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Secretary Simon: New In-Person Absentee Ballot Reform ‘A Big Win for Minnesota Voters’

May 21, 2016

New reform will help reduce lines at voting sites and reduce cost to counties

SAINT PAUL — Secretary of State Steve Simon called the passage of a new reform to in-person absentee voting “a big win for Minnesota voters.” The new law now allows absentee voters in the seven days before the election to place their ballot directly in the tabulator — the same as a voter would do on Election Day.

The bill (SF2495 [Sieben]/HF2959 [McNamara]), which Secretary Simon pushed to have included in the Elections Omnibus Bill, is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

“This is a big win for Minnesota voters,” said Secretary Simon. “As more Minnesotans continue to take advantage of opportunities to vote before Election Day, we should always be looking for ways to make the process easier and more efficient for eligible voters. This new reform is going to help reduce lines at voting sites, save counties money, and ensure that voters know their ballot was accepted.”

Prior to the new law, absentee voters casting a ballot in the seven days before the election were required to place their ballot in a series of envelopes that would be opened and processed after the voter had left the voting site. This could result in long lines and increased administrative costs for counties.

Additionally, by allowing voters to place their ballot directly in the tabulator, absentee voters will be notified of any mistakes immediately and can ensure the ballot they cast will be counted.

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

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