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2007 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute chapter. Also view the most recent published version.

Chapter 204D. Particular Elections

Chapter Sections
Section Headnote
204D.01DEFINITIONS.
204D.02OFFICERS CHOSEN AT STATE GENERAL ELECTION; TERMS OF OFFICE.
204D.03TIME OF STATE ELECTIONS.
204D.04BALLOT PREPARATION.
204D.05STATE PRIMARY BALLOTS; PARTISAN AND NONPARTISAN; OFFICIAL IN CHARGE.
204D.06CERTIFICATION OF NAMES BY SECRETARY OF STATE.
204D.07PLACING NAMES ON BALLOTS.
204D.08STATE PRIMARY BALLOTS.
204D.09EXAMPLE BALLOTS; SAMPLE PRIMARY BALLOTS.
204D.10PRIMARY RESULTS; NOMINEES.
204D.11STATE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS; CANDIDATES; OFFICIAL IN CHARGE; RULES; REIMBURSEMENT.
204D.12NAMES PLACED ON GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS.
204D.13WHITE BALLOT; PARTISAN OFFICES.
204D.14CANARY BALLOTS; NONPARTISAN OFFICES.
204D.15PINK BALLOT; FORM; DISTRIBUTION; SAMPLE BALLOT.
204D.16SAMPLE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS; POSTING; PUBLICATION.
204D.165SAMPLE BALLOTS TO SCHOOLS.
204D.169EXAMPLE SUPPLEMENTAL BALLOT.
204D.17REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS; STATE SENATOR; STATE REPRESENTATIVE; VACANCY IN OFFICE; SPECIAL ELECTION.
204D.18GENERAL ELECTION LAWS; APPLICATION.
204D.19SPECIAL ELECTIONS; WHEN HELD.
204D.20NOMINATIONS; VACANCY.
204D.21TIME OF SPECIAL PRIMARY.
204D.22WRIT OF ELECTION.
204D.23AFFIDAVITS OF CANDIDACY; NOMINATING PETITIONS.
204D.24SPECIAL ELECTIONS; PRECINCTS; ELECTION JUDGES; VOTERS.
204D.25SPECIAL ELECTION BALLOTS.
204D.26CONGRESSIONAL OR LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS; CHANGE IN BOUNDARIES.
204D.27SPECIAL ELECTION RETURNS.
204D.28UNITED STATES SENATE VACANCY; MANNER OF FILLING.
204D.01 DEFINITIONS.
The definitions in chapter 200 apply to this chapter.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 1
204D.02 OFFICERS CHOSEN AT STATE GENERAL ELECTION; TERMS OF OFFICE.
    Subdivision 1. Officers. All elective state and county officers, justices of the Supreme Court,
judges of the Court of Appeals and district court, state senators and state representatives, and
senators and representatives in Congress shall be elected at the state general election held in the
year before their terms of office expire. Presidential electors shall be chosen at the state general
election held in the year before the expiration of a term of a president of the United States.
    Subd. 2. Term of office. The term of office of all elective state and county officers shall begin
on the first Monday in January of the odd-numbered year following their election.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 2; 1983 c 247 s 88; 1998 c 254 art 2 s 25
204D.03 TIME OF STATE ELECTIONS.
    Subdivision 1. State primary. The state primary shall be held on the first Tuesday after the
second Monday in September in each even-numbered year to select the nominees of the major
political parties for partisan offices and the nominees for nonpartisan offices to be filled at the
state general election, other than presidential electors.
    Subd. 2. State general election. The state general election shall be held on the first Tuesday
after the first Monday in November in each even-numbered year.
    Subd. 3. Exception; certain partisan candidates. (a) If no more than one candidate files
for nomination by a major political party for a partisan office, the candidate who filed must be
declared the nominee upon the close of filing. If every candidate for a partisan office has been
declared the nominee upon the close of filing, the office must be omitted from the state primary
ballot. If all offices, both partisan and nonpartisan, have been omitted from the state primary ballot
in a municipality or county, the governing body of the municipality or county may decide that the
state primary will not be conducted in that municipality or county.
(b) Within 15 days after the close of filing, each municipal clerk or county auditor whose
governing body has decided not to conduct the state primary shall post notice that the offices
have been so omitted and the state primary canceled and shall send a copy of the notice to the
secretary of state.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 3; 2005 c 156 art 6 s 51
204D.04 BALLOT PREPARATION.
