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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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


  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1983 

                         CHAPTER 62--H.F.No. 552
           An act relating to elections; recodifying the 
          municipal elections law; amending Minnesota Statutes 
          1982, sections 205.02; 205.07, subdivision 1; 205.10; 
          205.13; 205.16; 205.17; 205.20; and 205.84; proposing 
          new law coded in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 205; 
          repealing Minnesota Statutes 1982, sections 205.03; 
          205.04; 205.11; 205.14; 205.15; 205.19; and 205.21. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.02, is 
amended to read: 
    205.02 [APPLICATION STATUTES APPLICABLE.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [MINNESOTA ELECTION LAW.] Except as 
provided in sections 205.01 to 205.17 all of this chapter the 
provisions of the Minnesota election law are applicable apply to 
municipal elections, so far as practicable.  
     Subd. 2.  [CITY ELECTIONS.] In all statutory and home rule 
charter cities, the primary, general and special elections held 
for choosing city officials and deciding public questions 
relating to the city shall be held as provided in this chapter, 
except that sections 205.02; section 2, subdivisions 2 to 7; 
205.07 to 205.13 and sections 8 and 9 do not apply to a city 
whose charter provides the manner of holding its primary, 
general or special elections.  
     Sec. 2.  [205.065] [PRIMARY ELECTIONS.] 
     Subdivision 1.  [CITIES OF FIRST CLASS.] A municipal 
primary for the purpose of nominating elective officers may be 
held in any city of the first class on the second or third 
Tuesday in March of any year in which a municipal general 
election is to be held for the purpose of electing officers. 
     If the majority of the governing body of a city of the 
first class adopted a resolution after June 24, 1957 
establishing the second or third Tuesday in March for holding 
its municipal primary in any year in which its municipal general 
election is held, and if the city clerk or other officer of the 
city charged with keeping the minutes and records of the 
governing body filed a certified copy of the resolution with the 
secretary of state and another certified copy of the resolution 
with the county recorder of the county in which the city is 
located, the time established by the resolution for holding the 
municipal primary is fixed, and the governing body of the city 
may not change the time unless the authority to make the change 
is conferred on the governing body by the legislature, or by an 
amendment to the charter of the city duly ratified and accepted 
by the eligible voters of the city, in accordance with the 
constitution of the state of Minnesota, article IV, section 36, 
and other applicable law. 
     Subd. 2.  [RESOLUTION OR ORDINANCE.] The governing body of 
a city of the second, third, or fourth class or a town 
containing a statutory city may, by ordinance or resolution 
adopted at least six weeks before the next municipal general 
election, elect to choose nominees for municipal offices by a 
primary as provided in subdivisions 2 to 7.  The resolution or 
ordinance, when adopted, is effective for all ensuing municipal 
elections until it is revoked.  Subdivisions 2 to 7 do not apply 
to a city the charter of which specifically prohibits or 
provides for a municipal primary.  
     Subd. 3.  [DATE.] The municipal primary shall be held two 
weeks before the municipal general election or at another time 
designated by the governing body in the ordinance or resolution 
adopting the primary system.  The clerk shall give notice of the 
primary in the manner provided in section 205.16. 
     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.  
    Subd. 5.  [RESULTS.] The municipal primary shall be 
conducted and the returns made in the manner provided for the 
state primary so far as practicable.  Within two days after the 
primary, the governing body of the municipality shall canvass 
the returns, and the two candidates for each office who receive 
the highest number of votes, or a number of candidates equal to 
twice the number of individuals to be elected to the office, who 
receive the highest number of votes, shall be the nominees for 
the office named.  Their names shall be certified to the 
municipal clerk who shall place them on the municipal general 
election ballot without partisan designation and without payment 
of an additional fee. 
     Subd. 6.  [RECOUNT.] A losing candidate at the municipal 
primary may request a recount of the votes for that nomination 
subject to the requirements of section 204C.36. 
     Subd. 7.  [VACANCY IN NOMINATION.] When a vacancy occurs in 
a nomination made at a municipal primary, the vacancy shall be 
filled in the manner provided in section 204B.13. 
     Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.07, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    205.07 [CITY GENERAL ELECTION.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DATE.] The regular city municipal general 
election in each statutory city shall be held biennially on the 
first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every 
even-numbered year; except that the governing body of any a 
statutory city may, by ordinance passed at a regular meeting 
held before September 1 of any year, elect to hold the election 
on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in each 
odd-numbered year.  Any A city which is was a village on January 
1, 1974 and has before that date provided for a system of 
biennial elections in the odd-numbered year shall continue to 
hold its elections in that year until changed in accordance with 
this section.  When a city changes its elections from one year 
to another, and does not provide otherwise for the expiration of 
terms by ordinance, the term of any an incumbent expiring at a 
time when no city municipal election is held in the months 
immediately prior thereto to expiration is extended until the 
date for taking office following the next scheduled city 
municipal election.  If such the change results in having three 
councilmen to be elected at a succeeding election, the two 
persons individuals receiving the highest vote shall serve for 
terms of four years and the person individual receiving the 
third highest number of votes shall serve for a term of two 
years.  To the extent necessary to provide for an orderly 
transition to the odd or even year election plan, the governing 
body of the city may adopt supplementary ordinances regulating 
initial elections, and officers to be chosen at such the 
elections and shortening or lengthening the terms of incumbents 
and those so elected at the initial election so as to conform as 
soon as possible to the regular schedule provided in section 
412.02, subdivision 1.  Whenever the time for holding of the 
city municipal election is changed, the city clerk immediately 
shall notify in writing the county auditor and secretary of 
state of the change of date; and.  Thereafter the regular city 
municipal general election shall be held on the first Tuesday 
after the first Monday in November in each odd-numbered or 
even-numbered year until the ordinance is revoked and similar 
notification of the change is made. 
     Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.10, is 
amended to read: 
    205.10 [SPECIAL CITY SPECIAL ELECTIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [QUESTIONS.] Special elections may be held 
in any a statutory or home rule charter city on any a question 
on which the voters are authorized by law or charter to pass 
judgment.  A special election may be ordered by the governing 
body of the city on its own motion or, on a question that has 
not been submitted to the voters in an election within the 
previous six months previously, upon a petition signed by a 
number of voters equal to 20 percent of the votes cast at the 
last regular city municipal general election.  No A question 
so submitted shall be deemed is carried without such a only with 
the majority in its favor as may be required by law or charter 
in the particular instance.  The election officials for any a 
special election shall be the same as for the last preceding 
regular city most recent municipal general election unless 
changed according to law.  Otherwise special elections shall be 
conducted and the returns made in the manner provided for the 
regular municipal general election.  This section is not 
applicable to any city the charter of which specifically 
prohibits or regulates the holding of special elections.  
    Subd. 2.  [VACANCIES IN CITY OFFICES.] Special elections 
shall be held in statutory cities in conjunction with regular 
city municipal general elections to fill vacancies in elective 
city offices as provided in section 412.02, subdivision 2a.  
     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.13, is 
amended to read: 
    205.13 [MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, CANDIDATES, FILING.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [AFFIDAVIT OF CANDIDACY.] Not more than six 
nor less than four weeks before the municipal primary, or before 
the municipal general election if there is no municipal primary, 
any an individual who is eligible and desiring desires to have 
his name placed on the official ballot as a candidate for an 
office to be voted for at the election shall file his affidavit 
of candidacy with the municipal clerk.  The affidavit shall be 
in substantially the same form as required of candidates for 
state offices that in section 204B.06, subdivision 1.  The 
municipal clerk shall also accept an application also may be 
signed by not less than five voters and filed on behalf of any 
an eligible voter in the municipality whom they desire to be a 
candidate, if service of a copy of the application is has been 
made on the candidate and proof of service is endorsed on the 
application before filing being filed.  Upon payment receipt of 
the proper filing fee to the clerk, the clerk shall place the 
name of the candidate on the official ballot without partisan 
designation. 
    Subd. 2.  [NOTICE OF FILING DATES.] At least two weeks 
before the first day to file affidavits of candidacy, the 
municipal clerk shall publish a notice stating the first and 
last dates on which affidavits of candidacy may be filed in his 
the clerk's office and the closing time for filing on the last 
day for filing, and he.  The clerk shall post a similar notice 
at least ten days before the first day to file affidavits of 
candidacy. 
     Subd. 3.  [FILING FEES.] Unless the charter of a city 
provides the amount of the fee for filing an application or 
affidavit of candidacy for city office, the filing fee for a 
municipal office is as follows: 
     (a) In first class cities, $20; 
     (b) In second and third class cities, $5; and 
     (c) In fourth class cities and towns, $2. 
