Election administration through the pandemic

It is apparent that Minnesota must do everything we can to give voters additional vote-by-mail options and make our elections as safe as possible in November. We cannot end up like Wisconsin and force our citizens to decide between their health and their right to vote. The Senate DFL is committed to working with Secretary of State Steve Simon to prevent this from happening, who has been advocating for changes to the state’s elections statutes.

Secretary Simon has been working with legislators to craft legislation to expand his authority to move or close high-risk polling locations, administer the election entirely by mail if necessary, and consult with local governments to determine the best path forward for our state to ensure our elections remain secure while also maintaining voter enfranchisement. The proposed legislation would also appropriate $17 million in HAVA funds to improve the security of our elections.

The federal CARES Act appropriated $400 million to states for necessary changes to election administration in light of the ongoing pandemic, but election experts have concluded that much more funding will be necessary to greatly expand mail-in voting and ensure safety at polling locations.