Minnesota

Articles about voting issues in Minnesota.

Minnesota: Provisional balloting, a June primary and ‘I voted’ stickers: How legislators are looking to change Minnesota elections | MinnPost

In St. Paul, there are only a few areas where bipartisanship is not just a lofty goal, it’s a requirement. That includes any changes lawmakers want to make to the state’s election and voting systems. Gov. Mark Dayton, like former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, has said he’ll only sign election-related bills if the proposals have broad support from legislators in both parties — no matter who’s in power. It’s a tradition that some say has bolstered Minnesota’s strong election system, which has some of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation and few instances of fraud. The rule has also influenced the measures moving through the Legislature this year, with the Republicans who control both chambers ditching proposals that have been controversial in the past — like voter ID — and advancing a list of changes to the state’s election system that have broad support. Well, mostly. As Secretary of State Steve Simon says: “I would say there is work that has yet to be done to get the bipartisan support necessary for the governor’s signature.” Read More

Minnesota: Ranked-choice opponents push St. Paul to vote on voting, again | Minnesota Public Radio News

Though St. Paul residents approved ranked-choice voting in a 2009 referendum, it may be heading for a vote in St. Paul again. Opponents of ranked-choice voting, also called instant-runoff voting, say it has unnecessarily delayed results and hasn’t delivered on supporters’ promises. They’re going to make their case to put it back before voters as soon as November. “It promises a lot of things and it doesn’t deliver on any of them,” says Chuck Repke, a neighborhood activist, one-time city council staffer and political activist. Read More

Minnesota: Dated voting machines needing improvements | Republican Eagle

Minnesota’s local government officials say searching the eBay online auction site for voting machine parts is not the best way to keep the foundation of democracy running smoothly. The company that made much of Minnesota’s voting equipment, especially for disabled voters, has moved on to newer technologies and parts for machines used in most Minnesota polling places are hard to find. “The best answer to that is eBay,” Administrative Services Director Deborah Erickson of Crow Wing County told a Minnesota House committee Wednesday, March 1, before the panel approved a bill providing counties $14 million next year. Read More

Minnesota: Officials say eBay not the answer for voting machines | Forum News Service

Minnesota’s local government officials say searching the eBay online auction site for voting machine parts is not the best way to keep the foundation of democracy running smoothly. The company that made much of Minnesota’s voting equipment, especially for disabled voters, has moved on to newer technologies and parts for machines used in most Minnesota polling places are hard to find. “The best answer to that is eBay,” Administrative Services Director Deborah Erickson, of Crow Wing County, told a Minnesota House committee Wednesday, before the panel approved a bill providing counties $14 million next year. Read More

Minnesota: Senators debate provisional ballots | Minnesota Lawyer

A controversial proposal to use provisional ballots to stanch voter fraud is winding its way through the state Senate. The bill would introduce — for the first time in state history — provisional ballots to Minnesota elections. Provisional votes would be cast, then set aside until a challenged voter’s eligibility is reviewed by election authorities and either affirmed or denied. Officials would have seven days to make that decision. The provision was initially introduced as part of a stand-alone bill, Senate File 1225, authored by Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake. It has since been rolled into Kiffmeyer’s much larger election omnibus bill, Senate File 514. Yet it consistently takes center stage in committee deliberations. Read More

Minnesota: Court Rules Against ‘Please ID Me’ Buttons At Polling Places | WCCO

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a Minnesota law banning political apparel at polling places does not infringe on First Amendment rights and includes shirts and buttons distributed by Minnesota Tea Party groups that read “Please ID Me.” The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the groups Minnesota Majority, Minnesota Northstar Tea Party Patriots and Election Integrity watch failed to prove that the state statute was selectively applied or limited voters’ right to free speech. The shirts were meant to support laws that require state-issued photo ID at polling places aimed at cracking down on voter fraud. There is currently no such law in Minnesota. Read More

Minnesota: Debate over ranked-choice voting reignites in St. Paul | Minneapolis Star Tribune

St. Paul mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson discusses ranked-choice voting at a town hall meeting Wednesday. The debate over how St. Paul residents elect city leaders is heating up again. The city started using ranked-choice voting in 2011, forgoing primaries and putting all the candidates on the ballot to be ranked. Supporters say it has been a more inclusive way to elect city leaders and resulted in people with the broadest support winning. Opponents, who are beginning the push to return to the primary system, say it is confusing and has failed to produce the promised growth in voter turnout. The two sides squared off this week at a sparsely attended town hall forum. But behind the scenes, the debate had already begun. On Monday, Charter Commission Member Chuck Repke plans to propose a change to the city’s charter to eliminate the ranked-choice system. The proposal has already met resistance from City Council members. Read More

Minnesota: Retooling the state’s voting system | Mesabi Daily News

Minnesota’s voting equipment is aging out, and without legislative help, the burden of about $28 million in replacement costs will fall squarely on cities and counties. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon met Monday with the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools to drum up support for a state-funded solution to voting infrastructure now more than a decade old. He’s not asking for the Legislature to foot the bill for the entire cost, rather follow Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal calling for a 50-50 split between the state and local governments. Covering half the cost — about $14 million — would keep the state on pace with efforts in Maryland and Michigan. “We think local government should have some skin in the game,” Simon said during an interview at the Mesabi Daily News. Read More

Minnesota: Lawmakers agree on voting change, differ elsewhere | Woodbury Bulletin

Local lawmakers say they would support efforts to allow voters to physically cast their ballot more than a week ahead of Election Day. State law allows counties to give voters the option of casting an absentee ballot in person within seven days of the election. Legislators said the process was popular in the 2016 election in Washington County and the county saved taxpayer money by not having to process as many absentee ballots the traditional way. They agreed it should be expanded, suggesting a 14-day window. It’s another way to get more people voting, said Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park. “Whatever we can do (to increase participation), I’m for,” Schoen said. Read More

Minnesota: State to ditch caucuses in favor of presidential primary | MPR

On Jan. 1, Minnesota joins the majority of U.S. states in choosing its presidential candidates in primary elections. Minnesota has used caucuses to choose presidential candidates throughout its voting history, save for three elections. While the first presidential primary under the new law won’t be held until March 2020, the system officially goes on the books Jan. 1, 2017. The shift from a caucus system to primaries is the most notable of the new laws taking effect in Minnesota at the change of the year. The others deal with minor changes to workers’ compensation and life insurance laws that won’t much affect the general public. Read More