Minnesota News

Minnesota: Renewed push to restore felon voting rights clears first hurdle | Minneapolis Star Tribune

February 20, 2015

A measure to restore voting rights to felons who have been released from incarceration successfully cleared its first committee hurdle Thursday backed by a broad coalition of support. Dozens packed the hearing room in support of the bipartisan bill, authored by Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, that would change state law to allow conflicted felons to vote immediately after they’re released from prison or the workhouse, rather than when they’ve completed the terms of their probation or parole—a process that can take years, if not decades.

Minnesota: Bill Would Make it Easier for National Guard Members to Vote When Called to Serve | KSTP

February 17, 2015

Absentee voting procedures available to military members called to service by the president could soon be extended to members of the Minnesota National Guard. There’s currently a difference in absentee voting rights between National Guard members who are called to service by a governor and members called to service by the president. National Guard members called up for federal service can receive their ballot in some circumstances by email and do not need a witness for their absentee ballot.

Minnesota: Bipartisan alliance wants to restore felon voting rights | Post Bulletin

January 30, 2015

An unusual alliance of some of the state’s most liberal and conservative lawmakers at the Capitol this year are supporting an effort that would allow convicted felons to vote once they leave prison. Under Minnesota law, convicted felons are only eligible to vote after they’ve completed all terms of their sentences — including probation or supervised release. Bills sponsored by Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, and Sen. Bobbie Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, would allow convicted felons to vote after finishing their prison sentences.

Minnesota: Secretary of state pursuing voting advancements | Albert Lea Tribune

January 23, 2015

Two weeks into his term as Minnesota’s new secretary of state, Steve Simon has a goal to make voting as easy as possible for the state’s residents. Simon, a former DFL legislator from Hopkins, in 2014 helped bring about no-excuse absentee voting, which he said has been a huge success. He said there was a 55 percent increase in people utilizing absentee voting during the election in 2014 when compared to 2010, another non-presidential election year.

Secretary of State Awards NASS Medallion to Professor Max Hailperin of Gustavus Adolphus College | News Release-Office of the MN Secretary of State

November 21, 2014


SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — In recognition of his service and contributions to election-related technology and legislation, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie today awarded Max Hailperin, professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion.

“The citizens of Minnesota have benefited from Hailperin’s technological expertise,” says Ritchie. “He has been an invaluable resource to this office in all matters related to technology and elections.”

Maryland: Testimony ends in federal online ballot tool case | The Washington Post

August 29, 2014

A judge said Tuesday that he expects to rule “very quickly” on a lawsuit seeking to force Maryland officials to implement an online ballot-marking tool for the blind, a case that could impact other states that don’t use the tool. Lawyers for the National Federation of the Blind are hoping to have the tool in place in time for November’s elections. Their lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, contends that the state is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for not using the technology, which they say would safeguard blind voters’ privacy.

Minnesota: New online tool for voters to request absentee ballot | Le Center Leader

June 19, 2014

Minnesota voters can now request an absentee ballot online at mnvotes.org through a new tool launched by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. The service allows voters to apply for an absentee ballot quickly and easily without the need to print, scan forms, and return by mail, fax or email. A similar tool for military and overseas voters was introduced in September 2013. Voters may request an absentee ballot for both the August 12 Primary Election and November 4 General Election.

Minnesota: Judge: Online voter registration system must shut down | StarTribune

April 29, 2014

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie must immediately shut down the online voter registration system he launched last year because he lacked the authority to create it, a Ramsey County judge decided Monday. Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann said Ritchie had until midnight on Tuesday to close the system and confirm that he had done so by Wednesday. More than 3,600 Minnesotans have taken advantage of online registration.

Minnesota: Washington County putting 90 new voting machines to work | Star Tribune

April 22, 2014

The dutiful Washington County voter, having chosen candidates and issues after a few moments of intense concentration in the election booth, steps to the counting machine with ballot in hand only to find a problem. But what? Did the voter “overwrite” the ballot by marking more than one candidate for a race? Or stray across party lines in a primary election? Or fail to mark the vote inside the oval spaces provided, circling them instead? A color screen on the county’s new voting machine indicates an error.

