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S.F. No. 455 - Election Administration Bill
 
Author: Senator Katie Sieben
 
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
 
Date: February 9, 2015



 

S.F. No. 455 makes various changes to election administration provisions and deletes or repeals obsolete provisions.

Section 1 ensures that when a school board changes from seven members to six members, three members are elected at each election (instead of two members at one election and four the next).

Sections 2 and 3 provide a general definition for election law of “partisan offices” and “nonpartisan offices.”

Section 4 deletes the requirement that a paper voter registration application be of a size and weight suitable for mailing.

Section 5 deletes obsolete language that required actions of the Secretary of State between 2010 and 2012.

Section 6 requires the county auditor or municipal clerk, upon request, provide an audio file of absentee ballot instructions. The Secretary of State must prepare the audio file of the instructions. The term “audio file” replaces the outdated term “cassette tape.”

Section 7 allows an individual to return his or her own absentee ballot on election day.  Prior to no-excuse absentee voting, a voter could not return his or her own absentee ballot on election day but instead had to use an agent.

Section 8 deletes a reference to the requirement of using an agent to return an absentee ballot on election day.  Adds the last delivery from a package delivery service to the determination of when ballots are marked as received late.

Section 9 allows the absentee ballot board members to match a driver’s license number, state identification number, or the last four digits of a Social Security number to either the voter’s absentee ballot or voter record; under current law, the ballot board may only compare the number to the ballot application.  If the number does not match, then the signature is considered.

Section 10 deletes the provision that states that a Social Security number qualifies as a person’s military identification number; this language is no longer needed because military members are not require to use a Social Security number on an absentee ballot application.

Section 11 allows a candidate to request that his or her address be classified as private data if the address is classified as private pursuant to another state law.

Section 12 allows a high school student to be a trainee election judge in any county, instead of limiting the student to the county where he or she resides.

Section 13 allows the county auditor or municipal clerk to open mail ballots on the seventh day before the election, instead of the fourth day before the election. This makes the opening of mail ballots the same as absentee ballots.

Sections 14 and 15 specify that a voter is allowed to take time off to vote in any regularly scheduled election (no longer limited only to state elections) and in elections to fill vacancies in nomination for constitutional officers.

Section 16 specifies that the deadline to request a publicly funded recount in a state election is 5 p.m. on the second day after the canvass of the election.  This replaces the previous 48-hour deadline.

Section 17 clarifies that a discretionary recount of a state or federal primary election must not delay the notice of nomination to the winning candidate. The results of the recount must be certified by the canvassing board as soon as possible.

Section 18 specifies that the deadline for a publicly funded recount in a local election must be filed by 5 p.m. on the fifth day after the canvass of a primary or by 5 p.m. on the seventh day after the canvass of a general election.

Section 19 clarifies that a discretionary recount of a local primary election must not delay the notice of nomination to the winning candidate. The results of the recount must be certified by the canvassing board as soon as possible.

Section 20 deletes the prohibition on issuing an election certificate until the courts have determined the outcome of an election contest. The exception for legislative offices is removed.

Section 21 specifies that a certificate of election in a special election for a legislator is issued to the chief clerk of the house or secretary of the senate, instead of the individual.

Sections 22, 23, and 24 delete references to other questions voted on statewide because only constitutional amendments are voted on statewide.  Section 23 also deletes a reference to questions voted on in more than one county.

Section 25 repeals Minnesota Statutes, sections 204B.16, subdivision 6 (requiring precinct boundaries to follow physical boundaries), and 204C.30, subdivision 1 (requiring the county auditor to deliver a set of summary statements to the Secretary of State).

ACS/syl

 
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