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Next stop: A floor vote by House and then Senate.
(Published May 17, 2013)
After meeting for almost six hours, the elections conference committee adopted the majority of the House provisions of the omnibus elections bill and unanimously passed the conference committee report on a voice vote.
Senate conferees were Senators Katie Sieben (DFL- New Port), Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley) and Scott Newman (DFL-Hutchinson). House conferees were Representatives Steve Simon (DFL-Hopkins), Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan) and Tim Sanders (R-Blaine).
The Senate bill (SF677) passed off the floor on Wednesday after bill author Sen. Katie Sieben offered an amendment stripping all of the controversial elements of the bill to ensure bipartisan support; a requirement for the governor to sign the bill. On May 16, committee members adopted all of the similar and same language and then discussed the remaining provisions that were different in the side-by-side comparison document. The committee proceeded to adopt the majority of the House articles and language.
Of particular note for cities are the provisions in article one that includes no-excuse absentee voting and the ability for elections administrators to open absentee ballots on the seventh day prior to Election Day instead of the current fourth day requirement. Article two includes the redistricting provisions for Senate districts 39 and 49 and allows cities with up to 400 registered voters outside of the 11-county metro area to conduct mail-in balloting. Furthermore, the language establishing an electronic roster pilot project and task force in article four was adopted with a slight oral amendment brought forward by the Office of the Secretary of State regarding data and timing.
The conference committee report is expected to be posted on May 17.
Because the conference committee worked off of the House language, the conference committee report will need to return to the House first for a floor vote and then to the Senate before going to the governor.
Questions? Contact Ann Lindstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (651) 281-1261.
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