Minnesota Secretary Of State - Sec. Simon Celebrates Signing of Historic New Elections Legislation
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Sec. Simon Celebrates Signing of Historic New Elections Legislation

May 5, 2023

The Democracy for the People Act will bring automatic voter registration, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and other pro-democracy changes to Minnesota elections

SAINT PAUL — On Friday, May 5, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon celebrated the signing of the Democracy for the People Act by Governor Tim Walz. The new law has been a top legislative priority for Simon and other pro-democracy elections advocates.

"Today represents a once-in-a-generation achievement in expanding and protecting the freedom to vote in Minnesota," said Sec. Simon. "This law is what democracy for the people looks like."

Key voting reforms that Simon and others have spent years pushing for will now become law, including:

  • Automatic voter registration
  • Pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds
  • Penalties for those who knowingly push misinformation about Minnesota elections with the intent of impeding a Minnesotan's ability to cast their vote
  • Creation of a permanent absentee ballot option
  • Moving the effective date for the restoration of voting rights for formerly incarcerated Minnesotans forward to June 1, earlier than the original July 1 effective date

The signing of the Democracy for the People Act is another landmark achievement for what is shaping up to be an enormously successful legislative session for pro-democracy elections advocates. Legislation restoring voting rights to those who have left prison behind was signed into law in March. The legislature is on track to pass legislation that will strengthen protections for election workers from harassment, intimidation, and threats. Expansion of early voting options are also expected before the legislature concludes its work.