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Chapter 204B

Section 204B.14

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204B.14 ELECTION PRECINCTS.
    Subdivision 1. Boundaries. The governing body of each municipality shall establish the
boundaries of the election precincts in the municipality. The governing body of a county shall
establish the boundaries of precincts in unorganized territory in the county. Except as provided in
subdivision 3, a governing body may change the boundaries of any election precinct which it
has established.
    Subd. 1a. Legislative policy. It is the intention of the legislature to complete congressional
and legislative redistricting activities in time to permit counties and municipalities to begin
the process of reestablishing precinct boundaries as soon as possible after the adoption of the
congressional and legislative redistricting plans but in no case later than 25 weeks before the state
primary election in the year ending in two.
    Subd. 2. Separate precincts; combined polling place. (a) The following shall constitute at
least one election precinct:
(1) each city ward; and
(2) each town and each statutory city.
(b) A single, accessible, combined polling place may be established no later than June
1 of any year:
(1) for any city of the third or fourth class, any town, or any city having territory in more
than one county, in which all the voters of the city or town shall cast their ballots;
(2) for two contiguous precincts in the same municipality that have a combined total of fewer
than 500 registered voters;
(3) for up to four contiguous municipalities located entirely outside the metropolitan area, as
defined by section 200.02, subdivision 24, that are contained in the same county; or
(4) for noncontiguous precincts located in one or more counties.
A copy of the ordinance or resolution establishing a combined polling place must be filed
with the county auditor within 30 days after approval by the governing body. A polling place
combined under clause (3) must be approved by the governing body of each participating
municipality. A polling place combined under clause (4) must be approved by the governing body
of each participating municipality and the secretary of state and may be located outside any of
the noncontiguous precincts. A municipality withdrawing from participation in a combined
polling place must do so by filing a resolution of withdrawal with the county auditor no later
than May 1 of any year.
The secretary of state shall provide a separate polling place roster for each precinct served
by the combined polling place. A single set of election judges may be appointed to serve at a
combined polling place. The number of election judges required must be based on the total
number of persons voting at the last similar election in all precincts to be voting at the combined
polling place. Separate ballot boxes must be provided for the ballots from each precinct. The
results of the election must be reported separately for each precinct served by the combined
polling place, except in a polling place established under clause (2) where one of the precincts has
fewer than ten registered voters, in which case the results of that precinct must be reported in
the manner specified by the secretary of state.
    Subd. 3. Boundary changes; prohibitions; exception. Notwithstanding other law or charter
provisions to the contrary, during the period from January 1 in any year ending in zero to the time
when the legislature has been redistricted in a year ending in one or two, no changes may be made
in the boundaries of any election precinct except as provided in this subdivision.
(a) If a city annexes an unincorporated area located in the same county as the city and
adjacent to the corporate boundary, the annexed area may be included in an election precinct
immediately adjacent to it.
(b) A municipality or county may establish new election precincts lying entirely within the
boundaries of any existing precinct and shall assign names to the new precincts which include the
name of the former precinct.
(c) Precinct boundaries must be reestablished within 60 days of the time when the legislature
has been redistricted, or at least 19 weeks before the state primary election in a year ending in
two, whichever comes first. The adoption of reestablished precinct boundaries becomes effective
on the date of the state primary election in the year ending in two.
Precincts must be arranged so that no precinct lies in more than one legislative or
congressional district.
    Subd. 4. Boundary change procedure. Any change in the boundary of an election precinct
shall be adopted at least 90 days before the date of the next election and, for the state primary
and general election, no later than June 1 in the year of the state general election. The precinct
boundary change shall not take effect until notice of the change has been posted in the office of
the municipal clerk or county auditor for at least 60 days.
The county auditor must publish a notice illustrating or describing the congressional,
legislative, and county commissioner district boundaries in the county in one or more qualified
newspapers in the county at least 14 days prior to the first day to file affidavits of candidacy for
the state general election in the year ending in two.
