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Minn. Considers Small Step Toward Earlier Voting

Posted at: 01/31/2013 6:21 PM

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers are considering an incremental shift toward a system of early voting amid signs that a broader expansion would prove difficult.

Legislation to dump a requirement that people have a valid excuse to vote by absentee ballot got a favorable reception Thursday from the House Elections Committee. No committee vote was taken, but no objections were voiced either.

Rep. Steve Simon, the committee's chairman, says allowing no-excuse absentee voting would help make voting more convenient. Minnesota now requires people to attest to one of a handful of prescribed justifications to obtain an absentee ballot.

Simon says full-fledged early voting faces "a steeper climb" in the Legislature given Gov. Mark Dayton's demand that election law changes have broad bipartisan support. Some lawmakers don't want to open polling places weeks early.

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