Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language


  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1983 

                        CHAPTER 253--H.F.No. 653
           An act relating to elections; making numerous 
          procedural changes in the election law; removing or 
          clarifying obsolete and inappropriate language; 
          rearranging certain provisions; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1982, sections 201.061, subdivision 3; 
          203B.08, by adding subdivisions; 203B.11; 203B.12, 
          subdivisions 2 and 5; 204B.31; 204B.33; 204B.36, 
          subdivision 2; 204C.08, subdivision 1; 204C.10, 
          subdivision 1; 204C.12, subdivisions 3 and 4; 204C.24, 
          subdivision 1; 204C.25; 204C.35; 204D.11, subdivision 
          5; 204D.13, subdivision 3; 205.17, subdivisions 3 and 
          4; 206.11; 206.19, subdivision 1; 210A.39; proposing 
          new law coded in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 203B and 
          204C; repealing Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 
          204B.06, subdivision 3. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 201.061, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION.] An individual who is 
eligible to vote may register on election day by appearing in 
person at the polling place for the precinct in which the 
individual maintains residence, by completing a registration 
card, making an oath in the form prescribed by the secretary of 
state and providing proof of residence.  An individual may prove 
residence for purposes of registering by: 
    (1) showing his drivers license or Minnesota identification 
card issued pursuant to section 171.07; 
    (2) showing any document approved by the secretary of state 
as proper identification; or 
    (3) having a voter who is registered to vote in the 
precinct sign an oath in the presence of the election judge 
stating vouching that he personally knows that the individual is 
a resident of the precinct.  No individual A voter who registers 
to vote has been vouched for on election day by proving 
residence as provided in clause (3) shall provide may not sign a 
proof of residence oath vouching for any other individual on 
that election day. 
    A county or municipality may require that an election judge 
responsible for election day registration initial each completed 
registration card.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.08, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 1a.  [ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM AUTHORIZED.] An 
electronic voting system approved and authorized for use under 
chapter 206 may be used for absentee voting when the voter 
applies in person to the municipal clerk for an absentee ballot 
and chooses to vote at the time of application.  The municipal 
clerk designated under the provisions of section 203B.05 must 
give written notice to the county auditor prior to each state 
primary election that an electronic voting system will be used 
for absentee voting.  Paper ballots must be used when 
applications for absentee ballots are submitted to the county 
auditor, when ballots are delivered to temporary or permanent 
residents or patients in a health care facility as provided in 
section 203B.11, or when applications are submitted by mail.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.08, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 3a.  [PROCEDURES FOR SAFEGUARDING ELECTRONICALLY 
MARKED BALLOTS.] When the voter has completed marking the ballot 
as authorized under section 2, the voter shall remove the ballot 
card from the electronic voting device, insert it in a security 
envelope, and place the security envelope in an absentee ballot 
return envelope which is to be signed by the voter and witnessed 
as provided in section 203B.07, subdivision 2.  The return 
envelope in which a ballot card is returned shall be dated and 
initialed by hand by the clerk and placed in a secure location 
with other absentee ballot cards marked under section 2.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.11, is 
amended to read: 
    203B.11 [HOSPITAL PATIENTS AND RESIDENTS OF HEALTH CARE 
FACILITIES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [GENERALLY.] Each full-time municipal clerk 
who has authority under section 203B.05 to administer absentee 
voting laws shall designate election judges to deliver absentee 
ballots in accordance with this section.  A ballot may be 
delivered only to any an eligible voter who has applied for an 
absentee ballot as provided in section 203B.04, subdivision 2, 
and who is a temporary or permanent resident or a patient in a 
health care facility or hospital located in the municipality in 
which the voter maintains residence.  The ballots shall be 
delivered by two election judges, each of whom is affiliated 
with a different major political party.  When the election 
judges deliver or return ballots as provided in this section, 
they shall travel together in the same vehicle.  Both election 
judges shall be present when an applicant completes the 
certificate of eligibility and marks the absentee ballots, and 
may assist an applicant as provided in section 204C.15.  The 
election judges shall deposit the return envelopes containing 
the marked absentee ballots in a sealed container and return 
them to the clerk on the same day that they are delivered and 
marked. 
     Subd. 2.  [TEN DAYS BEFORE AN ELECTION.] During the ten 
days preceding an election, the election judges shall deliver 
absentee ballots as provided in this section during the ten days 
preceding an election except that ballots may be delivered only 
to an eligible voter who has applied for absentee ballots to the 
county auditor or municipal clerk under section 203B.04, 
subdivision 1.  
