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SF 2381

4th Engrossment - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 09/28/2016 08:34am

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

Current Version - 4th Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; modifying provisions related to elections and election
administration, including provisions related to absentee voting, ballots, voting,
and school board vacancies; providing an alternative meeting location for
presidential electors; authorizing alternative method for submitting certain
in-person absentee ballots; providing for elections emergency preparedness and
response; amending Minnesota Statutes 2014, sections 123B.09, by adding a
subdivision; 202A.13; 203B.081; 204B.04, by adding a subdivision; 204B.14,
subdivisions 2, 7; 204B.146, subdivision 3; 204B.18, subdivision 1; 204C.05,
subdivision 2; 204C.07, subdivision 3; 204C.37; 204C.39, subdivision 4;
204D.22, subdivision 2; 205.065, subdivision 4; 205.10, subdivision 6; 205A.03,
subdivision 3; 205A.05, subdivision 2; 205A.06, subdivision 1; 205A.11,
subdivision 2a; 209.021, subdivision 1; Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement,
sections 203B.17, subdivision 1; 204B.45, subdivision 2; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 204B; repealing Minnesota Statutes
2014, section 204B.17; Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, sections 123B.09,
subdivision 5a; 123B.095.

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

ARTICLE 1

ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 202A.13, is amended to read:


202A.13 COMMITTEES, CONVENTIONS.

The rules of each major political party shall provide that for each congressional
district and each county or legislative district a convention shall be held at least once
every state general election year. Each major political party shall also provide for each
congressional district and each county or legislative district an executive committee
consisting of a chair and such other officers as may be necessary. The party rules may
provide for only one executive committee and one convention where any county and
congressional district have the same territorial limits.

A delegate or alternate who is deaf, deafblind, or hard-of-hearing who needs
interpreter services at a county, legislative district, congressional district, or state
convention shall so notify the executive committee of the major political party unit whose
convention the delegate or alternate plans to attend. Written notice must be given by
certified mail new text beginor electronic mail new text endto the executive committee at least 30 days before the
convention date. The major political party, not later than 14 days before the convention
date, shall secure the services of one or more interpreters if available and shall assume
responsibility for the cost of the services. The state central committee of the major
political party shall determine the process for reimbursing interpreters.

A visually impaired delegate or alternate to a county, legislative district,
congressional district, or state convention may notify the executive committee of the major
political party unit that the delegate or alternate requires convention materials in audio
tape, Braille, or large print format. Upon receiving the request, the executive committee
shall provide all official written convention materials as soon as they are available, so
that the visually impaired individual may have them converted to audio tape, Braille, or
large print format, prior to the convention.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 203B.081, is amended to read:


203B.081 LOCATIONS new text beginAND METHODS new text endFOR ABSENTEE VOTING IN
PERSON.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Location; timing. new text end

An eligible voter may vote by absentee ballot in
the office of the county auditor and at any other polling place designated by the county
auditor during the 46 days before the election, except as provided in this section.

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Town elections. new text end

Voters casting absentee ballots in person for a town
election held in March may do so during the 30 days before the election. The county
auditor shall make such designations at least 14 weeks before the election. At least one
voting booth in each polling place must be made available by the county auditor for
this purpose. The county auditor must also make available at least one electronic ballot
marker in each polling place that has implemented a voting system that is accessible for
individuals with disabilities pursuant to section 206.57, subdivision 5.

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Alternative procedure. new text end

new text begin (a) The county auditor may make available a
ballot counter and ballot box for use by the voters during the seven days before the
election. If a ballot counter and ballot box is provided, a voter must be given the option
either (1) to vote using the process provided in section 203B.08, subdivision 1, or (2) to
vote in the manner provided in this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a voter chooses to vote in the manner provided in this subdivision, the voter
must state the voter's name, address, and date of birth to the county auditor or municipal
clerk. The voter shall sign a voter's certificate, which must include the voter's name,
identification number, and the certification required by section 201.071, subdivision 1.
The signature of an individual on the voter's certificate and the issuance of a ballot to the
individual is evidence of the intent of the individual to vote at that election.
new text end

new text begin (c) After signing the voter's certificate, the voter shall be issued a ballot and
immediately retire to a voting station or other designated location in the polling place to
mark the ballot. The ballot must not be taken from the polling place. If the voter spoils the
ballot, the voter may return it to the election official in exchange for a new ballot. After
completing the ballot, the voter shall deposit the ballot into the ballot box.
new text end

new text begin (d) The election official must immediately record that the voter has voted in the
manner provided in section 203B.121, subdivision 3.
new text end

new text begin (e) The election duties required by this subdivision must be performed by the county
auditor, municipal clerk, or a deputy of the auditor or clerk.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 203B.17, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Submission of application.

