S.F. No. 2043 (First Engrossment) contains the initial legislative recommendations adopted by the Task Force on Election Integrity, which was established by executive order in 2011. The bill modifies voter registration and voting crimes, requires the Department of Corrections to share with the secretary of state data on adults subject to felony probation that resulted in the loss of civil rights, and requires written notices to be provided to individuals who have lost their civil rights or have had their civil rights restored.
Section 1. If a county auditor believes, based on records from a public entity, that an individual who is not eligible to vote has submitted a voter registration application, the auditor must notify the individual of the reason for questioning eligibility and that the individual will not be registered unless the individual reaffirms his or her eligibility in writing.
Section 2. An individual that is not eligible to vote who registers, or attempts to register, to vote but does not cast a ballot is guilty of a misdemeanor. An individual that is not eligible to vote who registers, or attempts to register, to vote and does cast a ballot is guilty of a felony. An affirmative defense is provided for individuals that are not eligible to vote but who register, or attempt to register, if the individual requests the registration to be withdrawn before a complaint or charges are filed and if the individual did not vote after registering but before requesting the registration to be withdrawn.
Section 3, subdivision 1. The commissioner of corrections must make electronic data available to the secretary of state on adults who are currently on probation for felony offenses that result in the loss of civil rights. Conforming changes are made to include felons on probation.
Subdivision 2. Prior to a state general election, the Department of Corrections must provide to the secretary of state a list of offenders who are serving a felony sentence or on probation for a felony offense that resulted in the loss of civil rights. The list must also include former offenders whose felony sentences were discharged. The specified data must be included. The secretary of state must use this data to mail written notices one month prior to a state general election to indivudals on probation for a felony offense to inform them that voting while on probation is a felony. The secretary of state must also notify individuals that have completed their probation and have had no new felony convictions, that the individual's right to vote has been restored.
Section 4. When a law enforcement agency is notified of an alleged violation of election law, it must promptly investigate. If there is probable cause, the county attorney shall proceed with prosecution.
Section 5. The commissioner of corrections must provide to the secretary of state a list of names and mailing addresses of correctional facilities in the state in which only persons convicted of felony-level offenses reside. An application for an absentee ballot that includes one of these addresses must not be accepted and a ballot must not be sent. The county auditor or city clerk must transmit a copy of any such application to the county attorney. The Department of Corrections must implement procedures to ensure that absentee ballots are not received or mailed by offenders.
Section 6. For purposes of proving a violation of the unlawful voting provisions, an individual’s signature on a polling place roster is evidence of the intent to vote at that election.
Section 7. Adult data in the statewide supervision system is accessible for the purposes stated in section 3.
Section 8. When an adult felon is placed on probation supervision, he or she must be given written notice as part of the probation agreement that the individual may not register to vote or vote during the period of felony supervision. The individual must acknowledge, by signature, receipt of the notice and a copy must be kept in the felon’s probation supervision file. This section is effective June 15, 2012.