Pew Report: Minnesota Among Nation's Elite for Election Performance | News Release: Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

April 8, 2014

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — The Pew Charitable Trusts’ latest Election Performance Index, released today, ranks Minnesota second in the country for its election performance — citing the state’s nation-leading voter turnout, popular election day registration, its online suite of voter tools at mnvotes.org, and more. Pew identified Minnesota as one of only seven other states that placed in the top tier for each election year measured (2008, 2010 and 2012).

Interview with Senator Katie Sieben | The Canvass

March 28, 2014

Minnesota Senator Katie Sieben (D) chairs the Rules and Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Elections.  She represents a suburban part of St. Paul and previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Sieben’s father, Michael Sieben, and grandfather, Harry Sieben, also served in the Minnesota House. The Canvass interviewed Sieben on March 14.

Minnesota: E-pollbook legislation likely, though enthusiasm has faded a bit | MinnPost

March 7, 2014

Lawmakers will likely move forward with limited electronic-pollbook legislation this session, but it appears that the sense of urgency behind the voting technology has faded a bit. A state Senate committee passed legislation on Wednesday — a day after its House counterpart — that came out of a pollbook task force in late January.

Minnesota: Online voter registration advances in House | Star Tribune

March 6, 2014

Minnesotans should be able to register to vote online, a bipartisan panel of legislators voted on Tuesday. The House Elections Committee unanimously approved the practice that has been available — with considerable controversy — since last year. “I think it’s an issue that is kind of a no-brainer for the state of Minnesota,” said House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis. DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office began accepting online registrations in September, although the law did not specifically permit it. DFLers, Republicans, Gov.

Minn. task force that led pilot project on electronic voting rosters backs another study | StarTribune

January 31, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota panel that led a pilot project around an electronic voter verification process is urging the Legislature to authorize a more extensive study this fall.

Minnesota: Legislature to consider online voter registration bill | Pioneer Press

January 29, 2014

Democratic and Republican lawmakers agree that online voter registration is a good idea — if it is done right. At least, that consensus emerged Tuesday during a House Elections Committee hearing on a bill that would authorize online registration and absentee ballot applications. Registering online is “user friendly, cheaper and more reliable” than filling out paper applications, said Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, the committee chairman and bill sponsor. Minnesota voters already can register electronically.

Minnesota: State already working on shorter voter lines | Grand Forks Herald

January 23, 2014

Long lines at U.S. polling places could be shortened if state and local governments take actions such as allowing early voting and online voter registration, a presidential commission said Wednesday. Good ideas, Deputy Minnesota Secretary of State Beth Fraser said, adding that Minnesota already is making progress in key areas. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie implemented online voter registration last year, although Republican legislators, and some Democrats, say he should have received their approval before it launched.

Minnesota: Voting Roster Upgrade Could Happen Slowly | Associated Press

December 9, 2013

A Minnesota task force studying a higher-tech voter verification process leaned away Monday from recommending that electronic poll books be mandatory in every precinct for the 2014 statewide election. Several panel members highlighted concerns over equipment costs, security protocols and timing while describing a full-scale rollout by next fall as a tall order.

Minnesota: Law cited to justify online voter registration passed with no controversy | Minnesota Public Radio News

November 14, 2013

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s contention that a 13-year-old law gave him the green light to launch a new online voter registration system is receiving support from two former legislators who sponsored the measure. Former state Rep. Matt Entenza and former state Sen.

Minnesota: Ranked-choice voting means lots of candidates but not lots of confusion | Pioneer Press

November 6, 2013

Tuesday’s polls in St. Paul and Minneapolis drew both fans and skeptics of ranked-choice voting — but relatively little confusion despite long candidate slates. The votes, though, did not produce clear winners Tuesday evening in the St. Paul Ward 1 city council race, the Minneapolis mayor race and in three of 13 city council wards in that city. Under the ranked-choice system, only candidates who garner more than 50 percent of first-choice votes emerge as clear-cut victors. St.

