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SF 387

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 02:12am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; changing certain recount and election contest provisions;
providing for runoff elections; amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections
204C.35; 204C.36, subdivision 2; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapters 204C; 204D; 209.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [204C.345] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Scope. new text end

new text begin The definitions in this section apply to sections 204C.35
and 204C.36.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Election contest. new text end

new text begin "Election contest" means a procedure governed by
chapter 209.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Recount. new text end

new text begin "Recount" means a recount using electronic voting systems of all
ballots that were counted during the original count of votes cast at an election, except that
ballots cast at precincts where electronic voting systems were not in use during the election
must be recounted using the method of ballot counting used during the original count.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 204C.35, is amended to read:


204C.35 FEDERAL, STATE, AND JUDICIAL RACES.

Subdivision 1.

Automatic recounts.

(a) In a state primary when the difference
between the votes cast for the candidates for nomination to a statewide federal office,
state constitutional office, statewide judicial office, congressional office, state legislative
office, or district judicial office:

(1) is less than one-half of one percent of the total number of votes counted for
that nomination; or

(2) is ten votes or less and the total number of votes cast for the nomination is 400
votes or less;

and the difference determines the nomination, the canvassing board with responsibility for
declaring the results for that office shall deleted text beginmanuallydeleted text end recount the vote.

(b) In a state general election when the difference between the votes of a candidate
who would otherwise be declared elected to a statewide federal office, state constitutional
office, statewide judicial office, congressional office, state legislative office, or district
judicial office and the votes of any other candidate for that office:

(1) is less than one-half of one percent of the total number of votes counted for
that office; or

(2) is ten votes or less if the total number of votes cast for the office is 400 votes or
less,

the canvassing board shall deleted text beginmanuallydeleted text end recount the votes.

(c) A recount must not delay any other part of the canvass. The results of the recount
must be certified by the canvassing board as soon as possible.

(d) Time for notice of a contest for an office which is recounted pursuant to this
section shall begin to run upon certification of the results of the recount by the canvassing
board.

(e) A losing candidate may waive a recount required pursuant to this section by
filing a written notice of waiver with the canvassing board.

Subd. 2.

Discretionary candidate recount.

(a) A losing candidate whose name was
on the ballot for nomination or election to a statewide federal office, state constitutional
office, statewide judicial office, congressional office, state legislative office, or district
judicial office may request a recount in a manner provided in this section at the candidate's
own expense when the vote difference is greater than the difference required by this
section. The votes shall be deleted text beginmanuallydeleted text end recounted as provided in this section if the candidate
files a request during the time for filing notice of contest of the primary or election for
which a recount is sought.

(b) The requesting candidate shall file with the filing officer a bond, cash, or surety
in an amount set by the filing officer for the payment of the recount expenses. The
requesting candidate is responsible for the following expenses: the compensation of the
secretary of state, or designees, and any election judge, municipal clerk, county auditor,
administrator, or other personnel who participate in the recount; the costs of computer
operation, preparation of ballot counting equipment, necessary supplies and travel
related to the recount; the compensation of the appropriate canvassing board and costs of
preparing for the canvass of recount results; and any attorney fees incurred in connection
with the recount by the governing body responsible for the recount.

(c) The requesting candidate may provide the filing officer with a list of up to three
precincts that are to be recounted first and may waive the balance of the recount after these
precincts have been counted. If the candidate provides a list, the recount official must
determine the expenses for those precincts in the manner provided by paragraph (b).

(d) If the winner of the race is changed by the optional recount, the cost of the
recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.

(e) If a result of the vote counting in the deleted text beginmanualdeleted text end recount is different from the result
of the vote counting reported on election day by a margin greater than the standard for
acceptable performance of voting systems provided in section 206.89, subdivision 4, the
cost of the recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.

Subd. 3.

Scope of recount.

A recount conducted as provided in this section is
limited in scope to the determination of the number of votes validly castnew text begin and counted
on election day
new text end for the office to be recounted. Only the ballots castnew text begin and countednew text end in the
election and the summary statements certified by the election judges may be considered in
the recount process.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 204C.36, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Discretionary candidate recounts.

(a) A losing candidate for nomination
or election to a county, municipal, or school district office may request a recount in the
manner provided in this section at the candidate's own expense when the vote difference is
greater than the difference required by subdivision 1, clauses (a) to (e). The votes shall
be deleted text beginmanuallydeleted text end recounted as provided in this section if the requesting candidate files with
the county auditor, municipal clerk, or school district clerk a bond, cash, or surety in an
amount set by the governing body of the jurisdiction or the school board of the school
district for the payment of the recount expenses.

(b) The requesting candidate may provide the filing officer with a list of up to three
precincts that are to be recounted first and may waive the balance of the recount after these
precincts have been counted. If the candidate provides a list, the recount official must
determine the expenses for those precincts in the manner provided by paragraph (b).

(c) If the winner of the race is changed by the optional recount, the cost of the
recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.

(d) If a result of the vote counting in the deleted text beginmanualdeleted text end recount is different from the result
of the vote counting reported on election day by a margin greater than the standard for
acceptable performance of voting systems provided in section 206.89, subdivision 4, the
cost of the recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.

Sec. 4.

new text begin [204D.30] RUNOFF ELECTION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin General provisions. new text end

new text begin If a runoff election is called for under section
209.15, an election must be held pursuant to this section between the two candidates
who received the most votes in the election that was the subject of a recount. Minnesota
Election Law governs the runoff election as far as practicable.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Writ of election. new text end

new text begin Within five days of the conclusion of a recount or recount
and contest that results in a required runoff election under section 209.15, the governor
shall issue a writ calling for a runoff election. The runoff election must be held as soon as
possible, consistent with notice requirements, but in no event more than 30 days after the
issuance of the writ. The filing, posting, and notice requirements for special elections in
section 204D.22 apply to runoff elections under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Election administration; voter registration. new text end

new text begin The provisions of section
204D.24 governing special elections also apply to a runoff election under this section. The
county auditor of the county involved in a runoff election or the secretary of state in a
runoff election covering more than one county shall prepare appropriate runoff election
ballots listing the two candidates involved in the runoff and appropriate instructions to
voters. Each county auditor involved and the secretary of state, in case of multicounty
runoff elections, shall post a sample ballot in that official's office at least four days before
the runoff election.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Election returns. new text end

new text begin The provisions of section 204D.27 covering county and
state canvassing and election returns for a special election also apply, as appropriate,
to runoff elections under this section. If the results of a runoff election are such that a
recount would be automatic under section 204C.35, there must be no recount. The losing
candidate may proceed immediately to a contest under chapter 209.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [209.066] PREVIOUSLY UNCOUNTED VOTES OR BALLOTS.
new text end

new text begin If, as part of contest proceedings under this chapter, the court determines that certain
votes or ballots that were not part of the original vote count or any recount must be
reviewed or counted, those votes or ballots and all other votes or ballots of that kind cast
in the election must be reviewed or counted using the same standards, as specified by the
court. If possible, all the additional votes or ballots being reviewed or counted must be
reviewed or counted by the same individuals using the same methods.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [209.15] RUNOFF ELECTION.
new text end

new text begin If, after a recount or after a recount and election contest, the winner of an election
changes from the winner originally announced before the recount, and the victory margin
is less than the percentage in section 204C.35 or 204C.36, as applicable, that would require
an automatic recount, a runoff election under section 204D.30 must be held for that office.
new text end