(a) An application for absentee ballots
for a voter described in section 203B.16 must be in writing and may be submitted in
person, by mail, by electronic facsimile device, by electronic mail, or electronically
through a secure Web site that shall be maintained by the secretary of state for this
purpose, upon determination by the secretary of state that security concerns have been
adequately addressed. An application for absentee ballots for a voter described in section
203B.16 may be submitted by that voter or by that voter's parent, spouse, sister, brother,
or child over the age of 18 years.

(b) An application for a voter described in section 203B.16, subdivision 1, shall be
submitted to the county auditor of the county where the voter maintains residence or
through the secure Web site maintained by the secretary of state.

(c) An application for a voter described in section 203B.16, subdivision 2, shall be
submitted to the county auditor of the county where the voter or the voter's parent last
maintained residence in Minnesota or through the secure Web site maintained by the
secretary of state.

(d) An application for absentee ballots shall be valid for any primary, special
primary, general election, or special election from the time the application is received
through the end of that calendar yearnew text begin or through the next regularly scheduled state general
election, whichever is later
new text end.

(e) There shall be no limitation of time for filing and receiving applications for
ballots under sections 203B.16 to 203B.27.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.04, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Ballots; candidates who file by nominating petition. new text end

new text begin Candidates who
were filed as a team by nominating petition under section 204B.07, subdivision 2, shall not
appear on the ballot as minor party or independent candidates if either candidate is certified
as a major party candidate for president or vice president pursuant to section 208.03.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.14, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Application to municipalities.

Notwithstanding the provisions of
section 410.21, or any other law, ordinance or charter to the contrary, the provisions of
subdivisions 1deleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin andnew text end 3 deleted text beginand 6deleted text end apply to all municipalities.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.146, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Correction to election district boundaries.

When a municipal boundary
deleted text beginthatdeleted text endnew text begin has changed andnew text end is coterminous with new text begin(1) new text enda congressional, legislative, or county
commissioner district boundary deleted text beginhas changeddeleted text endnew text begin, or (2) a soil and water conservation district
supervisor district boundary elected by district under section 103C.311, subdivision 2,
new text endand the affected territory contains 50 or fewer registered voters, the secretary of state may
order corrections to move the affected election district boundaries so deleted text begintheydeleted text endnew text begin the boundaries
are
new text end again deleted text beginwill bedeleted text end coterminous with the municipal boundary. The election district boundary
change is effective 28 days after the date that the order is issued. The secretary of state
shall immediately notify the municipal clerk and county auditor affected by the boundary
change and the Legislative Coordinating Commission. The municipal clerk shall send
a nonforwardable notice stating the location of the polling place to every household
containing a registered voter affected by the boundary change at least 25 days before the
next election.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.18, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Booths; voting stations.

(a) Each polling place must contain a
number of voting booths or voting stations in proportion to the number of individuals
eligible to vote in the precinct. deleted text beginEach booth or station must be at least six feet high,
three feet deep and two feet wide with a shelf at least two feet long and one foot wide
placed at a convenient height for writing.
deleted text end The booth or station shall permit the voter to
vote privately and independently.

(b) Each polling place must have at least one accessible voting booth or other
accessible voting station and beginning with federal and state elections held after
December 31, 2005, and county, municipal, and school district elections held after
December 31, 2007, one voting system that conforms to section 301(a)(3)(B) of the Help
America Vote Act, Public Law 107-252.

(c) Local jurisdictions must make accessible voting stations purchased with funds
provided from the Help America Vote Act account available to other local jurisdictions
holding stand-alone elections. The jurisdiction providing the equipment may require the
jurisdiction using the equipment to reimburse any direct actual costs incurred as a result
of the equipment's use and any prorated indirect costs of maintaining and storing the
equipment. A rental or other similar use fee may not be charged.

