Walz signs voting accessibility and protections bill on Friday

Governor Tim Walz to sign the voting accessibility and protections bill on Friday morning. The bill aims to strengthen voting rights by protecting the freedom to vote and increasing voting accessibility.

The bill, dubbed the “Democracy for the People Act,” passed the House on a party-line vote early in April. The bill passed in the Minnesota Senate on April 26.

The legislation allows all Minnesota voters to opt-in to a permanent absentee voter list, in addition to creating automatic voter registration and allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register for voting. The bill also creates penalties for spreading false information about voting 60 days before an election.

RELATED STORY: Minnesota takes steps to make it even easier to vote

DFL lawmakers say the bill will protect the freedom to vote, reduce the influence of dark money and foreign influence in Minnesota politics, and guarantee fair democracy for all Minnesotans, according to a news release from the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Republicans claim the legislation weakens transparency and could lead to more fraud due to the pre-registration and permanent absentee provisions.