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Election administration changes (new law)

Published (5/6/2011)
By Nick Busse
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A package of noncontroversial election changes is now law.

Sponsored by Rep. Tim Sanders (R-Blaine) and Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), the law modifies election administration laws to provide flexibility and cost savings to local governments. It is effective April 30, 2011.

The law permits municipalities to establish combined polling places for any number of precincts that exist within its borders and that share a common boundary line. It also makes changes to statute that will prevent cities from having to redistrict before the state finishes its own redistricting process.

Other provisions in the law include:

• requiring counties to count absentee and mail-in ballots at the same time and report them as one vote total;

• clarifying that only voters and election judges are allowed within 6 feet of voting booths, ballot counters or electronic voting equipment during voting hours;

• modifying the timeline for county residents to request a court to review a redistricting plan for county commissioner districts; and

• changing the timeline for filing county commissioner redistricting plans.

HF978*/ SF919/CH18

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