Any funds received under this paragraph for expenses incurred by that local
jurisdiction as a direct result of making the equipment available that were not paid for
in whole or in part with funds from the Help America Vote Act account are not program
income under the Help America Vote Act, Public Law 107-252.

Any funds received by a local jurisdiction making the equipment available as
reimbursement for expenses as defined as "operating costs" under Laws 2005, chapter 162,
section 34, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), and paid for in whole or in part with funds from
the Help America Vote Act account must be treated as program income and deposited into
the jurisdiction's Help America Vote Act account in the direct proportion that funds from
the Help America Vote Act account were used to pay for those "operating costs."

(d) All booths or stations must be constructed so that a voter is free from observation
while marking ballots. During the hours of voting, the booths or stations must have
instructions, a pencil, and other supplies needed to mark the ballots. A chair must be
provided for elderly voters and voters with disabilities to use while voting or waiting
to vote. Stable flat writing surfaces must also be made available to voters who are
completing election-related forms.

(e) All ballot boxes, voting booths, voting stations, and election judges must be
in open public view in the polling place.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 204B.45, subdivision 2, is
amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Procedure.

Notice of the election and the special mail procedure must
be given at least ten weeks prior to the election. Not more than 46 days nor later than 14
days before a regularly scheduled election and not more than 30 days nor later than 14
days before any other election, the auditor shall mail ballots by nonforwardable mail to
all voters registered in the new text begincity, new text endtownnew text begin,new text end or unorganized territory. No later than 14 days
before the election, the auditor must make a subsequent mailing of ballots to those voters
who register to vote after the initial mailing but before the 20th day before the election.
Eligible voters not registered at the time the ballots are mailed may apply for ballots as
provided in chapter 203B. Ballot return envelopes, with return postage provided, must
be preaddressed to the auditor or clerk and the voter may return the ballot by mail or in
person to the office of the auditor or clerk. The auditor or clerk must appoint a ballot board
to examine the mail and absentee ballot return envelopes and mark them "accepted" or
"rejected" within three days of receipt if there are 14 or fewer days before election day, or
within five days of receipt if there are more than 14 days before election day. The board
may consist of deputy county auditors or deputy municipal clerks who have received
training in the processing and counting of mail ballots, who need not be affiliated with
a major political party. Election judges performing the duties in this section must be of
different major political parties, unless they are exempt from that requirement under
section 205.075, subdivision 4, or section 205A.10. If an envelope has been rejected at
least five days before the election, the ballots in the envelope must remain sealed and the
auditor or clerk shall provide the voter with a replacement ballot and return envelope in
place of the spoiled ballot. If the ballot is rejected within five days of the election, the
envelope must remain sealed and the official in charge of the ballot board must attempt to
contact the voter by telephone or e-mail to notify the voter that the voter's ballot has been
rejected. The official must document the attempts made to contact the voter.

If the ballot is accepted, the county auditor or municipal clerk must mark the roster
to indicate that the voter has already cast a ballot in that election. After the close of
business on the seventh day before the election, the ballots from return envelopes marked
"Accepted" may be opened, duplicated as needed in the manner provided by section 206.86,
subdivision 5, initialed by the members of the ballot board, and deposited in the ballot box.

In all other respects, the provisions of the Minnesota Election Law governing
deposit and counting of ballots apply.

The mail and absentee ballots for a precinct must be counted together and reported
as one vote total. No vote totals from mail or absentee ballots may be made public before
the close of voting on election day.

The costs of the mailing shall be paid by the election jurisdiction in which the voter
resides. Any ballot received by 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election must be counted.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204C.07, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Elections on a question.

At an election where a question is to be voted
uponnew text begin in an election jurisdictionnew text end, the new text beginappropriate new text endmayor of a city, deleted text beginor thedeleted text end school board of a
school district, or deleted text beginthedeleted text end board of supervisors of a town, upon receiving a written petition
signed by at least 25 eligible voters, shall appoint by written certificate one voter for each
precinct in the municipality, or school district if applicable, to act as a challenger of voters
in the polling place for that precinct.new text begin The petition must be delivered to the clerk of the
municipality or school conducting the election.
new text end

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204C.37, is amended to read:


204C.37 COUNTY CANVASS; RETURN OF REPORTS TO SECRETARY OF
STATE.

