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HF 1775

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/01/2021 04:11pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to elections; amending thresholds for major political party designation;
amending nominating petition requirements; allowing political parties to authorize
which candidates may affiliate with the party on the ballot; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2020, sections 200.02, subdivision 7, by adding a subdivision; 204B.06,
subdivision 1; 204B.07, subdivisions 1, 4; 204B.08, subdivisions 2, 3; 204B.09,
subdivision 1; 204D.03, subdivision 3; 204D.12; 204D.13, by adding a subdivision;
204D.19, subdivision 2; 204D.22, subdivision 2; 204D.23, subdivision 1; 205.13,
subdivisions 1a, 5; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections 200.02, subdivision
23; 204D.22, subdivision 4.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 200.02, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Major political party.

(a) "Major political party" means a political party that
maintains a party organization in the state, political division or precinct in question and that
has presented at least one candidate for election to the office of:

(1) governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, or attorney general
at the last preceding state general election for those offices; or

(2) presidential elector or U.S. senator at the last preceding state general election for
presidential electors; and

whose candidate received votes in each county in that election and received votes from not
less than deleted text beginfivedeleted text endnew text begin onenew text end percent of the total number of individuals who voted in that election.

(b) "Major political party" also means a political party that maintains a party organization
in the state, political subdivision, or precinct in question and that has presented at least 45
candidates for election to the office of state representative, 23 candidates for election to the
office of state senator, four candidates for election to the office of representative in Congress,
and one candidate for election to each of the following offices: governor and lieutenant
governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and state auditor, at the last preceding state
general election for those offices.

(c) "Major political party" also means a political party that maintains a party organization
in the state, political subdivision, or precinct in question and whose members present to the
secretary of state at any time before the close of filing for the state partisan primary ballot
a petition for a place on the state partisan primary ballot, which petition contains valid
signatures of deleted text begina number of the party members equal to at least five percent of the total number
of individuals who voted in the preceding state general election. A signature is valid only
if signed no more than one year prior to the date the petition was filed
deleted text endnew text begin 20,000 individuals
who are eligible to vote in the state
new text end.

(d) A political party whose candidate receives a sufficient number of votes at a state
general election described in paragraph (a) or a political party that presents candidates at
an election as required by paragraph (b) becomes a major political party as of January 1
following that election and retains its major party status for at least two state general elections
even if the party fails to present a candidate who receives the number and percentage of
votes required under paragraph (a) or fails to present candidates as required by paragraph
(b) at subsequent state general elections.

(e) A major political party whose candidates fail to receive the number and percentage
of votes required under paragraph (a) and that fails to present candidates as required by
paragraph (b) at each of two consecutive state general elections described by paragraph (a)
or (b), respectively, loses major party status as of December 31 following the later of the
two consecutive state general elections.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 200.02, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 23a. new text end

new text begin Minor political party. new text end

new text begin "Minor political party" means a political party that
is not a major political party.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204B.06, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Form of affidavit.

An affidavit of candidacy shall state the name of the
office sought and, except as provided in subdivision 4, shall state that the candidate:

(1) is an eligible voter;

(2) has no other affidavit on file as a candidate for any office at the same primary or
next ensuing general election, except that a candidate for soil and water conservation district
supervisor in a district not located in whole or in part in Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey, or
Washington County, may also have on file an affidavit of candidacy for mayor or council
member of a statutory or home rule charter city of not more than 2,500 population contained
in whole or in part in the soil and water conservation district or for town supervisor in a
town of not more than 2,500 population contained in whole or in part in the soil and water
conservation district; and

(3) is, or will be on assuming the office, 21 years of age or more, and will have maintained
residence in the district from which the candidate seeks election for 30 days before the
general election.

An affidavit of candidacy must include a statement that the candidate's name as written
on the affidavit for ballot designation is the candidate's true name or the name by which the
candidate is commonly and generally known in the community.

