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Minnesota legislature seeks to improve election security, access

Updated: Apr 17

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Democracy for the People Act, which includes automatic voter registration for adults and prohibits foreign corporations from funding Minnesota political campaigns.

The Minnesota DFL legislative caucuses and the Governor have voiced support for the bill, with Gov. Tim Walz tweeting “this legislative session, we’re putting up a firewall to keep Minnesota’s elections safe, free, and fair.”

The Democracy for the People Act includes provisions already in place in other states, such as voter pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds, automatic voter registration for adults, and the ability for voters to opt in to vote by mail in perpetuity.

The DFL caucus says the bill combats outside meddling in Minnesota elections by prohibiting donations from corporations under “foreign influence.” That includes funds that are given to promote or defeat a candidate for public office, funds given to promote or defeat a question on a ballot, and funds contributed to a political committee or party.

If the bill passes, people caught spreading disinformation in the 60 days leading up to an election could face litigation. People found interfering with an individual’s right to vote would be charged with a gross misdemeanor.

Lastly, it would require all election materials, including ballots and voting instructions, to be made available in Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

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