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1988 Minnesota Session Laws

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                         Laws of Minnesota 1988 

                        CHAPTER 578-H.F.No. 236 
           An act relating to elections; requiring fair campaign 
          practices; imposing penalties; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1986, sections 201.275; 204C.04; and 383A.297;
          Minnesota Statutes 1987 Supplement, sections 200.01; 
          and 383B.041; proposing coding for new law as 
          Minnesota Statutes, chapters 211A and 211B; repealing 
          Minnesota Statutes 1986, chapter 210A, as amended. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 

                                ARTICLE 1 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1987 Supplement, section 
200.01, is amended to read:  
    200.01 [CITATION, MINNESOTA ELECTION LAW.] 
    This chapter and chapters 201, 202A, 203B, 204B, 204C, 
204D, 205, 205A, 206, 208, 209, and 210A articles 2 and 3 shall 
be known as the Minnesota election law. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 201.275, is 
amended to read:  
    201.275 [INVESTIGATIONS; PROSECUTIONS.] 
    A county attorney receiving a report of a possible 
violation of this chapter shall immediately and diligently 
inquire into the facts of the possible violation.  If there are 
reasonable grounds for instituting a prosecution, the county 
attorney shall present the charge, together with all the 
evidence that the county attorney can procure, to the grand jury 
of the county.  A county attorney who fails or refuses to 
faithfully perform any duty imposed by this chapter is guilty of 
a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall forfeit the county 
attorney's office A county attorney who is notified of an 
alleged violation of this chapter shall promptly investigate.  
If there is probable cause for instituting a prosecution, the 
county attorney shall proceed by complaint or present the 
charge, with whatever evidence has been found, to the grand 
jury.  A county attorney who refuses or intentionally fails to 
faithfully perform this or any other duty imposed by this 
chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall 
forfeit his or her office.  The county attorney, under the 
penalty of forfeiture of office, shall prosecute all violations 
of this chapter except violations of this section; if, however, 
a complainant withdraws an allegation under this chapter, the 
county attorney is not required to proceed with the prosecution. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204C.04, is 
amended to read:  
    204C.04 [EMPLOYEES; TIME OFF TO VOTE.] 
    Every employee who is eligible to vote at a state general 
election or at an election to fill a vacancy in the office of 
United States senator or United States representative has the 
right to be absent from work for the purpose of voting during 
the morning of election day, without penalty or deduction from 
salary or wages because of the absence.  An employer who 
refuses, abridges or interferes or other person may not directly 
or indirectly refuse, abridge, or interfere with this 
right shall be subject to the penalty provisions of section 
210A.141 or any other election right of an employee.  A person 
who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and the 
county attorney shall prosecute the violation.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 383A.297, is 
amended to read:  
    383A.297 [POLITICAL ACTIVITY.] 
    No employee in the classified service shall be under any 
obligation to contribute to a political service or fund to any 
person, body, or committee, and no employee in the classified 
service may be discharged, suspended, demoted, or otherwise 
disciplined or prejudiced for refusal to do so.  All employees 
in the classified and unclassified service shall be subject to 
the prohibition on political activities set forth in article 3, 
section 210A.081 9. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1987 Supplement, section 
383B.041, is amended to read:  
    383B.041 [CAMPAIGN FINANCING, DISCLOSURE OF ECONOMIC 
INTERESTS.] 
    Sections 383B.041 to 383B.058 apply to the financing of 
campaigns for county elections in Hennepin county and for city 
elections in home rule charter cities and statutory cities 
located wholly within Hennepin county, having a population of 
75,000 or more, and for school board elections in the special 
school district No. 1, Minneapolis, and to disclosure of 
economic interests by candidates and elected public officials of 
those jurisdictions.  The provisions of article 2, sections 
210A.22 to 210A.33 2 to 7 do not apply to the financing of 
campaigns for elections subject to the provisions of sections 
383B.041 to 383B.058. 

                               ARTICLE 2 
    Section 1.  [211A.01] [DEFINITIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [APPLICATION.] The definitions in chapter 
200 and this section apply to this chapter. 
    Subd. 2.  [BALLOT QUESTION.] "Ballot question" means a 
proposition placed on the ballot to be voted on by the voters of 
one or more political subdivisions but not by all the voters of 
the state. 
    Subd. 3.  [CANDIDATE.] "Candidate" means an individual who 
seeks nomination or election to a county, municipal, school 
district, or other political subdivision office.  This 
definition does not include an individual seeking a judicial 
office.  For purposes of sections 1 to 5 and 7, "candidate" also 
includes a candidate for the United States Senate or House of 
Representatives. 