An affidavit of candidacy for partisan office shall also state the name of the candidate's
political party or political principle, stated in three words or less.new text begin A candidate affiliated with
a political party must additionally certify whether the candidate was endorsed for the office
at a party convention conducted for that purpose.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204B.07, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Form of petition.

new text begin(a) new text endA nominating petition may consist of one or more
separate pages each of which shall state:

deleted text begin (a)deleted text endnew text begin (1)new text end the office sought;

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end the candidate's name and residence address, including street and number if any;
and

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end the candidate's political party or political principle expressed in not more than
three words. No candidate who files for a partisan office by nominating petition shall use
the term "nonpartisan" as a statement of political principle or the name of the candidate's
political party. No part of the name of a major political party may be used to designate the
political party or principle of a candidate who files for a partisan office by nominating
petition, except that the word "independent" may be used to designate the party or principle.
A candidate who files an affidavit of candidacy to fill a vacancy in nomination for a
nonpartisan office pursuant to section 204B.13, shall not state any political principle or the
name of any political party on the petition.new text begin A candidate affiliated with a political party must
certify whether the candidate was endorsed for the office at a party convention conducted
for that purpose.
new text end

new text begin (b) A petition may be prepared on paper that is 8-1/2 inches wide and 11 inches long or
8-1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204B.07, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Oath and address of signer.

Following the information required by subdivisions
1 and 2 and before the space for signing, each separate page that is part of the petition shall
include an oath in the following form:

"I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I know the contents and purpose of this new text beginnominating
new text end petition, deleted text beginthat I do not intend to vote at the primary election for the office for which this
nominating petition is made,
deleted text end and that I signed this petition of my own free will."

Notarization or certification of the signatures on a nominating petition is not required.
Immediately after the signature, the signer shall write on the petition the signer's residence
address including street and number, if any, and mailing address if different from residence
address.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204B.08, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Qualifications of signers.

A nominating petition may be signed only by
individuals who are eligible to vote for the candidate who is nominated. deleted text beginNo individual may
sign more than one nominating petition for candidates for the same office unless more than
one candidate is to be elected to that office. If more than one candidate is to be elected to
the office, an individual may sign as many petitions as there are candidates to be elected.
deleted text end

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204B.08, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Number of signatures.

new text beginExcept as provided in section 204D.23, subdivision 1,
new text end the number of signatures required on a nominating petition shall be as follows:

(a) for a federal or state office voted on statewide, deleted text beginone percent of the total number of
individuals voting in the state at the last preceding state general election, or 2,000, whichever
is less
deleted text endnew text begin 2,000new text end;

(b) for a congressional office, deleted text beginfive percent of the total number of individuals voting in
the district at the last preceding state general election, or 1,000, whichever is less
deleted text endnew text begin 1,000new text end;

(c) for a deleted text begincounty or legislativedeleted text endnew text begin state senatenew text end office, deleted text beginten percent of the total number of
individuals voting in the county or legislative district at the last preceding state or county
general election, or 500, whichever is less
deleted text endnew text begin 400new text end;

new text begin (d) for a state house of representatives office or county office, 200;
new text end

deleted text begin (d)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end for a municipal office in a city of the first class, the number specified in section
205.121; and

deleted text begin (e)deleted text endnew text begin (f)new text end for any other municipal or school district office, deleted text begintendeleted text endnew text begin twonew text end percent of the total number
of individuals voting in the municipality, ward, school district, or other election district at
the last preceding municipal, or school district if applicable, general election, or deleted text begin500deleted text endnew text begin 200new text end,
whichever is less.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204B.09, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Candidates in state and county general elections.

(a) Except as
otherwise provided by this subdivision, affidavits of candidacy and nominating petitions
for countydeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin offices and major party candidates fornew text end state, and federal offices filled at the state
general election shall be filed not more than 84 days nor less than 70 days before the state
primary. new text beginFor candidates that are not major party candidates, affidavits of candidacy and
nominating petitions for state and federal offices to be filled at the state general election
shall be filed not more than 99 days nor less than 71 days before the state general election.
new text end The affidavit new text beginof candidacy and nominating petition new text endmay be prepared and signed at any time
between 60 days before the filing period opens and the last day of the filing period.

(b) Notwithstanding other law to the contrary, the affidavit of candidacy must be signed
in the presence of a notarial officer or an individual authorized to administer oaths under
section 358.10.

(c) This provision does not apply to candidates for presidential elector nominated by
major political parties. Major party candidates for presidential elector are certified under
section 208.03. Other candidates for presidential electors may file petitions at least deleted text begin77deleted text endnew text begin 71new text end
days before the general election day pursuant to section 204B.07. Nominating petitions to
fill vacancies in nominations shall be filed as provided in section 204B.13. No affidavit or
petition shall be accepted later than 5:00 p.m. on the last day for filing.

