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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1984 

                        CHAPTER 560-S.F.No. 1954
           An act relating to elections; making procedural 
          changes; correcting erroneous and obsolete provisions; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1982, sections 200.02, 
          subdivision 7; 201.021; 201.061, subdivision 2; 
          203B.04, subdivision 4; 203B.06, subdivision 4; 
          203B.12, subdivisions 3, 4, and 6; 204B.27, 
          subdivisions 2 and 3; 204B.28, subdivision 2; 204B.29, 
          subdivision 1; 204C.27; 204D.11, subdivision 3, and by 
          adding a subdivision; 206.15; 208.04; Minnesota 
          Statutes 1983 Supplement, sections 203B.12, 
          subdivision 2; 204B.36, subdivision 2; 204C.10, 
          subdivision 1;  204C.32, subdivision 2; and 204D.11, 
          subdivisions 1 and 5; 205.175, subdivisions 1 and 3; 
          repealing Minnesota Statutes 1982, sections 201.018, 
          subdivision 1; 204C.11; and 204C.30, subdivision 2. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 200.02, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY.] "Major political party" 
means a political party that maintains a party organization in 
the state, political division or precinct in question and: 
    (a) Which has presented at least one candidate for election 
to a partisan office at the last preceding state general 
election, which candidate received votes in each county in that 
election and received votes from not less than five percent of 
the total number of individuals who voted in that election; or 
    (b) Whose members present to the county auditor secretary 
of state a petition for a place on the state partisan primary 
ballot, which petition contains signatures of a number of the 
party members equal to at least five percent of the total number 
of individuals who voted in the preceding state general election 
in the county where the application is submitted. 
     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 201.021, is 
amended to read: 
    201.021 [PERMANENT REGISTRATION SYSTEM.] 
    A permanent system of voter registration by county is 
established.  Any county not containing a city with a population 
of 10,000 or more may exempt itself from the provisions of Laws 
1981, Chapter 29, Article II, Sections 5 to 24.  The county 
auditor shall be chief registrar of voters and the chief 
custodian of the official registration records in each county. 
     Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 201.061, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [POLITICAL SUBDIVISION WITHOUT PERMANENT SYSTEM 
PREREGISTRATION.] Subdivision 1 does not apply to eligible 
voters in any political subdivision which does not on July 1, 
1973 have a permanent system of voter registration August 1, 
1984 allow preregistration unless the governing body of that 
political subdivision by ordinance or resolution elects to come 
under the provisions of subdivision 1.  The decision to allow 
preregistration may not be rescinded. 
     Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.04, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [REGISTRATION AT TIME OF APPLICATION.] In 
counties with a permanent system of voter registration, An 
eligible voter who is not registered to vote but who is 
otherwise eligible to vote by absentee ballot may register by 
including a completed voter registration card with the absentee 
ballot.  The individual shall present proof of residence as 
required by section 201.061, subdivision 3, to the individual 
who witnesses the marking of the absentee ballots.  
     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.06, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [REGISTRATION CHECK.] In counties with a 
permanent system of voter registration, Upon receipt of an 
application for ballots, the county auditor, municipal clerk, or 
election judge acting pursuant to section 203B.11, who receives 
the application shall determine whether the applicant is a 
registered voter.  If the applicant is not registered to vote, 
the county auditor, municipal clerk or election judge shall 
include a voter registration card among the election materials 
provided to the applicant.  
     Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, 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 return 
envelope "Accepted" and initial or sign the ballot return 
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 mark the return envelope "Rejected," initial or sign it 
below the word "Rejected," and return it to the county auditor 
with the unused ballots. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.12, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [NOTATION ON DUPLICATE REGISTRATION CARD OR 
ELECTION REGISTER FILE.] If the ballot return envelope is marked 
with the word "Accepted", the election judges shall record the 
fact that the voter has voted by absentee ballot on the 
duplicate voter registration card or in the election register in 
precincts with no permanent voter registration file.  This shall 
be done by placing the letters "A.B." in the appropriate space 
on the duplicate card or register file.  After a registration 
card or election register file has been marked to record that an 
individual has voted by absentee ballot, the individual shall 
not be allowed to vote in person at that election.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.12, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [PLACEMENT IN CONTAINER; OPENING AND COUNTING OF 
BALLOTS.] The ballot envelopes from return envelopes marked 
"Accepted" shall be placed by the election judges in a separate 
absentee ballot container.  The container and each ballot 
envelope may be opened only after the last regular mail delivery 
by the United States postal service on election day.  The 
ballots shall then be initialled by the election judges in the 
same manner as ballots delivered by them to voters in person and 
shall be deposited in the appropriate ballot box.  