    Subd. 4.  [COMMITTEE.] "Committee" means a corporation or 
association or persons acting together to influence the 
nomination, election, or defeat of a candidate or to promote or 
defeat a ballot question.  Promoting or defeating a ballot 
question includes efforts to qualify or prevent a proposition 
from qualifying for placement on the ballot. 
    Subd. 5.  [CONTRIBUTION.] "Contribution" means anything of 
monetary value that is given or loaned to a candidate or 
committee for a political purpose.  "Contribution" does not 
include a service provided without compensation by an individual.
    Subd. 6.  [DISBURSEMENT.] "Disbursement" means money, 
property, office, position, or any other thing of value that 
passes or is directly or indirectly conveyed, given, promised, 
paid, expended, pledged, contributed, or lent. 
    Subd. 7.  [FILING OFFICER.] "Filing officer" means the 
officer authorized by law to accept affidavits of candidacy or 
nominating petitions for an office or the officer authorized by 
law to place a ballot question on the ballot. 
    Subd. 8.  [POLITICAL PURPOSES.] An act is done for 
"political purposes" if it is of a nature, done with the intent, 
or done in a way to influence or tend to influence, directly or 
indirectly, voting at a primary or an election or if it is done 
because a person is about to vote, has voted, or has refrained 
from voting at a primary or an election. 
    Sec. 2.  [211A.02] [FINANCIAL REPORT.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [WHEN AND WHERE FILED BY COMMITTEES.] A 
committee or a candidate who receives contributions or makes 
disbursements of more than $750 in a calendar year shall submit 
an initial report to the filing officer within 14 days after the 
candidate or committee receives or makes disbursements of more 
than $750 and shall continue to make reports until a final 
report is filed.  The committee or candidate must also file a 
report by January 31 of each year following the year when the 
initial report was filed.  In addition, in a year when the 
candidate's name or a ballot question appears on the ballot, the 
candidate or committee shall file a report: 
    (1) ten days before the primary; 
    (2) ten days before the general election; 
    (3) seven days before a special primary; 
    (4) seven days before a special election; and 
    (5) 30 days after a special election. 
    Subd. 2.  [INFORMATION REQUIRED.] The report to be filed by 
a candidate or committee must include:  
    (1) the name of the candidate or ballot question; 
    (2) the name and address of the person responsible for 
filing the report; 
    (3) the total amount of receipts and expenditures for the 
period from the last previous report to five days before the 
current report is due; 
    (4) the purpose for each expenditure; and 
    (5) the name of any individual or committee that during the 
year has made one or more contributions that in the aggregate 
are equal to or greater than $500.  
    Subd. 3.  [MUNICIPAL CHARTER PROVISIONS AND SPECIAL LAWS 
SAVED.] The provisions of this section requiring the filing of 
reports are in addition to the provisions of any municipal 
charter requiring the filing of reports in connection with a 
municipal primary, general election, special primary, or special 
election, but they do not replace special laws providing filing 
requirements for a municipality. 
    Subd. 4.  [CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES.] Candidates for 
election to the United States House of Representatives or Senate 
and any political committees raising money and making 
disbursements exclusively on behalf of any one of those 
candidates may file copies of their financial disclosures 
required by federal law in lieu of the financial statement 
required by this section. 
    Sec. 3.  [211A.03] [FINAL REPORT.] 
    A candidate or committee may file a final report when all 
debts have been settled and all assets in excess of $100 in the 
aggregate are disposed of.  The final report may be filed at any 
time and must include the kinds of information contained in the 
financial statements required by section 2 for the period from 
the last previous report to the date of the final report. 
    Sec. 4.  [211A.04] [SECRETARY OF STATE'S DUTIES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [REPORT FORMS.] The secretary of state 
shall prepare blanks for reports required by section 2.  Copies 
must be furnished through the county auditor or otherwise, as 
the secretary of state finds expedient, to a committee upon 
request or to a candidate upon filing for office. 
    Subd. 2.  [DIGEST OF LAWS.] The secretary of state, with 
the approval of the attorney general, shall prepare and print an 
easily understandable annotated digest of this chapter.  The 
secretary of state shall distribute the digest in the same 
manner as the report forms required by subdivision 1. 
    Sec. 5.  [211A.05] [FAILURE TO FILE STATEMENT.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [PENALTY.] A candidate who intentionally 
fails to file a report required by section 2 is guilty of a 
misdemeanor.  A member of a committee that fails to file a 
report required by section 2 is guilty of a misdemeanor.  An 
officer who issues a certificate of election to a candidate with 
knowledge that the candidate's financial statement has not been 
filed is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
    Subd. 2.  [NOTICE OF FAILURE TO FILE.] If a candidate or 
committee fails to file a report on the date it is due, the 
filing officer shall immediately notify the county attorney of 
the county where the candidate resides or where the committee 
headquarters is located.  The county attorney shall then 
immediately notify the candidate or committee of the failure to 
file.  If a report is not filed within ten days after the 
notification is mailed, the county attorney shall proceed under 
section 8. 