     Subd. 4.  [PETITION IN PLACE OF FEES.] A candidate for 
municipal office may file a petition in place of the filing fees 
specified in subdivision 3.  The petition shall meet the 
requirements of section 204B.11, subdivision 2. 
     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 500, 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 
greater. 
     Subd. 6.  [WITHDRAWAL.] A candidate for a municipal 
elective office may withdraw from the election by filing an 
affidavit of withdrawal with the municipal clerk by 12 o'clock 
noon of the day after the last day for filing affidavits of 
candidacy.  Thereafter, no candidate may file an affidavit of 
withdrawal.  
     Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.16, is 
amended to read: 
    205.16 [MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, NOTICE.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [PUBLICATION AND POSTING.] In every 
statutory city and every home rule charter city, the charter of 
which does not provide the manner in which of giving notice of 
an a municipal election is given for every election held within 
the city for municipal purposes, the city clerk shall, except as 
hereinafter otherwise provided in this section, cause give two 
weeks' published notice, and may also cause give ten days' 
posted notice, of the election, stating the time and place 
thereof of the election, the location of each polling place, the 
offices to be filled, and all propositions or questions to be 
voted upon at the election.  In any a city of the fourth class, 
the governing body may dispense with publication of the notice 
of the regular city municipal general election, in which case, 
ten days' posted notice shall be given.  The city clerk shall 
also post a copy of the notice in his the clerk's office for 
public inspection. 
    Subd. 2.  [SAMPLE BALLOT, PUBLICATION.] In all statutory 
and home rule charter cities, for every municipal election held 
within the city for municipal purposes, the city clerk shall, at 
least one week before the election, publish a sample ballot in 
the official newspaper of the city, except that the governing 
body of any a fourth class city may dispense with publication. 
    Subd. 3.  [SAMPLE BALLOT, POSTING.] For every municipal 
election held within any municipality for municipal purposes, 
the municipal clerk shall, at least four days before the 
election, post a sample ballot in his the clerk's office for 
public inspection, and post a sample ballot shall also be posted 
in each polling place on election day. 
     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.17, is 
amended to read:  
     205.17 [CITY OR TOWN ELECTION, BALLOTS, FORM.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH CLASS CITIES; 
TOWNS.] In all statutory and home rule charter cities of the 
second, third and fourth class, and in all towns, for the 
regular municipal general election, the municipal clerk shall 
prepare and cause to be have printed on light green paper the 
official ballot upon which containing the names of all 
candidates for municipal offices shall be printed.  The ballot 
shall be printed in blocks of 50 insofar as practicable, shall 
be headed "City or Town Election Ballot," and shall state the 
name of the city or town, and the date of the election, and 
otherwise shall conform in other respects to the white ballot 
used at the state general election.  The names shall be arranged 
on city ballots in the manner provided for the state elections. 
On town ballots names of the candidates for each office shall be 
arranged alphabetically according to the surname of each 
candidate candidates' surnames. 
    Subd. 2.  [FIRST CLASS CITIES.] In all cities of the first 
class, for the regular municipal general election, the city 
clerk shall prepare and cause to be have printed in blocks of 50 
a partisan ballot upon which the names of all candidates for the 
office of mayor and for the city council are printed, and a 
nonpartisan ballot upon which the names of all candidates for 
all other city offices are printed.  The partisan ballot shall 
be printed on light orange paper and shall be headed "Partisan 
City Election Partisan General Ballot."  The nonpartisan ballot 
shall be printed on light green paper and shall be headed " 
Nonpartisan City Election Nonpartisan General Ballot."  Both 
ballots shall state the name of the city, and the date of the 
elections election and otherwise conform in all other respects 
to the white ballot used at the state general election.  The 
names of the candidates on the nonpartisan ballot shall be 
rotated in the manner prescribed for the rotation of names on 
nonpartisan ballots in state general elections. 
    On the partisan ballot the name names of the candidates for 
mayor shall be placed first.  The order of the names of the 
candidates shall be in the manner prescribed for state general 
elections in section 204D.13. 
    Subd. 3.  [PRIMARY BALLOTS.] The municipal primary ballot 
of in cities of the second, third and fourth class and towns and 
the nonpartisan primary ballot in cities of the first class 
shall conform as far as practicable with the regular municipal 
general election ballot except that it shall be printed on white 
paper, and.  No blank spaces may not shall be provided for 
writing in the names of candidates. 
    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 paper.  The city of the first class partisan primary 
ballot in cities of the first class shall conform as far as 
practicable with the state consolidated partisan primary ballot. 