(d) Affidavits and petitions for county offices must be filed with the county auditor of
that county. Affidavits and petitions for federal offices must be filed with the secretary of
state. Affidavits and petitions for state offices must be filed with the secretary of state or
with the county auditor of the county in which the candidate resides.

(e) Affidavits other than those filed pursuant to subdivision 1a must be submitted by
mail or by hand, notwithstanding chapter 325L, or any other law to the contrary and must
be received by 5:00 p.m. on the last day for filing.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204D.03, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Exception; certain partisan candidates.

(a) If no more than one candidate
files for nomination by a major political party for a partisan office, the candidate who filed
must be declared the nominee upon the close of filingnew text begin if the candidate was endorsed for the
office at a party convention conducted for that purpose
new text end. new text beginIf the candidate who filed was not
endorsed for the office at a party convention, no candidate may be declared the nominee of
that party.
new text end

new text begin (b) new text endIf every candidate for a partisan office has been declared the nominee upon the close
of filing,new text begin or is prohibited from being declared the nominee under paragraph (a),new text end the office
must be omitted from the state primary ballot. If all offices, both partisan and nonpartisan,
have been omitted from the state primary ballot in a municipality or county, the governing
body of the municipality or county may decide that the state primary will not be conducted
in that municipality or county.

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end Within 15 days after the close of filing, each municipal clerk or county auditor
whose governing body has decided not to conduct the state primary shall post notice that
the offices have been so omitted and the state primary canceled and shall send a copy of
the notice to the secretary of state.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204D.12, is amended to read:


204D.12 NAMES PLACED ON GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS.

Without payment of an additional fee, the county auditor shall place on the appropriate
state general election ballot the name of every candidate:

(1) whose nomination at the state primary has been certified by the appropriate canvassing
boardnew text begin or whose nomination was declared upon the close of filing under section 204D.03,
subdivision 3
new text end;

(2) who has been nominated by petition, including candidates certified by the secretary
of state; and

(3) who was nominated and whose name was omitted from the state nonpartisan primary
ballot pursuant to section 204D.07, subdivision 3. Only the names of duly nominated
candidates may be placed on a ballot.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204D.13, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Candidate designation of political party. new text end

new text begin The name of a candidate for partisan
office may only be identified with a political party designation on the state general election
ballot if the candidate was either:
new text end

new text begin (1) nominated as the party's candidate for the office at the state primary election or under
section 204D.03, subdivision 3; or
new text end

new text begin (2) endorsed for the office at a convention conducted for that purpose by a party whose
candidates are not nominated at the state primary election or under section 204D.03,
subdivision 3.
new text end

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204D.19, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Special election when legislature will be in session.

Except for vacancies in
the legislature which occur at any time between the last day of session in an odd-numbered
year and the deleted text begin40thdeleted text endnew text begin 49thnew text end day prior to the opening day of session in the succeeding
even-numbered year, when a vacancy occurs and the legislature will be in session so that
the individual elected as provided by this section could take office and exercise the duties
of the office immediately upon election, the governor shall issue within five days after the
vacancy occurs a writ calling for a special election. The special election shall be held as
soon as possible, consistent with the notice requirements of section 204D.22, subdivision
3
, but in no event more than deleted text begin35deleted text endnew text begin 44new text end days after the issuance of the writ. A special election
must not be held during the four days before or the four days after a holiday as defined in
section 645.44, subdivision 5.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204D.22, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Posting of writ.

Immediately upon receipt of the writ, the secretary of state
shall send a certified copy of the writ by United States mail and electronic mail to the county
auditor of each county in which candidates to fill the vacancy are to be voted upon. The
county auditor shall post a copy of the writ in the auditor's office at least deleted text beginfivedeleted text endnew text begin 14new text end days before
the close of the time for filing affidavits of candidacy for the special election.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 204D.23, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Place and manner of filing.

new text begin(a) new text endCandidates for nomination to fill a
vacancy at a special primary shall file their affidavits of candidacy and nominating petitions
with the same officers and in the same manner and shall pay the same fees as provided by
law for candidates for like offices at the state primary.

new text begin (b) The number of signatures on a nominating petition required by section 204B.08,
subdivision 3, must be reduced by one-half for a special election held under this chapter.
new text end

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 205.13, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:


Subd. 1a.