    Sec. 6.  [211A.06] [FAILURE TO KEEP ACCOUNT; PENALTY.] 
    A treasurer or other individual who receives money for a 
committee is guilty of a misdemeanor if the individual:  
    (1) fails to keep a correct account as required by law; 
    (2) mutilates, defaces, or destroys an account record; or 
    (3) in the case of a committee, refuses upon request to 
provide financial information to a candidate; and 
    (4) does any of these things with the intent to conceal 
receipts or disbursements, the purpose of receipts or 
disbursements, or the existence or amount of an unpaid debt or 
the identity of the person to whom it is owed. 
    Sec. 7.  [211A.07] [BILLS WHEN RENDERED AND PAID.] 
    A person who has a bill, charge, or claim against a 
candidate's committee shall render it in writing to the 
committee within 60 days after the material or service is 
provided.  A bill, charge, or claim that is not presented within 
60 days after the material or service is provided must not be 
paid. 
    Sec. 8.  [211A.08] [COUNTY ATTORNEY INQUIRY.] 
    A county attorney who is notified of an alleged violation 
of this chapter shall promptly investigate.  If there is 
probable cause to institute a prosecution, the county attorney 
shall proceed by complaint or present the charge with whatever 
evidence has been found to the grand jury.  A county attorney 
who refuses or intentionally fails to faithfully perform this or 
any other duty imposed by this chapter is guilty of a 
misdemeanor and upon conviction shall forfeit his or her 
office.  The county attorney, under penalty of forfeiture of 
office, shall prosecute all violations of this chapter except 
for a violation of this section; if, however, a complainant 
desires to withdraw a complaint under this chapter, the county 
attorney is not required to proceed with prosecution. 
    Subd. 2.  [ASSOCIATE COUNSEL.] Anyone except the person 
under investigation or the person's agent may employ an attorney 
to assist the county attorney in the investigation and 
prosecution of a violation of this chapter.  The county attorney 
and the court shall recognize the attorney as associate counsel 
for the proceeding.  A prosecution, action, or proceeding may 
not be dismissed without notice to the associate counsel.  If 
the associate counsel objects to the dismissal, the county 
attorney's reasons for dismissal and the associate counsel's 
objections must be filed with the court and heard within the 
time period the court requires. 
     Sec. 9.  [211A.09] [FORFEITURE OF NOMINATION OR OFFICE.] 
     Subdivision 1.  [FORFEITURE REQUIRED.] Except as provided 
in subdivision 2, if a candidate is convicted of violating a 
provision of this chapter or if an offense was committed by 
another individual with the knowledge, consent, or connivance of 
the candidate, the court, after entering the adjudication of 
guilty, shall enter a supplemental judgment declaring that the 
candidate has forfeited the nomination or office.  If the court 
enters the supplemental judgment, it shall transmit to the 
filing officer a transcript of the supplemental judgment, the 
nomination or office becomes vacant, and the vacancy must be 
filled as provided by law. 
    Subd. 2.  [CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NOMINATION OR OFFICE NOT 
FORFEITED.] In a trial for a violation of this chapter, the 
candidate's nomination or election is not void if the court 
finds that: 
    (1) an offense, though committed by the candidate or with 
the candidate's knowledge, consent, or connivance, was trivial; 
or 
    (2) an act or omission of a candidate arose from accidental 
miscalculation or other reasonable cause, but in any case not 
from a want of good faith, and that it would be unjust for the 
candidate to forfeit the nomination or election.  
    Neither of these findings is a defense to a conviction 
under this chapter. 
    Sec. 10.  [211A.10] [DISQUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS NOT TO HOLD 
VARIOUS POSITIONS.] 
    A candidate whose election to office has been set aside for 
a violation of this chapter may not be appointed, during the 
period fixed by law as the term of the office, to fill a vacancy 
that may occur in the office.  A candidate or other individual 
who is convicted of a violation of this chapter may not be 
appointed, during the period fixed by law as the term of the 
office with respect to which the election was held and the 
offense was committed, to fill a vacancy in the office.  An 
appointment to an office made contrary to this section is void. 
    A candidate or other individual who is convicted of a 
violation of this chapter is not qualified, during the period 
fixed by law as the term of the office with respect to which the 
election was held and the offense was committed, to fill a 
vacancy in an office for which the legislature may establish 
qualifications under article XII, section 3, of the Minnesota 
Constitution. 
     Sec. 11.  [211A.11] [PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS.] 
