Minn. House backs small move toward earlier voting

Published 11:04 am Thursday, May 9, 2013

ST. PAUL — An elections bill that would let people vote absentee without a valid excuse has won approval from the Minnesota House.

The bill containing no-excuse absentee voting passed Wednesday on a 74-60 vote with minimal Republican support. That matters because Gov. Mark Dayton insists on broad bipartisan backing for election bills to win his signature.

Minnesota now requires people to attest to one of a handful of justifications spelled out in law to obtain an absentee ballot, but enforcement is lax.

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The bill also reduces the number of people a voter can vouch for when it comes to Election Day registration. It would drop it from 15 to a maximum of eight.

A Senate version is pending. It goes further in permitting in-person early voting.