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Election Bills Signed in Minnesota PDF  | Print |  Email
By Warren stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
June 02, 2006
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has signed election reform bills that will strenthen the state's mandatory manual audit and create an election advisory working group. Citizens for Election Integrity - Minnesota (CEIMN) was involved in crafting both bills.


The audit provisions are found in Section 2 of HF3832/SF 3299 introduced in the Minnesoata House by Rep. Bill Hilty (DFL-08A, pictured at left) and in the Senate by Senator John Hottinger (DFL-23, pictured at right). The post "election security review", or audit provision requires each of Minnesota's 87 counties to manually audit 2 - 4 precincts, based on population. Votes caste for Governor, US Senate and US House will be audited. This represents about 5% of the roughly 4100 precincts. The law includes a trigger mechanism requiring an expanded audit if the manual audit reveals a difference greater than one half of one percent (0.5%) between the hand count and the electronic tallies. If further audits reveal another 0.5% discrepancy, a statewide manual audit would result.


CEIMN has launched an audit observing initiative to recruit teams of 3 observers per county, to be trained to observe the audit in a nonpartisan manner. Two recent secretaries of state, Joan Growe and Arlen Erdahl have agreed to serve on the audit observing advisory board.


An omnibus election bill also introduced by Hilty and Hottinger, SF2743/HF3110, includes the establishment of a voting machines working group that will be cochaired by CEIMN and the Minnesota Disability Law Center. The working group has been tasked to: "investigate and recommend to the legislature requirements for additional options for voting equipment that complies with the requirements of section 301 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to provide private and independent voting for individuals with disabilities." The working group will be comprised of one representative from the Secretary of State's office, election officials, representatives from the disability community, non partisan groups and political parties.

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