Filing period.

In a city nominating candidates at a primary, an affidavit of
candidacy for a city office voted on in November must be filed no more than 84 days nor
less than 70 days before the city primary. In municipalities that do not hold a primary, an
affidavit of candidacy must be filed no more than 70 days and not less than 56 days before
the municipal general election held in March in any year, or a special election not held in
conjunction with another election, and no more than deleted text begin98deleted text end new text begin99 new text enddays nor less than deleted text begin84deleted text endnew text begin 71new text end days
before the municipal general election held in November of any year. new text beginIn municipalities where
nominating petitions are permitted, the nominating petition must be filed during filing period
for an affidavit of candidacy.
new text endThe municipal clerk's office must be open for filing from 1:00
p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the filing period.new text begin An affidavit of candidacy and
nominating petition, where permitted, may be prepared and signed at any time between 60
days before the filing period opens and the last day of the filing period.
new text end

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 205.13, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Nominating petition; cities of the first class.

A nominating petition filed on
behalf of a candidate for municipal office in a city of the first class shall be signed by eligible
voters who reside in the election district from which the candidate is to be elected. The
number of signers shall be at least deleted text begin500deleted text endnew text begin 200new text end, or two percent of the total number of individuals
who voted in the municipality, ward, or other election district at the last preceding municipal
general election, whichever is deleted text begingreaterdeleted text endnew text begin lessnew text end.

Sec. 17. new text beginREPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections 200.02, subdivision 23; and 204D.22, subdivision 4, new text end new text begin
are repealed.
new text end

APPENDIX

Repealed Minnesota Statutes: 21-03323

200.02 DEFINITIONS.

Subd. 23.

Minor political party.

(a) "Minor political party" means a political party that has adopted a state constitution, designated a state party chair, held a state convention in the last two years, filed with the secretary of state no later than December 31 following the most recent state general election a certification that the party has met the foregoing requirements, and met the requirements of paragraph (b) or (e), as applicable.

(b) To be considered a minor party in all elections statewide, the political party must have presented at least one candidate:

(1) for election to the office of governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, or attorney general, at the last preceding state general election for those offices; or

(2) for election to the office of presidential elector or U.S. senator at the preceding state general election for presidential electors; and

(3) who received votes in each county that in the aggregate equal at least one percent of the total number of individuals who voted in the election, or its members must have presented to the secretary of state at any time before the close of filing for the state partisan primary ballot a nominating petition in a form prescribed by the secretary of state containing the valid signatures of party members in a number equal to at least one percent of the total number of individuals who voted in the preceding state general election. A signature is valid only if signed no more than one year prior to the date the petition was filed.

(c) A political party whose candidate receives a sufficient number of votes at a state general election described in paragraph (b) becomes a minor political party as of January 1 following that election and retains its minor party status for at least two state general elections even if the party fails to present a candidate who receives the number and percentage of votes required under paragraph (b) at subsequent state general elections.

(d) A minor political party whose candidates fail to receive the number and percentage of votes required under paragraph (b) at each of two consecutive state general elections described by paragraph (b) loses minor party status as of December 31 following the later of the two consecutive state general elections.

(e) A minor party that qualifies to be a major party loses its status as a minor party at the time it becomes a major party. Votes received by the candidates of a major party must be counted in determining whether the party received sufficient votes to qualify as a minor party, notwithstanding that the party does not receive sufficient votes to retain its major party status. To be considered a minor party in an election in a legislative district, the political party must have presented at least one candidate for a legislative office in that district who received votes from at least ten percent of the total number of individuals who voted for that office, or its members must have presented to the secretary of state a nominating petition in a form prescribed by the secretary of state containing the valid signatures of party members in a number equal to at least ten percent of the total number of individuals who voted in the preceding state general election for that legislative office. A signature is valid only if signed no more than one year prior to the date the petition was filed.

204D.22 WRIT OF ELECTION.

Subd. 4.

Failure of notice.

No omission or defect in any notice required to be given by this section shall invalidate a special primary or special election.