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Paul Bunyan and Babe, Bemidji

Eric Dregni, Star Tribune

Test your knowledge of Minnesota's election law

  • Article by: MICHAEL PIGNATO and JON VAN HORN
  • November 5, 2012 - 7:52 PM

Okay, it's almost Election Day. Are you ready for one more round of questions?

With the voter ID amendment on the ballot and lots of discussion generally about our electoral process, Election Protection, the nation's largest nonpartisan voter rights coalition, has put together this quiz so that you can test your knowledge of Minnesota's election law.

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Question: Who may assist a voter with a disability who is physically unable to mark the ballot or a voter who cannot speak or read English?

a. Only an election judge.

b. Anyone the voter chooses, except a minor child.

c. Anyone the voter chooses, except the voter's employer, the voter's union representative, or a candidate.

d. Anyone the voter chooses, except a representative from a major political party.

(Answer: c)

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Question: You moved to Minnesota two months ago, and the only form of photo identification you have is a Wisconsin driver's license. Under current law, what proof of residence is required for you to register on election day?

a. All you need to register is your Wisconsin driver's license.

b. You may register by providing your Wisconsin license and a utility bill due within a month of election day.

c. You may register if you can find a registered voter in your precinct who is willing to vouch that he or she has personal knowledge that you live in the precinct (e.g., a roommate).

d. You are unable to register on election day.

(Answer: c)

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Question: I have a felony conviction. Can I register to vote?

a. No, you are never permitted to vote once you have a felony on your record.

b. Yes, but first you must petition the court to restore your civil rights.

c. Yes, as long as you are not currently in jail.

d. Yes, as long as you are not currently in jail or on probation or parole (i.e., you are "off paper").

(Answer: d)

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Question: Jennie has two jobs. The first starts at 7 a.m.; the last ends at 7:30 p.m. Each is about 30 minutes from her apartment in Minneapolis. Can Jennie still vote?

a. Yes, she can vote in her precinct so long as she is in line by 8 pm.

b. Yes, Jennie can vote by absentee ballot because she will be absent from her precinct on election day.

c. No.

d. Yes, using either method described in (a) or (b).

(Answer: d)

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Question: You are an eligible voter who is challenged at the polling place by a major party challenger. The challenger believes you are ineligible to vote. What should you do?

a. Answer the election judge's questions truthfully, and if they indicate that you are eligible, you will be allowed to vote.

b. Leave the polling place, call the secretary of state to confirm that you are eligible, and return later.

c. Ask the challenger what the challenge is based on.

d. Refuse to answer any questions because challenges are not permitted.

(Answer: a)

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Question: I am a student who grew up in Duluth and am attending school in Mankato. Where can I vote?

a. Duluth.

b. Mankato.

c. Students may not vote until they have a permanent residence.

d. You may vote in either Duluth or Mankato, but not both.

(Answer: d)

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Question: I don't know where to go to vote. How can I find out?

a. Use the Poll Finder on the Minnesota secretary of state's website: pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

b. Call the Minnesota secretary of state's office at 651-215-1440 or 1-877-600-8683.

c. Call the Election Protection hot line at 1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

d. All of the above.

(Answer: d)

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Michael Pignato and Jon Van Horn are partners at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and volunteers for Election Protection, a national, nonpartisan coalition led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Common Cause and joined by more than 100 additional organizations, including the American Bar Association, NAACP, Rock the Vote and Native Vote.

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