall allocate the amount to 
        each county in proportion to the number of precincts used by the 
        county in the state general election of 2004. 
           Subd. 2.  [OPTICAL SCAN EQUIPMENT.] $6,000,000 is 
        appropriated from the Help America Vote Act account to the 
        secretary of state for grants to counties to purchase optical 
        scan voting equipment.  Counties are eligible for grants to the 
        extent that they decide to purchase ballot marking machines and 
        as a result do not have sufficient Help America Vote Act grant 
        money remaining to also purchase a compatible precinct-based 
        optical scan machine or central-count machine.  These grants 
        must be allocated to counties at a rate of $3,000 per eligible 
        precinct until the appropriation is exhausted, with priority in 
        the payment of grants to be given to counties currently using 
        hand- and central-count voting systems and counties using 
        precinct-count optical scan voting systems incompatible with 
        assistive voting systems or ballot marking machines.  This 
        appropriation is available until June 30, 2009. 
           Subd. 3.  [GRANT APPLICATION.] To receive a grant under 
        subdivision 1 or 2, a county must apply to the secretary of 
        state on forms prescribed by the secretary of state that set 
        forth how the grant money will be spent, which must be in 
        accordance with the plan adopted under section 35.  A county may 
        submit more than one grant application, so long as the 
        appropriation remains available and the total amount granted to 
        the county does not exceed the county's allocation. 
           Subd. 4.  [REPORT; AUDIT RECORDS.] Each county receiving a 
        grant under subdivision 1 or 2 must report to the secretary of 
        state by January 15, 2006, the amount spent for the purchase of 
        each kind of electronic voting system and for operating costs of 
        the systems purchased.  The secretary of state shall compile 
        this information and report it to the legislature by February 
        15, 2006.  
           In addition to the report required by this section, each 
        county receiving a grant under this act must maintain financial 
        records for each grant sufficient to satisfy federal audit 
        standards and must transmit those records to the secretary of 
        state upon request of the secretary of state. 
           Subd. 5.  [ACCESS TO POLLING PLACES.] $290,000 is 
        appropriated from the Help America Vote Act account to the 
        secretary of state to make grants to counties and municipalities 
        to improve access to polling places for individuals with 
        disabilities, to be available until June 30, 2007. 
           Subd. 6.  [ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS.] $3,000,000 is 
        appropriated from the Help America Vote Act account to the 
        secretary of state for the following purposes, to be available 
        until June 30, 2007: 
           (1) $1,218,000 to maintain the statewide voter registration 
        system and to develop the capacity to handle registration and 
        election transactions at the polling place; 
           (2) $20,000 to verify voter registration data against the 
        Department of Public Safety driver's license and Social Security 
        number database; 
           (3) $200,000 to make the statewide voter registration 
        system available for use by local election officials; 
           (4) $440,000 to assist local election officials using the 
        statewide voter registration system; 
           (5) $79,000 to develop and operate the system for matching 
        Social Security numbers against driver's license records; 
           (6) $83,000 for the state court administrator to automate 
        the interchange of information between the state courts and the 
        statewide voter registration system; 
           (7) $200,000 to administer implementation of the Help 
        America Vote Act and to audit the grants to counties and 
        municipalities under this section; 
           (8) $120,000 to process complaints received under Minnesota 
        Statutes, section 200.04; 
           (9) $40,000 to establish the state voting systems contracts 
        required by new Minnesota Statutes, section 206.805, and to 
        administer the grants to counties and municipalities under this 
        section; 
           (10) $200,000 to train local election officials on the use, 
        maintenance, and implementation of the new electronic voting 
        systems purchased with the appropriations in this section; and 
           (11) $400,000 to educate voters on how to vote using the 
        new electronic voting systems purchased with the appropriations 
        in this section. 
           Subd. 7.  [USE OF BALANCE.] Any balance remaining in the 
        Help America Vote Act account after previous appropriations and 
        the appropriations in this section is reserved for future 
        appropriations to supplement those made in subdivisions 1 and 2 
        of this section. 
           Sec. 35.  [LOCAL EQUIPMENT PLANS.] 
           (a) The county auditor shall convene a working group of all 
        city, town, and school district election officials in each 
        county to create a local equipment plan.  The working group must 
        continue to meet until the plan is completed, which must be no 
        later than September 15, 2005, or 45 days after state 
        certification of assistive voting systems, whichever is later.  
        The plan must:  
           (1) contain procedures to implement voting systems as 
        defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 206.80, in each polling 
        location; 
           (2) define who is responsible for any capital or operating 
        costs related to election equipment not covered by federal money 
        from the Help America Vote Act account; and 
           (3) outline how the federal money from the Help America 
        Vote Act account will be spent. 
           (b) A county plan must provide funding to purchase either 
        precinct-based optical scan voting equipment or assistive voting 
        machines that combine voting methods used for persons with 
        disabilities with precinct-based optical scan voting machines 
        for any precinct whose city or town requests it, if the 
        requesting city or town agrees with the county on who will be 
        responsible for operating and replacement costs related to the 
        use of the precinct-based equipment. 
           (c) The plan must be submitted to the secretary of state 
        for review and comment.  
           (d) The county board of commissioners must adopt the local 
        equipment plan after a public hearing.  Money from the Help 
        America Vote Act account may not be expended until the plan is 
        adopted.  The county auditor shall file the adopted local 
        equipment plan with the secretary of state. 
           Sec. 36.  [MAIL BALLOTING.] 
           Nothing in this act is intended to preclude the use of mail 
        balloting in those precincts where it is allowed under state law.
           Sec. 37.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           This act is effective the day following final enactment. 
           Presented to the governor May 31, 2005 
           Signed by the governor June 3, 2005, 11:10 a.m.