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Minnesota Session Laws - 1999, Regular Session

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

                            CHAPTER 132-S.F.No. 1144 
                  An act relating to elections; simplifying language on 
                  certificates of election; clarifying and simplifying 
                  the Minnesota Election Law; making technical and 
                  procedural changes; changing certain duties of 
                  election officials; listing additional violations; 
                  changing certain deadlines; providing for submission 
                  of proposed chapter amendments; requiring adoption of 
                  certain rules; imposing criminal penalties; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 3.02; 200.031; 
                  201.016, subdivision 1, and by adding a subdivision; 
                  201.054, subdivision 2; 201.12, subdivision 2; 201.13, 
                  by adding a subdivision; 203B.03, subdivision 1; 
                  203B.04, subdivision 1; 203B.07, subdivision 2; 
                  203B.08, subdivision 1; 203B.081; 203B.085; 203B.11, 
                  subdivisions 2 and 4; 204B.08, subdivision 3; 
                  204B.146, subdivision 2; 204B.21, subdivision 2; 
                  204B.27, subdivision 8; 204C.10; 204C.24, subdivision 
                  1; 204C.26, subdivision 1; 204C.40, subdivision 1; 
                  204D.08, subdivisions 3 and 5; 204D.11, subdivision 4; 
                  204D.13, subdivisions 2 and 3; 205.075, subdivision 2; 
                  205.10, subdivisions 3 and 4; 205.16, subdivision 4; 
                  205.185, subdivision 3; 205A.05, subdivision 1; 
                  205A.07, subdivision 3; 205A.13; 206.86, subdivision 
                  1; 208.04, subdivision 1; 351.055; 367.03, subdivision 
                  4; 410.12, subdivision 1; 412.02, subdivision 2; and 
                  447.32, subdivision 4; Laws 1997, chapter 173, section 
                  6; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
                  chapter 204B; repealing Minnesota Statutes 1998, 
                  sections 203B.08, subdivisions 1a and 3a; 203B.12, 
                  subdivision 5; 204D.14, subdivision 2; 204D.19, 
                  subdivision 5; and 365.10, subdivision 2. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 3.02, is 
        amended to read: 
           3.02 [EVIDENCE OF MEMBERSHIP.] 
           For all purposes of organization of either house of the 
        legislature, a certificate of election to it, duly executed by 
        the auditor of the proper county, or by the secretary of state 
        when the member is elected from more than one county, is prima 
        facie evidence of the right to membership of the person named in 
        it.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 200.031, is 
        amended to read: 
           200.031 [DETERMINATION OF RESIDENCE.] 
           Residence shall be determined in accordance with the 
        following principles, so far as they may be applicable to the 
        facts of the case:  
           (a) The residence of an individual is in the precinct where 
        the individual's home is located, from which the individual has 
        no present intention of moving, and to which, whenever the 
        individual is absent, the individual intends to return; 
           (b) An individual does not lose residence if the individual 
        leaves home to live temporarily in another state or precinct; 
           (c) An individual does not acquire a residence in any 
        precinct of this state if the individual is living there only 
        temporarily, without the intention of making that precinct home; 
           (d) If an individual goes into another state or precinct 
        with the intention of making it home or files an affidavit of 
        residence there for election purposes, the individual loses 
        residence in the former precinct; 
           (e) If an individual moves to another state with the 
        intention of living there for an indefinite period, the 
        individual loses residence in this state, notwithstanding any 
        intention to return at some indefinite future time; 
           (f) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an 
        individual's residence is located in the precinct where the 
        individual's family lives, unless the individual's family is 
        living in that precinct only temporarily; 
           (g) If an individual's family lives in one precinct and the 
        individual lives or does business in another, the individual's 
        residence is located in the precinct where the individual's 
        family lives, unless the individual establishes a home in the 
        other precinct and intends to remain there, with or without the 
        individual's family; 
           (h) The residence of a single individual is in the precinct 
        where the individual lives and usually sleeps; 
           (i) The mere intention to acquire a new residence, is not 
        sufficient to acquire a new residence, unless the individual 
        moves to that location; moving to a new location is not 
        sufficient to acquire a new residence unless the individual 
        intends to remain there; 
           (j) The residence of an individual who is working 
        temporarily in any precinct of this state is in the precinct 
        where the individual's permanent home is located; 
           (k) The residence of an individual who is living 
        permanently in a soldiers' home or nursing home is in the 
        precinct where the home is located.  
           (l) If an individual's home lies in more than one precinct 
        or political subdivision, the residence of the individual is in 
        the precinct in which a majority of the room in which the 
        individual usually sleeps is located. 
