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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1991 

                        CHAPTER 320-H.F.No. 137 
 [At the time of publication, the question of whether this 
chapter is law was under consideration by Minnesota courts.] 
           An act relating to elections; changing time for 
          examination by judges of certain return envelopes; 
          changing the form of an affidavit; providing a 
          deadline for withdrawal from the general election 
          ballot; changing certain withdrawal procedures; 
          clarifying procedures for filling certain vacancies; 
          providing for counting a write-in vote for a candidate 
          for governor as a vote for that candidate's selection 
          for lieutenant governor; modifying requirements for 
          absentee ballots; amending Minnesota Statutes 1990, 
          sections 203B.12, subdivision 2; 203B.13, subdivision 
          3a; 203B.21, subdivision 3; 204B.04, subdivision 2; 
          204B.12, subdivision 3, and by adding subdivisions; 
          204B.13, subdivisions 1, 2, 4, and by adding 
          subdivisions; 204B.41; 204C.22, by adding a 
          subdivision; and 308A.635, subdivision 6; repealing 
          Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.13, subdivision 
          3. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, 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.  If a ballot has been prepared under section 5 or 
204B.41, the election judges shall not begin removing ballot 
envelopes from the return envelopes until 8:00 p.m. on election 
day, either in the polling place or at an absentee ballot board 
established under section 203B.13. 
    The election judges shall mark the return envelope 
"Accepted" and initial or sign the 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) the voter is registered and eligible to vote in the 
precinct or has included a properly completed registration card 
in the return envelope; and 
    (c) the voter has not already voted at that election, 
either in person or by absentee ballot.  
    The return envelope from accepted ballots must be preserved 
and returned to the county auditor.  
    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.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 203B.13, 
subdivision 3a, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3a.  [ABSENTEE VOTER LIST.] If the election judges of 
an absentee ballot board are authorized to receive, examine, 
validate, and count absentee ballots, the county auditor or 
municipal clerk shall prepare a list of all persons who have 
applied for absentee ballots at the election and deliver it to 
the election judges of the absentee ballot board along with the 
applications for absentee ballots.  The polling place rosters 
must include an indicator for all persons on the absentee voter 
list.  The county auditor may provide a supplemental list for 
use by the election judges after the polling place rosters have 
been prepared.  If a person on the absentee voter list appears 
in the polling place, the election judges shall contact notify 
the election judges of the absentee ballot board.  If contacted 
by the judges of the precinct, the election judges of the 
absentee ballot board shall examine the absentee voter list to 
determine if an absentee ballot has been cast.  They shall 
notify the precinct election judges of their findings and, if 
the absentee ballot has not yet been cast, the voter shall be 
allowed to vote in person.  When notified by the precinct 
election judges that the voter has voted in person, the election 
judges of the absentee ballot board shall make a notation on the 
absentee voter list that the voter has voted and no absentee 
ballot may be counted for that voter. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 203B.21, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [BACK OF RETURN ENVELOPE.] On the back of the 
return envelope an affidavit form shall appear with space for:  
    (a) The voter's address of present or former residence in 
Minnesota; 
    (b) A statement indicating the category described in 
section 203B.16 to which the voter belongs; 
    (c) A statement that the voter has not cast and will not 
cast another absentee ballot in the same election or elections; 
    (d) A statement that the voter personally marked the 
ballots without showing them to anyone, or if physically unable 
to mark them, that the voter directed another individual to mark 
them; and 
    (e) The voter's military identification card number, 
passport number, or, if the voter does not have a valid passport 
or identification card, the signature and certification of an 
individual authorized to administer oaths or a commissioned or 
noncommissioned officer of the military not below the rank of 
sergeant or its equivalent. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.04, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [CANDIDATES SEEKING NOMINATION BY PRIMARY.] No 
individual who seeks nomination for any partisan or nonpartisan 
office at a primary shall be nominated for the same office by 
nominating petition, except as otherwise provided for partisan 
offices in section 204D.10, subdivision 2, and for nonpartisan 
offices in section 204B.13, subdivision 4. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.12, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 2a.  [AFTER PRIMARY; CANDIDATES FOR CONSTITUTIONAL 
OFFICE.] (a) A candidate for a constitutional office may 
withdraw from the general election ballot by filing an affidavit 
of withdrawal with the same official who received the affidavit 
of candidacy.  The affidavit must request that official to 
withdraw that candidate's name from the ballot and must be filed 
no later than 16 days before the general election.  