    A violation of this chapter for which no other penalty is 
provided is a misdemeanor. 
    Sec. 12.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 210A.01, as amended by 
Laws 1987, chapter 266, article 1, section 66; 210A.02; 210A.03; 
210A.04; 210A.05; 210A.06; 210A.07; 210A.08; 210A.081; 210A.09; 
210A.091; 210A.10; 210A.11; 210A.12; 210A.13; 210A.14; 210A.141; 
210A.15; 210A.16; 210A.17; 210A.18; 210A.19; 210A.20; 210A.21; 
210A.23; 210A.24; 210A.25; 210A.26; 210A.27; 210A.28; 210A.29; 
210A.30; 210A.31; 210A.32; 210A.33; 210A.34; 210A.35; 210A.36; 
210A.37; 210A.38; 210A.39; 210A.40; 210A.41; 210A.42; 210A.43; 
210A.44; and Minnesota Statutes 1987 Supplement, section 
210A.265, are repealed. 
    Sec. 13.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    This article applies to school district elections held 
after January 1, 1989. 

                               ARTICLE 3 
     Section 1.  [211B.01] [DEFINITIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [APPLICATION.] The definitions in chapter 
200 and this section apply to this chapter. 
    Subd. 2.  [CAMPAIGN MATERIAL.] "Campaign material" means 
any literature, publication, or material tending to influence 
voting at a primary or other election, except for news items or 
editorial comments by the news media. 
    Subd. 3.  [CANDIDATE.] "Candidate" means an individual who 
seeks nomination or election to a federal, statewide, 
legislative, judicial, or local office including special 
districts, school districts, towns, home rule charter and 
statutory cities, and counties, except candidates for president 
and vice-president of the United States.  
    Subd. 4.  [COMMITTEE.] "Committee" means two or more 
persons acting together or a corporation or association acting 
to influence the nomination, election, or defeat of a candidate 
or to promote or defeat a ballot question.  Promoting or 
defeating a ballot question includes efforts to qualify or 
prevent a proposition from qualifying for placement on the 
ballot.  
    Subd. 5.  [DISBURSEMENT.] "Disbursement" means an act 
through which money, property, office, or position or other 
thing of value is directly or indirectly promised, paid, spent, 
contributed, or lent, and any money, property, office, or 
position or other thing of value so promised or transferred. 
    Subd. 6.  [POLITICAL PURPOSES.] An act is done for 
"political purposes" when the act is intended or done to 
influence, directly or indirectly, voting at a primary or other 
election.  This does not include news items or editorial 
comments published or broadcast by the news media. 
    Sec. 2.  [211B.02] [FALSE CLAIM OF SUPPORT.] 
    A person or candidate may not knowingly make, directly or 
indirectly, a false claim stating or implying that a candidate 
or ballot question has the support or endorsement of a major 
political party or party unit or of an organization.  A person 
or candidate may not state in written campaign material that the 
candidate or ballot question has the support or endorsement of 
an individual without first getting written permission from the 
individual to do so. 
    Sec. 3.  [211B.03] [USE OF THE TERM REELECT.] 
    A person or candidate may not, in the event of 
redistricting, use the term "reelect" in a campaign for elective 
office unless the candidate is the incumbent of that office and 
the office represents any part of the new district. 
    Sec. 4.  [211B.04] [CAMPAIGN LITERATURE MUST INCLUDE 
DISCLAIMER.] 
    (a) A person who participates in the preparation or 
dissemination of campaign material other than as provided in 
section 5, subdivision 1, that does not prominently include the 
name and address of the person or committee causing the material 
to be prepared or disseminated in a disclaimer substantially in 
the form provided in paragraph (b) or (c) is guilty of a 
misdemeanor.  
    (b) Except in cases covered by paragraph (c), the required 
form of disclaimer is: 
    "Prepared and paid for by the ..........  committee, 
    .........(address)." 
    (c) In the case of broadcast media, the required form of 
disclaimer is:  "Paid for by the ............ committee." 
    (d) Campaign material that is not circulated on behalf of a 
particular candidate or ballot question must also include in the 
disclaimer either that it is "in opposition to .....(insert name 
of candidate or ballot question.....)"; or that "this 
publication is not circulated on behalf of any candidate or 
ballot question". 
    (e) This section does not apply to objects stating only the 
candidate's name and the office sought, fundraising tickets, or 
personal letters that are clearly being sent by the candidate. 
    (f) This section does not modify or repeal section 6. 
