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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

    Subdivision 1. Standards. The redistricting plan in use in a county shall be used until a
new plan is adopted in accordance with this section. Each county shall be divided into as many
districts numbered consecutively as it has members of the county board. Commissioner districts
shall be bounded by town, municipal, ward, or precinct lines. Each district shall be composed of
contiguous territory as regular and compact in form as practicable, depending upon the geography
of the county involved and shall be as nearly equal in population as possible. No district shall vary
in population more than ten percent from the average for all districts in the county, unless the
result forces a voting precinct to be split. A majority of the least populous districts shall contain
not less than a majority of the population of the county. A county may be redistricted by the
county board after each federal census. When it appears after a federal census that the districts of
the county are not in accord with the standards set forth in this subdivision, the county shall be
redistricted by the county board within the times set in section 204B.135, subdivision 2. Before
acting to redistrict, the county board, or a redistricting commission if one is appointed, shall
publish three weeks' notice of its purpose, stating the time and place of the meeting where the
matter will be considered, in the newspaper having the contract to publish the commissioners'
proceedings for the county for the current year.
    Subd. 2. Voters rights. Any qualified voter may apply to the district court of the county
for a writ of mandamus (a) requiring the county to be redistricted if the county board has not
redistricted the county within the time specified in subdivision 1, or (b) to revise the redistricting
plan. Any application for revision of a redistricting plan filed with the county auditor more than 15
weeks before the state primary in a year ending in two that seeks to affect elections held in a year
ending in two must be filed with the district court within three weeks but no later than 14 weeks
before the state primary in the year ending in two. If a plan for redistricting a county is filed less
than 14 weeks before the state primary in a year ending in two, any application for revision of the
plan that seeks to affect an election in the year ending in two shall be filed with the district court
within one week after the plan has been filed with the county auditor. The district court may direct
the county board to show cause why it has not redistricted the county or why the redistricting
plan prepared by it should not be revised. On hearing the matter it may allow the county board
additional time in which to redistrict the county or to correct errors in the redistricting plan. If
it appears to the court that the county board has not been sufficiently diligent in performing its
redistricting duties, the court may appoint a redistricting commission to redistrict the county in
accordance with the standards set forth in subdivision 1 and any other conditions the court shall
deem advisable and appropriate. If a redistricting commission is appointed, the county board shall
be without authority to redistrict the county.
    Subd. 3. Redistricting commission. The redistricting commission shall be composed of not
less than five nor more than nine residents of the county. No officer or employee of county or local
government except notaries public shall be eligible for membership. Members of the commission
shall not be eligible for election to the county board until two years after the redistricting in which
they participated becomes effective. Members shall serve without pay but may be reimbursed
their necessary expenses in the conduct of the business of the commission. The county board shall
provide for the necessary expenses of the commission.
    Subd. 4. Redistricting plan; election following redistricting. A redistricting plan whether
prepared by the county board or the redistricting commission shall be filed in the office of
the county auditor. A redistricting plan shall be effective on the 31st day after filing unless a
later effective date is specified but no plan shall be effective for the next election of county
commissioners unless the plan is filed with the county auditor not less than 30 days before the first
date candidates may file for the office of county commissioner. One commissioner shall be elected
in each district who, at the time of the election, is a resident of the district. A person elected
may hold the office only while remaining a resident of the commissioner district or, after June
15 during a year ending in "2", while remaining a resident of the county. The county board or
the redistricting commission shall determine the number of members of the county board who
shall be elected for two-year terms and for four-year terms to provide staggered terms on the
county board. Thereafter, all commissioners shall be elected for four years. When a county is
redistricted, there shall be a new election of commissioners in all the districts at the next general
election except that if the change made in the boundaries of a district is less than five percent of
the average of all districts of the county, the commissioner in office at the time of the redistricting
shall serve for the full period for which elected.
History: 1974 c 240 s 1; 1980 c 487 s 13; 1984 c 543 s 39; 1984 c 629 s 2; 1986 c 444;
1987 c 297 s 3; 1991 c 349 s 40,41; 1993 c 32 s 1