S. F. No. 1753 (First Engrossment) modifies several provisions related to voter eligibility for individuals under guardianship. The bill distinguishes between guardianships and limited guardianships for voter eligibility purposes. The state court administrator is required to make additional reports. Additional notices must be provided to an individual under guardianship. Residential facilities that provide housing to wards are assigned duties.
Section 1 differentiates between individuals under guardianship and those under a limited guardianship. Those under guardianship are not eligible to vote. Those under a limited guardianship are eligible to vote unless a court order revokes the right to vote.
Section 2 modifies the voter registration application to make the same distinction in section 1 between those under guardianship and a limited guardianship.
Section 3 removes jury selection lists from the requirements regarding what data must not be included.
Section 4 requires the state court administrator to report to the secretary of state individuals that were placed under a limited guardianship in which the court revokes the right to vote. The secretary of state must report annually to chair and ranking members of the House and Senate election committees on the number of individuals in each county whose registration is changed pursuant to this section.
Section 5 adds a reference on the polling place roster regarding individuals under a limited guardianship in which the individual’s right to vote has been revoked by a court.
Section 6 amends the bill of rights for wards and protected persons to say that an individual placed under guardianship is not entitled to vote and an individual placed under a limited guardianship retains the right to vote unless otherwise ordered by a court.
Section 7 requires a court, as part of making an order appointing a guardian, to explicitly declare whether the order establishes a guardianship or limited guardianship. If it establishes a limited guardianship, the order must state the effect of the order on the ward’s right to vote.
Within 2 weeks after the appointment of a guardian, the guardian must send a copy of the appointment order to the ward’s current address, unless the guardian resides with the ward. The mailing must be addressed to the ward and any administrator of the facility where the ward lives. A new copy of the order, along with any changes to the order, must be sent within 30 days of any change of address by the ward.
Section 8 provides conforming changes related to the eligibility of individuals under guardianship and limited guardianship to vote.
Section 9 modifies the annual reporting of a guardian to the court. Subdivision 1 provides that the guardian’s annual report to the court must include a recommendation on whether the ward’s eligibility to vote should be rescinded, restored, or remain unchanged.
Subdivision 2 provides that if the guardian’s report indicates a change in the ward’s capacity to make independent voting decisions, the court may issue an order as to the ward’s eligibility to vote. In making this determination, the court must consider specified factors. The order must specify whether the ward’s eligibility to vote is rescinded, restored, or remains unchanged. The right to vote may not be rescinded without a hearing.
A copy of the order must be sent to the guardian, if the guardian does not live with the ward. A guardian must send a copy of the order to the ward. The mailing must be addressed to the ward and any administrator of the facility where the ward lives. If the ward’s address changes, the guardian must send a copy of the court’s most recent order to the new address.
Following a court determination on eligibility to vote, the guardian must inform the ward of his or her voting eligibility status.
Section 10 establishes duties of residential facilities that provide housing to a ward. The facility must: 1) maintain all documents submitted to the facility by a guardian that relates to the ward’s guardianship status and eligibility to vote; 2) maintain a list of wards residing in the facility and the current voting eligibility status of each; and 3) ensure that staff assisting wards in the voting process only assist those that are eligible to vote.
This section is effective on June 1, 2012. The list may be compiled on an ongoing basis as documentation is received from guardians.
Section 11 requires the state court administrator to annually provide each guardian with a notice that restates the current voter eligibility status of the guardian’s wards. A ward’s voting eligibility status is based on the order establishing the guardianship or any subsequent order. The court is not required to reconsider a previous order or issue a new order for purposes of providing the notice. The guardian must inform the ward of his or her voting eligibility status.
This section is effective the day following final enactment.
Section 12 provides that the act is effective on August 1, 2012 except as otherwise provided.