Secretary of State Steve Simon is introducing a proposal at the State Capitol this morning (9:45) that would give his office temporary expanded authority to help ensure safe elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simon is pushing for expanded statewide mail ballots and absentee voting. He says it’s a matter of public health and practicality:

“It takes 30,000 poll workers in Minnesota to put on an election and if Wisconsin is any indication and if an election happens during a pandemic, people will not want to do those jobs, they will drop out, they will leave and they will quit.”

The proposal also calls for a reduction in the number of polling places and extra time allotted for elections administrators to process ballots. In the meantime, Simon is urging Minnesota voters to apply for mail-in ballots for the upcoming August primary and November general election. Ballot requests can be made at