A copy of the report required by sections 204C.32, subdivision 1, and 204C.33,
subdivision 1
, shall be certified under the official seal of the county auditor. The copy shall
be enclosed in an envelope addressed to the secretary of state, with the county auditor's
name and official address and the words "Election Returns" endorsed on the envelope.
The copy of the canvassing board report deleted text beginand the precinct summary statementsdeleted text end must be
sent by express mail or delivered to the secretary of state. If the copy is not received by
the secretary of state within ten days following the applicable election, the secretary of
state shall immediately notify the county auditor, who shall deliver another copy to the
secretary of state by special messenger.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204C.39, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Canvassing board; declaration of results; notification.

The canvassing
board shall declare the results of the election upon completing the inspection for the
office in question. The report and declaration shall be filed by the county auditor, who
shall mail a certified copy to each candidate for that office. The county auditor shall
promptly notify the secretary of state by deleted text begincertifieddeleted text end new text beginUnited States mail and electronic new text endmail of
the action of the county canvassing board.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, 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 deleted text begincertifieddeleted text end new text beginUnited States mail and electronic new text endmail 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 five
days before the close of the time for filing affidavits of candidacy for the special election.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 205.065, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Candidates, filing.

The clerk shall place upon the primary ballot without
partisan designation the names of individuals whose candidacies have been filed and for
whom the proper filing fee has been paid. When not more than twice the number of
individuals to be elected to a municipal office file for nomination for the office, their
names shall not be placed upon the primary ballot and shall be placed on the municipal
general election ballot as the nominees for that office.new text begin When more than one council
member is to be elected for full terms at the same election, the candidates' names shall be
placed under one office on the ballot with the number to be elected to the office specified
directly underneath the title and identification of the office.
new text end

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 205.10, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Cancellation.

A special election ordered by the governing body of the
municipality on its own motion under subdivision 1 may be canceled by motion of the
governing body, but not less than deleted text begin46deleted text endnew text begin 74new text end days before the election.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 205A.03, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Candidates, filing.

The clerk shall place upon the primary ballot without
partisan designation the names of individuals whose candidacies have been filed and for
whom the proper filing fee has been paid. When not more than twice as many school board
candidates as there are at-large school board positions available file for nomination for the
office or when not more than two candidates for a specified school board position file for
nomination for that office, their names must not be placed upon the primary ballot and must
be placed on the school district general election ballot as the nominees for that office. new text beginWhen
more than one school board member is to be elected for full terms at the same election, the
candidates' names shall be placed under one office on the ballot with the number to be
elected to the office specified directly underneath the title and identification of the office.
new text end

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 205A.05, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Vacancies in school district offices.

Special elections new text beginto fill vacancies in
elective school district offices
new text endshall be held in school districts deleted text beginin conjunction with school
district primary and general elections to fill vacancies in elective school district offices
deleted text endnew text begin
pursuant to section 123B.095
new text end. When more than one vacancy exists in an office elected
at-large, voters must be instructed to vote for up to the number of vacancies to be filled.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 205A.06, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Affidavit of candidacy.

An individual who is eligible and desires to
become a candidate for an office to be voted on at the election must file an affidavit of
candidacy with the school district clerk. The affidavit must be in deleted text beginsubstantiallydeleted text end the deleted text beginsame
deleted text endform deleted text beginas that indeleted text endnew text begin prescribed bynew text end section 204B.06deleted text begin, subdivision 1deleted text end. The school district clerk
shall also accept an application signed by at least five voters and filed on behalf of an
eligible voter in the school district whom they desire to be a candidate, if service of a copy
of the application has been made on the candidate and proof of service is endorsed on the
application being filed. No individual shall be nominated by nominating petition for a
school district elective office. Upon receipt of the proper filing fee, the clerk shall place
the name of the candidate on the official ballot without partisan designation.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 205A.11, subdivision 2a, is amended to read:


Subd. 2a.

Notice of special elections.