Minnesota: Lawsuit challenges Minnesota’s online voter registration system | Star Tribune

November 5, 2013

A group of Republican lawmakers and two interest groups who pushed for voter ID now are going to court to stop a state website that allows voters to register online. In a lawsuit filed in Ramsey County District Court on Monday, the group contends that DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie overstepped his ­authority when he launched the website in September.

Minnesota: State gets ready for electronic voting roster test run as officials examine costs, benefits | Star Tribune

October 10, 2013

Voters who show up at some Minnesota polling places next month will encounter sign-in stations equipped with iPads or bar code scanners as part of an experiment designed to test whether more technology would cut wait times, save money and inspire more confidence in the election process. The electronic roster, or e-poll book, pilot project will take place in fewer than 10 cities and counties, but the results are being closely monitored by election officials across the state because lawmakers could broaden the technology’s use — if the price is right.

Minnesota: GOP leaders call for probe of new online voter registration tool | Politics in Minnesota

October 8, 2013

Top Republican leaders want the state’s legislative auditor to examine a move from Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to allow online voter registration in Minnesota. In a letter sent to Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles‘ office on Monday, GOP minority leaders Kurt Daudt and David Hann, along with Republican election committee leads Rep. Tim Sanders and Sen. Scott Newman, said Ritchie “unilaterally” started the program without vetting the proposal in committee hearings. The program allows new voters to register online or returning voters to update their information.

Minnesota: New technology to be tested at Minnesota electoral polls | StarTribune

July 28, 2013

DFLers who said they could create a high-tech alternative to photo identification at the polls that would preserve voter access now say they may not be able to deliver on that compromise solution anytime soon.

Minnesota: Faster, more reliable voting machines coming in metro area | StarTribune

July 6, 2013

Faster, more reliable voting machines are arriving just in time to help handle an expansion of absentee voting in Minnesota and a high-profile test of Minneapolis’ ranked-choice voting in this fall’s mayoral election. Six of the seven metro-area counties are spending millions to replace hundreds of 13-year-old optical-scan ballot-counting machines, taking advantage of federal grants and the recent certification of new voting technology.

Minnesota: Anoka County getting new election equipment | ABC Newspapers

June 21, 2013

The Anoka County Board has awarded a contract for new election equipment that will be in place in time for the 2013 election Nov.

House election-change bill passes with prospects of GOP support | MinnPost

May 9, 2013

House Democrats passed a series of procedural election changes Wednesday that just might earn the signature of Gov. Mark Dayton, who has called for broad, bipartisan support before he would allow them to become law.

The full House passed a DFL-backed package of modest election changes with two Republican votes on Wednesday and likely more Republican support to come.

Action Alert: Come to the Capitol TODAY at 5:00 to Oppose Voter ID Amendment

March 20, 2013

Action Alert: Come to the Capitol TODAY at 5:00 to Oppose
Voter ID Amendment

Today, the Minnesota House is voting on a voter photo ID amendment
that would require a photo ID of all voters, eliminate vouching and could make
Election Day Registration impossible to continue.  Please
join us outside the House chambers TODAY, Tuesday March 20 at 5 p.m. to stand
in opposition to this amendment


Questions about voting in Minnesota?

November 6, 2012

There’s one website to visit if you have questions about voting. It’s www.mnvotes.org. You’ll learn:

MPR: What we don't know about the voter ID amendment (video)

November 5, 2012

Watch this video created by Minnesota Public Radio to learn more about the "photo ID" amendment.



Questions about voting?

October 25, 2012

There’s one website to visit if you have questions about voting. It’s www.mnvotes.org. You’ll learn:

Voting on Voting. "Voter ID" Amendment Fact Sheet

October 18, 2012

Follow the link to learn more about the proposed elections amendment. It's not just about voter ID.