    Sec. 5.  [211B.05] [PAID ADVERTISEMENTS IN NEWS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [ACCEPTANCE OF PAID ADVERTISEMENTS.] A 
newspaper, periodical, or magazine may not intentionally accept 
for insertion in the newspaper, magazine, or periodical a 
political advertisement unless the words "PAID ADVERTISEMENT," 
and the disclaimer required under section 4 are included at the 
beginning or end of the advertisement.  A radio station, 
television station, or cable system may not accept for broadcast 
a political advertisement unless the words "PAID ADVERTISEMENT" 
are included at the beginning or end of the advertisement. 
    Subd. 2.  [ADVERTISING RATES.] Rates charged for 
advertising to support or oppose a candidate or ballot question 
must be the same as the charges made for any other political 
candidate and may be no greater than charges made for any other 
comparable purpose or use according to the seller's rate 
schedule. 
    Subd. 3.  [COMPENSATION PROHIBITED, EXCEPT FOR PAID 
ADVERTISEMENT.] An owner, publisher, editor, reporter, agent, 
broadcaster, or employee of a newspaper, periodical, magazine, 
radio or television broadcast station, or cable system may not 
directly or indirectly solicit, receive, or accept a payment, 
promise, or compensation, nor may a person pay or promise to pay 
or in any manner compensate an owner, publisher, editor, 
reporter, agent, broadcaster, or employee directly or indirectly 
for influencing or attempting to influence voting at an election 
or primary through printed material in the newspaper or 
periodical, or radio, television, or cable broadcast, except as 
a "PAID ADVERTISEMENT" as provided in this section.  
    Subd. 4.  [UNPAID MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION.] Unpaid material 
published in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication that 
is:  (1) in unique typeset or otherwise differentiated from 
other unpaid material, (2) designed to influence or attempt to 
influence the voting at any election or the passage or defeat of 
legislation, and (3) not placed on the editorial page must be 
clearly identified as an editorial opinion. 
    Sec. 6.  [211B.06] [FALSE POLITICAL AND CAMPAIGN MATERIAL; 
PENALTY; EXCEPTIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [GROSS MISDEMEANOR.] A person is guilty of 
a gross misdemeanor who intentionally participates in the 
preparation, dissemination, or broadcast of paid political 
advertising or campaign material with respect to the personal or 
political character or acts of a candidate, whether or not 
defamatory, or with respect to the effect of a ballot question, 
that the person knows or has reason to believe is false and that 
is designed or tends to elect, injure, or defeat a candidate for 
nomination or election to a public office or to promote or 
defeat a ballot question. 
    A person is guilty of a misdemeanor who intentionally 
participates in the drafting of a letter to the editor with 
respect to the personal or political character or acts of a 
candidate, if defamatory, or with respect to the effect of a 
ballot question, that the person knows is false and which is 
designed or tends to elect, injure, or defeat any candidate for 
nomination or election to a public office or to promote or 
defeat a ballot question. 
    Subd. 2.  [EXCEPTION.] Subdivision 1 does not apply to any 
person or organization whose sole act is, in the normal course 
of their business, the printing, manufacturing, or dissemination 
of the false information. 
    Sec. 7.  [211B.07] [UNDUE INFLUENCE ON VOTERS PROHIBITED.] 
    A person may not directly or indirectly use or threaten 
force, coercion, violence, restraint, damage, harm, loss, 
including loss of employment or economic reprisal, undue 
influence, or temporal or spiritual injury against an individual 
to compel the individual to vote for or against a candidate or 
ballot question.  Abduction, duress, or fraud may not be used to 
obstruct or prevent the free exercise of the right to vote of a 
voter at a primary or election, or compel a voter to vote at a 
primary or election.  Violation of this section is a gross 
misdemeanor.  
    Sec. 8.  [211B.08] [SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS 
PROHIBITED.] 
    A religious, charitable, or educational organization may 
not request a candidate or committee to contribute to the 
organization, to subscribe for the support of a club or 
organization, to buy tickets to entertainment, or to pay for 
space in a publication.  This section does not apply to: 
    (1) the solicitation of a business advertisement in 
periodicals in which the candidate was a regular contributor, 
before candidacy; 
    (2) ordinary business advertisements; 
    (3) regular payments to a religious, charitable, or 
educational organization, of which the candidate was a member, 
or to which the candidate was a contributor for more than six 
months before candidacy; or 
    (4) ordinary contributions at church services. 
    Sec. 9.  [211B.09] [PROHIBITED PUBLIC EMPLOYEE ACTIVITIES.] 
    An employee or official of the state or of a political 
subdivision may not use official authority or influence to 
compel a person to apply for membership in or become a member of 
a political organization, to pay or promise to pay a political 
contribution, or to take part in political activity.  A 
political subdivision may not impose or enforce additional 
limitations on the political activities of its employees. 
