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Omnibus elections bill calls for calendar shifts

By Chris Steller
House Photography file photo

You could cast a state primary ballot in June. You could count on local special elections falling on only four calendar days. Your “I Voted” sticker might arrive in the mail.

Those are three changes to Minnesota election law proposed in the omnibus elections bill, which also includes more than a dozen other provisions.

On Thursday, the House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee approved HF729, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fenton (R-Woodbury), on an 11-7 roll-call, party-line vote. The bill moves next to the House Floor. The companion, SF514, sponsored by Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill envisions two major moves on the state’s election calendar.

The state primary would move from the second Tuesday in August to the first Tuesday after the third Monday in June, as proposed by Fenton in HF1393.

And in a provision derived from HF1585, sponsored by Rep. Duane Quam (R-Byron), a local special election could be called on one of four days: the second Tuesday in February, April or May or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. 

One major proposal not involving the election calendar would allow any county, with some restrictions, to appoint, rather than elect, its recorder. That provision derived from HF1696, sponsored by Rep. Tim O'Driscoll (R-Sartell), the committee chair.

 

Amendments adopted

The committee adopted four amendments, including the sponsor’s delete-all amendment. Amendments concerning voter-registration reporting and election judges offered by Rep. Cindy Pugh (R-Chanhassen) were adopted on voice votes, as was an amendment by Rep. Nolan West (R-Blaine) concerning electronic voting.

 

What’s in the bill?

The following are selected bills that have been incorporated in part or whole into the omnibus elections bill:

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