Let's keep it a clean Constitution, Jack Davies, former state senator, drafter of the form and structure rewrite of the Minnesota Constitution ratified in 1974

October 3, 2012

Jack Davies is a former state senator. He was the drafter of the form and structure rewrite of the Minnesota Constitution ratified in 1974.

Follow the link to learn what he thinks about changing the Constitution



Local election officials weigh in on cost.

October 1, 2012

Below are links to news reports across the state regarding local costs.

Voter beware: Claims used to tout ID are fishy, Joan Growe, Minnesota's Secretary of State,1975 to 1999

September 27, 2012

Joan Growe was Minnesota's secretary of state from 1975 to 1999.


Follow the link to read her concerns.



Cost of the proposed elections amendment

September 4, 2012

Report highlights potential costs of the proposed Elections Amendment.
State, local governments and individuals all need to prepare their pocket-books.

Dear CEIMN—how do I become an election judge?

July 3, 2012

Dear CEIMN—how do I become an election judge?

If efficient, fair and accurate elections are important to you, you have a future as an election judge!   

Your first step to becoming an election judge is to decide where you would like to serve. Most election judges serve in their own community, and this is a great way to spend time with you neighbors. However, you can apply to be a judge anywhere in Minnesota. 

Voter photo ID exemptions in other states

June 4, 2012

Voter photoID exemptions

updated June 4, 2012

The Minnesota elections ballot question proposes that,

All voters, including those not voting in person, must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.

The question submitted to voters is,

The St. Paul Area Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted a resolution opposing the “voter identification” amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution

May 20, 2012

The St. Paul Area Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted a resolution opposing the “voter identification” amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution. Follow the link to read the resolution.



December 1, 2011

GUEST OPINION: 'No' to VoterID by Kathy Bonnifield and Carolyn Jackson


CEIMN Releases 2010 Recount Report

September 7, 2011

Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota released the report:  "Minnesota’s 2010 Gubernatorial
Recount Report and Recommendations." 

Governor's veto of Photo ID Bill. Citizens for Election Integrity & League of Women Voters MN statement

May 31, 2011

Sebeka-Menahga Review Messenger

League of Women Voters Minnesota (LWV) and Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN) commend Governor Dayton for vetoing the elections/photo ID bill, which would have represented the greatest threat to citizens’ right to vote since poll taxes and literacy tests.  

Dayton vetoes voter ID

May 26, 2011

While rejecting the photo ID bill, he ordered up a panel to look for ways to improve elections

Article by: ERIC ROPER , Star Tribune

Saying that election reform measures should reflect a broad bipartisan consensus, Gov. Mark Dayton Thursday slapped down a GOP bill that would have required voters to present a photo ID at the polls.

Voter ID is wrong; count the ways

May 14, 2011

Star Tribune Editorial by Chuck Samuelson

Voter ID bill will only make it harder to be heard

March 10, 2011

Letter to the Editor by Ruth Charles, Winona Daily News


Reject photo ID proposals

February 18, 2011

Editorial in The Journal,  International Falls, Minnesota

Your turn: Voter ID bill would deny many a vote

February 11, 2011

  By Niel Ritchie • League of Rural Voters.  This editorial appeared in SCTimes.com

CEIMN Releases Report About 2008 Recount and MN's Election System

February 24, 2010

From the introduction: This document is the response of Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN) and Common Cause Minnesota (CCMN), to the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) report: No Longer a National Model. Fifteen Recommendations for Fixing Minnesota Election Law and Practice. The report, written by Mr. Kent Kaiser, contains a large number of inaccuracies and unsubstantiated claims. As nonpartisan election integrity organizations, we feel a responsibility to Minnesota voters and election officials to provide a written response, based on data available to the public.

Editorial: Court review is key in Senate recount. Canvassing Board lacked authority to settle key disputes.

January 5, 2009


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