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Minnesota Legislature

Election administration changes (new law)

Published (4/8/2010)
By Patty Ostberg
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Among the variety of technical and procedural changes in an election administration law is one requiring the secretary of state to match data from the Social Security death index to deceased voter registrations.

Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) and Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport), the law will require the Office of the Secretary of State to remove from the statewide voter registration system any registered deceased persons and report the name to their respective county auditor.

Other provisions include:

• requiring the Department of Corrections to report felony convictions to the secretary of state, and match the data accordingly with the statewide voter registration system;

• requiring the Department of Public Safety to transfer information related to the citizenship of persons to the statewide voter registration system;

• the county auditor or municipal clerk will preserve all absentee ballot applications for 22 months;

• voters are given the right to be absent from work for a necessary time period and without reduction in pay to vote, unlike previous law that specifically said “during the morning” of a work day;

• allowing city elections to be postponed due to inclement weather;

• persons conducting exit polling will be permitted to be within 100 feet of a polling place; and

• conforming changes to federal law in helping military and overseas voters receive their absentee ballot at least 45 days before an election.

Signed April 1 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the law has various effective dates.

HF3108*/ SF2388/CH201

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