204C.22 DETERMINING VOTER'S INTENT.
Subdivision 1. Ballot valid if intent determinable.
A ballot shall not be rejected for a
technical error that does not make it impossible to determine the voter's intent. In determining
intent the principles contained in this section apply.
Subd. 2. From face of ballot only.
Intent shall be ascertained only from the face of the ballot.
Subd. 3. Votes for too many candidates.
If a voter places a mark (X) beside the names of
more candidates for an office than are to be elected or nominated, the ballot is defective with
respect only to that office. No vote shall be counted for any candidate for that office, but the rest of
the ballot shall be counted if possible. At a primary, if a voter has not indicated a party preference
and places a mark (X) beside the names of candidates of more than one party on the partisan
ballot, the ballot is totally defective and no votes on it shall be counted. If a voter has indicated a
party preference at a primary, only votes cast for candidates of that party shall be counted.
Subd. 3a. Votes yes and no.
If a voter votes both yes and no on a question, no vote may be
counted for that question, but the rest of the ballot must be counted if possible.
Subd. 4. Name written in proper place.
If a voter has written the name of an individual in
the proper place on a general or special election ballot a vote shall be counted for that individual
whether or not the voter makes a mark (X) in the square opposite the blank.
Subd. 4a. Write-in vote for candidate team.
A write-in vote cast for a candidate for
governor without a write-in vote for a candidate for lieutenant governor must be counted as a vote
for the candidate team including the lieutenant governor candidate selected by that candidate for
Subd. 5. Name written on primary ballot.
If a voter has written the name of an individual
on a primary or special primary ballot, a vote shall not be counted for that office.
Subd. 6. Mark out of place.
If a mark (X) is made out of its proper place, but so near a name
or space as to indicate clearly the voter's intent, the vote shall be counted.
Subd. 7. All written names or marks counted up to limit.
If a number of individuals
are to be elected to the same office, the election judges shall count all names written in and all
printed names with (X) marks in squares opposite them, not exceeding the whole number to be
elected. When fewer names than the number to be elected are marked with an (X) or written
in, only the marked or written in names shall be counted. When more names than the number
to be elected are marked or written in, the ballot is defective with respect to that office and no
vote shall be counted for that office.
Subd. 8. Misspelling; abbreviations.
Misspelling or abbreviations of the names of write-in
candidates shall be disregarded if the individual for whom the vote was intended can be clearly
ascertained from the ballot.
Subd. 9. Votes for only some offices or questions determined.
If the voter's choice for
only some of the offices or questions can be determined from a ballot, the ballot shall be counted
for those offices or questions only.
Subd. 10. Different marks.
If a voter uniformly uses a mark other than (X) which clearly
indicates an intent to mark a name or to mark yes or no on a question, and the voter does not use
(X) anywhere else on the ballot, a vote shall be counted for each candidate or response to a
question marked. If a voter uses two or more distinct marks, such as (X) and some other mark,
a vote shall be counted for each candidate or response to a question marked, unless the ballot
is marked by distinguishing characteristics that make the entire ballot defective as provided in
Subd. 11. Attempted erasures.
If the names of two candidates have been marked, and an
attempt has been made to erase or obliterate one of the marks, a vote shall be counted for the
remaining marked candidate. If an attempt has been made to obliterate a write-in name a vote
shall be counted for the remaining write-in name or marked candidate.
Subd. 12. Soil; defacement.
A ballot shall not be rejected merely because it is slightly
soiled or defaced.
Subd. 13. Identifying ballot.
If a ballot is marked by distinguishing characteristics in a
manner making it evident that the voter intended to identify the ballot, the entire ballot is defective.
Subd. 14. No votes for certain offices.
If the number of candidates for an office is equal to
the number of individuals to be elected to that office, and the voter has not marked any name, no
vote shall be counted for any candidate for that office.
Subd. 15. Blank ballot for one or more offices valid.
If no name or response to a question
is marked and no name is written in, the ballot is blank with respect to that office or question. A
ballot that is blank with respect to one or more offices or questions is not defective.
History: 1981 c 29 art 5 s 22; 1987 c 222 s 2; 1990 c 453 s 7-10; 1991 c 320 s 14