    Subdivision 1. Rotation of offices; prohibition. There shall be no rotation of offices on any
ballot required to be prepared pursuant to this chapter for a state primary or a state general election.
    Subd. 2. Instructions to printer; printer's bond. (a) The official charged with the
preparation and distribution of the ballots shall prepare instructions to the printer for rotation of
the names of candidates and for layout of the ballot.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), the instructions shall be approved by the legal
advisor of the official before delivery to the printer.
(c) The legal advisor of a town official is not required to approve instructions regarding the
rotation of the names of candidates on the ballot or the layout of the ballot.
(d) Before a contract exceeding $1,000 is awarded for printing ballots, the printer shall
furnish a sufficient bond, letter of credit, or certified check, acceptable to the official responsible
for printing the ballots, conditioned on printing the ballots in conformity with the Minnesota
Election Law and the instructions delivered. The official responsible for printing the ballots
shall set the amount of the bond, letter of credit, or certified check in an amount equal to the
value of the purchase.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 4; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 175 s 11; 1990 c 453 s 11; 1993 c 223 s
15; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 18 s 31; 2003 c 76 s 1
204D.05 STATE PRIMARY BALLOTS; PARTISAN AND NONPARTISAN; OFFICIAL
IN CHARGE.
    Subdivision 1. State partisan primary ballot. The state partisan primary ballot shall contain
the names of the candidates seeking the nomination of each major political party for the partisan
offices filled at the state general election.
    Subd. 2. State and county nonpartisan primary ballot. The state and county nonpartisan
primary ballot shall contain the names of the candidates seeking nomination for the nonpartisan
offices filled at the state general election.
    Subd. 3. County auditor to prepare. The county auditor of each county shall prepare the
state partisan primary ballot and the state and county nonpartisan primary ballot.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 5
204D.06 CERTIFICATION OF NAMES BY SECRETARY OF STATE.
At least 42 days before a state primary, the secretary of state shall certify to the county
auditors the names of all candidates who have properly filed affidavits of candidacy with the
secretary of state and who will be voted for in their respective counties at that primary.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 6; 1983 c 303 s 16
204D.07 PLACING NAMES ON BALLOTS.
    Subdivision 1. Duties of county auditor. Except as provided in subdivisions 2 and 3, the
county auditor shall place on the appropriate state primary ballot the name of each candidate who
has properly filed an affidavit of candidacy with the auditor and of each candidate certified by the
secretary of state pursuant to section 204D.06.
    Subd. 2. Exception; petition candidates. The name of a candidate nominated by petition
shall not be placed on any state primary ballot.
    Subd. 3. Exception; certain nonpartisan candidate. If not more than twice the number
of individuals to be elected to a nonpartisan office file for the nomination, their names and the
name of the office shall be omitted from the state and county nonpartisan primary ballot and the
candidates who filed shall be the nominees.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 7; 1986 c 444
204D.08 STATE PRIMARY BALLOTS.
    Subdivision 1. Form. Except as provided in this section, state primary ballots shall be
printed in the same manner as state general election ballots as far as practicable. A sufficient
number shall be printed for each precinct and ward in the state.
The secretary of state shall adopt rules for the format and preparation of the state primary
ballot.
    Subd. 2. Blank lines prohibited. At a primary election, no blank lines shall be provided for
writing in the names of individuals whose names do not appear on the primary ballot.
    Subd. 3. Rotation of names. On state primary ballots the name of each candidate for
nomination to a partisan or nonpartisan office shall be rotated with the names of the other
candidates for nomination to that office so that the name of each candidate appears substantially
an equal number of times at the top, at the bottom, and at each intermediate place in that group
of candidates. If the number of candidates for an office is equal to or less than the number to be
elected, no rotation of candidate names is required and the official preparing the ballot shall
determine the position of the candidates by lot.
    Subd. 4. State partisan primary ballot; party columns. The state partisan primary ballot
shall be headed by the words "State Partisan Primary Ballot." The ballot shall be printed on white
paper. There must be at least three vertical columns on the ballot and each major political party
shall have a separate column headed by the words ".......... Party," giving the party name. Above
the party names, the following statement shall be printed.
"Minnesota Election Law permits you to vote for the candidates of only one political party in
a state partisan primary election."
If there are only two major political parties to be listed on the ballot, one party must occupy
the left-hand column, the other party must occupy the right-hand column, and the center column
must contain the following statement:
"Do not vote for candidates of more than one party."
