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S.F. No. 3275 - Election Day Voter Registration & Provisional Ballots; HAVA Appropriation (Second Engrossment)
Author: Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: March 13, 2020


Section 1 [Technology and Cybersecurity account] allows the secretary of state to retain two percent of all fees collected by the office to be used for maintenance and enhancement of the office’s IT systems and cybersecurity capabilities.  Unexpended and unencumbered funds in the account at the end of a biennium lapses to the general fund.

Section 2 [Tribal identification card] eliminates a cross reference to a subdivision that is amended in section 4 of the bill and makes conforming changes.

Section 3 [Incomplete registration by mail] provides that if the county auditor receives a voter registration application in the mail and is unable to verify if the voter is eligible to vote, the auditor must notify the voter of other voter registration options.

Section 4 [Election Day registration] amends the Election Day registration process. A voter that registers on Election Day must fill out a voter registration application and then may cast a provisional ballot. The current process for proving residence is stricken.

Section 5 [Registration by election judges; procedures] strikes language relating to the Election Day registration provisions that are eliminated in section 4. The procedure for processing Election Day registration application is stricken.

Section 6 [Entry of registration information] requires all voter registration applications to be entered into the statewide voter registration system (SVRS) within three days after an election.  Within three days after an election day registrant is entered into the SVRS, the secretary of state must compare the voter's name, birthdate and driver's license number, state ID card number, or last four digits of the Social Security number within the Department of Public Safety data base.  The secretary of state must provide daily reports on the results of the comparisons to the county auditors.

Section 7 [Technology requirements] requires electronic rosters to be able to print voter registration applications that can be affixed to the provisional ballot envelope.

Section 8 [Election Day] strikes a provision relating to processing Election Day registration applications.

Section 9 [Registration at time of application] amends the process for submitting a voter registration application at the same time as an absentee ballot. The voter must place the voter registration application into the return envelope, along with the signature envelope. Strikes language referencing Election Day registration provisions that are repealed.

Section 10 [Eligibility certificate] strikes language referencing Election Day registration provisions that are amended in section 4.

Section 11 [Procedures on receipt of ballots] amends the process a county auditor or municipal clerk follows when receiving an absentee ballot return envelope. The auditor or clerk must open the return envelope to determine if a voter registration application is included. If so, then the application is removed and the envelope is resealed. The auditor or clerk must promptly process the application in the same manner as applications received prior to the election.

Section 12 [Alternative procedure] allows preregistered voters to use the alternative absentee ballot procedure to deposit an absentee ballot into the ballot box. Voters that are not preregistered cannot use the alternative procedure.

Section 13 [Duties of ballot board; absentee ballots] requires the absentee ballot board to determine if a voter is registered and eligible to vote before accepting the ballot envelope.

Section 14 [Residence requirement] strikes a reference to a repealed subdivision. The documents a challenger may use to prove residency in the state are specified.

Section 15 [Provisional ballots] provides for the casting and counting of provisional ballots.

Subdivision 1 allows a voter who registers on Election Day to cast a provisional ballot. The voter must sign a provisional ballot roster and swear that the voter is eligible to vote, has not already voted, and meets the criteria for registering to vote in the precinct. The voter completes the provisional ballot envelope, which includes the voter registration application. The voter then marks a ballot, places the ballot in a secrecy envelope, and places that envelope in the provisional ballot envelope. The provisional ballot envelope is deposited into a provisional ballot box.

Subdivision 2 requires the county auditor or municipal clerk to process each application on the seventh day after the election. If the applicant is registered to vote, the provisional ballot envelope is accepted. If the applicant is not registered to vote, the provisional ballot envelope is rejected. The auditor or clerk must record in the statewide voter registration system if a ballot envelope is accepted or rejected. For each rejected provisional ballot envelope, the county auditor or municipal clerk must mail notice to the voter that the ballot was rejected and the reason for the rejection.

Subdivision 3 requires the county auditor to verify that the number of provisional ballots cast and the number of signatures on the provisional roster are the same. If not, excess provisional ballot envelopes must be randomly withdrawn from the accepted ballots.

Subdivision 4 requires accepted provisional ballot envelopes to be opened and the ballots to be deposited into the appropriate ballot box.

Sections 16 to 21 adjust the timing of the meeting of the canvassing boards to accommodate the seven-day period after the election where voter registration applications are processed.

Section 22.  [Public Awareness Campaign; Secretary of State.] The secretary of state must conduct a public awareness campaign in 2021, and each even-numbered year thereafter to encourage people to vote prior to Election Day.

Section 23. [Transfers and appropriations; secretary of state] appropriates $7,389,506 from the Help America Vote Act account to the secretary of state for improving the administration and security of elections. The required federal match of $1,477,901 is also appropriated to the secretary of state. Additionally, $4 million is appropriated from the general fund to the secretary of state to implement and administer provisional ballots and to make grants to local government for informational signage and to offset the costs of supplies to comply with this act.  This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023.

Section 24. [Repealer] repeals section 135A17, subd. 2, relating to residential housing lists used for Election Day registration; 201.061, subd. 7, requiring election judges to attempt to keep a record of attempted registrations; and 201.121, subd. 3, requiring post-election sampling of Election Day registrations.

Section 25. [Effective date.] This act is effective June 1, 2021.


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