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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 175-H.F.No. 334 
           An act relating to elections; changing registration, 
          absentee ballot, filing, training, administrative, 
          electronic voting, ballot preparation, canvassing, and 
          election contest provisions; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1986, sections 201.071, subdivision 4; 
          201.091, subdivision 4; 203B.03, subdivision 1; 
          203B.06, subdivision 3; 204B.11, subdivision 1; 
          204B.27, subdivision 1; 204B.40; 204C.24, subdivision 
          1; 204C.27; 204C.31, subdivision 1; 204D.04, 
          subdivision 2; 204D.11, subdivision 6; 206.61, 
          subdivision 5; 206.82, subdivision 2; 206.90, 
          subdivision 3; and 209.021, subdivision 3; proposing 
          coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 351. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.071, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 4.  [CHANGE OF REGISTRATION.] Any county auditor who 
receives a registration card indicating that an individual was 
previously registered in a different county in Minnesota shall 
notify the county auditor of that county on a form prescribed by 
the secretary of state.  A county auditor receiving a 
registration card indicating that a voter was previously 
registered in a different precinct in the same county or 
receiving a notification form as provided in this subdivision or 
section 204C.30, subdivision 2, shall delete that individual's 
name from the registration lists and remove the duplicate voter 
registration card, if any, and the original voter registration 
cards from the files.  Any county auditor who receives a 
registration card or notification requiring a change of 
registration records under this subdivision shall also check the 
duplicate registration card or file from the precinct of prior 
residence to determine whether the individual voted in that 
precinct in the most recent election. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.091, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 4.  [PUBLIC ACCESS TO REGISTRATION FILES.] The 
duplicate registration file shall be open to public inspection. 
The public official having custody of the voter registration 
files may adopt reasonable rules governing access to the files.  
No individual inspecting the duplicate registration file shall 
tamper with the cards or their arrangement.  No individual who 
inspects a duplicate registration file or who acquires a list of 
registered voters prepared from the file may use any information 
contained in the file or list for purposes unrelated to 
elections, political activities, or law enforcement.  
     Before inspecting voter registration files or obtaining a 
list of voters or other information from the files, the 
individual shall provide identification to the public official 
having custody of the registration files. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 203B.03, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [VIOLATION.] No individual shall 
intentionally:  
    (a) make or sign any false certificate required by this 
chapter;  
    (b) make any false or untrue statement in any application 
for absentee ballots;  
    (c) apply for absentee ballots more than once in any 
election with the intent to cast an illegal ballot;  
    (d) exhibit a ballot marked by that individual to any other 
individual; or 
    (e) do any act in violation of the provisions of this 
chapter for the purpose of casting an illegal vote in any 
precinct or for the purpose of aiding another to cast an illegal 
vote; or 
    (f) use information from absentee ballot materials or 
records for purposes unrelated to elections, political 
activities, or law enforcement.  
    Before inspecting information from absentee ballot 
materials or records, an individual shall provide identification 
to the public official having custody of the material or 
information.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 203B.06, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [DELIVERY OF BALLOTS.] If an application for 
absentee ballots is accepted at a time when absentee ballots are 
not yet available for distribution, the county auditor or 
municipal clerk accepting the application shall file it and as 
soon as absentee ballots are available for distribution shall 
mail them to the address specified in the application.  If an 
application for absentee ballots is accepted when absentee 
ballots are available for distribution, the county auditor or 
municipal clerk accepting the application shall promptly:  
    (a) Mail the ballots to the voter whose signature appears 
on the application if the application is submitted by mail; or 
    (b) Deliver the absentee ballots directly to the voter if 
the application is submitted in person.  
    If an application does not indicate the election for which 
absentee ballots are sought, the county auditor or municipal 
clerk shall mail or deliver only the ballots for the next 
election occurring after receipt of the application.  Only one 
set of ballots may be mailed to an applicant for any election. 
    This subdivision does not apply to applications for 
absentee ballots received pursuant to section 203B.04, 
subdivision 2, and section 203B.11.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.11, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [AMOUNT.] Except as provided by subdivision 
2, a filing fee shall be paid by each candidate who files an 
affidavit of candidacy.  The fee shall be paid at the time the 
affidavit is filed.  The amount of the filing fee shall vary 
with the office sought as follows: 
    (a) for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, 
attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, secretary of 
state, representative in congress, judge of the supreme court, 
judge of the court of appeals, judge of the district court, or 
judge of the county municipal court of Hennepin county, $150; 
    (b) for the office of senator in congress, $200; 
    (c) for office of senator or representative in the 
legislature, $50;  
    (d) for a county office, $50; and 
    (e) for the office of soil and water conservation district 
supervisor, $20. 