The names of the candidates seeking the nomination of each major political party shall be
listed in that party's column. If only one individual files an affidavit of candidacy seeking the
nomination of a major political party for an office, the name of that individual shall be placed on
the state partisan primary ballot at the appropriate location in that party's column.
In each column, the candidates for senator in Congress shall be listed first, candidates
for representative in Congress second, candidates for state senator third, candidates for state
representative fourth and then candidates for state office in the order specified by the secretary of
state.
The party columns shall be substantially the same in width, type, and appearance. The
columns shall be separated by a 12-point solid line.
    Subd. 5. Party columns; arrangement. The names of candidates for nomination of the
major political party that received the smallest average vote at the last state general election must
be placed in the first column on the left side of the ballot. The names of candidates for nomination
of the major political party that received the next smallest average vote at the last state general
election must be placed in the second column, and so on. The average vote shall be computed in
the manner provided in section 204D.13, subdivision 2.
    Subd. 6. State and county nonpartisan primary ballot. The state and county nonpartisan
primary ballot shall be headed "State and County Nonpartisan Primary Ballot." It shall be printed
on canary paper. The names of candidates for nomination to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals,
district court, and all county offices shall be placed on this ballot.
No candidate whose name is placed on the state and county nonpartisan primary ballot
shall be designated or identified as the candidate of any political party or in any other manner
except as expressly provided by law.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 8; 1983 c 247 s 89; 1987 c 222 s 3; 1988 c 646 s 7,8; 1989 c 291
art 1 s 17; 1998 c 254 art 2 s 26; 1999 c 132 s 25,26
204D.09 EXAMPLE BALLOTS; SAMPLE PRIMARY BALLOTS.
    Subdivision 1. Example ballot. (a) No later than June 1 of each year, the secretary of state
shall supply each auditor with a copy of an example ballot. The example ballot must illustrate the
format required for the ballots used in the primary and general elections that year.
(b) The county auditor shall distribute copies of the example ballot to municipal and school
district clerks in municipalities and school districts holding elections that year. The official ballot
must conform in all respects to the example ballot.
    Subd. 2. Sample ballot. At least two weeks before the state primary the county auditor shall
prepare a sample state partisan primary ballot and a sample state and county nonpartisan primary
ballot for public inspection. The names of all of the candidates to be voted for in the county
shall be placed on the sample ballots, with the names of the candidates for each office arranged
alphabetically according to the surname. Only one sample state partisan primary ballot and one
sample state and county nonpartisan ballot shall be prepared for any county. The county auditor
shall post the sample ballots in a conspicuous place in the auditor's office and shall cause them
to be published at least one week before the state primary in at least one newspaper of general
circulation in the county.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 9; 1986 c 444; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 18 s 32
204D.10 PRIMARY RESULTS; NOMINEES.
    Subdivision 1. Partisan offices; nominees. The candidate for nomination of a major
political party for a partisan office on the state partisan primary ballot who receives the highest
number of votes shall be the nominee of that political party for that office, except as otherwise
provided in subdivision 2.
    Subd. 2. Party primary; ten percent requirement. If at the state primary any individual
seeking a major political party's nomination for an office receives a number of votes equal to
ten percent of the average of the votes cast at the last state general election for state officers of
that major political party within the district for which the office is voted, then all candidates of
that major political party who receive the highest vote for an office are the nominees of that
major political party. If none of the candidates of a major political party receive the required ten
percent, then no candidates are nominated, and all the candidates of that major political party
may be nominated by nominating petition as provided in sections 204B.07 to 204B.09. For the
purposes of this subdivision, "state officers" mean the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary
of state, state auditor, and attorney general.
    Subd. 3. Nonpartisan offices; nominees. The candidates for each office on the state and
county nonpartisan primary ballot receiving the highest and the next highest number of votes
shall be the nominees for that office. When more than one individual is to be elected to the same
nonpartisan office, the number of nominees shall be equal to twice the number of individuals
to be elected, and that number of candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be
the nominees for that office.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 10; 1996 c 419 s 9,10; 2003 c 112 art 2 s 50
204D.11 STATE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS; CANDIDATES; OFFICIAL IN
CHARGE; RULES; REIMBURSEMENT.
