language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to elections; providing for data privacy in certain voter records; regulating a Web site; changing certain election law provisions; setting the criteria for voting systems to be used in elections; establishing a voting machines options working group; providing appointments;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, sections 201.061, subdivision 1; 202A.155; 203B.02, subdivision 1; 203B.06, subdivision 3; 203B.11, subdivision 4; 204B.40; 204C.07, by adding a subdivision; 204C.15, subdivision 1; 211A.02, subdivision 2; Minnesota Statutes 2005 Supplement, sections 10.60, subdivisions 3, 4; 10A.01, subdivision 26; 201.061, subdivision 3; 204C.10; 206.56, subdivisions 1b, 3, 7a, 7b, 8; 206.61, subdivision 5; 206.80; 206.805, subdivision 1; 206.82, subdivision 2; 206.83; 206.90, subdivision 8; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 13; 204C; 206; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 5B; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 204C.50, subdivisions 3, 4, 5, 6; Minnesota Statutes 2005 Supplement, section 204C.50, subdivisions 1, 2.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
(a) A Web site or publication must not include pictures or other materials that tend to attribute the Web site or publication to an individual or group of individuals instead of to a public office, state agency, or political subdivision. A publication must not include the words "with the compliments of" or contain letters of personal greeting that promote an elected or appointed official of a state agency or political subdivision.
(b) A Web site may not contain a link to a Weblog or site maintained by a candidate, a political committee, a political party or party unit, a principal campaign committee, or a state committee. Terms used in this paragraph have the meanings given them in chapter 10A, except that "candidate" also includes a candidate for an elected office of a political subdivision.
(a) Material specified in this subdivision may be included on a Web site or in a publication, but only if the material complies with subdivision 2. This subdivision is not a comprehensive list of material that may be contained on a Web site or in a publication, if the material complies with subdivision 2.
(b) A Web site or publication may include biographical information about an elected or appointed official, a single official photograph of the official, and photographs of the official performing functions related to the office. There is no limitation on photographs, Webcasts, archives of Webcasts, and audio or video files that facilitate access to information or services or inform the public about the duties and obligations of the office or that are intended to promote trade or tourism. A state Web site or publication may include photographs or information involving civic or charitable work done by the governor's spouse, provided that these activities relate to the functions of the governor's office.
(c) A Web site or publication may include press releases, proposals, policy positions, and other information directly related to the legal functions, duties, and jurisdiction of a public official or organization.
"Noncampaign disbursement" means a purchase or payment of money or anything of value made, or an advance of credit incurred, or a donation in kind received, by a principal campaign committee for any of the following purposes:
(1) payment for accounting and legal services;
(2) return of a contribution to the source;
(3) repayment of a loan made to the principal campaign committee by that committee;
(4) return of a public subsidy;
(5) payment for food, beverages, entertainment, and facility rental for a fund-raising event;
(6) services for a constituent by a member of the legislature or a constitutional officer in the executive branch, including the costs of preparing and distributing a suggestion or idea solicitation to constituents, performed from the beginning of the term of office to adjournment sine die of the legislature in the election year for the office held, and half the cost of services for a constituent by a member of the legislature or a constitutional officer in the executive branch performed from adjournment sine die to 60 days after adjournment sine die;
(7) payment for food and beverages consumed by a candidate or volunteers while they are engaged in campaign activities;
(8) payment for food or a beverage consumed while attending a reception or meeting directly related to legislative duties;
(9) payment of expenses incurred by elected or appointed leaders of a legislative caucus in carrying out their leadership responsibilities;
(10) payment by a principal campaign committee of the candidate's expenses for serving in public office, other than for personal uses;
(11) costs of child care for the candidate's children when campaigning;
(12) fees paid to attend a campaign school;
(13) costs of a postelection party during the election year when a candidate's name will no longer appear on a ballot or the general election is concluded, whichever occurs first;
(14) interest on loans paid by a principal campaign committee on outstanding loans;
(15) filing fees;
(16) post-general election thank-you notes or advertisements in the news media;
(17) the cost of campaign material purchased to replace defective campaign material, if the defective material is destroyed without being used;
(18) contributions to a party unit;
(19) payments for funeral gifts or memorials; and
other purchases or payments specified in board rules or advisory opinions as being for any purpose other than to influence the nomination or election of a candidate or to promote or defeat a ballot question.
The board must determine whether an activity involves a noncampaign disbursement within the meaning of this subdivision.