    If more than one ballot of any kind is enclosed in the 
ballot envelope, none of the ballots of that kind shall be 
counted but all ballots of that kind shall be returned in the 
manner provided by section 204C.25 for return of spoiled ballots.
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 203B.12, 
subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 6.  [EXCEPTION FOR MUNICIPALITIES WITH ABSENTEE 
BALLOT COUNTING BOARDS.] In municipalities with an absentee 
ballot counting board, the election judges in each precinct 
shall receive and process return envelopes and ballot envelopes 
as provided in this section except that the ballot envelopes 
from return envelopes marked "Accepted" shall be delivered in an 
absentee ballot container to the absentee ballot counting board 
for the counting of ballots as soon as possible after 
processing.  Other law to the contrary notwithstanding, the 
governing body of a municipality with an absentee ballot 
precinct may authorize the judges of the absentee ballot 
precinct to validate ballots in the manner provided in this 
section.  The vote totals provided by the absentee ballot 
counting board shall be included in the vote totals on the 
summary statements of the returns for the precinct in which they 
were received.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.27, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [ELECTION LAW AND INSTRUCTIONS.] The secretary of 
state shall prepare and publish a volume containing all state 
general laws relating to elections.  The attorney general shall 
provide annotations to the secretary of state for this volume.  
On or before July 1 of every even numbered year the secretary of 
state shall furnish to the county auditors and municipal clerks 
sufficient enough copies of this volume so that each county 
auditor , and municipal clerk and election precinct will have at 
least one copy.  The secretary of state shall prepare an extract 
of this volume containing all the election laws related to the 
duties of election judges.  On or before August 1 of every 
even-numbered year, the secretary of state shall furnish to the 
county auditors and municipal clerks enough copies of this 
extract so that each election precinct will have at least one 
copy.  The secretary of state shall determine the manner in 
which the volume is and extract are distributed.  The secretary 
of state may prepare and transmit to the county auditors and 
municipal clerks detailed written instructions for complying 
with election laws relating to the conduct of elections, conduct 
of voter registration and voting procedures.  
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.27, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [INSTRUCTION POSTERS.] At least 15 25 days before 
every state election the secretary of state shall prepare and 
furnish to the county auditor of each county in which paper 
ballots are used, voter instruction posters printed in large 
type upon cards or heavy paper.  The instruction posters shall 
contain the information needed to enable the voters to cast 
their paper ballots quickly and correctly.  Two instruction 
posters shall be furnished for each precinct in which paper 
ballots are used.  
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.28, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [ELECTION SUPPLIES; DUTIES OF COUNTY AUDITORS AND 
CLERKS.] Except as otherwise provided for absentee ballots in 
section 204B.35, subdivision 4, the county auditor shall 
complete the preparation of the election materials for which he 
is responsible at least one week before every state primary and 
state general election.  At any time after all election 
materials are available from the county auditor but not later 
than one week before the election each municipal clerk shall 
secure from the county auditor:  
    (a) The forms that are required for the conduct of the 
election;  
    (b) Any printed voter instruction materials furnished by 
the secretary of state;  
    (c) Any other instructions for election officers; and 
    (d) A sufficient quantity of the official ballots, ballot 
boxes, registers, registration files, envelopes for ballot 
returns, and other supplies and materials required for each 
precinct in order to comply with the provisions of the Minnesota 
election law.  The county auditor may furnish the election 
supplies to the municipal clerks in the same manner as the 
supplies are furnished to precincts in unorganized territory 
pursuant to section 204B.29, subdivision 1.  
