204B.16 POLLING PLACES; DESIGNATION.
Subdivision 1. Authority; location.
The governing body of each municipality and of each
county with precincts in unorganized territory shall designate by ordinance or resolution a polling
place for each election precinct. Polling places must be designated and ballots must be distributed
so that no one is required to go to more than one polling place to vote in a school district and
municipal election held on the same day. The polling place for a precinct in a city or in a school
district located in whole or in part in the metropolitan area defined by section
, shall be located within the boundaries of the precinct or within 3,000 feet of one of those
boundaries unless a single polling place is designated for a city pursuant to section
, or a school district pursuant to section
. The polling place for a precinct in
unorganized territory may be located outside the precinct at a place which is convenient to the
voters of the precinct. If no suitable place is available within a town or within a school district
located outside the metropolitan area defined by section
200.02, subdivision 24
, then the polling
place for a town or school district may be located outside the town or school district within five
miles of one of the boundaries of the town or school district.
Subd. 1a. Notice to voters.
If the location of a polling place has been changed, the governing
body establishing the polling place shall send to every affected household with at least one
registered voter in the precinct a nonforwardable mailed notice stating the location of the new
polling place at least 25 days before the next election. The secretary of state shall prepare a
sample of this notice. A notice that is returned as undeliverable must be forwarded immediately to
the county auditor. This subdivision does not apply to a polling place location that is changed on
election day under section
Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1994 c 607 s 7
Subd. 3. Designation effective until changed.
The designation of a polling place pursuant to
this section shall remain effective until a different polling place is designated for that precinct. No
designation of a new or different polling place shall become effective less than 90 days prior to
an election, including school district elections or referenda, and no polling place changes may
occur during the period between the state primary and the state general election, except that a new
polling place may be designated to replace a polling place that has become unavailable for use.
Subd. 4. Prohibited locations.
No polling place shall be designated in any place where
intoxicating liquors or nonintoxicating malt beverages are served or in any adjoining room.
No polling place shall be designated in any place in which substantial compliance with the
requirements of this chapter cannot be attained.
Subd. 5. Access by elderly and persons with disabilities.
Each polling place shall be
accessible to and usable by elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities. A polling place is
deemed to be accessible and usable if it complies with the standards in paragraphs (a) to (f).
(a) At least one set of doors must have a minimum width of 32 inches if the doors must be
used to enter or leave the polling place.
(b) Any curb adjacent to the main entrance to a polling place must have curb cuts or
temporary ramps. Where the main entrance is not the accessible entrance, any curb adjacent to the
accessible entrance must also have curb cuts or temporary ramps.
(c) Where the main entrance is not the accessible entrance, a sign shall be posted at the main
entrance giving directions to the accessible entrance.
(d) At least one set of stairs must have a temporary handrail and ramp if stairs must be used
to enter or leave the polling place.
(e) No barrier in the polling place may impede the path of persons with disabilities to the
(f) At least one parking space for persons with disabilities, which may be temporarily so
designated by the municipality for the day of the election, must be available near the accessible
The doorway, handrails, ramps, and disabled parking provided pursuant to this subdivision
must conform to the standards specified in the State Building Code for accessibility by persons
A governing body shall designate as polling places only those places which meet the
standards prescribed in this subdivision unless no available place within a precinct is accessible
or can be made accessible.
Subd. 6. Public facilities.
Every statutory city, home rule charter city, county, town, school
district, and other public agency, including the University of Minnesota and other public colleges
and universities, shall make their facilities, including parking, available for the holding of city,
county, school district, state, and federal elections, subject to the approval of the local election
official. A charge for the use of the facilities may be imposed in an amount that does not exceed
the lowest amount charged to any public or private group.
Subd. 7. Appropriate facilities.
The facilities provided in accordance with subdivision
6 shall be sufficient in size to accommodate all election activities and the requirements of
subdivision 5. The space must be separated from other activities within the building. The local
election official may approve space in two connecting rooms for registration and balloting
activities. Except in the event of an emergency making the approved space unusable, the public
facility may not move the election from the space approved by the local election official without
prior approval. In addition to the requirements of subdivision 5, the public facility must make
remaining parking spaces not in use for regularly scheduled activities available for voters.
History: 1981 c 29 art 4 s 16; 1983 c 124 s 4; 1984 c 471 s 5; 1985 c 307 s 1; 1987 c 266 art
1 s 25; 1991 c 227 s 12,13; 1991 c 349 s 36,37; 1992 c 474 s 1; 1993 c 223 s 10; 1997 c 147 s
29,30; 2000 c 467 s 16; 2004 c 293 art 2 s 18; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2005 c 156 art 6 s 35,36