           (m) If an individual's home is destroyed or rendered 
        uninhabitable by fire or natural disaster, the individual does 
        not lose residence in the precinct where the home is located if 
        the individual intends to return to the home when it is 
        reconstructed or made habitable. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 201.016, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DETERMINATION OF RESIDENCE; PENALTY.] An 
        eligible voter may vote only in the precinct in which the voter 
        maintains residence.  The residence of a voter shall be 
        determined in accordance with section 200.031.  Any individual 
        who votes in a precinct knowing that the individual does not 
        maintain residence in that precinct is guilty of a felony.  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 201.016, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [VIOLATIONS; PENALTY.] The county auditor shall 
        mail a violation notice to any voter who the county auditor can 
        determine has voted in a precinct other than the precinct in 
        which the voter maintains residence.  The notice must be in the 
        form provided by the secretary of state.  The county auditor 
        shall also change the status of the voter in the statewide 
        registration system to "challenged" and the voter shall be 
        required to provide proof of residence to either the county 
        auditor or to the election judges in the voter's precinct before 
        voting in the next election.  Any of the forms authorized by 
        section 201.061 for registration at the polling place may be 
        used for this purpose. 
           A voter who votes in a precinct other than the precinct in 
        which the voter maintains residence after receiving an initial 
        violation notice as provided in this subdivision is guilty of a 
        petty misdemeanor.  Any subsequent violation is a misdemeanor. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 201.054, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [PROHIBITIONS; PENALTY.] No individual shall 
        intentionally:  
           (a) Cause or attempt to cause the individual's name to be 
        registered in any precinct if the individual is not eligible to 
        vote; 
           (b) Cause or attempt to cause the individual's name to be 
        registered for the purpose of voting in more than one precinct, 
        or in any precinct in which the individual does not maintain 
        residence; 
           (c) Misrepresent the individual's identity when attempting 
        to register to vote; or 
           (d) Aid, abet, counsel, or procure any other individual to 
        violate this subdivision.  
           A violation of this subdivision is a felony.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 201.12, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [CHALLENGES.] Upon return of the notice by the 
        postal service any nonforwardable mailing from an election 
        official, the county auditor or the auditor's staff shall 
        ascertain the name and address of that individual.  If the 
        individual is no longer at the address recorded in the statewide 
        registration system, the county auditor shall change the 
        registrant's status to "challenged" in the statewide 
        registration system.  An individual challenged in accordance 
        with this subdivision shall comply with the provisions of 
        section 204C.12, before being allowed to vote.  If a second 
        notice mailed at least 60 days after the return of the 
        first notice nonforwardable mailing is also returned by the 
        postal service, the county auditor shall change the registrant's 
        status to "inactive" in the statewide registration system. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 201.13, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [REQUEST FOR REMOVAL OF VOTER RECORD.] If a voter 
        makes a written request for removal of the voter's record, the 
        county auditor shall remove the record of the voter from the 
        statewide registration system. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, 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; 
           (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; 
           (f) use information from absentee ballot materials or 
        records for purposes unrelated to elections, political 
        activities, or law enforcement; or 
           (g) provide assistance to an absentee voter except in the 
        manner provided by section 204C.15, subdivision 1.; 
           (h) solicit the vote of an absentee voter while in the 
        immediate presence of the voter during the time the individual 
        knows the absentee voter is voting; or 
           (i) alter an absentee ballot application after it has been 
        signed by the voter, except by an election official for 
        administrative purposes. 
           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. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.04, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [APPLICATION PROCEDURES.] Except as 
        otherwise allowed by subdivision 2, an application for absentee 
        ballots for any election may be submitted at any time not less 
        than one day before the day of that election.  The county 
        auditor shall prepare absentee ballot application forms in the 
        format provided in the rules of the secretary of state and shall 
        furnish them to any person on request.  An application submitted 
        pursuant to this subdivision shall be in writing and shall be 
        submitted to:  
           (a) the county auditor of the county where the applicant 
        maintains residence; or 
           (b) the municipal clerk of the municipality, or school 
        district if applicable, where the applicant maintains residence. 
           An application shall be accepted if it is signed and dated 
        by the applicant, contains the applicant's name and residence 
        and mailing addresses, and states that the applicant is eligible 
        to vote by absentee ballot for one of the reasons specified in 
        section 203B.02.  The application may contain a request for the 
        voter's date of birth, which must not be made available for 
        public inspection.  An application may be submitted to the 
        county auditor or municipal clerk by an electronic facsimile 
        device, at the discretion of the auditor or clerk.  An 
        application mailed or returned in person to the county auditor 
        or municipal clerk on behalf of a voter by a person other than 
        the voter must be deposited in the mail or returned in person to 
        the county auditor or municipal clerk within ten days after it 
        has been dated by the voter and no later than six days before 
        the election.  The absentee ballot applications or a list of 
        persons applying for an absentee ballot may not be made 
        available for public inspection until the close of voting on 
        election day.  