A noncampaign disbursement is considered to be made in the year in which the candidate made the purchase of goods or services or incurred an obligation to pay for goods or services.
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 voter registration application as described in section 201.071, subdivision 1, and submitting it in person or by mail to the county auditor of that county or to the Secretary of State's Office. A registration 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 application shall be forwarded within two working days after receipt to the county auditor of the county where the voter maintains residence. A state or local agency or an individual that accepts completed voter registration applications from a voter must submit the completed applications to the secretary of state or the appropriate county auditor within ten days after the applications are dated by the voter.
For purposes of this section, mail registration is defined as a voter registration application delivered to the secretary of state, county auditor, or municipal clerk by the United States Postal Service or a commercial carrier.
(a) An individual who is eligible to vote may register on election day by appearing in person at the polling place for the precinct in which the individual maintains residence, by completing a registration application, making an oath in the form prescribed by the secretary of state and providing proof of residence. An individual may prove residence for purposes of registering by:
(1) presenting a driver's license or Minnesota identification card issued pursuant to section 171.07;
(2) presenting any document approved by the secretary of state as proper identification;
(3) presenting one of the following:
(i) a current valid student identification card from a postsecondary educational institution in Minnesota, if a list of students from that institution has been prepared under section 135A.17 and certified to the county auditor in the manner provided in rules of the secretary of state; or
(ii) a current student fee statement that contains the student's valid address in the precinct together with a picture identification card; or
(4) having a voter who is registered to vote in the precinct, or who is an employee employed by and working in a residential facility in the precinct and vouching for a resident in the facility, sign an oath in the presence of the election judge vouching that the voter or employee personally knows that the individual is a resident of the precinct. A voter who has been vouched for on election day may not sign a proof of residence oath vouching for any other individual on that election day. A voter who is registered to vote in the precinct may sign up to 15 proof-of-residence oaths on any election day. This limitation does not apply to an employee of a residential facility described in this clause. The secretary of state shall provide a form for election judges to use in recording the number of individuals for whom a voter signs proof-of-residence oaths on election day. The form must include space for the maximum number of individuals for whom a voter may sign proof-of-residence oaths. For each proof-of-residence oath, the form must include a statement that the voter is registered to vote in the precinct, personally knows that the individual is a resident of the precinct, and is making the statement on oath. The form must include a space for the voter's printed name, signature, telephone number, and address.
The oath required by this subdivision and Minnesota Rules, part 8200.9939, must be attached to the voter registration application and the information on the oath must be recorded on the records of both the voter registering on election day and the voter who is vouching for the person's residence, and entered into the statewide voter registration system by the county auditor when the voter registration application is entered into that system.
(b) The operator of a residential facility shall prepare a list of the names of its employees currently working in the residential facility and the address of the residential facility. The operator shall certify the list and provide it to the appropriate county auditor no less than 20 days before each election for use in election day registration.
(c) "Residential facility" means transitional housing as defined in section 256E.33, subdivision 1; a supervised living facility licensed by the commissioner of health under section 144.50, subdivision 6; a nursing home as defined in section 144A.01, subdivision 5; a residence registered with the commissioner of health as a housing with services establishment as defined in section 144D.01, subdivision 4; a veterans home operated by the board of directors of the Minnesota Veterans Homes under chapter 198; a residence licensed by the commissioner of human services to provide a residential program as defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 14; a residential facility for persons with a developmental disability licensed by the commissioner of human services under section 252.28; group residential housing as defined in section 256I.03, subdivision 3; a shelter for battered women as defined in section 611A.37, subdivision 4; or a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter or dwelling designed to provide temporary living accommodations for the homeless.
(d) For tribal band members, an individual may prove residence for purposes of registering by
presenting an identification card issued by the tribal government of a tribe recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, United States Department of the Interior, that contains the name, address, signature, and picture of the individual
(e) A county, school district, or municipality may require that an election judge responsible for election day registration initial each completed registration application.
A communicatively impaired individual who needs interpreter services at a precinct caucus shall so notify the major political party whose caucus the individual plans to attend. Written Notice must be given by certified mail to the county or legislative district committee of the political party at least 30 days before the precinct caucus date. The major political party, not later than 14 days before the precinct caucus date, shall secure the services of one or more interpreters if available and shall assume responsibility for the cost of the services. The state central committee of the major political party shall determine the process for reimbursing interpreters.
