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H.F. No. 3429 - (1st Unofficial Engrossment) Safe and Secure Conduct of 2020 Elections; HAVA Appropriations
 
Author: Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
 
Prepared By: Andrew J. Erickson, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-4855)
Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
 
Date: May 7, 2020



 

Section 1. Safe and Secure Conduct of 2020 State Primary and State General Election; Special Procedures. Subdivision 1 specifies that this section only applies to the 2020 primary and general election. A definition of “Minnesota election law” is provided.

Subdivision 2 allows local governments to designate different polling locations by July 1, 2020; train and designate employees of health care facilities to administer absentee voting in the facility; and extend the period for processing absentee ballots after the election for no more than two days. The deadline for submitting absentee ballots is not changed. Local governments may only use schools as polling places if there are no other available locations. If a school is used as a polling place, election workers and school staff must work together to ensure contact between voters and students is minimized. Local election officials may respond to COVID-19 by using existing emergency powers in Minnesota election law.

Subdivision 3 requires county auditors and municipal clerks to begin processing absentee ballots 14 days prior to the election.

Subdivision 4 allows for a candidate to electronically file affidavits of candidacy and applicable filing fees; nominating petitions, including petition signatures collected electronically; and requests to have write-in votes counted. All other requirements related to these documents are unchanged.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 2. Nomination of 2020 Presidential Electors and Alternates. For the 2020 election, the chairs of each major political party may submit the names of presidential electors and alternates no fewer than 67 days prior to the election. Under current law, the deadline is no fewer than 71 days before the election. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 3.  Help America Vote Act Appropriations and Transfer; Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act.  Appropriates in fiscal year 2020 the full federal HAVA funds received under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 ($7,389,506), the required state match ($1,477,901), and any interest earned on these amounts. The funds are available through December 21, 2024, and may be spent on improving election security and accessibility as well as authorized uses in section 4, subdivision 4. Use of the funds for anything other than what is authorized under federal law as further restricted by this section is explicitly prohibited. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 4.  Help America Vote Act Appropriation and Transfer; Federal CARES Act.  Appropriates in fiscal year 2020 the full federal HAVA funds received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ($6,930,610). If a 20 percent state match ($1,386,122) is required, it is appropriated in fiscal year 2021. Any interest earned on these amounts is also appropriated. The funds are available through March 27, 2022, and may be spent on measures taken to address the COVID-19 outbreak in the 2020 election cycle. The funds may be spent by the secretary of state directly or by political subdivisions through a local grant program established in this section. A report to the legislature on the use of funds under this section is required. Use of the funds for anything other than what is authorized under federal law as further restricted by this section is explicitly prohibited. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

ACS/AJE/syl

 

 
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