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.07, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [DESIGN OF ENVELOPES.] The return envelope shall 
        be of sufficient size to conveniently enclose and contain the 
        ballot envelope and a voter registration card folded along its 
        perforations.  The return envelope shall be designed to open on 
        the left hand end.  A certificate of eligibility to vote by 
        absentee ballot shall be printed on the right hand three-fourths 
        of the back of the envelope.  The certificate shall contain a 
        statement to be signed and sworn by the voter indicating that 
        the voter meets all of the requirements established by law for 
        voting by absentee ballot.  The certificate shall also contain a 
        statement signed by an eligible voter of the county in which the 
        absent voter maintains residence a person who is registered to 
        vote in Minnesota or by a notary public, United States 
        postmaster, assistant postmaster, postal supervisor, clerk of a 
        postal service contract station or other individual authorized 
        to administer oaths stating that:  
           (a) the ballots were displayed to that individual unmarked; 
           (b) the voter marked the ballots in that individual's 
        presence without showing how they were marked, or, if the voter 
        was physically unable to mark them, that the voter directed 
        another individual to mark them; and 
           (c) if the voter was not previously registered, that the 
        voter has provided proof of residence as required by section 
        201.061, subdivision 3.  
           The county auditor or municipal clerk shall affix first 
        class postage to the return envelopes.  
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.08, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [MARKING AND RETURN BY VOTER.] An eligible 
        voter who receives absentee ballots as provided in this chapter 
        shall mark them in the manner specified in the directions for 
        casting the absentee ballots.  The return envelope containing 
        marked ballots may be mailed as provided in the directions for 
        casting the absentee ballots or may be left with the county 
        auditor or municipal clerk who transmitted the absentee ballots 
        to the voter.  If delivered in person by an agent, the return 
        envelope must be submitted to the county auditor or municipal 
        clerk by 3:00 p.m. on election day. 
           The voter may designate an agent to deliver in person the 
        sealed absentee ballot return envelope to the county auditor or 
        municipal clerk or to deposit the return envelope in the mail.  
        An agent may deliver or mail the return envelopes of not more 
        than three voters in any election.  Any person designated as an 
        agent who tampers with either the return envelope or the voted 
        ballots or does not immediately mail or deliver the return 
        envelope to the county auditor or municipal clerk is guilty of a 
        misdemeanor. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.081, is 
        amended to read: 
           203B.081 [LOCATIONS FOR ABSENTEE VOTING IN PERSON.] 
           An eligible voter may vote by absentee ballot during the 30 
        days before the election in the office of the county auditor and 
        at any other polling place designated by the county 
        auditor during the 30 days before the election.  The county 
        auditor shall make such designations at least 90 days before the 
        election.  At least one voting booth in each polling place must 
        be made available by the county auditor for this purpose.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.085, is 
        amended to read: 
           203B.085 [COUNTY AUDITOR'S OFFICE TO REMAIN OPEN DURING 
        CERTAIN HOURS PRECEDING ELECTION.] 
           The county auditor's office in each county must be open for 
        acceptance of absentee ballot applications and casting of 
        absentee ballots between the hours of 1:00 from 10:00 a.m. to 
        3:00 p.m. on Saturday and until 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday 
        immediately preceding a primary or general election.  Town 
        clerks' offices must be open for absentee voting from 10:00 a.m. 
        to 12:00 noon on the Saturday before a town general election 
        held in March.  The school district clerk, when performing the 
        county auditor's election duties, need not comply with this 
        section. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.11, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [TEN TWENTY DAYS BEFORE AN ELECTION.] During the 
        ten 20 days preceding an election, the election judges shall 
        deliver absentee ballots only to an eligible voter who has 
        applied for absentee ballots to the county auditor or municipal 
        clerk under section 203B.04, subdivision 1.  
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.11, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [AGENT DELIVERY OF BALLOTS.] During the four days 
        preceding an election and until 4:00 2:00 p.m. on election day, 
        an eligible voter who is a patient of a health care facility may 
        designate an agent to deliver the ballots to the voter from the 
        county auditor or municipal clerk.  A candidate at the election 
        may not be designated as an agent.  The voted ballots must be 
        returned to the county auditor or municipal clerk no later than 
        5:00 3:00 p.m. on election day.  The voter must complete an 
        affidavit requesting the auditor or clerk to provide the agent 
        with the ballots in a sealed transmittal envelope.  The 
        affidavit must include a statement from the voter stating that 
        the ballots were delivered to the voter by the agent in the 
        sealed transmittal envelope.  An agent may deliver ballots to no 
        more than three persons in any election.  The secretary of state 
        shall provide samples of the affidavit and transmission envelope 
        for use by the county auditors. 