    Subd. 5 4.  [BLUE BALLOTS; QUESTIONS.] All questions 
relating to the adoption of a city charter or charter amendments 
thereto, or any a proposition for the issuance of bonds, and all 
other questions and propositions relating to city affairs 
submitted at any an election to the electors voters of the 
municipality, shall be printed on one separate blue colored 
ballot and shall be prepared, printed and distributed under the 
direction of the city clerk at the same time and in the same 
manner as other city municipal ballots.  The ballots, when 
voted, shall be deposited in a separate blue ballot box, painted 
blue, to be procured provided by the local authorities for each 
voting precinct.  The ballots shall be canvassed, counted, and 
returned in the same manner as other city municipal ballots, and 
the tally books and.  The returns shall provide appropriate 
blank spaces for the counting, canvassing and returning of the 
results of the questions submitted on the blue ballot. 
    Subd. 6 5.  [STATUTORY CITIES; VACANCIES.] In statutory 
cities, the names of candidates to fill vacancies at any a 
special election held as provided in section 412.02, subdivision 
2a, shall be placed on the city municipal primary and regular 
general election ballots.  The names of candidates to fill a 
vacancy in the office of councilman in a statutory city shall be 
listed under the separate heading "Special election for 
councilman to fill vacancy in term expiring ........," with the 
date of expiration of the term and any other information as may 
be necessary to distinguish the office.  Under the heading for 
the office of mayor in a special election shall be the words "To 
fill vacancy in term expiring .............."  
     Sec. 8.  [205.175] [VOTING HOURS.] 
     Subdivision 1.  [CITIES.] In all statutory and home rule 
charter city elections the governing body of the city, by 
resolution adopted prior to giving notice of the election, may 
designate the time, in no event less than three hours, during 
which the polling places will remain open for voting at the next 
succeeding and all subsequent municipal elections, until the 
resolution is revoked. 
     Subd. 2.  [METROPOLITAN AREA TOWNS.] At any election of 
town officers, in a town which is located within 60 miles of a 
city of the first class having a population of at least 250,000, 
the town board, by resolution adopted prior to giving notice of 
the election, may designate the time during which the polling 
places will remain open for voting at the next succeeding and 
all subsequent town elections, provided that the polling places 
shall open no later than 10:00 a.m. and shall close no earlier 
than 8:00 p.m.  The resolution shall remain in force until it is 
revoked by the town board. 
     Subd. 3.  [OTHER TOWNS.] In any election of town officers 
in a town other than a town described in subdivision 2, the town 
board, by resolution adopted prior to giving notice of the 
election, may designate the time, in no event less than three 
hours, during which the polling places will remain open for 
voting at the next succeeding and all subsequent town 
elections.  The resolution shall remain in force until it is 
revoked by the town board. 
    Sec. 9.  [205.185] [PROCEDURE.] 
     Subdivision 1.  [MATERIALS, BALLOTS.] The municipal clerk 
shall prepare and have printed the necessary election materials, 
including ballots, for a municipal election. 
     Subd. 2.  [ELECTION, CONDUCT.] A municipal election shall 
be by secret ballot and shall be held and the returns made in 
the manner provided for the state general election, so far as 
practicable. 
     Subd. 3.  [CANVASS OF RETURNS, CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION, 
BALLOTS, DISPOSITION.] Within two days after an election, the 
governing body shall canvass the returns and declare the results 
of the election.  After the time for contesting elections has 
passed, the municipal clerk shall issue a certificate of 
election to each successful candidate.  In case of a contest, 
the certificate shall not be issued until the outcome of the 
contest has been determined by the proper court.  In case of a 
tie vote, the governing body shall determine the result by lot. 
The clerk shall certify the results of the election to the 
county auditor, and the clerk shall be the final custodian of 
the ballots and the returns of the election. 
     Subd. 4.  [RECOUNT.] A losing candidate at a municipal 
election may request a recount of the votes for that office 
subject to the requirements of section 204C.36.  
     Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.20, is 
amended to read: 
    205.20 [UNIFORM MUNICIPAL ELECTION DAY.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] For the purposes of this 
section, the term municipality means a home rule charter city.  