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204B.29, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [SECURING ELECTION MATERIALS.] Before 9:00 
p.m. on the day preceding an election, at least one election 
judge from each precinct in each municipality shall secure 
election registers or voter registration files, ballots, forms, 
envelopes and other required supplies from the municipal clerk 
or other legal custodian.  The election judge shall deliver the 
materials to the polling place before the time when voting is 
scheduled to begin on election day.  The county auditor shall 
send or deliver the election supplies enumerated in this section 
to the election judges in the precincts in unorganized 
territory.  The election supplies may be sent by certified mail, 
parcel post, express mail or any other postal service providing 
assured delivery by no later than the day before the election.  
If the election supplies are delivered by any other means, they 
shall be delivered by no later than the day before the election. 
    Each precinct shall be furnished with 100 ballots of each 
kind for every 85 individuals who voted in that precinct at the 
last election for the same office or on similar questions, or 
with ballots of each kind in an amount at least ten percent 
greater than the number of votes which are reasonably expected 
to be cast in that precinct in that election, whichever supply 
of ballots is greater.  No precinct shall be furnished with any 
ballots containing the name of any candidate who cannot properly 
be voted for in that precinct.  
    The election judges shall be responsible for the 
preservation of all election materials received by them until 
returned to the appropriate election officials after the voting 
has ended.  
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, 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.  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. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, 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 
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 has not 
already voted in the election.  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. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204C.27, is 
amended to read: 
    204C.27 [DELIVERY OF RETURNS TO COUNTY AUDITORS.] 
    One or more of the election judges in each precinct shall 
deliver two sets of summary statements; all unused and spoiled 
white, pink, and canary ballots; one election register in 
counties with no permanent voter registration system; and the 
envelopes containing the white, pink, and canary ballots either 
directly to the municipal clerk for transmittal to the county 
auditor's office or directly to the county auditor's office 
within 24 hours after the end of the hours for voting.  One or 
more election judges shall deliver the remaining set of summary 
statements and returns, all unused and spoiled municipal 
ballots, the remaining election register in counties without a 
permanent voter registration system, the envelopes containing 
municipal ballots, and all other things furnished by the 
municipal clerk, to the municipal clerk's office within 24 hours 
after the end of the hours for voting.  
    Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, section 
204C.32, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [STATE CANVASS.] The state canvassing board shall 
meet at the secretary of state's office on the second Tuesday 
after the state primary to canvass the certified copies of the 
county canvassing board reports received from the county 
auditors.  No later than two days after the canvassing board 
declares the results, the secretary of state shall certify the 
names of the nominees to the county auditors and shall mail to 
each nominee a notice of nomination. 
    Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, section 
204D.11, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [WHITE BALLOT; RULES; REIMBURSEMENT.] The 
names of the candidates for all partisan offices voted on at the 
state general election shall be placed on a single ballot 
printed on white paper which shall be known as the "white 
ballot."  This ballot shall be prepared by the county auditor 
subject to the rules of the secretary of state.  The state shall 
contribute to the cost of preparing the white ballot and the 
envelopes required for the returns of that ballot.  The 
secretary of state shall adopt rules for preparation and time of 
delivery of the white ballot and for establishing a basis for 
distributing to the counties the money appropriated by the state 
for white ballot costs.  The appropriation shall be available 
both years of the biennium and shall be used for all state 
general and special elections.  The secretary of state shall 
report to the chairmen of the senate finance and house 
appropriations committees on all money used for special 
elections.  
    Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204D.11, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [CANARY BALLOT; GRAY BALLOT.] All questions and 
the names of all candidates for offices to be voted on at the 
state general election which are not placed on the white ballot 
shall be placed on a single ballot printed on canary paper which 
shall be known as the "canary ballot".  The canary ballot shall 
be prepared by the county auditor. 
    When the length of the canary ballot would exceed 30 
inches, all of the municipal judicial offices that are to be 
placed on the canary ballot may be placed instead on a single 
separate ballot printed on gray paper.  Separate ballot boxes 
must be provided for these gray ballots.  
    Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 204D.11, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 6.  [GRAY BALLOT.] All soil and water conservation 
district supervisor offices that are to be placed on the canary 
ballot under the provisions of section 40.05 may be placed 
instead on a single separate ballot printed on gray paper. 
Separate ballot boxes must be provided for these gray ballots. 