    Subdivision 1. White ballot; rules. The names of the candidates for all partisan offices voted
on at the state general election shall be placed on a single ballot printed on white paper which
shall be known as the "white ballot." This ballot shall be prepared by the county auditor subject
to the rules of the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall adopt rules for preparation and
time of delivery of the white ballot.
    Subd. 2. Pink ballots. Amendments to the state Constitution shall be placed on a ballot
printed on pink paper which shall be known as the "pink ballot." The pink ballot shall be prepared
by the county auditor, in the manner provided in the rules of the secretary of state.
    Subd. 3. Canary ballot. All questions and the names of all candidates for offices to be voted
on at the state general election which are not placed on the white ballot shall be placed on a single
ballot printed on canary paper which shall be known as the "canary ballot." The canary ballot shall
be prepared by the county auditor in the manner provided in the rules of the secretary of state.
    Subd. 4. Special federal white ballot. (a) The names of all candidates for the offices of
president and vice-president of the United States and senator and representative in Congress
shall be placed on a ballot printed on white paper which shall be known as the "special federal
white ballot."
(b) This ballot shall be prepared by the county auditor in the same manner as the white ballot
and shall be subject to the rules adopted by the secretary of state pursuant to subdivision 1. This
ballot must be prepared and furnished in accordance with the federal Uniformed and Overseas
Citizens Absentee Voting Act, United States Code, title 42, section 1973ff.
(c) The special federal white ballot shall be the only ballot sent to citizens of the United
States who are eligible to vote by absentee ballot for federal candidates in Minnesota.
    Subd. 5. Ballot headings. The white, pink, and special federal white ballot shall be headed
with the words "State General Election Ballot." The canary ballot shall be headed with the words
"County and Judicial Nonpartisan General Election Ballot."
    Subd. 6. Gray ballot. When the canary ballot would be longer than 30 inches or when it
would not be possible to place all offices on a single ballot card, the judicial offices that should be
placed on the canary ballot may be placed instead on a separate gray ballot. The gray ballot shall
be prepared by the county auditor in the manner provided in the rules of the secretary of state.
The gray ballot must be headed with the words: "Judicial Nonpartisan General Election
Ballot." Separate ballot boxes must be provided for these gray ballots.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 11; 1983 c 216 art 2 s 26; 1983 c 247 s 90; 1983 c 301 s 163;
1983 c 303 s 17,18; 1984 c 560 s 18-21; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 475 s 16-18; 1987 c 175 s 12; 1992 c
513 art 3 s 44,45; 1993 c 223 s 16-18; 1999 c 132 s 27; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 18 s 33
204D.12 NAMES PLACED ON GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS.
Without payment of an additional fee, the county auditor shall place on the appropriate state
general election ballot the name of every candidate:
(a) whose nomination at the state primary has been certified by the appropriate canvassing
board;
(b) who has been nominated by petition, including candidates certified by the secretary of
state; and
(c) who was nominated and whose name was omitted from the state nonpartisan primary
ballot pursuant to section 204D.07, subdivision 3. Only the names of duly nominated candidates
may be placed on a ballot.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 12; 1996 c 419 s 7,10
204D.13 WHITE BALLOT; PARTISAN OFFICES.
    Subdivision 1. Order of offices. The candidates for partisan offices shall be placed on the
white ballot in the following order: senator in Congress shall be first; representative in Congress,
second; state senator, third; and state representative, fourth. The candidates for state offices shall
follow in the order specified by the secretary of state. Candidates for governor and lieutenant
governor shall appear so that a single vote may be cast for both offices.
    Subd. 2. Order of political parties. The first name printed for each partisan office on the
white ballot shall be that of the candidate of the major political party that received the smallest
average number of votes at the last state general election. The succeeding names shall be those of
the candidates of the other major political parties that received a succeedingly higher average
number of votes respectively. For the purposes of this subdivision, the average number of votes of
a major political party shall be computed by dividing the total number of votes counted for all
of the party's candidates for statewide office at the state general election by the number of those
candidates at the election.
    Subd. 3. Nominees by petition; placement on ballot. The names of candidates nominated
by petition for a partisan office voted on at the state general election shall be placed on the white
ballot after the names of the candidates for that office who were nominated at the state primary.
Prior to the state primary, the secretary of state shall determine by lot the order of candidates
nominated by petition. The drawing of lots must be by political party or principle. The political
party or political principle of the candidate as stated on the petition shall be placed after the name
of a candidate nominated by petition. The word "nonpartisan" shall not be used to designate any
partisan candidate whose name is placed on the white ballot by nominating petition.
