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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Background on the HAVA State Plan Advisory Committee Meeting

Why is the HAVA State Plan Advisory Committee being convened?

Congress is on the verge of passing legislation related to military and overseas (UOCAVA) voters that requires states to amend their HAVA State Plans (these provisions are included in the conference committee report for a 2010 budget bill which we understand that Congress is likely to act on in the next week).   

What is the bill that Congress is on the verge of passing?

It’s the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (HR 2647), Subtitle H — Military Voting, which can be found at the Library of Congress: HR 2647 Subtitle H.  Subtitle H is also known as the Military and Overseas Empowerment Act (the MOVE Act). 

What does bill require of the state?

There are three provisions in the bill that will require Minnesota to amend our State Plan:

  1. Section 577, paragraph (1), beginning on page 313, requires that states provide information and materials to military and overseas voters electronically
  2. Section 580, paragraph (d), beginning on page 330, requires states to develop a free access system for UOCAVA voters to determine the status of their absentee ballot
  3. Section 588, beginning on page 350, authorizes an appropriation for states to carry out the required activities and requires states to amend their State Plans to explain how the state will comply.

Please note:  Section 579, starting on page 319, may require Minnesota to move our primary to August or earlier to provide for a 45 day absentee balloting period.  However, any decision along these lines is the responsibility of the legislature and outside of the scope of the HAVA State Plan and the HAVA State Plan Advisory Committee.

What is the proposal for amending the State Plan?

Adding a new Section 14:

Section 14
Use of Requirements Payment Funds to meet the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act

14.1  Electronic Communication of Election Information to UOCAVA Voters

Minnesota will provide voter registration and absentee ballot applications and information related to voting, balloting and election information for UOCAVA voters through the use of a customized website. A link to the site will be available on the Office of the Secretary of State’s website and local election administrators will be encouraged to place a link to the site on their own webpages. 

14.2  Allowing UOCAVA Voters to Track Marked Ballots

Minnesota will expand the Statewide Voter Registration System to provide a free web-based access mechanism for UOCAVA voters to ascertain the status of their absentee ballot.  It will allow voters to determine whether the ballot has been sent to the voter, has been received by the county election office, has been accepted or rejected, and whether a replacement ballot has been issued (to voters whose ballots are lost in transit or rejected).

14.3  Budget

Ballot Tracker and Informational Website                                          $275,000

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Last updated: 10/12/2011 9:29:16 AM