A visually impaired individual may notify the county or legislative district committee of the major political party whose precinct caucus the individual plans to attend, that the individual requires caucus materials in audio tape, Braille, or large type format. Upon receiving the request, the county or legislative district committee shall provide all official written caucus materials as soon as they are available, so that the visually impaired individual may have them converted to audio tape, Braille, or large print format prior to the precinct caucus.
Any eligible voter who reasonably expects to be unable to go to the polling place on election day in the precinct where the individual maintains residence because of absence from the precinct, illness, disability, religious discipline, observance of a religious holiday, or service as an election judge in another precinct may vote by absentee ballot as provided in sections 203B.04 to 203B.15.
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:
(a) Mail the ballots to the voter whose signature appears on the application if the application is submitted by mail;
(b) Deliver the absentee ballots directly to the voter if the application is submitted in person; or
(c) Deliver the absentee ballots in a sealed transmittal envelope to an agent who has been designated to bring the ballots to a voter who is a patient in a health care facility, as provided in section 203B.11, subdivision 4.
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 or delivered to an applicant for any election, except as provided in section 203B.13, subdivision 2, or when a replacement ballot has been requested by the voter for a ballot that has been spoiled or lost in transit.
During the four days preceding an election and until 2:00 p.m. on election day, an eligible voter who is a patient of a health care facility may designate an agent to deliver the ballots to the voter from the county auditor or municipal clerk. A candidate at the election may not be designated as an agent. The voted ballots must be returned to the county auditor or municipal clerk no later than 3:00 p.m. on election day. The voter must complete an affidavit requesting the auditor or clerk to provide the agent with the ballots in a sealed transmittal envelope. The affidavit must include a statement from the voter stating that the ballots were delivered to the voter by the agent in the sealed transmittal envelope. An agent may deliver ballots to no more than three persons in any election. The secretary of state shall provide samples of the affidavit and transmission envelope for use by the county auditors.
The county auditors, municipal clerks, and school district clerks shall retain all election materials returned to them after any election for at least 22 months from the date of that election. All election materials involved in a contested election must be retained for 22 months or until the contest has been finally determined, whichever is later. Abstracts filed by canvassing boards shall be retained permanently by any officer with whom those abstracts are filed. Election materials no longer required to be retained pursuant to this section shall be disposed of in accordance with sections 138.163 to 138.21. Sealed envelopes containing voted ballots must be retained unopened, except as provided in this section, in a secure location. The county auditor, municipal clerk, or school district clerk shall not permit any voted ballots to be tampered with or defaced.
After the time for filing a notice of contest for an election has passed, the secretary of state may open the sealed ballot envelopes and inspect the ballots for that election maintained by the county auditors, municipal clerks, or school district clerks for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating election procedures. No inspected ballot may be marked or identified in any manner. After inspection, all ballots must be returned to the ballot envelope and the ballot envelope must be securely resealed.
(a) An individual seeking to vote shall sign a polling place roster which states that the individual is at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, has resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding the election, maintains residence at the address shown, is not under a guardianship in which the court order revokes the individual's right to vote, has not been found by a court of law to be legally incompetent to vote or convicted of a felony without having civil rights restored, is registered and has not already voted in the election. The roster must also state: "I understand that deliberately providing false information is a felony punishable by not more than five years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $10,000, or both."
(b) A judge may, before the applicant signs the roster, confirm the applicant's name, address, and date of birth.
(c) After the applicant signs the roster, the judge shall give the applicant a voter's receipt. The voter shall deliver the voter's receipt to the judge in charge of ballots as proof of the voter's right to vote, and thereupon the judge shall hand to the voter the ballot. The voters' receipts must be maintained during the time for notice of filing an election contest.
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. If the voter is deaf or cannot speak English or understand it when it is spoken, the election judges may select two individuals who are members of different major political parties to act as interpreters. The interpreters shall assist the individual in marking the ballots. 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.
"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.
"Ballot" includes 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.
"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.
"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.
"Electronic voting system" means a system in which the voter records votes by means of marking or transmitting a ballot, 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.
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.
(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, 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;
(6) automatically rejects 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 June 4, 2005, 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.
(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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
The report to be filed by a candidate or committee must include:
(1) the name of the candidate or ballot question;
(2) the name and address of the person responsible for filing the report;
(3) the total amount of receipts and expenditures for the period from the last previous report to five days before the current report is due;
(4) the purpose for each expenditure; and
(5) the name of any individual or committee that during the year has made one or more contributions that in the aggregate are equal to or greater than $500.
Presented to the governor May 22, 2006
Signed by the governor May 31, 2006, 10:53 p.m.