    (b) A candidate for a constitutional office may withdraw 
after the deadline in paragraph (a) if: 
    (1) the candidate withdraws because of a catastrophic 
illness that was diagnosed after the deadline for withdrawal; 
    (2) the candidate's illness will permanently and 
continuously incapacitate the candidate and prevent the 
candidate from performing the duties of the office sought; and 
    (3) the candidate or the candidate's legal guardian files 
with the affidavit of withdrawal a certificate verifying that 
the candidate's illness meets the requirements of clauses (1) 
and (2), signed by at least two licensed physicians. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.12, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 2b.  [GOVERNOR'S RACE.] If a candidate for governor 
withdraws, the secretary of state shall remove from the ballot 
the name of the candidate for governor and the name of that 
candidate's running mate for lieutenant governor. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.12, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [TIME FOR FILING.] An affidavit of withdrawal 
filed pursuant to subdivision 1 under this section shall not be 
accepted later than 5:00 p.m. on the last day for withdrawal.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.13, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [DEATH OR WITHDRAWAL.] A vacancy in 
nomination may be filled in the manner provided by this 
section.  A vacancy in nomination exists when:  
    (a) A major political party candidate or nonpartisan 
candidate who was nominated at a primary dies, withdraws, or for 
any other reason ceases to be the nominated candidate for that 
office or files an affidavit of withdrawal as provided in 
section 5; or 
    (b) A candidate for a nonpartisan office, for which one or 
two candidates filed, dies or withdraws after the last day for 
filing for that office files an affidavit of withdrawal as 
provided in section 204B.12, subdivision 1.  
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.13, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [PARTISAN OFFICE; NOMINATION BY PARTY.] (a) A 
vacancy in nomination for partisan office shall be filled as 
provided in this subdivision.  A major political party has the 
authority to fill a vacancy in nomination of a major political 
party may be filled that party's candidate by filing a 
nomination certificate not later than four days before the 
general election with the same official who received the 
affidavits of candidacy for that office.  
    (b) A major political party may provide in its governing 
rules a procedure, including designation of an appropriate 
committee, to fill vacancies in nomination for all offices 
elected statewide.  The nomination certificate shall be prepared 
under the direction of and executed by the chair and secretary 
of the proper committee of that political party and filed within 
seven days after the vacancy in nomination occurs or before the 
14th day before the general election, whichever is sooner.  If 
the vacancy in nomination occurs through the candidate's death 
or catastrophic illness, the nomination certificate must be 
filed within seven days after the vacancy in nomination occurs 
but no later than four days before the general election.  The 
chair and secretary when filing the certificate shall attach an 
affidavit stating that the newly nominated candidate has been 
selected by that committee under the rules of the party and that 
the individuals signing the certificate and making the affidavit 
are the chair and secretary of the committee party.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.13, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [PARTISAN OR NONPARTISAN OFFICE; FILLING VACANCY 
BY NOMINATING PETITIONS.] If A vacancy in nomination cannot be 
filled pursuant to subdivision 2 or 3, the vacancy in a 
nonpartisan office may be filled by nominating petition in the 
manner provided in sections 204B.06 to 204B.09.  The petition 
shall be filed within one week after the vacancy in nomination 
occurs, but not later than four calendar days before the 
election.  
    An eligible voter is eligible to sign a nominating petition 
to fill a vacancy in nomination without regard to whether that 
eligible voter intends to vote or did vote for any candidate for 
that office at the primary or signed other nominating petitions 
for candidates for that office.  
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.13, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT 
GOVERNOR.] (a) If a vacancy in nomination occurs in the race for 
governor, the candidate for governor determined under this 
section shall select the candidate for lieutenant governor.  If 
a vacancy in nomination occurs in the race for lieutenant 
governor, due to a vacancy in nomination for governor or due to 
the withdrawal or death of the candidate for lieutenant 
governor, the candidate for governor shall select the candidate 
for lieutenant governor as provided in this subdivision. 
