Long lines at U.S. polling places could be shortened if state and local governments take actions such as allowing early voting and online voter registration, a presidential commission said Wednesday. Good ideas, Deputy Minnesota Secretary of State Beth Fraser said, adding that Minnesota already is making progress in key areas. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie implemented online voter registration last year, although Republican legislators, and some Democrats, say he should have received their approval before it launched. And Minnesota takes a baby step toward early voting with “no excuse” absentee balloting starting this year. Fraser said Minnesotans can expect their legislators to discuss allowing voters to cast ballots at city or county elections offices before Election Day itself.
“We are fully supportive of true early voting,” Fraser said, when voters “have an Election Day experience where they can walk into their county or city office … so they can leave with the assurance that their vote has been counted.”
Minnesota lawmakers already have begun the discussion of early voting, perhaps 10 days or two weeks before Election Day.
Disabled, elderly and other voters who cannot get to the polls, and those who just want to take more time to look over their ballots, still could vote absentee if early voting is allowed, Fraser said.