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Secretary Simon: Elections Bill Makes It Easier for Military Voters to Request Absentee Ballot

May 21, 2016

“The least we can do for the men and women serving our country is ensure that their voice is heard”

SAINT PAUL — Secretary of State Steve Simon praised the passage today of legislation that makes it easier for military and overseas voters to request an absentee ballot application. The bill, which the Secretary pushed to have included in the Elections Omnibus Bill, is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The new law (SF2381 [Sieben]/HF2688 [Sanders]) allows requests for an absentee ballot application by military and overseas voters to extend through the next general election or the current calendar year, whichever is greater.

Previously, when a military or overseas voter requested an absentee ballot application, Minnesota law only kept the request active through the end of the current calendar year. As a result, an absentee ballot application requested by a military or overseas voter in late 2015, clearly intended for the November 2016 general election, expired at the end of 2015.

“We should be doing everything we can to make it easier for our military and overseas citizens to vote, not harder,” said Secretary Simon. “The least we can do for the men and women serving our country is ensure that their voice is heard at the ballot box. This reform is another step to further guaranteeing that right.”

The Secretary of State’s Office received 55 absentee ballot applications from military and overseas voters in November and December of 2015. Those 55 applications will no longer be expired.

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Contact: Ryan Furlong, 651-297-8919, ryan.furlong@state.mn.us

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