           Sec. 16.  [204B.071] [PETITIONS; RULES OF THE SECRETARY OF 
        STATE.] 
           The secretary of state shall adopt rules governing the 
        manner in which petitions required for any election in this 
        state are circulated, signed, filed, and inspected.  The 
        secretary of state shall provide samples of petition forms for 
        use by election officials. 
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.08, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [NUMBER OF SIGNATURES.] The number of signatures 
        required on a nominating petition shall be as follows: 
           (a) For a state office voted on statewide or for United 
        States senator, one percent of the total number of individuals 
        voting in the state at the last preceding state general 
        election, or 2,000, whichever is less; 
           (b) For a congressional or judicial district office, five 
        percent of the total number of individuals voting in the 
        district at the last preceding state general election, or 1,000, 
        whichever is less; 
           (c) For a county or legislative office, ten percent of the 
        total number of individuals voting in the county or legislative 
        district at the last preceding state or county general election, 
        or 500, whichever is less; 
           (d) For a municipal office in a city of the first class, 
        the number specified in section 205.121; and 
           (e) For any other municipal or school district office, ten 
        percent of the total number of individuals voting in the 
        municipality, ward, school district, or other election district 
        at the last preceding municipal, or school district if 
        applicable, general election, or 500, whichever is less. 
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.146, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [PRECINCT AND ELECTION DISTRICT BOUNDARIES.] The 
        secretary of state shall maintain a computer database of 
        precinct and election district boundaries.  The secretary of 
        state shall revise the information in the database whenever a 
        precinct or election district boundary is changed.  The 
        secretary of state shall prepare maps illustrating precinct and 
        election district boundaries in either paper or electronic 
        formats and make them available to the public at the cost of 
        production. 
           The secretary of state may authorize municipalities and 
        counties to provide updated precinct and election district 
        boundary information in electronic formats. 
           The secretary of state shall provide periodic updates of 
        precinct and election district boundaries to the legislative 
        coordinating commission, the state demographer, and the land 
        management information center. 
           At least 30 days before the state primary, At the request 
        of the county auditor, the secretary of state shall provide the 
        county auditor with precinct maps of each precinct in 
        municipalities with more than one precinct.  The county auditor 
        shall forward the maps to the appropriate municipal clerks, who 
        shall post the map in the polling place on the day of the state 
        primary and the state general election. 
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.21, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [APPOINTING AUTHORITY; POWERS AND DUTIES.] 
        Election judges for precincts in a municipality shall be 
        appointed by the governing body of the municipality.  Election 
        judges for precincts in unorganized territory and for performing 
        election-related duties assigned by the county auditor shall be 
        appointed by the county board.  Election judges for a precinct 
        composed of two or more municipalities must be appointed by the 
        governing body of the municipality or municipalities responsible 
        for appointing election judges as provided in the agreement to 
        combine for election purposes.  Appointments shall be made from 
        lists furnished pursuant to subdivision 1 subject to the 
        eligibility requirements and other qualifications established or 
        authorized under section 204B.19.  If no lists have been 
        furnished or if additional election judges are required after 
        all listed names have been exhausted, the appointing authority 
        may appoint any other individual to serve as an election judge 
        subject to the same requirements and qualifications.  The 
        appointments shall be made at least 25 days before the election 
        at which the election judges will serve.  
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.27, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [VOTER INFORMATION TELEPHONE LINE.] The secretary 
        of state shall provide a voter information telephone line for 
        use during the period beginning two weeks before the state 
        primary and ending three days after the state general election.  
        A toll-free number must be provided for use by persons residing 
        outside the metropolitan calling area.  The secretary of state 
        shall make available information concerning voter registration, 
        absentee voting, election results, and other election-related 
        information considered by the secretary of state to be useful to 
        the public. 
           Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204C.10, is 
        amended to read: 
           204C.10 [PERMANENT REGISTRATION; VERIFICATION OF 
        REGISTRATION.] 
           An individual seeking to vote shall sign a polling place 
        roster 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 
        residence 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 has not already voted 
        in the election.  A judge may, before the applicant signs the 
        roster, confirm the applicant's name, address, and date of birth.
        After the applicant signs the roster, the judge shall give the 
        applicant a voter's receipt.  The voter shall deliver the 
        voter's receipt to the judge in charge of ballots as proof of 
        the voter's right to vote, and thereupon the judge shall hand to 
        the voter the ballot.  The judges shall destroy the voters' 
        receipts at the end of the day must be maintained during the 
        time for notice of filing an election contest.  
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, 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.  For state elections, 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) 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. 