So far as is practicable, gray ballots must be distributed to 
voters, handled, counted, and canvassed in the manner provided 
by law for precincts using only paper ballots.  The canvass of 
the gray paper ballots must not delay the canvass of votes 
recorded on the voting machines.  A separate summary statement 
may be provided for reporting of the canvass of the gray paper 
ballots.  The returns from the voting machines may be filed as 
provided in section 206.21 before the canvass of the gray paper 
ballots is completed.  Additional or replacement election judges 
may be appointed to count the gray paper ballots.  Soil and 
water district supervisor offices may be placed on the same 
separate gray paper ballot used for any other offices which are 
placed on a separate gray paper ballot under the provisions of 
state law.  
    Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, 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 "Ballot of County and Judicial District 
Nonpartisan Candidates General Election Ballot."  When the 
canary ballot is divided into two separate ballots as provided 
in subdivision 3, the ballot printed on canary paper must be 
headed "County Nonpartisan General Election Ballot" and the 
ballot printed on gray paper must be headed "Judicial Municipal 
Nonpartisan General Election Ballot."  
    Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, section 
205.175, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    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.  Cities covered by this subdivision shall 
certify their election hours to the county auditor upon adoption 
of the resolution giving notice of the election.  
    Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 1983 Supplement, section 
205.175, subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    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.  Towns covered by this subdivision 
shall certify their election hours to the county auditor in 
January of each year.  
    Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 206.15, is 
amended to read: 
    206.15 [MAY BE USED AT ALL ELECTIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL.] Where voting machines shall be 
provided in the manner permitted by law, such voting machines 
may be used at all elections, insofar as the use of the same is 
applicable, and not inconsistent with this chapter.  If the 
mechanism of such machines will not permit the voter to record 
his vote in the manner provided by this chapter said machines 
may be used in the manner now provided by law so far as is 
applicable, and as to offices to which such voting machines will 
not apply, separate paper ballots conforming with the law shall 
be used.  All votes on voting machines shall be recorded and 
counted and the results thereof ascertained, canvassed and 
returned as provided by this chapter.  When voting machines are 
used in an election, a reasonable supply of paper ballots and 
ballot boxes shall be maintained in the possession of the 
authority charged with the duty of providing ballots for any 
polling place where voting machines are used.  If one or more of 
the voting machines in any such polling place fails to function 
during the election, such authority may dispatch paper ballots 
and ballot boxes to the polling place in such quantity as the 
authority deems necessary to avoid undue delay occasioned by the 
machine failure.  If paper ballots are used in an election 
pursuant to this section, they shall be handled, counted, and 
canvassed in the same manner as absentee ballots.  At such time 
as notification of machine failure is received the officer in 
charge of supplying ballots shall notify the county headquarters 
of all major political parties with an office therein or the 
county chairman of said parties without delay and before said 
paper ballots are distributed.  
    Subd. 2.  [GRAY BALLOTS.] If the number of offices to be 
voted on exceeds the number that can be accommodated on the 
voting machine, all the municipal judicial offices to be voted 
on must be placed on a single separate paper ballot prepared 
according to law.  The separate paper ballot must be headed 
"Judicial Municipal Nonpartisan General Election Ballot" and 
printed on gray paper.  Gray ballots must be distributed to 
voters, handled, counted, and canvassed in the manner provided 
by law for precincts using only paper ballots, so far as is 
practicable.  The canvass of the gray paper ballots must not 
delay the canvass of votes recorded on the voting machines.  A 
separate summary statement may be provided for reporting of the 
canvass of the gray paper ballots.  The returns from the voting 
machines may be filed as provided in section 206.21 before the 
canvass of the gray paper ballots is completed.  Additional or 
replacement election judges may be appointed to count the gray 
paper ballots.  
    Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 208.04, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  The rules for preparation, state contribution to 
the cost of printing, and delivery of presidential ballots shall 
be are the same as the rules for white ballots under section 
204D.11, subdivision 1.  The secretary of state shall reimburse 
the counties for the cost of the preparation of the presidential 
ballot.  
    Sec. 26.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1982, sections 201.018, subdivision 1; 
204C.11; and 204C.30, subdivision 2 are repealed. 
    Approved April 25, 1984