    Subd. 2.  [UNIFORM MUNICIPAL ELECTION DAY ESTABLISHED 
ESTABLISHMENT.] There is hereby established a uniform municipal 
election day for home rule charter cities.  The uniform 
municipal election day shall be the first Tuesday after the 
first Monday in November in odd-numbered years.  Municipal 
Officials elected on that date shall take office on the first 
business day of January next succeeding their election for such 
the term as which is provided by law or as is hereinafter 
provided.  The governing body of a municipality home rule 
charter city may designate a date for the municipal primary 
which is not less than 14 days before the uniform municipal 
election day. 
    Subd. 3 2.  [ADOPTION BY CITY.] Notwithstanding any 
provision of law or municipal charter to the contrary, and 
subject to the provisions of this section, the governing body of 
a municipality home rule charter city may adopt by ordinance 
adopt the uniform municipal election day as its municipal 
election day. 
    Subd. 4 3.  [MODIFICATION OF TERMS OF OFFICE.] If the 
uniform municipal election day is adopted, the terms of all 
incumbents who at the time of adoption of the ordinance holding 
hold offices filled by municipal election and whose terms end at 
a different date are hereby extended to the first business day 
in January of the even numbered year first following the date 
the term would otherwise expire, unless this extension would be 
longer than 13 months.  If the extension would be longer than 13 
months, the terms of such those incumbents are hereby shortened 
so as to end on the first business day in January of the even 
numbered year first preceding the date the term would otherwise 
expire. 
    Notwithstanding any provision of law or municipal charter 
to the contrary, the governing body of a municipality home rule 
charter city adopting the uniform municipal election day shall 
designate in the adopting ordinance designate a new term for 
each office to be filled where the term for such the office at 
the time of the ordinance is an odd number of years.  Such The 
new terms shall be for an even number of years and for no more 
than one year longer than the term in effect at the time of the 
adoption of the ordinance.  At the time of any election, the 
governing body may also provide that one or more members of any 
a multi-member body shall be elected for a shorter term than is 
otherwise provided, if and in the manner necessary to achieve 
staggered terms on such the multi-member bodies body so that, to 
the extent mathematically possible, the same an equal number of 
members is thereafter chosen at each election, exclusive of 
those chosen to fill vacancies for unexpired terms. 
    Subd. 5 4.  [EFFECT OF ORDINANCE; REFERENDUM.] An ordinance 
adopting the uniform municipal election day shall not become is 
effective until 90 days after passage and publication or at such 
a later date as is fixed in the ordinance.  Within 60 days after 
passage and publication of such an the ordinance, a petition 
requesting a referendum on the ordinance may be filed with the 
municipal city clerk.  The petition shall be signed by eligible 
voters equal in number to five percent of the total number of 
votes cast in the municipality city at the last state general 
election.  If the municipality city has a system of permanent 
registration of voters, only registered voters are eligible to 
sign the petition.  If the requisite petition is filed within 
the prescribed period, the ordinance shall not become effective 
until it is approved by a majority of at least 55 percent of the 
voters voting on the question at a general or special election 
held at least 60 days after submission of the petition.  If the 
petition is filed, the governing body may reconsider its action 
in adopting the ordinance.  
     Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 205.84, is 
amended to read: 
    205.84 [WARDS IN CERTAIN CITIES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL PROVISIONS.] In any a statutory 
city electing councilmen by wards, wards shall be as equal in 
population as practicable and each ward shall be composed of 
compact, contiguous territory.  Each councilman shall be a 
resident of the ward for which he is elected, but a change in 
ward boundaries does not disqualify a councilman from serving 
for the remainder of his term.  
    Subd. 2.  [REDEFINING WARD BOUNDARIES.] The governing body 
of the city may by ordinance redefine ward boundaries after any 
regular a municipal general election.  The council shall hold a 
public hearing on the proposed ordinance before its adoption. 
One week's published notice of the hearing shall be given.  
Within six months after the official certification of each 
federal decennial or special census, the governing body of the 
city shall either confirm the existing ward boundaries as 
conforming to the standards of subdivision 1 or redefine ward 
boundaries to conform to those standards. If the governing body 
of the city fails to take either action within the time 
required, no further compensation shall be paid to the mayor or 
councilmen until the wards of the city are either reconfirmed or 
redefined as required by this section.  An ordinance 
establishing new ward boundaries shall apply to the first 
election held at least six months after adoption of the 
ordinance.  No redivision of the city into wards shall be made 
until the governing body of the city has held a public hearing 
on the proposed ordinance after one week's published notice.  
    Sec. 12.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1982, sections 205.03; 205.04; 205.11; 
205.14; 205.15; 205.19; and 205.21 are repealed. 
    Approved April 28, 1983