           At least two copies of the summary statement must be 
        prepared for elections not held on the same day as the state 
        elections. 
           Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204C.26, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SUMMARY STATEMENTS.] For state elections, 
        each official responsible for printing ballots shall furnish 
        three or more blank summary statement forms for the returns of 
        those ballots for each precinct.  At least two copies of the 
        summary statement must be prepared for elections not held on the 
        same day as the state elections.  The blank summary statement 
        forms shall be furnished at the same time and in the same manner 
        as the ballots.  The county auditor shall furnish blank summary 
        statement forms containing separate space for the summary 
        statement of the returns of the white ballot and the summary 
        statement of the returns for the state pink ballot.  
           Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204C.40, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PREPARATION; METHOD OF DELIVERY.] The 
        county auditor shall prepare an election certificate for every 
        county candidate declared elected by the county canvassing 
        board, and the secretary of state shall prepare a certificate 
        for every state and federal candidate declared elected by either 
        a county canvassing board or the state canvassing board.  Except 
        as otherwise provided in this section, the secretary of state or 
        county auditor, as appropriate, shall deliver an election 
        certificate on demand to the elected candidate.  In an election 
        for United States representative in Congress, the filing officer 
        secretary of state shall deliver the original election 
        certificate to the chief clerk of the United States house of 
        representatives.  In an election for United States senator, the 
        governor shall prepare an original certificate of election, 
        countersigned by the secretary of state, and deliver it to the 
        secretary of the United States senate.  In an election for state 
        representative or state senator, the filing officer secretary of 
        state shall deliver the original election certificate to the 
        chief clerk of the house or the secretary of the senate.  The 
        chief clerk of the house or the secretary of the senate shall 
        give a copy of the certificate to the representative-elect or 
        senator-elect.  Upon taking the oath of office, the 
        representative or senator shall receive the original certificate 
        of election.  If a recount is undertaken by a canvassing board 
        pursuant to section 204C.35, no certificate of election shall be 
        prepared or delivered until after the recount is completed.  In 
        case of a contest, the court may invalidate and revoke the 
        certificate as provided in chapter 209. 
           Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.08, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [ROTATION OF NAMES.] On state primary ballots the 
        name of each candidate for nomination to a partisan or 
        nonpartisan office shall be rotated with the names of the other 
        candidates for nomination to that office so that the name of 
        each candidate appears substantially an equal number of times at 
        the top, at the bottom, and at each intermediate place in that 
        group of candidates.  If the number of candidates for an office 
        is equal to or less than the number to be elected, no rotation 
        of candidate names is required and the official preparing the 
        ballot shall determine the position of the candidates by lot. 
           Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.08, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [PARTY COLUMNS; ARRANGEMENT.] The names of 
        candidates for nomination of the major political party that 
        received the highest smallest average vote at the last state 
        general election must be placed in the first column on the left 
        side of the ballot.  The names of candidates for nomination of 
        the major political party that received the next highest 
        smallest average vote at the last state general election must be 
        placed in the second column, and so on.  The average vote shall 
        be computed in the manner provided in section 204D.13, 
        subdivision 2. 
           Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.11, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [SPECIAL FEDERAL WHITE BALLOT.] The names of all 
        candidates for the offices of president and vice-president of 
        the United States and senator and representative in Congress 
        shall be placed on a ballot printed on white paper which shall 
        be known as the "special federal white ballot."  This ballot 
        shall be prepared by the county auditor in the same manner as 
        the white ballot and shall be subject to the rules adopted by 
        the secretary of state pursuant to subdivision 1.  The special 
        federal white ballot shall be the only ballot sent to citizens 
        of the United States who are eligible to vote by absentee ballot 
        for federal candidates in Minnesota as provided by Public Law 
        Number 94-203 and Minnesota Statutes, chapter 203B. 
           Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.13, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ORDER OF POLITICAL PARTIES.] The first name 
        printed for each partisan office on the white ballot shall be 
        that of the candidate of the major political party that received 
        the smallest average number of votes at the last state general 
        election.  The succeeding names shall be those of the candidates 
        of the other major political parties that received a 
        succeedingly higher average number of votes respectively.  For 
        the purposes of this subdivision, the average number of votes of 
        a major political party shall be computed by dividing the total 
        number of votes counted for all of the party's candidates for 
        statewide office at the state general election by the number of 
        those candidates at the election.  
           On voting machines the first name printed for each office 
        means the position nearest the top or left edge of the machine, 
        whichever applies.  
           Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.13, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [NOMINEES BY PETITION; PLACEMENT ON BALLOT.] The 
        names of candidates nominated by petition for a partisan office 
        voted on at the state general election shall be placed on the 
        white ballot after the names of the candidates for that office 
        who were nominated at the state primary.  Candidates nominated 
        by petition shall be placed on the ballot in the order in which 
        the petitions were filed.  Prior to the state primary, the 
        secretary of state shall determine by lot the order of 
        candidates nominated by petition.  The drawing of lots must be 
        by political party or principle.  The political party or 
        political principle of the candidate as stated on the petition 
        shall be placed after the name of a candidate nominated by 
        petition.  The word "nonpartisan" shall not be used to designate 
        any partisan candidate whose name is placed on the white ballot 
        by nominating petition. 
           Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.075, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ALTERNATE DATE; METROPOLITAN TOWNS.] A town 
        located in the metropolitan area as defined by section 473.121 
        may, by resolution or ordinance, designate the first Tuesday 
        after the first Monday in November of either the even-numbered 
        or the odd-numbered year as the date of the town general 
        election.  Town supervisors elected at a November town general 
        election shall serve four-year terms. 
           The ordinance or resolution changing the date of the town 
        general election must include a plan to shorten or lengthen the 
        terms of office to provide an orderly transition to the November 
        election schedule.  
           The ordinance or resolution changing the date of the town 
        general election may be proposed by the town board or by a 
        resolution of the electors adopted at the annual town meeting 
        and is effective upon an affirmative vote of the electors at the 
        next town general election. 
           Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.10, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [PROHIBITION.] No special election shall be held 
        under this section on the second Tuesday in December and no 
        special election authorized under subdivision 1 may be held 
        within 40 days after the state general election. 
           Sec. 32.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.10, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [VACANCIES IN TOWN OFFICES.] Special elections 
        must be held with the town general election to fill vacancies in 
        town offices as provided in section 367.03, subdivision 2 6. 
           Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.16, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [NOTICE TO AUDITOR.] At least 45 49 days prior to 
        every municipal election, the municipal clerk shall provide a 
        written notice to the county auditor, including the date of the 
        election and, the offices to be voted on at the election, and 
        questions the title and language for each ballot question to be 
        voted on at the election. 
           Sec. 34.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.185, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [CANVASS OF RETURNS, CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION, 
        BALLOTS, DISPOSITION.] Within two seven days after an election, 
        the governing body of a city or a town conducting the general 
        election in November shall canvass the returns and declare the 
        results of the election.  The governing body of a town 
        conducting the general election in March shall canvass the 
        returns and declare the results of the election within two days 
        after an election.  After the time for contesting elections has 
        passed, the municipal clerk shall issue a certificate of 
        election to each successful candidate.  In case of a contest, 
        the certificate shall not be issued until the outcome of the 
        contest has been determined by the proper court.  In case of a 
        tie vote, the governing body shall determine the result by lot. 
        The clerk shall certify the results of the election to the 
        county auditor, and the clerk shall be the final custodian of 
        the ballots and the returns of the election. 
           Sec. 35.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205A.05, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [QUESTIONS.] Special elections must be held 
        for a school district on a question on which the voters are 
        authorized by law to pass judgment.  The school board may on its 
        own motion call a special election to vote on any matter 
        requiring approval of the voters of a district.  Upon petition 
        of 50 or more voters of the school district or five percent of 
        the number of voters voting at the preceding regular school 
        district election, the school board shall by resolution call a 
        special election to vote on any matter requiring approval of the 
        voters of a district.  A question is carried only with the 
        majority in its favor required by law.  The election officials 
        for a special election are the same as for the most recent 
        school district general election unless changed according to 
        law.  Otherwise, special elections must be conducted and the 
        returns made in the manner provided for the school district 
        general election.  A special election may not be held during the 
        30 days before and the 30 days after the state primary, during 
        the 30 days before and the 40 days after the state general 
        election, or on the second Tuesday in December.  In addition, a 
        special election may not be held during the 20 days before and 
        the 20 days after any regularly scheduled election of a 
        municipality wholly or partially within the school district.  
        Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the time period 
        in which a special election must be conducted under any other 
        law may be extended by the school board to conform with the 
        requirements of this subdivision. 
           Sec. 36.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205A.07, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [NOTICE TO AUDITOR.] At least 45 49 days prior to 
        every school district election, the school district clerk shall 
        provide a written notice to the county auditor of each county in 
        which the school district is located.  The notice must include 
        the date of the election and, the offices to be voted on at the 
        election, and questions the title and language for each ballot 
        question to be voted on at the election.  For the purposes of 
        meeting the timelines of this section, in a bond election, a 
        notice, including a proposed question, may be provided to the 
        county auditor prior to receipt of a review and comment from the 
        commissioner of children, families, and learning and prior to 
        actual initiation of the election. 
           Sec. 37.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205A.13, is 
        amended to read: 
           205A.13 [REQUIREMENTS FOR PETITIONS.] 
