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HF334, authored by Rep. Connie Bernardy (DFL-Fridley), would establish an early voting system statewide.
(Published Feb 4, 2013)
There have been rumors since session started that a bill to establish early voting would be introduced and on the heels of a House bill for “no-excuse absentee voting” heard last week, the early voting rumors proved true. The chief author is returning House member Connie Bernardy (DFL-Fridley), who served from 2000 – 2006 and was re-elected in November. Currently, there is no Senate companion.
The bill defines early voting as “voting in person before Election Day at the office of the county auditor or designated municipal clerk.” It must be made available to any eligible voter for primary, general and special elections for federal, state or county offices.
Early voting must be available beginning 15 days before the election through 5:00 p.m. on the third day before the election. All voters in line at 5:00 p.m. on the third day before the election must be allowed to vote. Voting would take place between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on each weekday during the early voting period, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on at least one of those days, and from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the two Saturdays before the election.
It has been referred to the House elections committee chaired by Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-Hopkins), who is a co-author on the bill.
The League of Minnesota Cities has a policy supporting early voting developed in cooperation with local election officials to replace in-person absentee voting. We will continue to monitor the legislation as it moves forward.
Questions? Contact Ann Lindstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 612-281-1261.
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