ST. PAUL (WJON News) -- Some of Minnesota’s new voting laws that aim to increase access and clarify existing restrictions are now in effect.

As of July 1st, under the new laws, Minnesotans are allowed to miss work to vote anytime during the 46-day absentee voting period, not only on Election Day. The laws also extend the deadline for absentee and mail ballots to 8:00 p.m. and allow voters to sign in electronically at voting sites that use e-poll books.

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Additionally, new language has been added that clarifies the existing ban on campaigning at polling sites. Wearing, showing, or distributing any item that shows a name, logo, slogan, or anything related to a candidate, party, or question on the ballot is not allowed within 100 feet of a room where people are voting both during voting hours and during the absentee and early voting periods.

Some pieces of voting legislation passed this year had already gone into effect including restoration of voting rights to felons no longer in prison, pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-old citizens, and protection against harassment and threats for election workers.

Other important voting changes that will not go into effect until next year include automatic voter registration, a new legislative district map, expanded hours for early voting, an 18-day early voting period, and a permanent absentee voter list.

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