Minnesota House passes voter privacy bill ahead of presidential primary

Rep. Ray Dehn’s voter privacy bill passed through the house Wednesday night.

According to the Minnesota DFL, Dehn’s bill protects voter privacy by blocking political parties from using party affiliation data for anything beyond simply certifying that the party’s respective primaries were free of widespread partisan interference.

"We have heard from Minnesotans that they’re a little concerned about going to vote in a primary where it will be recorded which ballot they pick up," said House Speaker Melissa Hortman. "So we have moved very quickly to get a measure to the House floor to protect voter privacy."

The author of the bill, Dehn, of Minneapolis, said he’s heard concerns from several groups.

Minnesota voter privacy bill unveiled as presidential primaries quickly approach

"It absolutely is a legitimate concern," Dehn said. "We’ve heard from not just tax-exempt groups and nonprofits but clergy don’t want that information available."

It’s unclear whether the Republican-controlled Senate will pass a bill to change the primary voting law. The head of the Minnesota Republican Party, Jennifer Carnahan, is opposed to making changes now that voting is already underway.

But, Gov. Tim Walz said there’s still time to act before any of the data is shared after the primary election.

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"There’s folks that work really hard in positions where they’re non-partisan judges, clergy and others that don’t want to be in this position and I am with them on that," the governor told reporters Wednesday afternoon.