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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1986 

                        CHAPTER 362-H.F.No. 2023 
           An act relating to elections; changing certain 
          procedures in absentee voting; increasing minimum 
          number of election judges in certain precincts; 
          changing certain official ballots for judicial 
          candidates; requiring vendor bonds for certain voting 
          systems; requiring public notice and demonstration for 
          new voting equipment; authorizing standard ballot 
          format; limiting number of ballots at single counting 
          centers; amending Minnesota Statutes 1984, sections 
          203B.08, subdivisions 1a and 3a; 204B.22, by adding a 
          subdivision; 204B.36, subdivision 4; 204D.14, 
          subdivision 2; 206.56, by adding a subdivision; 
          206.57, by adding a subdivision; 206.58, subdivision 
          1; 206.82, by adding a subdivision; 206.84, 
          subdivision 3; and 206.85, subdivision 2. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 203B.08, 
subdivision 1a, is amended 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.  The county auditor may provide that 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 county auditor for an absentee ballot 
and chooses to vote at the time of application.  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. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 203B.08, 
subdivision 3a, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3a.  [PROCEDURES FOR SAFEGUARDING ELECTRONICALLY 
MARKED BALLOTS.] When the voter has completed marking the ballot 
as authorized under subdivision 1a, 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 auditor or clerk and 
placed in a secure location with other absentee ballot cards 
marked under subdivision 1a.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 204B.22, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [MINIMUM NUMBER REQUIRED IN CERTAIN 
PRECINCTS.] At each state primary or state general election in 
precincts using lever voting machines or an electronic voting 
system with marking devices and in which more than 400 votes 
were cast at the last similar election, the minimum number of 
election judges is three plus one judge to demonstrate the use 
of the voting machine or device. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 204B.36, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [JUDICIAL CANDIDATES.] The official ballot shall 
contain the names of all candidates for each judicial office and 
shall state the number of those candidates for whom a voter may 
vote.  The title of each judicial office shall be printed on the 
official primary and general election ballot as follows:  
    (a) In the case of the supreme court:  
    "For the office of associate (or chief) justice of the 
supreme court to which (name of justice)............... was 
elected for the regular term" or "to which (name of 
justice)............... was appointed" "Chief justice (or 
associate justice) - supreme court (last name of incumbent) 
seat";  
    (b) In the case of the court of appeals:  
    "For the office of judge of the court of appeals to which 
............... (name of judge) was elected for the regular 
term" or "to which ............... (name of judge) was 
appointed" "Judge - court of appeals (last name of incumbent) 
seat";  
    (c) In the case of the district court:  
    "For the office of judge of the district court of the 
(number).......... judicial district to which (name of 
judge)............... was elected for the regular term" or "to 
which (name of judge)............... was appointed" "Judge - 
(number) district court (last name of incumbent) seat"; or 
    (d) In the case of the county court:  
    "For the office of judge of the county court of the county 
(or counties) of .......... to which (name of 
judge)............... was elected for the regular term" or "to 
which (name of judge)............... was appointed." "Judge - 
(number) county court (last name of incumbent) seat."  
    For voting machine ballots on which the statements required 
by this subdivision cannot be printed because of length, the 
title of each judicial office shall be printed as follows:  
    "Successor to (name)..............., elected (or 
appointed)."  
     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 204D.14, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [UNCONTESTED OFFICES.] Nonpartisan County offices 
for which there is only one candidate shall appear after all 
contested county offices on the canary ballot.  Judicial offices 
for which there is only one candidate shall appear after all 
contested judicial offices on the canary ballots. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 206.56, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 16.  [USER LIST.] "User list" means a list of the 
chief election officials of each county and municipality 
responsible for preparation of a program to be used with an 
electronic voting system or for administration of a counting 
center.  
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 206.57, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [VENDOR BONDS.] Vendors of lever voting machines 
or electronic voting systems shall certify to the secretary of 
state that they will not offer for sale any voting machine or 
system which is not certified for use in Minnesota elections.  
