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Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR

This past year the Legislature stepped up and passed two historic pieces of legislation that make sweeping pro-voter changes to almost every aspect of election law. This comes after years of little to no movement on pro-voter policies in the state. Therefore, Minnesota is one of only three states to receive an A+, our highest grade possible, on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Minnesota Started at the Beginning of 2023

  • Automatic Voter Registration: No
  • Online Voter Registration: Open to all Eligible
  • Same-Day Registration: Yes
  • Restoration of Rights: Parole and/or Probation Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: Yes
  • Early Voting Opportunities: In-Person Absentee
  • ID Requirements: No Document Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Minnesota as of 2022, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other middle tier states. Last year, Minnesota was considered a top tier state.

How Our Tier Compares

  • COVI (2022): 24th
  • EPI Score (2020): 2nd
  • CLC State Scorecard: 6/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): MEDIUM

2023: This Past Year

Legislative Action

The Legislature’s passage of the “Democracy for the People Act” and restoration of voting rights to more than 50,000 disenfranchised individuals made significant improvements to the state’s election laws.

  • H 3, the “Democracy for the People Act” establishes Secure AVR which will automatically register voters during license transactions, through MinnesotaCare applications, and across additional state agencies that provide benefits or services as the governor designates. The bill also allows 16 and 17 year olds to preregister to vote, creates a permanent absentee voter list that allows any voter to receive mail ballots for all future elections, and expands language access opportunities at the polls.
  • H 28 automatically restores the right to vote upon release from state custody for individuals formerly incarcerated for felony convictions.
  • H 1830 established the Voting Operations, Technology, and Election Resource (VOTER) Account with $1.25 million to be appropriated to the fund each year for counties, cities, and towns. The funds can be used to purchase equipment, hardware, or software; make capital improvements; pay for election staff; and a variety of other election administration-related activities. The legislation also allocates an additional $500,000 to the secretary of state to administer accessibility grants to cities and townships for polling place improvements.

Executive Action

  • Secretary of State Simon yet again remained an important advocate for pro-voter reforms such as automatic voter registration and the restoration of voting rights that were passed by the Legislature this past year.