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Continued: DFLers contol Minnesota Capitol but election overhaul ideas need GOP support

Rep. Connie Bernardy, DFL-Fridley, is sponsoring the House version of an early voting bill, which would allow voters to go to polling places 15 days before Election Day and cast ballots. The measure could be to be bottled up because of Dayton’s rule.

“It’s disappointing that we don’t have the opportunity to move some really sound policies forward,” said Bernardy. “But it is the environment in which we are working.”

But Rep. Tim Sanders, the Republican lead on the House Elections Committee, said the governor’s policy has forced the sometimes warring parties to get along.

“You have to start where you agree and see how far that road will take you,” said Sanders, R-Blaine. “Perhaps it could be a model in other committees. You have to find a way to work together.”

Despite the opposition to early voting among Republicans in the Legislature, it is likely that Minnesotans will join other states in making voting before Election Day a little easier.

A plan to allow any voter to cast an absentee ballot, whether or not the voter will be absent from the polling place on Election Day, is on the move in the Legislature. Called no-excuses absentee balloting, the measure has garnered the bipartisan support Dayton said he will require.

“We think that that is more palatable,” said Sanders.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Twitter: @RachelSB

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