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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

203B.04 APPLICATION FOR BALLOTS.

Subdivision 1.Application procedures.

Except as otherwise allowed by subdivision 2 or by section 203B.11, subdivision 4, an application for absentee ballots for any election may be submitted at any time not less than one day before the day of that election. The county auditor shall prepare absentee ballot application forms in the format provided by the secretary of state and shall furnish them to any person on request. By January 1 of each even-numbered year, the secretary of state shall make the forms to be used available to auditors through electronic means. An application submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be in writing and shall be submitted to:

(1) the county auditor of the county where the applicant maintains residence; or

(2) the municipal clerk of the municipality, or school district if applicable, where the applicant maintains residence.

An application shall be approved if it is timely received, signed and dated by the applicant, contains the applicant's name and residence and mailing addresses, date of birth, and at least one of the following:

(1) the applicant's Minnesota driver's license number;

(2) Minnesota state identification card number;

(3) the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number; or

(4) a statement that the applicant does not have any of these numbers.

To be approved, the application must state that the applicant is eligible to vote by absentee ballot for one of the reasons specified in section 203B.02, and must contain an oath that the information contained on the form is accurate, that the applicant is applying on the applicant's own behalf, and that the applicant is signing the form under penalty of perjury.

An applicant's full date of birth, Minnesota driver's license or state identification number, and the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number must not be made available for public inspection. An application may be submitted to the county auditor or municipal clerk by an electronic facsimile device. An application mailed or returned in person to the county auditor or municipal clerk on behalf of a voter by a person other than the voter must be deposited in the mail or returned in person to the county auditor or municipal clerk within ten days after it has been dated by the voter and no later than six days before the election. The absentee ballot applications or a list of persons applying for an absentee ballot may not be made available for public inspection until the close of voting on election day.

An application under this subdivision may contain an application under subdivision 5 to automatically receive an absentee ballot application.

Subd. 2.Health care patient.

An eligible voter who on the day before an election becomes a resident or patient in a health care facility or hospital located in the municipality in which the eligible voter maintains residence may apply for absentee ballots on election day if the voter:

(a) requests an application form by telephone from the municipal clerk not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before election day; or

(b) submits an absentee ballot application to the election judges engaged in delivering absentee ballots pursuant to section 203B.11.

Subd. 3.Delivery of application forms.

The election judges designated to deliver absentee ballots pursuant to section 203B.11 shall deliver a blank application form for absentee ballots to any individual who requests one in order to apply for absentee ballots pursuant to subdivision 2.

Subd. 4.Registration at time of application.

An eligible voter who is not registered to vote but who is otherwise eligible to vote by absentee ballot may register by including a completed voter registration application with the absentee ballot. The individual shall present proof of residence as required by section 201.061, subdivision 3, to the individual who witnesses the marking of the absentee ballots. A military voter, as defined in section 203B.01, may register in this manner if voting pursuant to sections 203B.04 to 203B.15, or may register pursuant to sections 203B.16 to 203B.27.

Subd. 5.Permanent illness or disability.

(a) An eligible voter who reasonably expects to be permanently unable to go to the polling place on election day because of illness or disability may apply to a county auditor or municipal clerk under this section to automatically receive an absentee ballot application before each election, other than an election by mail conducted under section 204B.45, and to have the status as a permanent absentee voter indicated on the voter's registration record.

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

Subd. 6.Ongoing absentee status; termination.

(a) An eligible voter may apply to a county auditor or municipal clerk for status as an ongoing absentee voter who reasonably expects to meet the requirements of section 203B.02, subdivision 1. Each applicant must automatically be provided with an absentee ballot application for each ensuing election other than an election by mail conducted under section 204B.45, and must have the status of ongoing absentee voter indicated on the voter's registration record.

(b) Ongoing absentee voter status ends on:

(1) the voter's written request;

(2) the voter's death;

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

(4) a change in the voter's status so that the voter is not eligible to vote under section 201.15 or 201.155; or

(5) placement of the voter's registration on inactive status under section 201.171.