    (b) For a vacancy in nomination that occurs before the 16th 
day before the general election, the name of the lieutenant 
governor candidate must be submitted by the governor candidate 
to the filing officer within seven days after the vacancy 
occurs, or before the 14th day before the general election, 
whichever is sooner.  If the vacancy in nomination occurs 
through the death or catastrophic illness of the candidate for 
lieutenant governor, the candidate for governor shall submit the 
name of the new lieutenant governor candidate to the secretary 
of state within seven days after the vacancy in nomination 
occurs but no later than four days before the general election.  
If the vacancy in nomination occurs through the death or 
catastrophic illness of the candidate for governor, the new 
candidate for governor shall submit the name of the lieutenant 
governor candidate within seven days after the vacancy in 
nomination for governor is filled under section 204B.13, 
subdivision 2, but no later than four days before the general 
election. 
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.13, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 6.  [VACANCY AFTER DEADLINE.] If a candidate 
withdraws after the 16th day before the general election but 
before four days before the general election, the secretary of 
state shall instruct the election judges to strike the name of 
the withdrawn candidate from the general election ballot and 
shall substitute no other candidate's name.  Filing officers may 
not accept a nomination certificate for filing to fill a vacancy 
in nomination resulting from the filing of an affidavit of 
withdrawal by a candidate after the 14th day before the general 
election.  Vacancies occurring through death or catastrophic 
illness after the 16th day before the general election are 
governed by section 204B.41. 
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.41, is 
amended to read: 
    204B.41 [VACANCY IN NOMINATION; CHANGING BALLOTS.] 
    When a vacancy in nomination is filled pursuant to section 
204B.13, occurs through the death or catastrophic illness of a 
candidate after the ballots have been printed 16th day before 
the general election, the officer in charge of preparing the 
ballots shall prepare and distribute a sufficient number of 
separate paper ballots which shall be headed with the words 
"OFFICIAL SUPPLEMENTAL BALLOT."  This ballot shall contain the 
title of the office for which the vacancy in nomination has been 
filled and the names of all the candidates nominated for that 
office.  The ballot shall conform to the provisions governing 
the printing of other official ballots as far as practicable.  
The title of the office and the names of the candidates for that 
office shall be blotted out or stricken from the regular ballots 
by the election judges.  The official supplemental ballot shall 
be given to each voter when the voter is given the regular 
ballot or is directed to the voting machine.  Regular ballots 
shall not be changed nor shall official supplemental ballots be 
prepared as provided in this section during the three calendar 
days before an election.  Absentee ballots that have been mailed 
prior to the preparation of official supplemental ballots shall 
be counted in the same manner as if the vacancy had not 
occurred.  Official supplemental ballots shall not be mailed to 
absent voters to whom ballots were mailed before the official 
supplemental ballots were prepared. 
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204C.22, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
     Subd. 4a.  [WRITE-IN VOTE FOR CANDIDATE TEAM.] A write-in 
vote cast for a candidate for governor without a write-in vote 
for a candidate for lieutenant governor must be counted as a 
vote for the candidate team including the lieutenant governor 
candidate selected by that candidate for governor. 
    Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 308A.635, 
subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 6.  [ABSENTEE BALLOTS.] (a) A member who is absent 
from a members' meeting may vote by mail on the ballot 
prescribed in this subdivision on any motion, resolution, or 
amendment that the board submits for vote by mail to the members.
    (b) The ballot shall be in the form prescribed by the board 
and contain: 
    (1) the exact text of the proposed motion, resolution, or 
amendment to be acted on at the meeting; and 
    (2) spaces opposite the text of the motion, resolution, or 
amendment in which the member may indicate an affirmative or 
negative vote.  
    (c) The member shall express a choice by marking an "X" in 
the appropriate space on the ballot and mail or deliver the 
ballot to the cooperative in a plain, sealed envelope inside 
another envelope bearing the member's name.  The ballot must be 
signed by the member.  
    (d) A properly executed ballot shall be accepted by the 
board and counted as the vote of the absent member at the 
meeting. 
    Sec. 16.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 204B.13, subdivision 3, is 
repealed. 
    Presented to the governor May 30, 1991 
    Filed with the secretary of state June 10, 1991