    Subd. 4.[Expired]
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 13; 1983 c 253 s 20; 1996 c 419 s 8,10; 1999 c 132 s 28,29;
2000 c 467 s 23
204D.14 CANARY BALLOTS; NONPARTISAN OFFICES.
    Subdivision 1. Rotation of names. The names of candidates for nonpartisan offices on the
canary ballot shall be rotated in the manner provided for rotation of names on state partisan
primary ballots by section 204D.08, subdivision 3.
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1999 c 132 s 46]
    Subd. 3. Uncontested judicial offices. Judicial offices for a specific court for which there
is only one candidate filed must appear after all other judicial offices for that same court on
the canary ballot.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 14; 1983 c 303 s 19; 1986 c 362 s 5; 2004 c 293 art 2 s 31;
2005 c 156 art 6 s 52
204D.15 PINK BALLOT; FORM; DISTRIBUTION; SAMPLE BALLOT.
    Subdivision 1. Titles for constitutional amendments. The secretary of state shall provide
an appropriate title for each question printed on the pink ballot. The title shall be approved by the
attorney general, and shall consist of not more than one printed line above the question to which it
refers. At the top of the ballot just below the heading, a conspicuous notice shall be printed stating
that a voter's failure to vote on a constitutional amendment has the effect of a negative vote.
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1997 c 147 s 79]
    Subd. 3. Sample pink ballot. Four weeks before the state general election the secretary
of state shall file sample copies of the pink ballot in the Secretary of State's Office for public
inspection. Three weeks before the state general election the secretary of state shall mail sample
copies of the pink ballot to each county auditor. Each auditor shall post the sample ballot in a
conspicuous place in the auditor's office.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 15; 1981 c 217 s 9; 1983 c 303 s 20; 1986 c 444
204D.16 SAMPLE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS; POSTING; PUBLICATION.
Two weeks before the state general election the county auditor shall prepare sample copies
of the white and canary ballots and shall post copies of these sample ballots and a sample of the
pink ballot in the auditor's office for public inspection. No earlier than 15 days and no later than
two days before the state general election the county auditor shall cause the sample white and
canary ballots to be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 16; 1981 c 217 s 10; 2Sp1981 c 2 s 3; 1986 c 444
204D.165 SAMPLE BALLOTS TO SCHOOLS.
Notwithstanding any contrary provisions in section 204D.09 or 204D.16, the county auditor,
two weeks before the applicable primary or general election, shall provide one copy of the
sample partisan primary, nonpartisan primary, canary, white, or pink ballot to a school district
upon request. The school district may have the sample ballots reproduced at its expense for
classroom educational purposes and for educational activities authorized under section 204B.27,
subdivision 7
.
History: 1990 c 608 art 7 s 3; 1991 c 237 s 6
204D.169 EXAMPLE SUPPLEMENTAL BALLOT.
When an official supplemental ballot must be used in a general election in accordance with
section 204B.41, the secretary of state shall supply each auditor with a copy of an example
supplemental ballot at least three days prior to the election. The example supplemental ballot must
illustrate the format required for the official supplemental ballot.
The county auditor shall distribute copies of the example supplemental ballot to municipal
and school district clerks in municipalities and school districts holding elections that year. The
official supplemental ballot must conform in all respects to the example supplemental ballot.
Failure of the official supplemental ballot to conform may be reported by any person to the county
attorney in the same manner as provided by section 201.275.
History: 2004 c 293 art 2 s 32
204D.17 REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS; STATE SENATOR; STATE
REPRESENTATIVE; VACANCY IN OFFICE; SPECIAL ELECTION.
    Subdivision 1. Special elections; exceptions. A vacancy in the office of representative in
Congress or state senator or state representative shall be filled for the unexpired term by special
election upon the writ of the governor as provided in sections 204D.17 to 204D.27; except that
if Congress or the legislature will not be in session before the expiration of the vacant term no
special election is required.
    Subd. 2. Two or more vacancies. Two or more vacancies may be filled at the same special
election and the candidates may be nominated at the same special primary. Any special primary
or special election held pursuant to sections 204D.17 to 204D.27 may be held on the same day
as any other election.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 17
204D.18 GENERAL ELECTION LAWS; APPLICATION.
Except as provided in sections 204D.17 to 204D.27, all of the provisions of the Minnesota
Election Law are applicable to special elections as far as practicable.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 18
204D.19 SPECIAL ELECTIONS; WHEN HELD.