    Sec. 10.  [211B.10] [INDUCING OR REFRAINING CANDIDACY; TIME 
OFF FOR PUBLIC OFFICE MEETINGS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [INDUCING OR REFRAINING FROM CANDIDACY.] A 
person may not reward or promise to reward another in any manner 
to induce the person to be or refrain from or cease being a 
candidate.  A person may not solicit or receive a payment, 
promise, or reward from another for this purpose. 
    Subd. 2.  [TIME OFF FOR PUBLIC OFFICE MEETINGS.] A person 
elected to a public office must be permitted time off from 
regular employment to attend meetings required by reason of the 
public office.  The time off may be without pay, with pay, or 
made up with other hours, as agreed between the employee and 
employer.  When an employee takes time off without pay, the 
employer shall make an effort to allow the employee to make up 
the time with other hours when the employee is available.  No 
retaliatory action may be taken by the employer for absences to 
attend meetings necessitated by reason of the employee's public 
office. 
    Sec. 11.  [211B.11] [ELECTION DAY PROHIBITIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SOLICITING NEAR POLLING PLACES.] A person 
may not display campaign material, post signs, ask, solicit, or 
in any manner try to induce or persuade a voter within a polling 
place or within 100 feet of the building in which a polling 
place is situated on primary or election day to vote for or 
refrain from voting for a candidate or ballot question.  A 
person may not provide political badges, political buttons, or 
other political insignia to be worn at or about the polling 
place on the day of a primary or election.  A political badge, 
political button, or other political insignia may not be worn at 
or about the polling place on primary or election day. 
    Subd. 2.  [ELECTION DAY CAMPAIGNING.] A person may not 
broadcast, circulate, or distribute campaign material, or cause 
campaign material to be broadcast, circulated, or distributed on 
the day of a primary or election.  This subdivision does not 
modify or repeal section 7. 
    Subd. 3.  [TRANSPORTATION OF VOTERS TO POLLING PLACE; 
PENALTY.] A person transporting a voter to or from the polling 
place may not ask, solicit, or in any manner try to induce or 
persuade a voter on primary or election day to vote or refrain 
from voting for a candidate or ballot question.  
    Subd. 4.  [PENALTY.] Violation of this section is a petty 
misdemeanor. 
    Sec. 12.  [211B.12] [LEGAL EXPENDITURES.] 
    Use of funds collected for political purposes is prohibited 
unless the use is reasonably related to the conduct of election 
campaigns.  The following are permitted expenditures when made 
for political purposes: 
    (1) salaries, wages, and fees; 
    (2) communications, mailing, transportation, and travel; 
    (3) campaign advertising; 
    (4) printing; 
    (5) office and other space and necessary equipment, 
furnishings, and incidental supplies; 
    (6) charitable contributions of not more than $100 to any 
charity annually; and 
    (7) other expenses, not included in clauses (1) to (6), 
that are reasonably related to the conduct of election campaigns.
In addition, expenditures made for the purpose of providing 
information to constituents, whether or not related to the 
conduct of an election, are permitted expenses. 
    Sec. 13.  [211B.13] [BRIBERY, TREATING, AND SOLICITATION.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [BRIBERY, ADVANCING MONEY, AND TREATING 
PROHIBITED.] A person who willfully, directly or indirectly, 
advances, pays, gives, promises, or lends any money, food, 
liquor, clothing, entertainment, or other thing of monetary 
value, or who offers, promises, or endeavors to obtain any 
money, position, appointment, employment, or other valuable 
consideration, to or for a person, in order to induce a voter to 
refrain from voting, or to vote in a particular way, at an 
election, is guilty of a felony.  This section does not prevent 
a candidate from stating publicly preference for or support of 
another candidate to be voted for at the same primary or 
election.  Refreshments of food or nonalcoholic beverages of 
nominal value consumed on the premises at a private gathering or 
public meeting are not prohibited under this section. 
    Subd. 2.  [CERTAIN SOLICITATIONS PROHIBITED.] A person may 
not knowingly solicit, receive, or accept any money, property, 
or other thing of monetary value, or a promise or pledge of 
these that is a disbursement prohibited by this section or 
section 15. 
    Sec. 14.  [211B.14] [DIGEST OF LAWS.] 
    The secretary of state, with the approval of the attorney 
general, shall prepare and print an easily understandable digest 
of this chapter and annotations of it.  
    The secretary of state shall distribute the digest to 
candidates and committees through the county auditor or 
otherwise as the secretary of state considers expedient. 
    Sec. 15.  [211B.15] [CORPORATE POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] "Corporation" for purposes of 
this section means a corporation organized for profit that does 
business in Minnesota. 
