Skip to page body Home About Community Living Doing Business Browse by Topic I Want to... Your Government

Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Newsletter Review
Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State - December 2011 Newsletter
Posted Date: 12/2/2011

This Update is the official online news publication of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

CONTENT

1. Special Primary Elections for Senate District 59 and House District 61B on December 6
2. EAID Grants Application Deadline Extended to December 12
3. MNVOTES Voter Education Workshops
4. Cooperative Annual Renewals
5. Business Filing: Name Availability
6. Notary Renewal Filing Period Is Now Open
7. December Open Appointments
8. Civil War Logo Contest
9. Facebook and Twitter

OFFICE ACTIVITIES

1. Special Primary Elections for Senate District 59 and House District 61B on December 6

Special Primary Elections for Senate District 59 and House District 61B will be held on December 6, 2011 to fill the vacancies created when State Senator Lawrence J. Pogemiller was appointed by Governor Dayton to be Director of the Office of Higher Education and Representative Jeff Hayden was elected and sworn in to serve as the Senate District 61 state senator. The Special General Elections will be held on Tuesday, January 10, 2012.

The candidates on the Special Primary Election ballot in State Senate District 59 are: Peter Wagenius (DFL); Jacob Frey (DFL); Kari Dziedizic (DFL); Paul Ostrow (DFL); Alicia Frosch (DFL); Mohamud Noor (DFL); and Ben Schwanke (Republican). The Special Primary Election candidates in House District 61B are: Josh Bassais (DFL); Susan Allen (DFL); Nelson Inz (DFL) and Paul Dennis (DFL).

Extended absentee voting in person will be available at Minneapolis City Hall and the Hennepin County Government Center from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, and on Monday, December 5 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information contact the Hennepin County Auditor at: http://www.hennepin.us/Elections or Minneapolis City Administrator at: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/elections/.

Voters may register to vote on Election Day with proper proof of residence. For more information about absentee voting or registering to vote visit: www.mnvotes.org.

Additional candidate and special election information is available on the Office of the Secretary of State website at: www.sos.state.mn.us.

2. EAID Grants Application Deadline Extended to December 12

The deadline for cities, townships and counties to apply for the federal Election Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (EAID) grants has been extended until Monday, December 12, 2011 at 4 p.m.

Approximately $400,000 in EAID grants will be provided through the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Funds must be used for accessible equipment and to improve polling place accessibility for voters with disabilities and cannot be used for general improvements to structures. Local election officials are asked to submit grant proposals for accessibility improvements and equipment that will provide privacy and independence for the voter, such as automatic door openers, disability parking spaces, renovations to make bathrooms accessible, ramps, accessible voting booths, and magnifiers. In past years grants have ranged from approximately $100 up to $6,000.

Grant recipients will be notified early in 2012. Online information about the grant application process is available at: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=763.

For more information on the EAID grant application process contact Adam Aanerud by email: Adam.Aanerud@state.mn.us or phone: 651-556-0644.

3. MNVOTES Voter Education Workshops

In order to increase voter participation, encourage enthusiasm and create comfort around the electoral process, this office has created an interactive workshop that takes community members and first-time voters through the entire voting process. This exciting presentation will simulate a day at the polls, from filling out voter registration applications to placing ballots in the ballot counter. By the end of this presentation participants will feel prepared for—and excited about—voting in Minnesota elections.

The workshop is designed for students and first-time voters and can be presented in a variety of settings. If you would like to schedule a workshop for your school or community group, please visit http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=500#workshops to fill out a workshop request form.

4. Cooperative Annual Renewals

Minnesota has approximately 700 active cooperatives. On December 2, 2011, Secretary Mark Ritchie certified law changes that will affect cooperatives. The certification signed by the Secretary was for Laws 2009, Chapter 101, sections 76, 77 and 78, and will become effective on January 1, 2012. There are several changes including a change to the renewal filing period. Cooperative renewals will now need to be filed annually. In the past they were required to be filed every two years.

5. Business Filing: Name Availability

Starting December 1, 2011, the Office of the Secretary of State will implement a new policy on name availability for business filings.

The new policy further simplifies the name availability search process by automatically removing spaces and punctuation with the exception of replacing the ampersand character “&” with the word “and.” If no exact match to existing names is found, the name is acceptable for filing. However, assumed names may duplicate other assumed names.

Filing a business name with the Office of the Secretary of State does not prevent claims by others of unauthorized use of names already in use in commerce.

6. Notary Renewal Filing Period Is Now Open

Notary commissions are valid for five years and expire on January 31 of the fifth year. Prior to their commission’s expiration, notaries must file to renew their commission. As of this year, notaries have a six-month window during which they can file their renewals that began on August 1.

You now have the option of filing either online or by mail. Please visit our website at: https://notary.sos.state.mn.us for instructions and forms. There is a $120 renewal filing fee that can be paid online using a credit card (Visa or Master card) or E-check.

Once renewals are approved, commission certificates are available online for immediate printing. Commission certificates will include additional instructions on registering with the notary’s county of residence. The county of residence will charge a $20 fee due upon registration.

7. December Open Appointments

The December 2012 Open Appointments vacancy notice and application forms can be found at http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=5.

Please note that the Governor’s Task Force on the prevention of school bullying and the State Quality Assurance Council is included in the December vacancy notice. Please see that publication for additional information or call: 651-297-5845.

If you have questions about open appointments, please contact this office at: open.appointments@state.mn.us.

8. Civil War Logo Contest

The Civil War Commemoration Task Force invites Minnesotans to participate in a logo contest and develop an icon to be used in commemorating the war’s 150th anniversary.

Logo designs must depict both Minnesota and the Civil War. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m., Dec. 30. A task force subcommittee will review the submitted logos and announce a winner on Jan. 10, 2012.

Logo PDFs should be emailed to civilwartaskforcelogo@mnhs.org. Documents must measure 8.5 inches by 11 inches and be smaller than 10 megabytes in size. The contest is open to all ages and people can call (651) 259-3130 for more information.

In addition to conducting the logo contest, the task force also is:

• Designing a website (address to be determined);
• preparing to issue “This Week in the Civil War” press releases;
• planning tours of Dakota War sites for next summer;
• making links available to schools for Civil War curriculum, as well as other educational opportunities;
• encouraging performances of Civil War-era music.

The task force consists of six state officials and up to nine at-large citizens and is co-chaired by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Representative Dean Urdahl, R- Acton Township.

9. Facebook and Twitter

“Like” this office on Facebook and check out the “Tuesday Trivia” question of the
week. Be sure to follow this office on Twitter.