           Any petition to a school board authorized in this chapter 
        or sections 126C.17, 126C.40, 126C.41 to 126C.48, and 124D.22, 
        or any other law which requires the board to submit an issue to 
        referendum or election, shall meet the following requirements to 
        be valid provided in section 204B.071.  
           (1) Each page of the petition shall contain a heading at 
        its top which specifies the particular action the board is being 
        petitioned to take.  The signatures on any page which does not 
        contain such a heading shall all be invalidated.  All pages of 
        the petition shall be assembled and filed with the board as a 
        single instrument.  
           (2) Each page of the petition shall contain an 
        authentication signed by the circulator of the petition 
        specifying as follows:  
           "I personally have circulated this page of the petition.  
        All signatures were made in my presence.  I believe that the 
        signers signed their own names and that each person who has 
        signed is eligible to vote in a school district election 
        according to Minnesota Election Law.  
           Signed:  ................................ Signature of 
        Petition Circulator 
           Date:  ................................." 
           The signatures on any page which does not contain such an 
        authentication shall all be invalidated.  
           (3) Signers of the petition shall personally sign their own 
        names in ink or indelible pencil and shall indicate after the 
        name the place of residence by street and number, or other 
        description sufficient to identify the place.  Except as 
        provided in clause (4), any signature which does not meet these 
        requirements shall be invalidated.  
           (4) Individuals who are unable to write their names shall 
        be required to make their marks on the petition.  The circulator 
        of the petition shall certify the mark by signing the 
        individual's name and address and shall thereafter print the 
        phrase "mark certified by petition circulator."  
           (5) A petition, to be valid, must contain the minimum 
        number of valid signatures of eligible voters specified in the 
        law authorizing the petition and election.  
           Sec. 38.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 206.86, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [AT THE VOTING LOCATION.] In precincts 
        where an electronic voting system is used, as soon as the polls 
        are closed the election judges shall secure the voting systems 
        against further voting.  They shall then open the ballot box and 
        count the number of ballot cards or envelopes containing ballot 
        cards that have been cast to determine that the number of ballot 
        cards does not exceed the number of voters shown on the election 
        register or registration file.  If there is an excess, the 
        judges shall seal the ballots in a ballot container and 
        transport the container to the county auditor or municipal clerk 
        who shall process the ballot cards ballots in the same manner as 
        paper ballots are processed in section 204C.20, subdivision 2, 
        then enter the ballots into the ballot counter.  The total 
        number of voters must be entered on the forms provided.  The 
        judges shall next count the write-in votes and enter the number 
        of those votes on forms provided for the purpose. 
           Sec. 39.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 208.04, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  When presidential electors are to be voted 
        for, a vote cast for the party candidates for president and 
        vice-president shall be deemed a vote for that party's electors 
        as filed with the secretary of state.  The secretary of state 
        shall certify the names of all duly nominated presidential and 
        vice-presidential candidates to the county auditors of the 
        counties of the state.  Each county auditor, subject to the 
        rules of the secretary of state, shall cause the names of the 
        candidates of each major political party and the candidates 
        nominated by petition to be printed in capital letters, set in 
        type of the same size and style as for candidates on the state 
        white ballot, before the party designation.  To the left of, and 
        on the same line with the surnames names of the candidates for 
        president and vice-president, near the margin, shall be placed a 
        square or box, in which the voters may indicate their choice by 
        marking an "X."  
           The form for the presidential ballot and the relative 
        position of the several candidates shall be determined by the 
        rules applicable to other state officers.  The state ballot, 
        with the required heading, shall be printed on the same piece of 
        paper and shall be below the presidential ballot with a blank 
        space between one inch in width. 
           Sec. 40.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 351.055, is 
        amended to read: 
           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.
        For prospective vacancies that will occur as a result of a 
        resignation, preparations for the special election may begin 
        immediately after the written resignation is received by the 
        official provided in section 351.01, subdivision 1. 
           Sec. 41.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 367.03, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [OFFICERS; METROPOLITAN TOWNS NOVEMBER ELECTION.] 
        Supervisors and other town officers in towns located in the 
        metropolitan area as defined in section 473.121 that hold the 
        town general election in November shall be elected for terms of 
        four years and until their successors are elected and 
        qualified.  The clerk and treasurer shall be elected in 
        alternate years. 