    Subd. 2.  [PROHIBITED CONTRIBUTIONS.] A corporation may not 
make a contribution or offer or agree to make a contribution, 
directly or indirectly, of any money, property, free service of 
its officers or employees, or thing of monetary value to a major 
political party, organization, committee, or individual to 
promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual for nomination, 
election, or appointment to a political office.  For the purpose 
of this subdivision, "contribution" includes an expenditure to 
promote or defeat the election or nomination of a candidate to a 
political office that is made with the authorization or 
expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or in concert 
with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or 
committee established to support or oppose a candidate.  
    Subd. 3.  [INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES.] A corporation may not 
make an independent expenditure or offer or agree to make an 
independent expenditure to promote or defeat the candidacy of an 
individual for nomination, election, or appointment to a 
political office.  For the purpose of this subdivision, 
"independent expenditure" means an expenditure that is not made 
with the authorization or expressed or implied consent of, or in 
cooperation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, 
a candidate or committee established to support or oppose a 
candidate. 
    Subd. 4.  [BALLOT QUESTION.] A corporation may make 
contributions or expenditures to promote or defeat a ballot 
question, to qualify a question for placement on the ballot 
unless otherwise prohibited by law, or to express its views on 
issues of public concern.  A corporation may not take a 
deduction as provided in section 290.09 for an expenditure made 
under this subdivision.  A corporation may not make a 
contribution to a candidate for nomination, election, or 
appointment to a political office or to a committee organized 
wholly or partly to promote or defeat a candidate.  
    Subd. 5.  [NEWS MEDIA.] This section does not prohibit 
publication or broadcasting of news items or editorial comments 
by the news media.  
    Subd. 6.  [PENALTY FOR INDIVIDUALS.] An officer, 
stockholder, agent, employee, attorney, or other representative 
of a corporation acting in behalf of the corporation who 
violates this section may be fined not more than $20,000 or be 
imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.  
    Subd. 7.  [PENALTY FOR CORPORATIONS.] A corporation 
convicted of violating this section is subject to a fine not 
greater than $40,000.  A convicted domestic corporation may be 
dissolved as well as fined.  If a foreign or nonresident 
corporation is convicted, in addition to being fined, its right 
to do business in this state may be declared forfeited.  
    Subd. 8.  [PERMITTED ACTIVITY; POLITICAL PARTY.] It is not 
a violation of this section for a political party, as defined in 
section 200.02, subdivision 7, to form a nonprofit corporation 
for the sole purpose of holding real property to be used 
exclusively as the party's headquarters. 
    Subd. 9.  [MEDIA PROJECTS.] It is not a violation of this 
section for a corporation to contribute to or conduct public 
media projects to encourage individuals to attend precinct 
caucuses, register, or vote if the projects are not controlled 
by or operated for the advantage of a candidate, political 
party, or committee. 
    Subd. 10.  [MEETING FACILITIES.] It is not a violation of 
this section for a corporation to provide meeting facilities to 
a committee, political party, or candidate on a 
nondiscriminatory and nonpreferential basis. 
    Subd. 11.  [MESSAGES ON CORPORATE PREMISES.] It is not a 
violation of this section for a corporation selling products or 
services to the public to post on its public premises messages 
that promote participation in precinct caucuses, voter 
registration, or elections if the messages are not controlled by 
or operated for the advantage of a candidate, political party, 
or committee. 
    Subd. 12.  [REPORTS REQUIRED.] The total amount of an 
expenditure or contribution for any one project permitted by 
subdivisions 9 and 11 that is more than $200, together with the 
date, purpose, and the names and addresses of the persons 
receiving the contribution or expenditures, must be reported to 
the secretary of state.  The reports must be filed on forms 
provided by the secretary of state on the dates required for 
committees under article 2, section 2.  Failure to file is a 
misdemeanor. 
    Subd. 13.  [AIDING VIOLATION; PENALTY.] An individual who 
aids, abets, or advises a violation of this section is guilty of 
a gross misdemeanor. 
    Subd. 14.  [PROSECUTIONS; VENUE.] Violations of this 
section may be prosecuted in the county where the payment or 
contribution was made, where services were rendered, or where 
money was paid or distributed. 
    Sec. 16.  [211B.16] [COUNTY ATTORNEY INQUIRY; ASSOCIATE 
COUNSEL.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [COUNTY ATTORNEY INQUIRY.] A county 
attorney who is notified of an alleged violation of this chapter 
shall promptly investigate.  If there is probable cause for 
instituting a prosecution, the county attorney shall proceed by 
complaint or present the charge, with whatever evidence has been 
found, to the grand jury.  A county attorney who refuses or 
intentionally fails to faithfully perform this or any other duty 
imposed by this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon 
conviction forfeits the office.  The county attorney, under the 
penalty of forfeiture of office, shall prosecute all violations 
of this chapter except violations of this section.  If, however, 
a complainant withdraws an allegation under this chapter, the 
county attorney is not required to proceed with prosecution.  
