Local lawmakers say they would support efforts to allow voters to physically cast their ballot more than a week ahead of Election Day. State law allows counties to give voters the option of casting an absentee ballot in person within seven days of the election. Legislators said the process was popular in the 2016 election in Washington County and the county saved taxpayer money by not having to process as many absentee ballots the traditional way. They agreed it should be expanded, suggesting a 14-day window. It’s another way to get more people voting, said Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park. “Whatever we can do (to increase participation), I’m for,” Schoen said.
Some want an even wider window. “Fourteen days is not enough as well,” said Rep. Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury, who worked on the in-person absentee voting legislation. She said there is more integrity when the voter is the last to touch the ballot.