Senate panel studies expanding Minnesota voting window

A bill to open Minnesota voting booths two weeks before an election and allow voting on weekends is being aired for the first time.

A Senate elections committee planned a hearing on the bill Wednesday.

Minnesota is among a dwindling number of states without in-person early voting.

The state’s absentee voting process still requires people to meet one of a handful of legitimate excuses.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Katie Sieben of Newport would set the parameters for early voting. Polling stations would have to be open on some evenings and at least two Saturdays. Early voting would end a few days before Election Day.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said all bills changing election law must pass with bipartisan support to win his signature.