The school district clerk shall prepare a
notice to the voters who will be voting in a combined polling place for a school district
special election. The notice must include the following information: the date of the
election, the hours of voting, and the location of the voter's polling place. The notice must
be sent by nonforwardable mail to every affected household in the school district with
at least one registered voter. The notice must be mailed no later than 14 days before the
election. The mailed notice is not required for a school district special election that is held
on the second Tuesday in August, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November,
or for a special election conducted entirely by mail. deleted text beginIn addition, the mailed notice is not
required for voters residing in a township if the school district special election is held on
the second Tuesday in March and the town general election is held on that day.
deleted text end A notice
that is returned as undeliverable must be forwarded immediately to the county auditor.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 209.021, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Manner; time; contents.

Service of a notice of contest must be made
in the same manner as the service of summons in civil actions. The notice of contest must
specify the grounds on which the contest will be made. The contestant shall serve notice
of the contest on the parties enumerated in this section. new text beginExcept as provided in section
204D.27,
new text endnotice must be served and filed within five days after the canvass is completed in
the case of a primary or special primary or within seven days after the canvass is completed
in the case of a special or general electiondeleted text begin; except thatdeleted text endnew text begin.new text end If a contest is based on a deliberate,
serious, and material violation of the election laws deleted text beginwhichdeleted text endnew text begin thatnew text end was discovered from the
statements of receipts and disbursements required to be filed by candidates and committees,
the action may be commenced and the notice served and filed within ten days after the
filing of the statements in the case of a general or special election or within five days after
the filing of the statements in the case of a primary or special primary. If a notice of contest
questions only which party received the highest number of votes legally cast at the election,
a contestee who loses may serve and file a notice of contest on any other ground during the
three days following expiration of the time for appealing the decision on the vote count.

Sec. 20. new text beginPRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS; 2016 MEETING LOCATION.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 208.06, for purposes of the 2016
meeting of presidential electors, if the executive chamber of the State Capitol is
unavailable, the secretary of state must direct that the meeting be held at the Minnesota
History Center or at another suitable space within the State Capitol complex. If the meeting
is directed to be held at one of these locations, the secretary of state must post notice of the
new location at least 30 days before the meeting is scheduled to occur, and the notice to
the governor required by section 208.06 must properly identify the electors' location.
new text end

ARTICLE 2

SCHOOL BOARD VACANCIES

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 123B.09, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 5b. new text end

new text begin Appointments to fill vacancies; special elections. new text end

new text begin (a) Any vacancy
on the board, other than a vacancy described in subdivision 4, must be filled by board
appointment at a regular or special meeting. The appointment shall be evidenced by a
resolution entered in the minutes and shall be effective 30 days following adoption of the
resolution, subject to paragraph (b). If the appointment becomes effective, it shall continue
until an election is held under this subdivision. All elections to fill vacancies shall be for
the unexpired term. A special election to fill the vacancy must be held no later than the
first Tuesday after the first Monday in November following the vacancy. If the vacancy
occurs less than 90 days prior to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in
the year in which the vacancy occurs, the special election must be held no later than
the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the following calendar year. If
the vacancy occurs less than 90 days prior to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in
November in the third year of the term, no special election is required.
new text end

new text begin (b) An appointment made under paragraph (a) shall not be effective if a petition to
reject the appointee is filed with the school district clerk. To be valid, a petition to reject an
appointee must be signed by a number of eligible voters residing in the district equal to at
least five percent of the total number of voters voting in the district at the most recent state
general election, and must be filed within 30 days of the board's adoption of the resolution
making the appointment. If a valid petition is filed according to the requirements of this
paragraph, the appointment by the school board is ineffective and the board must name a
new appointee as provided in paragraph (a).
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin (a) This section is effective the day following final enactment
and applies to vacancies existing or created on or after that date.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a vacancy has occurred prior to the effective date but no election has been
scheduled, the school board may fill the vacancy by appointment pursuant to this section.
If, prior to the effective date, a school board has called a special election pursuant to
Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.095, and the absentee voting period has not yet started,
the school board may cancel that election and fill the vacancy by appointment or may
allow the election to proceed. If the school board decides to cancel the election, the
board must adopt a resolution within 14 days of the effective date of this act. The time
limitations of Minnesota Statutes, section 205A.05, subdivision 3, do not apply to the
cancellation of the election by the school board under this paragraph.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, sections 123B.09, subdivision 5a; and
123B.095,
new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

ARTICLE 3

ELECTIONS EMERGENCY PLANS

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.14, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Separate precincts; combined polling place.