Alternate dates for adopting changes in precinct boundaries, posting notices of boundary
changes, and notifying voters affected by boundary changes pursuant to this subdivision, and
procedures for coordinating precinct boundary changes with reestablishing local government
election district boundaries may be established in the manner provided in the rules of the secretary
of state.
     Subd. 5. Precinct boundaries; description; maps. If a precinct boundary has been changed
or an annexation has occurred affecting a precinct boundary, the municipal clerk shall immediately
notify the county auditor and secretary of state. The municipal clerk shall file a corrected base
map with the secretary of state and county auditor within 30 days after the boundary change was
made or, in the case of an annexation, the later of: (1) 30 days after the approval of the annexation
order; or (2) the effective date of the annexation order. Upon request, the county auditor shall
provide a base map and precinct finder to the municipal clerk. The municipal clerk shall prepare a
corrected precinct map and provide the corrected map to the county auditor, who shall correct the
precinct finder in the statewide voter registration system and make the corrected map and precinct
finder available for public inspection, and to the secretary of state, who shall update the precinct
boundary database. The county auditor shall prepare and file precinct boundary maps for precincts
in unorganized territories in the same manner as provided for precincts in municipalities. For
every election held in the municipality the election judges shall be furnished precinct maps as
provided in section 201.061, subdivision 6. If a municipality changes the boundary of an election
precinct, or if an annexation affecting a precinct boundary occurs, the county auditor shall notify
each school district with territory affected by the boundary change at least 30 days before the
effective date of the change.
    Subd. 6. Precinct boundaries to follow physical features. (a) Unless a precinct consists
entirely of unorganized territory or more than one precinct is entirely included within one census
block, for the first two years following a decennial census an election precinct boundary must
follow a census block line.
(b) The boundaries of election precincts must follow visible, clearly recognizable physical
features. If it is not possible to establish the boundary between any two adjacent precincts along
such features, the boundary around the two precincts combined shall be established in the manner
provided in the rules of the secretary of state to comply with the provisions of this subdivision.
The maps required by subdivision 5 shall clearly indicate which boundaries do not follow visible,
clearly recognizable physical features.
(c) For the purposes of this subdivision, "visible, clearly recognizable physical feature"
means a street, road, boulevard, parkway, river, stream, shoreline, drainage ditch, railway
right-of-way, or any other line which is clearly visible from the ground. A street or other roadway
which has been platted but not graded is not a visible, clearly recognizable physical feature
for the purposes of this subdivision.
(d) If the secretary of state determines that a precinct boundary does not comply with this
subdivision, the secretary of state shall send a notice to the county auditor or municipal clerk
specifying the action needed to correct the precinct boundary. If, after 60 days, the county or
municipal governing body has not taken action to correct the precinct boundary, the secretary
of state shall correct the precinct boundary and notify the county auditor or municipal clerk
of the action taken.
(e) If a visible, clearly recognizable physical feature is not available for use as a precinct
boundary, an alternate boundary used by the United States Bureau of the Census may be
authorized by the secretary of state.
    Subd. 7. Application to municipalities. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 410.21,
or any other law, ordinance or charter to the contrary, the provisions of subdivisions 1, 3 and 6
apply to all municipalities.
    Subd. 8.[Repealed, 1994 c 607 s 7]
History: 1981 c 29 art 4 s 14; 1Sp1981 c 4 art 4 s 43; 2Sp1981 c 2 s 2; 1983 c 289 s 115
subd 1; 1985 c 248 s 36; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 186 s 15; 1987 c 212 s 1-4; 1987 c 297 s 2; 1990 c
453 s 4; 1991 c 349 s 31-34; 1993 c 208 s 1,2; 1993 c 223 s 9; 1994 c 607 s 1-4; 1999 c 237 s 1;
2000 c 467 s 13-15; 2005 c 156 art 6 s 34; 2005 c 162 s 2; 2006 c 270 art 1 s 1