     Subd. 3.  [ELECTION DAY.] On election day to any voter who 
has applied for ballots pursuant to, the election judges shall 
deliver absentee ballots only to an eligible voter who on the 
day before the election became a resident or patient in a health 
care facility or hospital and who has applied for absentee 
ballots under section 203B.04, subdivision 2. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.12, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
     Subd. 2.  [EXAMINATION OF RETURN ENVELOPES.] Two or more 
election judges shall examine each return envelope and shall 
mark it accepted or rejected in the manner provided in this 
subdivision.  The election judges shall remove the ballot 
envelope from the return envelope, mark the ballot envelope 
"Accepted" and initial or sign the ballot envelope below the 
word "Accepted" if the election judges or a majority of them are 
satisfied that:  
     (a) The voter's signature on the return envelope is the 
genuine signature of the individual who made the application for 
ballots and the certificate has been completed as prescribed in 
the directions for casting an absentee ballot;  
     (b) In precincts with a permanent voter registration 
system, the voter is registered and eligible to vote in the 
precinct or has included a properly completed registration card 
in the return envelope or, in precincts with no permanent voter 
registration system, the address of the voter lies within the 
precinct; and 
     (c) The voter has not already voted at that election, 
either in person or by absentee ballot.  
    The return envelope from accepted ballots shall be 
preserved and returned to the county auditor with the voters' 
certificates.  
    If all or a majority of the election judges examining 
return envelopes find that an absent voter has failed to meet 
one of the requirements prescribed in clauses (a) to (c), they 
shall remove the ballot envelope from the return envelope, mark 
the ballot return envelope "Rejected," initial or sign it below 
the word "Rejected," and place it back in the return envelope 
for return it to the county auditor with the unused ballots. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.12, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM PRECINCTS.] (a) Paper 
absentee ballots delivered to the election judges in precincts 
which use an electronic voting system shall be counted in the 
manner provided in this section.  No duplicate ballot cards 
shall be prepared.  The paper ballot vote totals for each 
candidate and on each question shall be added to the results 
obtained from the electronic tabulating equipment in each 
precinct.  
    (b) Absentee ballot cards marked using electronic voting 
machines as authorized under section 2 shall be tabulated using 
the electronic tabulating equipment in each precinct.  
    Sec. 7.  [203B.125] [SECRETARY OF STATE TO MAKE RULES.] 
    The secretary of state shall adopt rules establishing 
methods and procedures for issuing ballot cards and related 
absentee forms to be used as provided in section 2 and for the 
reconciliation of voters and ballot cards before tabulation 
under section 203B.12.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.31, is 
amended to read: 
    204B.31 [COMPENSATION FOR ELECTION SERVICES.] 
    The compensation for services performed under the Minnesota 
election law shall be as follows: 
    (a) To presidential electors from funds appropriated to the 
secretary of state for this purpose, $35 for each day of 
attendance at the capitol and mileage for travel to and from the 
capitol in the amount allowed for state employees in accordance 
with rules adopted pursuant to section 471.665, subdivision 1 
43A.18, subdivision 2; 
    (b) To individuals, other than county, city, or town 
employees during their normal work day, who are appointed by the 
county auditor to carry ballots to or from the county auditor's 
office, a sum not less than the prevailing Minnesota minimum 
wage for each hour spent in carrying ballots and mileage in the 
amount allowed for state employees in accordance with rules 
adopted pursuant to section 471.665, subdivision 1; 
    (c) To members of county canvassing boards, a sum not less 
than the prevailing Minnesota minimum wage for each hour 
necessarily spent and an amount for each mile of necessary 
travel equal to the amount allowed for state employees pursuant 
to section 471.665, subdivision 1; 
    (d) To election judges serving in any city, an amount fixed 
by the governing body of the city, to election judges serving in 
unorganized territory, an amount fixed by the county board, and 
to election judges serving in towns, an amount fixed by the town 
board.  Election judges shall receive at least the prevailing 
Minnesota minimum wage for each hour spent carrying out their 
duties at the polling places.  An election judge who travels to 
pick up election supplies or to deliver election returns to the 
county auditor shall receive, in addition to other compensation 
authorized by this section, a sum not less than the prevailing 
Minnesota minimum wage for each hour spent performing these 
duties, plus mileage in the same amount as allowed for state 
employees pursuant to section 471.665, subdivision 1; and 
    (e) To sergeants at arms, an amount for each hour of 
service performed at the direction of the election judges, fixed 
in the same manner as compensation for election judges. 