(a) The following shall
constitute at least one election precinct:

(1) each city ward; and

(2) each town and each statutory city.

(b) A single, accessible, combined polling place may be established no later than
May 1 of any year:

(1) for any city of the third or fourth class, any town, or any city having territory in
more than one county, in which all the voters of the city or town shall cast their ballots;

(2) for contiguous precincts in the same municipality;

(3) for up to four contiguous municipalities located entirely outside the metropolitan
area, as defined by section 200.02, subdivision 24, that are contained in the same county; or

(4) for noncontiguous precincts located in one or more counties.

new text begin Subject to the requirements of paragraph (c), a single, accessible, combined polling
place may be established after May 1 of any year in the event of an emergency.
new text end

A copy of the ordinance or resolution establishing a combined polling place must
be filed with the county auditor within 30 days after approval by the governing body. A
polling place combined under clause (3) must be approved by the governing body of each
participating municipality. A polling place combined under clause (4) must be approved
by the governing body of each participating municipality and the secretary of state and
may be located outside any of the noncontiguous precincts. A municipality withdrawing
from participation in a combined polling place must do so by filing a resolution of
withdrawal with the county auditor no later than April 1 of any year.

The secretary of state shall provide a separate polling place roster for each precinct
served by the combined polling place, except that in a precinct that uses electronic rosters
the secretary of state shall provide separate data files for each precinct. A single set of
election judges may be appointed to serve at a combined polling place. The number of
election judges required must be based on the total number of persons voting at the last
similar election in all precincts to be voting at the combined polling place. Separate ballot
boxes must be provided for the ballots from each precinct. The results of the election must
be reported separately for each precinct served by the combined polling place, except in a
polling place established under clause (2) where one of the precincts has fewer than ten
registered voters, in which case the results of that precinct must be reported in the manner
specified by the secretary of state.

new text begin (c) If a local elections official determines that an emergency situation preventing
the safe, secure, and full operation of a polling place on election day has occurred or is
imminent, the local elections official may combine two or more polling places for that
election pursuant to this subdivision. To the extent possible, the polling places must
be combined and the election conducted according to the requirements of paragraph
(b), except that:
new text end

new text begin (1) polling places may be combined after May 1 and until the polls close on election
day;
new text end

new text begin (2) any city or town, regardless of size or location, may establish a combined polling
place under this paragraph;
new text end

new text begin (3) the governing body is not required to adopt an ordinance or resolution to
establish the combined polling place;
new text end

new text begin (4) a polling place combined under paragraph (b), clause (3) or (4), must be approved
by the local election official of each participating municipality;
new text end

new text begin (5) the local elections official must immediately notify the county auditor and the
secretary of state of the combination, including the reason for the emergency combination
and the location of the combined polling place. As soon as possible, the local elections
official must also post a notice stating the reason for the combination and the location of
the combined polling place. The notice must also be posted on the governing board's Web
site, if one exists. The local elections official must also notify the election judges and
request that local media outlets publicly announce the reason for the combination and the
location of the combined polling place; and
new text end

new text begin (6) on election day, the local elections official must post a notice in large print in a
conspicuous place at the polling place where the emergency occurred, if practical, stating
the location of the combined polling place. The local election official must also post the
notice, if practical, in a location visible by voters who vote from their motor vehicles as
provided in section 204C.15, subdivision 2. If polling place hours are extended pursuant
to section 204C.05, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), the posted notices required by this
paragraph must include a statement that the polling place hours at the combined polling
place will be extended until the specified time.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [204B.175] CHANGE OF POLLING PLACE IN AN EMERGENCY.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Application. new text end

new text begin When an emergency occurs after the deadline to
designate a polling place pursuant to section 204B.16 but before the polls close on election
day, a new polling place may be designated for that election pursuant to this section. For
purposes of this section, an emergency is any situation that prevents the safe, secure, and
full operation of a polling place.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Changing polling place. new text end

