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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                             CHAPTER 8-S.F.No. 141 
                  An act relating to elections; providing for review of 
                  certain school board plans by the secretary of state; 
                  changing allocation of certain election expenses; 
                  providing for retention of election materials; 
                  clarifying terms of office and election frequency in 
                  certain cities; providing for transition in certain 
                  offices; authorizing the use of more than one combined 
                  polling place in certain school board elections; 
                  providing for dissolution of certain election 
                  districts; amending Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 
                  122.23, by adding a subdivision; 122.242, subdivision 
                  1; 204B.32, subdivision 2; 204B.40; 205.07, 
                  subdivision 1; 205.84, by adding a subdivision; 
                  205A.11, subdivision 2, and by adding a subdivision; 
                  205A.12, by adding a subdivision; and Laws 1994, 
                  chapter 646, section 26, subdivision 3. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 122.23, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 2b.  [ORDERLY REDUCTION PLAN.] As part of the 
        resolution required by subdivision 2, the school board must 
        prepare a plan for the orderly reduction of the membership of 
        the board to six or seven members and a plan for the 
        establishment or dissolution of election districts.  The plan 
        must be submitted to the secretary of state for review and 
        comment. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 122.242, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [ADOPTION AND STATE BOARD REVIEW.] Each 
        school board must adopt, by resolution, a plan for cooperation 
        and combination.  The plan must address each item in this 
        section.  The plan must be specific for any item that will occur 
        within three years and may be general or set forth alternative 
        resolutions for an item that will occur in more than three 
        years.  The plan must be submitted to the state board of 
        education and the secretary of state for review and comment.  
        Significant modifications and specific resolutions of items must 
        be submitted to the state board for review and comment.  In the 
        official newspaper of each district proposed for combination, 
        the school board must publish at least a summary of the adopted 
        plans, each significant modification and resolution of items, 
        and each state board review and comment. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 204B.32, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ALLOCATION OF COSTS ELECTION EXPENSES.] 
        Municipalities or counties may allocate the costs of conducting 
        elections to school districts for payment of their proportionate 
        share of such expenses for elections held at the same time as 
        the regular municipal or county primary and general election.  
        Allocated costs include expenses for election equipment and 
        supplies; polling locations; personnel (including election judge 
        compensation and the portion of salaries of election 
        administrative and technical employees attributable to the 
        preparation and conduct of the election); transportation related 
        to the conduct of the election; required election notices and 
        newspaper publication of election information; communications 
        devices; and postage (including mailings to election judges and 
        for absentee voter applications and ballots).  The secretary of 
        state shall develop procedures for the allocation of election 
        expenses among counties, municipalities, and school districts 
        for elections that are held concurrently.  The following 
        expenses must be included in the procedures:  salaries of 
        election judges; postage for absentee ballots and applications; 
        preparation of polling places; preparation and testing of 
        electronic voting systems; ballot preparation; publication of 
        election notices and sample ballots; transportation of ballots 
        and election supplies; and compensation for administrative 
        expenses of the county auditor, municipal clerk, or school 
        district clerk. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 204B.40, is 
        amended to read: 
           204B.40 [BALLOTS; ELECTION RECORDS AND OTHER MATERIALS; 
        DISPOSITION; INSPECTION OF BALLOTS.] 
           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.  The county 
        auditor may also retain election materials from school district 
        elections.  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, except as provided in this section, in a secure 
        location.  The county auditor, municipal clerk, or school 
        district clerk shall not permit any voted ballots to be tampered 
        with or defaced. 
           After the time for filing a notice of contest for an 
        election has passed, the secretary of state may open the sealed 
        ballot envelopes and inspect the ballots for that election 
        maintained by the county auditors, municipal clerks, or school 
        district clerks for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating 
        election procedures.  No inspected ballot may be marked or 
        identified in any manner.  After inspection, all ballots must be 
        returned to the ballot envelope and the ballot envelope must be 
        securely resealed. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 205.07, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DATE OF ELECTION.] The municipal general 
        election in each city shall be held on the first Tuesday after 
        the first Monday in November in every even-numbered year.  
        Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and subject 
        to the provisions of this section, the governing body of a city 
        may, by ordinance passed at a regular meeting held before June 1 
        of any year, elect to hold the election on the first Tuesday 
        after the first Monday in November in each odd-numbered year.  A 
        city may hold elections in either the even-numbered year or the 
        odd-numbered year, but not both.  When a city changes its 
        elections from one year to another, and does not provide for the 
        expiration of terms by ordinance, the term of an incumbent 
        expiring at a time when no municipal election is held in the 
        months immediately prior to expiration is extended until the 
        date for taking office following the next scheduled municipal 
        election.  If the change results in having three council members 
        to be elected at a succeeding election, the two individuals 
        receiving the highest vote shall serve for terms of four years 
        and the individual receiving the third highest number of votes 
        shall serve for a term of two years.  To provide 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 the elections and 
        shortening or lengthening the terms of incumbents and those 
        elected at the initial election so as to conform as soon as 
        possible to the regular schedule provided in section 412.02, 
        subdivision 1.  The term of office for the mayor may be either 
        two or four years.  The term of office of council members is 
        four years.  Whenever the time of the municipal election is 
        changed, the city clerk immediately shall notify in writing the 
        county auditor and secretary of state of the change of date.  
        Thereafter the 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 notification of the change is made. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 205.84, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [TRANSITION SCHEDULE.] The governing body of a 
        city electing more than one council member in each ward may 
        adopt an orderly transition schedule to biennial November 
        elections in which only one council member in each ward is 
        elected in any municipal general election. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 205A.11, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [COMBINED POLLING PLACE.] If there is an election 
        being conducted in some but not all of the precincts in the 
        school district, for those precincts in which no other election 
        is being conducted When no other election is being held in two 
        or more precincts on the day of a school district election, the 
        school board may designate a one or more combined polling 
        place places at which the voters in up to ten those precincts 
        may vote in the school district election.  If there is no other 
        election being conducted in any part of the school district, the 
        school board may establish a single polling place at which all 
        the voters must vote. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 205A.11, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [NOTICE OF SPECIAL ELECTIONS.] The school 
        district clerk shall prepare a notice to the voters who will be 
        voting in a combined polling place for a school district special 
        election.  The notice must include the following information:  
        the date of the election, the hours of voting and the location 
        of the voter's polling place.  The notice must be sent by 
        nonforwardable mail to every affected household in the school 
        district with at least one registered voter.  The notice must be 
        mailed no later than 14 days before the election.  The mailed 
        notice is not required for a school district special election 
        that is held on the day of the school district primary or 
        general election, the Tuesday following the second Monday in 
        September, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, 
        or for a special election conducted entirely by mail.  In 
        addition, the mailed notice is not required for voters residing 
        in a township if the school district special election is held on 
        the second Tuesday in March and the town general election is 
        held on that day.  A notice that is returned as undeliverable 
        must be forwarded immediately to the county auditor. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 205A.12, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [DISSOLUTION OF ELECTION DISTRICTS.] The 
        governing body of a school district that enters into a 
        consolidation or cooperation and combination agreement may, by 
        resolution, dissolve election districts previously established 
        as provided in this section as part of the consolidation or 
        cooperation and combination plan.  The resolution must include a 
        plan for the orderly transition to at-large elections of school 
        board members. 
           Sec. 10.  Laws 1994, chapter 646, section 26, subdivision 
        3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS.] The terms of all school 
        board members elected in 1996 expire on the first Monday in 
        January of 2001.  The terms of all school board members elected 
        in 1998 expire on the first Monday in January of 2003. 
           The terms of office of school board members elected in 1995 
        expire on the first Monday in January of 1999 or 2001, as 
        provided in this paragraph.  The governing body of the school 
        district shall select by lot the board members whose terms will 
        expire in January of 1999 or January of 2001.  To the extent 
        practicable, one-half of the members elected in 1995 must expire 
        in January of 1999.  The governing body of the school district 
        must complete the selection required by this paragraph no later 
        than 30 days before the first day to file affidavits of 
        candidacy for the election in 1995. 
           The terms of office of school board members elected in 1997 
        expire on the first Monday in January of 2001 or 2003, as 
        provided in this paragraph.  No later than 30 days before the 
        first day to file affidavits of candidacy for the election in 
        1997, the governing body of the school district shall select by 
        lot the board members whose terms will expire in January of 2001 
        or January of 2003.  To the extent practicable, one-half of the 
        members elected in 1997 must expire in January of 2001.  
           Sec. 11.  [TRANSITION.] 
           Before January 1, 1998, on a day when no other election is 
        being held within the school district, a school district 
        election may be held using combined polling places that were 
        established before August 1, 1994. 
           Sec. 12.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 4, 6, 7, and 9 to 11 are effective the day 
        following final enactment.  Section 5 is effective January 1, 
        1998.  Section 8 is effective January 1, 1996. 
           Presented to the governor March 1, 1995 
           Signed by the governor March 2, 1995, 11:04 a.m.