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.33, is 
amended to read: 
    204B.33 [NOTICE OF OFFICES TO BE FILLED AT STATE GENERAL 
ELECTION FILING.] 
    Between June 1 and July 1 in each even numbered year, the 
secretary of state shall notify each county auditor of the 
offices to be voted for in that county at the next state general 
election for which candidates file with the secretary of state.  
The notice shall include the time and place of filing for those 
offices.  Within ten days after notification by the secretary of 
state, each county auditor shall notify each municipal clerk in 
the county of all the offices to be voted for in the county at 
that election and the time and place for filing for those 
offices.  The county auditors and municipal clerks shall 
promptly post a copy of that notice in their offices. 
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.36, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [CANDIDATES AND OFFICES.] The name of each 
candidate shall be printed at a right angle to the length of the 
ballot.  At a general election the name of the political party 
or the political principle of each candidate for partisan office 
shall be printed above or below the name of the candidate, and 
the words "Nominated without party designation" shall be printed 
above or below the names of each candidate for nonpartisan 
office.  The name of a political party or a political principle 
shall be printed in capital and lower case letters of the same 
type, with the capital letters at least one-half the height of 
the capital letters used for names of the candidates.  At a 
general election, blank lines shall be printed below the name of 
the last candidate for each office, or below the title of the 
office if no candidate has filed for that office, so that a 
voter may write in the names of individuals whose names are not 
on the ballot.  One blank line shall be printed for each officer 
of that kind to be elected.  At a primary election, no blank 
lines shall be provided for writing in the names of individuals 
whose names do not appear on the primary ballot.  
    On the left side of the ballot at the same level with the 
name of each candidate and each blank line shall be printed a 
square in which the voter may designate his vote by a mark (X).  
Each square shall be the same size.  Above the first name on 
each ballot shall be printed the words, "Put an (X) in the 
square opposite the name of each candidate you wish to vote 
for."  At the same level with these words and directly above the 
squares shall be printed a small arrow pointing downward.  
Directly underneath the official title of each office shall be 
printed the words "Vote for one (or more, according to the 
number to be elected)." 
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.08, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [DISPLAY OF FLAG.] Upon their arrival at 
the polling place on the day of election, the election judges 
shall cause the national flag to be displayed on a suitable 
staff at the entrance to the polling place.  The flag shall be 
displayed continuously during the hours of voting and the 
election judges shall attest to that fact by signing the flag 
certification statement on the precinct summary statement.  The 
election judges shall receive no compensation for any time 
during which they intentionally fail to display the flag as 
required by this subdivision. 
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.10, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  In election precincts with a permanent 
registration system, an individual seeking to vote shall print 
his name and address on a certificate which states that the 
individual is at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United 
States, has resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately 
preceding the election, certifies that he resides at the address 
shown, is not under guardianship of the person, has not been 
adjudicated insane found by a court of law to be legally 
incompetent to vote or convicted of a felony without having 
civil rights restored, is registered and will be voting only in 
that precinct.  The individual shall then sign the certificate.  
    An election judge shall compare the signature on the 
voter's certificate with the signature as it appears on the 
duplicate registration card and the address with the address on 
the duplicate registration card.  If the election judge is 
satisfied that the signatures are the same, the election judge 
shall initial the certificate and record the fact of voting on 
the back of the duplicate registration card.  The initialed 
certificate shall be handed to the voter, who shall deliver it 
to the election judge in charge of ballots as proof of the right 
to vote. 
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.12, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [DETERMINATION OF RESIDENCE.] In determining the 
legal residence of a challenged individual, the election judges 
shall be governed by the principles contained in section 
200.031.  If the challenged individual's answers to the 
questions show that he is not eligible to vote in that precinct, 
he shall not be allowed to vote.  If the individual has marked 
ballots but not yet deposited them in the ballot boxes before 
the election judges determine that he is not eligible to vote in 
that precinct, the marked ballots shall be placed unopened with 
the spoiled ballots.  If the answers to the questions fail to 
show that the individual is not eligible to vote in that 
precinct and the challenge is not withdrawn, the challenged 
individual shall sign an affidavit stating that he is a citizen 
of the United States; is 18 years of age; is an actual resident 
of that precinct; is an eligible voter in that precinct; and has 
not already voted at that election.  