new text begin If a local election official determines that an
emergency has occurred or is imminent, the local election official must procure a polling
place that is as near the designated polling place as possible and that complies with the
requirements of section 204B.16, subdivisions 4 and 5. If it is not possible to locate a new
polling place in the precinct, the polling place may be located outside of the precinct
without regard to the distance limitations in section 204B.16, subdivision 1. The local
election official must certify to the appropriate governing body the expenses incurred
because of the change. These expenses shall be paid as part of the expenses of the election.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Notice. new text end

new text begin (a) Upon making the determination to relocate a polling place,
the local election official must immediately notify the county auditor and the secretary of
state. The notice must include the reason for the relocation and the reason for the location
of the new polling place. As soon as possible, the local election official must also post a
notice stating the reason for the relocation and the location of the new polling place. The
notice must also be posted on the Web site of the public body, if there is one. The local
election official must also notify the election judges and request that local media outlets
publicly announce the reason for the relocation and the location of the polling place.
new text end

new text begin (b) On election day, the local election official must post a notice in large print in a
conspicuous place at the polling place where the emergency occurred, if practical, stating
the location of the new polling place. The local election official must also post the notice,
if practical, in a location visible by voters who vote from their motor vehicles as provided
in section 204C.15, subdivision 2. If polling place hours are extended pursuant to section
204C.05, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), the posted notices required by this paragraph must
include a statement that the polling place hours at the new polling place will be extended
until the specified time.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [204B.181] ELECTION EMERGENCY PLANS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin State elections emergency plans. new text end

new text begin (a) The secretary of state, in
consultation with the Minnesota director of the Department of Public Safety, Division
of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, must develop a state elections
emergency plan.
new text end

new text begin (b) The secretary of state must also coordinate with the governor to incorporate
election needs into the state's continuity of government and continuity of operations plans.
new text end

new text begin (c) The secretary of state must create a state guide to assist county and local election
officials in developing a county elections emergency plan required by subdivision 2.
The secretary of state must consult with the Minnesota State Council on Disability in
developing the guide. The guide must include a model county elections emergency plan
that meets the requirements of this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin County elections emergency plans. new text end

new text begin (a) County election officials, in
consultation with the political subdivision's local organization for emergency management
established under section 12.25 and the municipalities and school districts within the
county, must develop a county elections emergency plan to be made available for use in
all state, county, municipal, and school district elections held in that county.
new text end

new text begin (b) In developing the county elections emergency plan, the county must address
the needs of voters with disabilities in all aspects of the plan. Where ballot security
is affected, the plan must provide procedures to maintain the security of the ballots.
When an emergency requires the relocation of the polling place, the plan must include
procedures for securing the ballots and voting equipment, notifying the public and other
government officials, and restoring voting activities as soon as possible. If the county
contains jurisdictions that cross county lines, the affected counties must make efforts
to ensure that the emergency procedures affecting the local jurisdiction are uniform
throughout the jurisdiction.
new text end

new text begin (c) Cities, towns, and school districts may create a local elections emergency plan
that meets the requirements of the county elections emergency plan. If a local jurisdiction
creates a local elections emergency plan, the procedures within the local elections
emergency plan govern in all election emergencies within that local jurisdiction.
new text end

new text begin (d) County election officials and any municipality with a local elections emergency
plan must review their county or local elections emergency plan prior to each state general
election. Any revisions to the county or local elections emergency plan must be completed
and filed with the secretary of state by July 1 prior to the state general election.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2016, except that the initial
county elections emergency plans required under subdivision 2 are due September 1, 2016.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204C.05, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Voters in line at closing.

new text begin(a) new text endAt or before the hour when voting is
scheduled to begin, the election judges shall agree upon the standard of time they will use
to determine when voting will begin and end. Voting shall not be allowed after the time
when it is scheduled to end, unless individuals are waiting in the polling place or waiting in
line at the door to register or to vote. The voting shall continue until those individuals have
been allowed to vote. No individual who comes to the polling place or to a line outside the
polling place after the time when voting is scheduled to end shall be allowed to vote.

new text begin (b) The local election official may extend polling place hours to accommodate
voters that would have been in line at the regular polling place if the polling place had not
been combined or moved on election day pursuant to section 204B.14, subdivision 2, or
204B.175. Polling place hours may be extended at the new polling place for one hour. The
local election official must immediately provide notice to the county auditor, secretary of
state, and election judges of the extension in polling place hours. The local election official
must also request that the local media outlets publicly announce the extended polling place
hours. Voters in the polling place or waiting in line at the door to register or to vote at the
end of the extended polling place hours shall be allowed to vote pursuant to paragraph (a).
new text end

Sec. 5. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.17, new text end new text begin is repealed.
new text end

APPENDIX

Repealed Minnesota Statutes: S2381-4

123B.09 BOARDS OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

Subd. 5a.

