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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ginny Klevorn (DFL)

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Release: Minnesota House Approves HAVA Funding, Elections Modifications

Monday, May 4, 2020

St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation allowing for the utilization of federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds, and additional measures to ensure Minnesota’s elections remain safe and secure. Representative Ginny Klevorn (DFL-Plymouth) voted to support the legislation.

“Minnesotans are proud that we consistently lead the nation in civic engagement,” said Rep. Klevorn, vice chair of the State Government Finance Committee. “Our citizens should never have to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote. The measure passed today will protect Minnesotans’ access to democracy and their safety, as the uncertainty of COVID-19 continues. This is our government working together to ensure safe, secure elections.

Following the 2016 elections and the threats of foreign influence, the Department of Homeland Security designated elections as critical infrastructure, and the federal government disbursed grants to help states update and improve election security. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional funds were made available for virus-specific measures through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In addition to improving accessibility and modernizing election security, HAVA funds will be used to ensure the health and safety of election officials and in-person voters. This includes preparation for increased absentee voting, new polling place locations, the purchase of sanitation and disinfectant supplies, and public outreach for implementing social distancing guidelines related to voting.

The legislation can be found here, and a video of today’s floor debate will be available here