Sieben proposes legislation to move up primary electionState Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) chair of the Senate Elections Subcommittee, announced that she will be introducing legislation in the 2010 session to move up the date of Minnesota’s primary election from September to August.
State Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) chair of the Senate Elections Subcommittee, announced that she will be introducing legislation in the 2010 session to move up the date of Minnesota’s primary election from September to August. Together with State Senator Ann Rest ( DFL-New Hope) and State Senator Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) she plans to work to ensure that this bill is one of the first signed into law next session.
For several years, there have been efforts to change the date of Minnesota’s primary. During the 2009 session, both the House of Representatives and Senate passed elections bills that included this language, however, it was vetoed by Governor Pawlenty. Sen. Sieben noted that a recent change in federal law, requiring states to give military and overseas voters at least 45 days to receive and mail back their general election ballot, makes moving up the primary necessary for Minnesota.
“In order to comply with this new federal election requirement, Minnesota must change the date of our primary election to August,” said Sieben. “To give our local election officials ample time to prepare for these changes, this should be one of the first bills passed in the 2010 session.”
The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office reported that over 11,000 Minnesotans voted from overseas in the 2008 general election. Of these ballots, four percent arrived too late to be counted.
“Our current September primary doesn’t allow Minnesotans serving overseas enough time to receive their general election ballots and ensure that they are returned in time for their votes to be counted,” Sieben said. “Moving up the primary will protect every Minnesotan’s right to vote and make certain that their ballot is counted.”