    For the office of presidential elector, and for those 
offices for which no compensation is provided, no filing fee is 
required. 
    The filing fees received by the county auditor shall 
immediately be paid to the county treasurer.  The filing fees 
received by the secretary of state shall immediately be paid to 
the state treasurer. 
    When an affidavit of candidacy has been filed with the 
appropriate filing officer and the requisite filing fee has been 
paid, the filing fee shall not be refunded.  If a candidate's 
filing fee is paid with a check, draft, or similar negotiable 
instrument for which sufficient funds are not available or that 
is dishonored, notice to the candidate of the worthless 
instrument must be sent by the filing officer via registered 
mail no later than immediately upon the closing of the filing 
deadline with return receipt requested.  The candidate will have 
five days from the time the filing officer receives proof of 
receipt to issue a check or other instrument for which 
sufficient funds are available.  The candidate issuing the 
worthless instrument is liable for a service charge pursuant to 
section 332.50.  If adequate payment is not made, the name of 
the candidate must not appear on any official ballot and the 
candidate is liable for all costs incurred by election officials 
in removing the name from the ballot. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.27, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [BLANK FORMS.] At least 25 days before 
every state election the secretary of state shall transmit to 
each county auditor a sufficient number of blank county abstract 
forms, affidavits of challenged voters, and any other blank 
forms that the secretary of state deems necessary for the 
conduct of the election.  
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.40, is 
amended to read:  
    204B.40 [BALLOTS; ELECTION RECORDS AND OTHER MATERIALS; 
DISPOSITION.] 
    The county auditors and municipal clerks shall retain all 
election materials returned to them after any election for at 
least one year from the date of that election.  All election 
materials involved in a contested election shall be retained for 
one year or until the contest has been finally determined, 
whichever is later.  Abstracts filed by canvassing boards shall 
be retained permanently by any officer with whom those abstracts 
are filed.  Election materials no longer required to be retained 
pursuant to this section shall be disposed of in accordance with 
sections 138.163 to 138.21.  Sealed envelopes containing voted 
ballots must be retained unopened in a secure location.  The 
county auditor or municipal clerk shall not permit any voted 
ballots to be tampered with or defaced. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204C.24, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS.] 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 undervotes or partially blank ballots, and the number of 
overvotes or 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 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. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, 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, and gray ballots; and the envelopes 
containing the white, pink, and canary, and gray ballots either 
directly to the municipal clerk for transmittal to the county 
auditor's office or directly to the county auditor's 
office within as soon as possible after the vote counting is 
completed but no later than 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 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. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204C.31, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [COUNTY CANVASSING BOARD.] The county 
canvassing board shall consist of the county auditor, the court 
administrator of the district court, the mayor or chair of the 
town board of the county's most populous municipality, and two 
members of the county board selected by the board from its 
members who are not candidates at the election.  Any member of 
the canvassing board may appoint a designee to appear at the 
meeting of the board, except that no designee may be a candidate 
for public office.  If one of these individuals fails to appear 
at the meeting of the canvassing board and in the absence of any 
selection by the county board from among its own members, the 
county auditor shall appoint an eligible voter of the county who 
is not a public official or a candidate for public office to 
fill the vacancy.  Three members constitute a quorum.  
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204D.04, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  [INSTRUCTIONS TO PRINTER; PRINTER'S BOND.] The 
official charged with the preparation and distribution of the 
ballots shall prepare instructions to the printer for rotation 
of the names of candidates, for layout of the ballot and for 
providing the ballots in groups of 50.  The instructions shall 
be approved by the legal advisor of the official before delivery 
to the printer.  Before a contract is awarded for printing 
ballots, the printer shall furnish a sufficient bond in an 
amount not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000, conditioned on 
printing the ballots in conformity with the Minnesota election 
law and the instructions delivered.  If the cost of the ballots 
exceeds $1,000 the official responsible for printing the ballots 
shall set the amount of the bond in an amount no greater than 
the value of the purchase.  