Vacancies.

A vacancy other than a vacancy described in subdivision 4 must be filled pursuant to section 123B.095.

123B.095 VACANCY IN OFFICE OF SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER.

Subdivision 1.

Option for filling vacancies; special election.

(a) Except as provided in section 123B.09, subdivision 4, a vacancy in the office of school board may be filled as provided in this subdivision and subdivision 2, or as provided in subdivision 3. If the vacancy is to be filled under this subdivision and subdivision 2, it must be filled at a special election. The school board may by resolution call for a special election to be held according to the earliest of the following time schedules:

(1) not less than 120 days following the date the vacancy is declared, but no later than 12 weeks prior to the date of the next regularly scheduled primary election;

(2) concurrently with the next regularly scheduled primary election and general election; or

(3) no sooner than 120 days following the next regularly scheduled general election.

(b) The person elected at the special election shall take office immediately after receipt of the certificate of election and upon filing the bond and taking the oath of office and shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

Subd. 2.

When victor seated immediately.

If a vacancy for which a special election is required occurs less than 120 days before the general election preceding the end of the term, the vacancy shall be filled by the person elected at that election for the ensuing term who shall take office immediately after receiving the certificate of election, filing the bond and taking the oath of office.

Subd. 3.

Vacancies of less than one year; appointment option.

Except as provided in section 123B.09, subdivision 4, and as an alternative to the procedure provided in subdivisions 1 and 2, any other vacancy in the office of school board member may be filled by board appointment at a regular or special meeting. The appointment shall be evidenced by a resolution entered in the minutes and shall continue until an election is held under this subdivision. All elections to fill vacancies shall be for the unexpired term. If one year or more remains in the unexpired term, a special election must be held under subdivision 1. If less than one year remains in the unexpired term, the school board may appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term, unless the vacancy occurs within 90 days of the next school district general election, in which case an appointment shall not be made and the vacancy must be filled at the general election. The person elected to fill a vacancy at the general election takes office immediately in the same manner as for a special election under subdivision 1, and serves the remainder of the unexpired term and the new term for which the election was otherwise held.

Subd. 4.

School board vacancy appointment; public hearing.

Before making an appointment to fill a vacancy under subdivision 3, the school board must hold a public hearing not more than 30 days after the vacancy occurs with public notice given in the same manner as for a special meeting of the school board. At the public hearing, the board must invite public testimony from persons residing in the district in which the vacancy occurs relating to the qualifications of prospective appointees to fill the vacancy. Before making an appointment, the board also must notify public officials in the school district on the appointment, including county commissioners, town supervisors, and city council members, and must enter into the record at the board meeting in which the appointment is made the names and addresses of the public officials notified. If, after the public hearing, the board is unable or decides not to make an appointment under subdivision 3, it must hold a special election under subdivision 1, but the time period in which the election must be held begins to run from the date of the public hearing.

204B.17 CHANGE OF POLLING PLACE BY ELECTION JUDGES.

When a designated polling place does not comply with the requirements of this chapter the election judges of that precinct, on or before the opening of the polls on election day and upon approval by the municipal clerk in municipalities or school districts or the county auditor in unorganized territory, shall procure a polling place which is as near the designated polling place as possible and which does comply with those requirements.

When a new polling place is procured by the election judges, they shall meet on election day at the original polling place where they shall fill any vacancies in their number, publicly announce the change in polling place to the voters who are present and post a notice in large print of the change in a conspicuous place. They shall also post a notice in a location visible by voters who vote from their motor vehicles as provided in section 204C.15, subdivision 2. Upon completing these duties the election judges shall adjourn to the new polling place, where they shall post a similar notice of the change in polling place. The election judges shall certify to the appropriate governing body the expenses incurred because of the change. These expenses shall be paid as part of the expenses of the election.