The vendor shall furnish a bond in the amount of $5,000 along 
with the certification to the secretary of state conditioned on 
offering the equipment for sale in accordance with Minnesota 
election laws and any conditions of the approval of the 
equipment granted as provided in this section.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 206.58, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [MUNICIPALITIES.] The governing body of a 
municipality, at a regular meeting or at a special meeting 
called for the purpose, may provide for the use of lever voting 
machines or, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of its 
members, may provide for the use of an electronic voting system, 
in one or more precincts and at all elections in the precincts.  
The governing body shall disseminate information to the public 
about the use of a new voting system at least 60 days prior to 
the election and shall provide for instruction of voters with a 
demonstration voting machine or device in a public place for the 
six weeks immediately prior to the first election at which the 
new voting system will be used.  
    If a machine is designed in a way that does not allow 
voting on all candidates and issues pursuant to this chapter, 
the machines may be used to the extent compliance with this 
chapter is possible and paper ballots complying with election 
laws shall be used for all other offices and issues.  No machine 
or system shall be adopted or used unless it has been approved 
by the secretary of state pursuant to section 206.57. 
     Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 206.82, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
     Subd. 3.  [BOND.] Before a contract is awarded to any 
vendor for preparation of a program for use with an electronic 
voting system, the vendor shall furnish the secretary of state 
with a sufficient bond conditioned on preparing the program in 
conformity with Minnesota election law and the instructions 
delivered to the vendor by the county auditor or municipal clerk 
who is responsible for the conduct of the election.  The 
secretary of state shall send notice of the receipt or 
forfeiture of any such bond to each official on the user list.  
On or before March 15 of every even-numbered year the county 
auditor shall send to the secretary of state the current user 
list for the county. 
     Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 206.84, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [BALLOTS.] The ballot information, whether placed 
on the ballot card or on the ballot booklet must, as far as 
practicable, be in the same order provided for paper ballots, 
except that the information may be in vertical or horizontal 
rows, or on a number of separate pages.  The secretary of state 
shall provide by rule for standard ballot formats for electronic 
voting systems.  
    The pages of a partisan primary ballot booklet may be 
different colors or may otherwise differentiate between the 
parties.  All pages of a party's primary ballot must be 
consecutive, without the insertion of pages from another party. 
Partisan primary ballot booklets must contain a prominent notice 
of the effect of attempting to vote in more than one party's 
primary.  A separate ballot booklet may also be used for each 
party in a partisan primary.  
    Ballots for all questions must be provided in the same 
manner.  Where ballot booklets are placed in a marking device, 
they shall be arranged on or in the marking device in the places 
provided.  Ballot cards may contain special printed marks and 
holes as required for proper positioning and reading of the 
ballots by electronic vote counting equipment.  Ballot cards 
must contain an identification of the precinct for which they 
have been prepared which can be read visually and which can be 
tabulated by the automatic tabulating equipment.  
     Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 206.85, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [COUNTING CENTER IN MORE THAN ONE MUNICIPALITY.] 
If a counting center serves more than one municipality, the 
county auditor of the county where the center is located is in 
sole charge of overall administration of the center and must 
    (a) establish procedures to implement the timely and lawful 
completion of the counting center proceedings;  
    (b) coordinate training of all counting center personnel 
and require additional training as needed;  
    (c) ask the county attorney, at least 30 days prior to an 
election, whether circumstances require that the municipalities 
sharing the use of a counting center resolve their respective 
duties and financial responsibilities by execution of a joint 
powers agreement pursuant to section 471.59; and 
    (d) coordinate, and if necessary, exercise the duties 
imposed by this section on the official in charge of elections 
in a municipality where an electronic voting system is used; and 
    (e) limit the number of ballots to be counted at a single 
counting center to no more than 100,000.  
     Sec. 12.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Section 10 is effective January 1, 1987, and sections 7 and 
9 are effective January 1, 1988. 
    Approved March 19, 1986