Reminders: Time off to vote and prohibitions
As a reminder, per Minnesota Statute 204C.04, “every employee who is eligible to vote in an election has the right to be absent from work for the necessary time to appear at the employee’s polling place, cast a ballot, and return to work on the day of that election, without penalty or deduction from salary or wages because of the absence.” Therefore, employees may take paid time off to vote in a covered election anytime during their work day (morning, afternoon, or evening).
Elections covered by this statute include “any regularly scheduled election, an election to fill a vacancy in the office of United States senator or United States representative, an election to fill a vacancy in nomination for a constitutional office, an election to fill a vacancy in the office of state senator or state representative, or a presidential primary under chapter 207A.” *
In addition, M.S. 204C.03, Subd.1. states, in pertinent part, “No ... school board .. shall conduct a meeting between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the day that an election is held within the boundaries of the ... school district.”
Finally, M.S. 204C.03, Subd. 3. states “except for regularly scheduled classes, a public elementary or secondary school may not schedule a school-sponsored event between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the day that a regularly-scheduled election is held in any political subdivision in which the school is located.”
Tuesday, November 8, 2016, is Election Day.
* Chapter 207A was enacted during the 2016 legislative session and becomes effective July 1, 2017.