Electronic Roster Legislation Passes House Floor

The House file now awaits action on the Senate floor.
(Published Apr 28, 2014)

Some cities could use an electronic roster system to verify pre-registered voters and to process same-day registrations during the 2014 elections. Electronic rosters had a trial run in select cities during the 2013 elections, and a bill passed by the House 125-0 on April 25 would both extend last year’s study to 2014 and authorize wider use of the system.

Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights), HF2166 next moves to the Senate, where Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) is the author.

During floor debate, Rep. Laine told members that the study of electronic rosters during the general election of 2014 would consist of a report on the experience of participating cities rather than an evaluation on the potential cost savings of using an electronic roster system. Funding could not be included in the bill, she said.

A long list of requirements for the technology that would house an electronic roster include:

  • Automatically populating voter information through a scanned driver’s license or identification card.
  • Printing out a voter certification that a voter can sign.
  • Alerting election judges if a voter is not eligible to vote, lives in another precinct, or has already voted.
  • Meeting Internet security requirements.
  • Exporting data in the format requested by the secretary of state.

Cities that would participate in the study consist of: Baxter, Brainerd, Dilworth, Eagan, Lakeville, Mankato, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Moorhead, St. Anthony, St. Paul, and Sylvan Township. A city would not have to include each precinct in the study.

Cities not participating in the study could choose to use an electronic roster system by notifying the secretary of state by Aug. 1, 2014. They would need to show the state they have met specific technology requirements by Oct. 1, 2014.

Cities, school districts, and counties could use electronic rosters in elections on or after Jan. 1, 2015. They would need to notify the secretary of state of their intent to use electronic rosters 90 days before the election date. The same technology requirements would apply and not every precinct would need to participate.

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