           Sec. 42.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 410.12, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROPOSALS.] The charter commission may 
        propose amendments to such charter and shall do so upon the 
        petition of voters equal in number to five percent of the total 
        votes cast at the last previous state general election in the 
        city.  If the city has a system of permanent registration of 
        voters, Proposed charter amendments must be submitted at least 
        12 weeks before the general election.  Only registered voters 
        are eligible to sign the petition.  All petitions circulated 
        with respect to a charter amendment shall be uniform in 
        character and shall have attached thereto the text of the 
        proposed amendment in full; except that in the case of a 
        proposed amendment containing more than 1,000 words, a true and 
        correct copy of the same may be filed with the city clerk, and 
        the petition shall then contain a summary of not less than 50 
        nor more than 300 words setting forth in substance the nature of 
        the proposed amendment.  Such summary shall contain a statement 
        of the objects and purposes of the amendment proposed and an 
        outline of any proposed new scheme or frame work of government 
        and shall be sufficient to inform the signers of the petition as 
        to what change in government is sought to be accomplished by the 
        amendment.  The summary, together with a copy of the proposed 
        amendment, shall first be submitted to the charter commission 
        for its approval as to form and substance.  The commission shall 
        within ten days after such submission to it, return the same to 
        the proposers of the amendment with such modifications in 
        statement as it may deem necessary in order that the summary may 
        fairly comply with the requirements above set forth.  
           Sec. 43.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 412.02, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [TERM.] Terms of elective officers shall commence 
        on the first business day of Monday in January following the 
        election at which the officer is chosen.  All officers chosen 
        and qualified as such shall hold office until their successors 
        qualify. 
           Sec. 44.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 447.32, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [CANDIDATES; BALLOTS; CERTIFYING ELECTION.] A 
        person who wants to be a candidate for the hospital board shall 
        file an affidavit of candidacy for the election either as member 
        at large or as a member representing the city or town where the 
        candidate resides.  The affidavit of candidacy must be filed 
        with the city or town clerk not more than ten weeks nor less 
        than eight weeks before the election.  The city or town clerk 
        must forward the affidavits of candidacy to the clerk of the 
        hospital district or, for the first election, the clerk of the 
        most populous city or town immediately after the last day of the 
        filing period.  A candidate may withdraw from the election by 
        filing an affidavit of withdrawal with the clerk of the district 
        no later than 12:00 p.m. on the day after the last day to file 
        affidavits of candidacy. 
           Voting must be by secret ballot.  The clerk shall prepare, 
        at the expense of the district, necessary ballots for the 
        election of officers.  Ballots must contain the names of the 
        proposed candidates for each office, the length of the term of 
        each office, and an additional blank space for the insertion of 
        another name by the voter be printed on tan paper and prepared 
        as provided in the rules of the secretary of state.  The ballots 
        must be marked and initialed by at least two judges as official 
        ballots and used exclusively at the election.  Any proposition 
        to be voted on may be printed on the ballot provided for the 
        election of officers or on a different ballot.  The hospital 
        board may also authorize the use of voting machines systems 
        subject to chapter 206.  Enough election judges may be appointed 
        to receive the votes at each polling place.  They may be paid by 
        the district at a rate set by the board.  The election judges 
        shall act as clerks of election, count the ballots cast, and 
        submit them to the board for canvass.  
           After canvassing the election, the board shall issue a 
        certificate of election to the candidate who received the 
        largest number of votes cast for each office.  The clerk shall 
        deliver the certificate to the person entitled to it in person 
        or by certified mail.  Each person certified shall file an 
        acceptance and oath of office in writing with the clerk within 
        30 days after the date of delivery or mailing of the 
        certificate.  The board may fill any office as provided in 
        subdivision 1 if the person elected fails to qualify within 30 
        days, but qualification is effective if made before the board 
        acts to fill the vacancy. 
           Sec. 45.  Laws 1997, chapter 173, section 6, is amended to 
        read: 
           Sec. 6.  [INCUMBENT TERMS.] 
           All supervisors who are incumbents on the effective date of 
        this section shall serve out the terms to which they have been 
        elected.  At the end of their terms, their successors shall be 
        elected to four-year terms, except that the successors to the 
        two supervisors whose terms expire on December 31, 1998, shall 
        be elected to two-year terms at the 1998 general election and to 
        four-year terms thereafter. as provided in this section.  By 
        January 1, 2000, the district board must prepare a plan to 
        lengthen or shorten the terms of office, as needed, for each 
        office elected in 1998 and to be elected in 2000, so that no 
        more than three of the supervisors are elected at each general 
        election.  In 2002 and thereafter, supervisors shall be elected 
        to four-year terms.  The district board shall determine by lot 
        which offices' terms are to be lengthened or shortened.  The 
        plan must be filed with the county auditor and the state board. 
           Sec. 46.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 203B.08, subdivisions 1a 
        and 3a; 203B.12, subdivision 5; 204D.14, subdivision 2; 204D.19, 
        subdivision 5; and 365.10, subdivision 2, are repealed. 
           Presented to the governor May 4, 1999 
           Signed by the governor May 7, 1999, 1:48 p.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569