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S.F. No. 3494 - Election Administration Provisions (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: March 13, 2020


Section 1. Instructions. The instructions on a voter registration application must indicate that the voter must provide a valid driver’s license or identification card number or the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number, unless the voter has not been issued one of those numbers.

Section 2. Postelection sampling. Specifies that the county auditor must report to the secretary of state a postelection sampling by February 15 of an odd-numbered year for the previous state general election. Further specifies that the secretary of state’s report to the legislature must cover the previous state general election.

Section 3. Application procedures. The list of people who have applied for an absentee ballot must not be made available for public inspection until the close of voting. The list must be treated in the same manner as the public voter information list.

Section 4. Location; timing; Section 5. Voting booth; electronic ballot marker. Rearranges two sections of law so that section 4 is about locating and timing of absentee voting. The time for in-person absentee voting for town elections is extended from 30 days to 46 days. Section 5 is about voting booths and the equipment required.

Section 6. Names of persons; rejected absentee ballots. The list of voters who have submitted an absentee ballot that has not been accepted must not be made available to the public until the close of voting on Election Day. The list must be treated in the same manner as the public voter information list.

Section 7. Duties of ballot board; absentee ballots; Section 8. Opening of envelopes. Corrects terminology when referring to absentee ballot envelopes.

Section 9. Check of voter eligibility; proper execution of certificate. When the ballot board examines absentee ballot envelopes, the board must determine that the voter’s address on the return envelope is substantially the same as on the application. Corrects terminology when referring to absentee ballot envelopes.

Section 10.  Write-in candidates. A candidate for president must file for office jointly with a vice president candidate. A candidate for governor must file jointly with the candidate for lieutenant governor.

Section 11. Authority; location. A local government must designate any changes to polling places by December 31 of each year.

Section 12. Candidates and offices. Specifies that a write-in line must be on the ballot at a special election.

Section 13. Elections; organized town. When voting hours start later for a town election, the town clerk must notify the secretary of state at least 30 days before the election.

Section 14. Elections; unorganized territory. When an unorganized territory has shorter voting hours, the territory must notify the secretary of state at least 30 days before the election.

Section 15. Method. When counting the number of blank ballots, the election judges may presume that the total count provided for the prepacked ballots is correct.

Section 16.  Delivery of returns to county auditors.  Election judges in each precinct must deliver one set of summary statements. Current law requires two sets.

Section 17. State canvas. After completing the canvas, the State Canvassing Board must declare the candidates who received the highest number of votes as the winners.

Section 18. Scope of recount. Adds ballot questions to the provisions on the scope of a recount.

Section 19. Publicly funded recounts. Specifies that the filing period to request a recount starts at the close of the canvass.

Section 20. State partisan primary ballot; party columns; Section 21. Order of offices. Vacant state and federal offices being filled at a special election must be listed with the other offices of that type, but after offices of that type for which a candidate will be elected for a full term. 

Section 22. Canvass; special primary; state canvassing board; contest. In case of a contest of a special primary for a legislative office, the notice of contest must be filed within four days after the canvass is completed.

Section 23. Filing by candidate. When a candidate files to fill a vacancy for United States senator at the same election where a candidate for United States senator is on the ballot for a full term, the affidavit of candidacy must specify the term which the candidate is filing.

Section 24. United States senator; candidates; designation of term. When both United States senators are on the same ballot, the expiration of the term for each must be printed in the office heading.

Section 25. Contracts required. Deletes a reference to a subdivision that has been repealed.

Section 26. Standards of acceptable performance by voting system; Section 27. Additional review. Requires escalation of the post-election review if the results of the electronic voting system differed by more than one quarter of a percent from the manual count of the offices reviewed. The current threshold is one-half of one percent.

Section 28. Ballots. Eliminates a reference to odd-numbered years in reference to municipal and school elections.

Section 29. Nomination of presidential electors and alternatives. Changes the deadline for major political parties to certify the presidential candidate to the secretary of state from 71 to 67 days before the general election.

Section 30. Soliciting near polling places. Specifies that the provision prohibiting soliciting near polling places only applies during voting hours 

Section 31. Requirement, fee. Every person elected at a town special election must take office within 10 days after receiving a certificate of election.

Section 32. Vacancy. Adds a reference to Minnesota Election Law in a section relating to city special elections located outside of the election law chapters. 

Section 33. Elections. Extends the availability of an appropriation for election equipment grants from June 30, 2020, to June 30, 2021.


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