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200.02 Definitions.

Subdivision 1. Application. The terms defined in this section apply to the Minnesota Election Law.

Subd. 2. General election. "General election" means an election held at regular intervals on a day determined by law or charter at which the voters of the state or any of its subdivisions choose by ballot public officials or presidential electors.

Subd. 3. Primary. "Primary" means an election at which the voters of the state or any of its subdivisions choose by ballot the nominees for the offices to be filled at a general election.

Subd. 4. Special election. "Special election" means:

(a) An election held at any time to fill vacancies in public offices; or

(b) An election held by a subdivision of the state for a special purpose.

Subd. 5. Special primary. "Special primary" means an election held to choose the nominees for vacant public offices to be filled at a special election.

Subd. 6. Political party. "Political party" means an association of individuals under whose name a candidate files for partisan office.

Subd. 7. Major political party. (a) "Major political party" means a political party that maintains a party organization in the state, political division or precinct in question and that has presented at least one candidate for election to the office of:

(1) governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, or attorney general at the last preceding state general election for those offices; or

(2) presidential elector or U.S. senator at the last preceding state general election for presidential electors; and

whose candidate received votes in each county in that election and received votes from not less than five percent of the total number of individuals who voted in that election.

(b) "Major political party" also means a political party that maintains a party organization in the state, political subdivision, or precinct in question and whose members present to the secretary of state a petition for a place on the state partisan primary ballot, which petition contains signatures of a number of the party members equal to at least five percent of the total number of individuals who voted in the preceding state general election.

(c) A political party whose candidate receives a sufficient number of votes at a state general election described in paragraph (a) becomes a major political party as of January 1 following that election and retains its major party status notwithstanding that the party fails to present a candidate who receives the number and percentage of votes required under paragraph (a) at the following state general election.

(d) A major political party whose candidates fail to receive the number and percentage of votes required under paragraph (a) at either state general election described by paragraph (a) loses major party status as of December 31 following the most recent state general election.

Subd. 8. City. "City" means a home rule charter or statutory city.

Subd. 9. MS 1971 Repealed, 1973 c 123 art 3 s 7

Subd. 9. Municipality. "Municipality" means any city or town.

Subd. 10. Governing body. "Governing body" means the board of commissioners of a county, the elected council of a city, or the board of supervisors of a town.

Subd. 11. Precinct. "Precinct" means a geographical area the boundaries of which are established for election purposes in accordance with section 204B.14.

Subd. 12. Polling place. "Polling place" means the place of voting.

Subd. 13. Convention. "Convention" means an organized body of delegates assembled for the purpose of transacting the business of a major political party.

Subd. 14. Election board. "Election board" means the election judges serving in a precinct.

Subd. 15. Eligible voter. "Eligible voter" means an individual who is eligible to vote under section 201.014.

Subd. 16. County auditor. "County auditor" means the county auditor or, in counties where that office does not exist, the principal county officer charged with duties relating to elections.

Subd. 17. Member of a major political party. "Member of a major political party" means an individual who:

(a) Supports the general principles of that party's constitution;

(b) Voted for a majority of that party's candidates in the last general election; or

(c) Intends to vote for a majority of that party's candidates in the next general election.

Subd. 18. Oath, swear, sworn. "Oath" means an oath or affirmation, as the conscience of the individual dictates. If an affirmation is given instead of an oath, "swear" means to affirm and "sworn" means affirmed.

Subd. 19. School district. "School district" means an independent, special, or county school district.

Subd. 20. Statewide registration system. "Statewide registration system" means the computerized central statewide voter registration system and database developed and maintained by the secretary of state pursuant to section 201.022.

Subd. 21. Local election official. "Local election official" means the municipal clerk or principal officer charged with duties relating to elections.

Subd. 22. Expired

Subd. 23. Minor political party. (a) "Minor political party" means a political party that is not a major political party as defined by subdivision 7 and that has adopted a state constitution, designated a state party chair, held a state convention in the last two years, filed with the secretary of state no later than December 31 following the most recent state general election a certification that the party has met the foregoing requirements, and met the requirements of paragraph (b) or (e), as applicable.

(b) To be considered a minor party in all elections statewide, the political party must have presented at least one candidate for election to the office of:

(1) governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, or attorney general, at the last preceding state general election for those offices; or

(2) presidential elector or U.S. senator at the preceding state general election for presidential electors; and

who received votes in each county that in the aggregate equal at least one percent of the total number of individuals who voted in the election, or its members must have presented to the secretary of state a nominating petition in a form prescribed by the secretary of state containing the signatures of party members in a number equal to at least one percent of the total number of individuals who voted in the preceding state general election.

(c) A political party whose candidate receives a sufficient number of votes at a state general election described in paragraph (b) becomes a minor political party as of January 1 following that election and retains its minor party status notwithstanding that the party fails to present a candidate who receives the number and percentage of votes required under paragraph (b) at the following state general election.

(d) A minor political party whose candidates fail to receive the number and percentage of votes required under paragraph (b) at either state general election described by paragraph (b) loses minor party status as of December 31 following the most recent state general election.

(e) To be considered a minor party in an election in a legislative district, the political party must have presented at least one candidate for a legislative office in that district who received votes from at least ten percent of the total number of individuals who voted for that office, or its members must have presented to the secretary of state a nominating petition in a form prescribed by the secretary of state containing the signatures of party members in a number equal to at least ten percent of the total number of individuals who voted in the preceding state general election for that legislative office.

HIST: 1959 c 675 art 1 s 2; Ex1961 c 10 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 3 s 1; art 5 s 7; 1973 c 576 s 1; 1973 c 676 s 1,2; 1973 c 725 s 37; 1978 c 725 s 2; 1981 c 29 art 1 s 3; 1984 c 560 s 1; 1987 c 266 art 1 s 3; 1990 c 585 s 1; 1991 c 227 s 3; 1996 c 419 s 2,3,10; 1999 c 220 s 48; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 18 s 4,5; 1Sp2003 c 9 art 2 s 41,42; 1Sp2003 c 17 s 1