    Subd. 2.  [ASSOCIATE COUNSEL.] Anyone except the person 
under investigation or the person's agent may employ an attorney 
to assist the county attorney in the investigation and 
prosecution of a violation of this chapter.  The county attorney 
and the court shall recognize the attorney as associate counsel 
for the proceeding.  A prosecution, action, or proceeding must 
not be dismissed without notice to the associate counsel.  If 
the associate counsel objects to the dismissal, the county 
attorney's reasons for dismissal and the associate counsel's 
objections must be filed with the court and heard within the 
time period the court requires.  
    Sec. 17.  [211B.17] [FORFEITURE OF NOMINATION OR OFFICE; 
CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NOT FORFEITED.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [FORFEITURE OF NOMINATION OR OFFICE.] 
Except as provided in subdivision 2, if a candidate is found 
guilty of violating this chapter or an offense was committed by 
another individual with the knowledge, consent, or connivance of 
the candidate, the court, after entering the adjudication of 
guilty, shall enter a supplemental judgment declaring that the 
candidate has forfeited the nomination or office.  If the court 
enters the supplemental judgment, it shall transmit to the 
filing officer a transcript of the supplemental judgment, the 
nomination or office becomes vacant, and the vacancy must be 
filled as provided by law. 
    Subd. 2.  [CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NOMINATION OR OFFICE NOT 
FORFEITED.] In a trial for a violation of this chapter, the 
candidate's nomination or election is not void if the court 
finds that: 
    (1) an offense, though committed by the candidate or with 
the candidate's knowledge, consent, or connivance, was trivial; 
or 
    (2) an act or omission of a candidate arose from accidental 
miscalculation or other reasonable cause, but in any case not 
from a want of good faith; 
and the court also finds that it would be unjust for a candidate 
to forfeit the nomination or election.  
    None of these findings is a defense to a conviction under 
this chapter. 
    Sec. 18.  [211B.18] [DISQUALIFIED CANDIDATE NOT TO HOLD 
VARIOUS POSITIONS.] 
    A candidate whose election to office has been set aside for 
a violation of this chapter may not be appointed, during the 
period fixed by law as the term of the office, to fill a vacancy 
in that office.  A candidate or other individual who is 
convicted of a violation of this chapter may not be appointed, 
during the period fixed by law as the term of the office with 
respect to which the election was held and the offense was 
committed, to fill a vacancy that may occur in the office.  An 
appointment to an office made contrary to the provisions of this 
section is void. 
    A candidate or other individual who is convicted of a 
violation of this chapter is not qualified, during the period 
fixed by law as the term of the office with respect to which the 
election was held and the offense was committed, to fill a 
vacancy in an office for which the legislature may establish 
qualifications under article XII, section 3, of the Minnesota 
Constitution.  
    Sec. 19.  [211B.19] [PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION.] 
    A violation of this chapter for which no other penalty is 
provided is a misdemeanor.  
    Sec. 20.  [211B.20] [DENIAL OF ACCESS BY POLITICAL 
CANDIDATES TO MULTIPLE UNIT DWELLINGS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [PROHIBITION.] It is unlawful for a person, 
either directly or indirectly, to deny access to an apartment 
house, dormitory, nursing home, manufactured home park, other 
multiple unit facility used as a residence, or an area in which 
two or more single-family dwellings are located on private 
roadways to a candidate who has filed for election to public 
office or to campaign workers accompanied by the candidate, if 
the candidate and workers seeking admittance to the facility do 
so solely for the purpose of campaigning.  A violation of this 
section is a petty misdemeanor. 
    Subd. 2.  [EXCEPTIONS.] Subdivision 1 does not prohibit: 
    (1) denial of admittance into a particular apartment, room, 
manufactured home, or personal residential unit;  
    (2) requiring reasonable and proper identification as a 
necessary prerequisite to admission to a multiple unit dwelling; 
    (3) in the case of a nursing home, denial of permission to 
visit certain persons for valid health reasons;  
    (4) limiting visits by candidates or workers accompanied by 
the candidate to a reasonable number of persons or reasonable 
hours; 
    (5) requiring a prior appointment to gain access to the 
facility; or 
    (6) denial of admittance to or expulsion from a multiple 
unit dwelling for good cause. 
    Sec. 21.  [211B.21] [APPLICABILITY.] 
    Nothing in section 17 or 18 may be construed to limit the 
ability of each house of the legislature to act as judge of the 
election returns and eligibility of its own members. 
    Sec. 22.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    This act is effective July 1, 1988. 
    Approved April 21, 1988

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