    After signing the affidavit the election judges shall 
verbally administer the oath on the voter certificate to the 
individual.  After taking the oath and completing and signing 
the voter certificate, the challenged individual shall be 
allowed to vote. 
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.12, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [REFUSAL TO ANSWER QUESTIONS OR SIGN AFFIDAVIT A 
VOTER CERTIFICATE.] A challenged individual who refuses to 
answer questions or sign an affidavit a voter certificate as 
required by this section shall not be allowed to vote.  No 
challenged individual who leaves the polling place and returns 
later willing to answer questions or sign an affidavit a voter 
certificate shall be allowed to vote.  In precincts without 
voter registration the name of the individual shall not be 
entered or allowed to remain on the election register. 
    Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.24, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
     Subdivision 1.  [INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS.] Notwithstanding 
the provisions of sections 206.185, subdivision 5; and 206.21, 
subdivisions 1 and 2, precinct summary statements shall be 
submitted by the election judges in every precinct.  The 
election judges shall complete three or more copies of the 
summary statements, and each copy shall contain the following 
information for each kind of ballot:  
    (a) the number of votes each candidate received or the 
number of yes and no votes on each question, the number of 
partially blank ballots and the number of partially defective 
ballots with respect to each office or question;  
    (b) the number of totally blank ballots, the number of 
totally defective ballots, the number of spoiled ballots, and 
the number of unused ballots;  
    (c) the number of individuals who voted at the election in 
the precinct;  
    (d) in counties with permanent registration, the number of 
voters registered before the polling place opened and the number 
of voters registering on election day in that precinct; and 
    (e) the signatures of the election judges who counted the 
ballots certifying that the national flag was displayed on a 
suitable staff during voting hours; that all of the ballots cast 
were properly piled, checked, and counted; and that the numbers 
entered by the election judges on the summary statements 
correctly show the number of votes cast for each candidate and 
for and against each question. 
    Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.25, is 
amended to read: 
    204C.25 [DISPOSITION OF BALLOTS.] 
    After the count and the summary statements have been 
completed, in the presence of all the election judges, the 
counted, defective and blank ballots shall be placed in 
envelopes of the same color as the ballots and marked or printed 
to distinguish the color of the ballots contained, and the 
envelopes shall be sealed.  The election judges shall sign each 
envelope over the sealed part so that the envelope cannot be 
opened without disturbing the continuity of the signatures.  The 
number and kind of ballots in each envelope, the name of the 
town or city, and the name of the precinct shall be plainly 
written upon the envelopes.  The spoiled ballots shall be placed 
in separate envelopes and returned with the unused ballots to 
the county auditor or municipal clerk from whom they were 
received. 
    Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.35, is 
amended to read: 
    204C.35 [LEGISLATIVE AND JUDICIAL RACES; AUTOMATIC 
RECOUNTS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [AUTOMATIC RECOUNTS.] In a state primary 
when the difference between the votes cast for the candidates 
for nomination to a legislative office or to a district, county, 
or county municipal court judicial office is 100 or less, the 
difference is less than ten percent of the total number of votes 
counted for that nomination, and the difference determines the 
nomination, the canvassing board with responsibility for 
declaring the results for that office shall recount the vote.  
In a state general election when the difference between the 
votes of a candidate who would otherwise be declared elected to 
a legislative office or to a district, county, or county 
municipal court judicial office and the votes of any other 
candidate for that office is 100 or less, the canvassing board 
shall recount the votes.  A recount shall not delay any other 
part of the canvass.  The results of the recount shall be 
certified by the canvassing board as soon as possible.  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.  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.  [OPTIONAL RECOUNT.] A losing candidate for 
nomination or election to a legislative office or to a district, 
county or county municipal court 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 
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.  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.  
    Sec. 18.  [204C.361] [RULES FOR RECOUNTS.] 
    The secretary of state shall adopt rules according to the 
Administrative Procedures Act establishing uniform recount 
procedures.  All recounts provided for by sections 204C.35 and 
204C.36 shall be conducted in accordance with these rules.  
    Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204D.11, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [BALLOT HEADINGS.] The white, pink and special 
federal white ballot shall be headed with the words "State 
General Election Ballot."  The canary ballot shall be headed 
with the words "County and Judicial District Nonpartisan General 
Election Ballot." 
    Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204D.13, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [NOMINEES BY PETITION; PLACEMENT ON BALLOT.] The 
names of candidates nominated by petition for a partisan office 
voted on at the state general election shall be placed on the 
white ballot after the names of the candidates for that office 
who were nominated at the state primary.  Candidates nominated 
by petition shall be placed on the ballot in the order in which 
the petitions were filed.  The words "nominated by petition" and 
the political party or political principle of the candidate as 
stated on the petition shall be placed after the name of a 
candidate nominated by petition.  The word "nonpartisan" shall 
not be used to designate any partisan candidate whose name is 
placed on the white ballot by nominating petition. 
    Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.17, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  The municipal primary ballot of cities of the 
second, third and fourth class and towns shall conform as far as 
practicable with the regular municipal election ballot except 
that it shall be printed on white light green paper, and blank 
spaces may not be provided for writing in the names of 
candidates. 
    Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.17, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  The city of the first class nonpartisan primary 
ballot shall conform as far as practicable with the regular 
municipal election ballot except that it shall be printed on 
white light green paper.  The city of the first class partisan 
primary ballot shall conform as far as practicable with the 
state consolidated primary ballot. 
    Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 206.11, is 
amended to read: 
    206.11 [PRECINCTS MAY BE CHANGED.] 
    The precincts in which voting machines are to be used may 
be enlarged, reduced, or reformed, in the manner prescribed in 
sections 204A.06 to 204A.08 section 204B.14, so that each 
precinct shall when so first formed, contain not to exceed 600 
registered voters for each voting machine to be used therein.  
More than one voting machine may be used in any precinct. 
    Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 206.19, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  Not more than 21 30 days before each 
primary or election if no primary is held at which a voting 
machine is to be used, there shall be held under the direction 
of the proper authority having charge of the conduct of the 
elections, a meeting or meetings for the purpose of instructing 
the election judges about the operation of the voting machine 
and the duties of election officials when voting machines are 
used.  Each election judge serving in a precinct where voting 
machines are used, shall attend at least one such meeting prior 
to either the primary or the other election in which such 
election judge is to serve, and shall receive a certificate 
showing that he has attended such instruction meeting and has 
been found qualified to serve.  Each election judge, who shall 
attend such instruction meeting and shall qualify and serve at 
an election, shall receive at least $1 for the time spent in 
receiving such instruction, in addition to car or railroad fare 
in going to or returning from such meeting, which shall be paid 
at the same time and in the same manner as the payment for 
serving on election day.  Such certificate shall not be issued 
to any person unless he has attended an instruction meeting and 
been found qualified and no person shall be eligible to serve as 
election judge unless he has first received a certificate as 
herein provided.  In case of emergency, when an insufficient 
number of certified election judges is available for the proper 
conduct of the election, there shall be appointed a sufficient 
number of election judges to conduct such election, although 
such election judges have not received the required certificate; 
provided that no person shall be appointed an election judge who 
is not a qualified voter in the precinct to which he is 
appointed as such election judge, except as otherwise provided 
by law. 
    Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 210A.39, is 
amended to read: 
    210A.39 [DISQUALIFIED CANDIDATE NOT TO HOLD POSITION.] 
    A candidate elected to an office, and whose election 
thereto to that office has been annulled and set aside for any 
offense mentioned in sections 210A.01 to 210A.44, shall may not, 
during the period fixed by law as the term of such that office, 
be appointed or elected to fill any vacancy which may occur in 
such that office.  A candidate or other person who is convicted 
of any offense mentioned in sections 210A.01 to 210A.44, shall 
may not, during the period fixed by law as the term of the 
office with respect to which the election was held and said the 
offense was committed, be appointed or elected to fill any 
vacancy in such that office.  Any appointment or election to an 
office made in violation of or contrary to the provisions of 
this section shall be is void. 
    A candidate or other person who is convicted of any offense 
mentioned in sections 210A.01 to 210A.44 is not, during the 
period fixed by law as the term of the office with respect to 
which the election was held and the offense was committed, 
qualified to fill a vacancy in any office for which the 
legislature may establish qualifications under article XII, 
section 3, of the Minnesota Constitution.  
    Sec. 26.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.06, subdivision 3, is 
repealed. 
    Approved June 1, 1983