Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

204C.06 CONDUCT IN AND NEAR POLLING PLACES.
    Subdivision 1. Lingering near polling place. An individual shall be allowed to go to and
from the polling place for the purpose of voting without unlawful interference. No one except
an election official or an individual who is waiting to register or to vote shall stand within 100
feet of the entrance to a polling place. The entrance to a polling place is the doorway or point of
entry leading into the room or area where voting is occurring.
    Subd. 2. Individuals allowed in polling place; identification. (a) Representatives of the
secretary of state's office, the county auditor's office, and the municipal or school district clerk's
office may be present at the polling place to observe election procedures. Except for these
representatives, election judges, sergeants-at-arms, and challengers, an individual may remain
inside the polling place during voting hours only while voting or registering to vote, providing
proof of residence for an individual who is registering to vote, or assisting a disabled voter or a
voter who is unable to read English. During voting hours no one except individuals receiving,
marking, or depositing ballots shall approach within six feet of a voting booth, unless lawfully
authorized to do so by an election judge.
(b) Teachers and elementary or secondary school students participating in an educational
activity authorized by section 204B.27, subdivision 7, may be present at the polling place during
voting hours.
(c) Each official on duty in the polling place must wear an identification badge that shows
their role in the election process. The badge must not show their party affiliation.
    Subd. 3. Damaging or removing election materials; gross misdemeanor. No individual
shall intentionally:
(a) tear down, mutilate, deface or otherwise damage during the hours of voting any voter
instruction poster placed inside or outside of a polling place by an election judge or other election
official; or
(b) remove from the polling place before the time for voting ends any ballots prepared for
use at the election or any supplies or conveniences placed in voting booths for use by the voters,
except as authorized by law.
A violation of this subdivision is a gross misdemeanor.
    Subd. 4. Damaging or removing election materials; felony. No individual shall
intentionally:
(a) remove from a polling place any election file or election register, except as authorized
by law;
(b) damage, deface, or mutilate any ballot, election file, or election register or any item of
information contained on it, except as authorized by law; or
(c) add anything to a ballot, election file, or election register, except as authorized by law.
A violation of this subdivision is a felony.
    Subd. 5. Sergeant-at-arms. The election judges may appoint a sergeant-at-arms when
necessary to keep the peace or otherwise to assist them. An election judge may request a
sergeant-at-arms or a peace officer to arrest or remove from the polling place any individual who,
despite a warning to desist, engages in disorderly conduct. A sergeant-at-arms or a peace officer
shall not otherwise interfere in any manner with voters.
    Subd. 6. Peace officers. Except when summoned by an election judge to restore the peace or
when voting or registering to vote, no peace officer shall enter or remain in a polling place or
stand within 50 feet of the entrance of a polling place.
    Subd. 7. Use of intoxicating liquor; prohibition; penalty. During the time an election is
being held it is a misdemeanor to bring intoxicating liquor or 3.2 percent malt liquor into a polling
place, to drink intoxicating liquor or 3.2 percent malt liquor in a polling place, or to be intoxicated
in a polling place. The election judges shall not permit an obviously intoxicated individual to vote
or remain in the polling place for any purpose.
    Subd. 8. Access for news media. A news media representative may enter a polling place
during voting hours only to observe the voting process. A media representative must present
photo identification to the head election judge upon arrival at the polling place, along with either a
recognized media credential or written statement from a local election official attesting to the
media representative's credentials. A media representative must not:
(1) approach within six feet of a voter;
(2) converse with a voter while in the polling place;
(3) make a list of persons voting or not voting; or
(4) interfere with the voting process.
History: 1981 c 29 art 5 s 6; 1984 c 471 s 10; 1984 c 515 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 266 art 1
s 35; 1989 c 291 art 1 s 12; 1991 c 237 s 5; 1991 c 249 s 31; 1993 c 223 s 12; 2004 c 293 art
2 s 24; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2005 c 113 s 1; 2005 c 156 art 6 s 41