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204D.11, 
subdivision 6, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 6.  [GRAY BALLOT.] When the canary ballot would be 
longer than 30 inches, the following offices that should be 
placed on the canary ballot may be placed instead on a separate 
gray ballot: 
    (a) all soil and water conservation district supervisor 
offices; or 
    (b) all soil and water conservation district supervisor and 
all county or municipal judicial offices; or 
    (c) all soil and water conservation district 
supervisor, (b) all county or municipal judicial offices, and 
all district judicial offices. 
    All soil and water conservation district supervisor offices 
may be placed on the gray ballot. 
    The gray ballot must be headed with the words:  "District 
Nonpartisan General Election Ballot."  Separate ballot boxes 
must be provided for these gray ballots.  
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 206.61, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 5.  [ALTERNATION.] The provisions of the election 
laws requiring the alternation of names of candidates shall be 
observed as far as practicable by changing the order of the 
names on the lever voting machines or an electronic voting 
system in the various precincts so that each name appears on the 
machines or marking devices used in a municipality substantially 
an equal number of times in the first, last, and in each 
intermediate place in the list or group in which they belong. 
However, the arrangement of candidates' names shall be the same 
on all lever voting machines or marking devices used in the same 
precinct.  When the number of names to be alternated exceeds the 
number of precincts, the election official responsible for 
providing the ballots, in accordance with subdivision 1, shall 
determine by lot the alternation of names. 
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 206.82, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  [PLAN.] The municipal clerk in a municipality 
where an electronic voting system is used and the county auditor 
of a county in which a counting center serving more than one 
municipality is located shall prepare a plan which indicates 
acquisition of sufficient facilities, computer time, and 
professional services and which describes the proposed manner of 
complying with section 206.80.  The plan must be signed, 
notarized, and submitted to the secretary of state more than 60 
days before the first election at which the municipality uses an 
electronic voting system and.  Prior to July 1 in every of each 
subsequent general election year the clerk or auditor shall 
submit to the secretary of state notification of any changes to 
the plan on file with the secretary of state.  The secretary of 
state shall review each plan for its sufficiency and may request 
technical assistance from the department of administration or 
other agency which may be operating as the central computer 
authority.  The secretary of state shall notify each reporting 
authority of the sufficiency or insufficiency of its plan within 
20 days of receipt of the plan.  The attorney general, upon 
request of the secretary of state, may seek a district court 
order requiring an election official to fulfill duties imposed 
by this subdivision or by rules promulgated pursuant to this 
section.  
    Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 206.90, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [AVAILABILITY OF PAPER BALLOTS.] For the purposes 
of section 206.63, "paper ballots" includes ballot cards which 
are voted by marking with a pencil or other writing instrument 
and on which are printed the names of candidates, office titles, 
party designation in a partisan primary or election, and a 
statement of any question accompanied by the words "Yes" and 
"No."  At a state or county election where an optical scan 
voting system will be in use, the county auditor may provide 
ballot cards meeting the requirements of this section in lieu of 
paper ballots otherwise required to be prepared by the county 
auditor. 
    Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 209.021, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [NOTICE SERVED ON PARTIES.] In all contests 
relating to the nomination or election of a candidate, the 
notice of contest must be served on the candidate who is the 
contestee, a copy of the notice must be sent to the contestee's 
last known address by certified mail, and a copy must be 
furnished to the official authorized to issue the certificate of 
election.  If personal or substituted service on the contestee 
cannot be made, an affidavit of the attempt by the person 
attempting to make service and the affidavit of the person who 
sent a copy of the notice to the contestee by certified mail is 
sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the court to decide the 
contest.  
    If the contest relates to a constitutional amendment or 
other question voted on statewide or voted on in more than one 
county, notice of contest must be served on the secretary of 
state, who is the contestee.  If a contest relates to a question 
voted on within only one county or one municipality, a copy of 
the notice of contest must be served on the county auditor or 
municipal clerk, respectively, who is the contestee.  If the 
contest relates to an irregularity in the conduct of an election 
or canvass of votes, a copy of the notice of contest must be 
served on the county auditor of the county where the 
irregularity is said to have occurred. 
    Sec. 17.  [351.055] [PREPARATIONS FOR SPECIAL ELECTIONS.] 
    If a future vacancy becomes certain to occur and the 
vacancy must be filled by a special election, the appropriate 
authorities may begin procedures leading to the special election 
so that a successor may be elected at the earliest possible time.
    Approved May 20, 1987