    Subdivision 1. Vacancy filled at general election. When a vacancy occurs more than 150
days before the next state general election, and the Congress or the legislature will not be in
session before the final canvass of the state general election returns, the vacancy shall be filled at
the next state general election.
    Subd. 2. Special election when the Congress or legislature will be in session. Except
for vacancies in the legislature which occur at any time between the last day of session in
an odd-numbered year and the 33rd day prior to the opening day of session in the succeeding
even-numbered year, when a vacancy occurs and the Congress or legislature will be in session so
that the individual elected as provided by this section could take office and exercise the duties of
the office immediately upon election, the governor shall issue within five days after the vacancy
occurs a writ calling for a special election. The special election shall be held as soon as possible,
consistent with the notice requirements of section 204D.22, subdivision 3, but in no event more
than 28 days after the issuance of the writ.
    Subd. 3. Special election at other times. When a vacancy occurs at a time other than those
described in subdivisions 1 and 2 the governor shall issue a writ, calling for a special election
to be held so that the individual elected may take office at the opening of the next session of
the Congress or of the legislature, or at the reconvening of a session of the Congress or of the
legislature.
    Subd. 4. Writ when vacancy results from election contest. If a vacancy results from a
successful election contest, the governor shall issue 22 days after the first day of the legislative
session a writ calling for a special election unless the house in which the contest may be tried has
passed a resolution which states that it will or will not review the court's determination of the
contest. If the resolution states that the house will not review the court's determination, the writ
shall be issued within five days of the passage of the resolution.
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1999 c 132 s 46]
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 19; 1993 c 375 art 7 s 6
204D.20 NOMINATIONS; VACANCY.
    Subdivision 1. Special primary. Except as provided in subdivision 2, the candidates of the
major political parties to fill a vacancy shall be nominated at a special primary. The candidate of
each party who receives the highest number of votes at the special primary shall be nominated
without reference to the ten percent requirement of section 204D.10, subdivision 2.
    Subd. 2. No special primary; when. No special primary shall be held to nominate candidates
to fill a vacancy if only one individual from each major political party files as a candidate for that
party's nomination. In that case, the individuals who have filed are nominated.
    Subd. 3. Nominations by petition. Candidates to fill a vacancy may also be nominated by
petition under the conditions and in the manner provided by law for candidates filing by petition
for like office at the state general election as far as practicable.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 20
204D.21 TIME OF SPECIAL PRIMARY.
    Subdivision 1. Nomination at state primary. When a special election is to be held on the
same day as the state general election, as provided in section 204D.19, subdivision 1, candidates
for nomination to fill the vacancy shall be nominated at the state primary.
    Subd. 2. Nomination at special primary on day of regular primary. Candidates for
nomination to fill a vacancy shall be nominated at a special primary on the day of the regular state
primary when the vacancy is to be filled at a special election to be held more than 14 days after
the regular state primary.
    Subd. 3. Nomination at special primary on other day. In all cases other than those
provided in subdivisions 1 and 2, a special primary for the nomination of candidates shall be held
not later than the 14th day before the special election.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 21
204D.22 WRIT OF ELECTION.
    Subdivision 1. Filing with secretary of state. A writ calling for a special election shall
state the office to be filled, the opening and closing dates of filing for candidacy, and the dates
of the special primary and special election. The writ shall be filed with the secretary of state
immediately upon issuance.
    Subd. 2. Posting of writ. Immediately upon receipt of the writ, the secretary of state shall
send a certified copy of the writ by certified mail to the county auditor of each county in which
candidates to fill the vacancy are to be voted upon. The county auditor shall post a copy of the
writ in the auditor's office at least five days before the close of the time for filing affidavits of
candidacy for the special election.
    Subd. 3. Notice of special election. The county auditor of a county in which a special
election is to be held shall direct the clerk of each municipality in which the election is to be
held to post a notice of the special primary and special election at least seven days before the
special primary and at least 14 days before the special election in the manner provided in sections
204B.33 and 204B.34. If the special primary is to be held 14 days before the special election, a
single notice of both elections may be posted seven days before the primary.
When the special primary or special election is to be held on the same day as any other
election, notice of the special primary or special election may be included in the notice of the
other election, if practicable.
    Subd. 4. Failure of notice. No omission or defect in any notice required to be given by this
section shall invalidate a special primary or special election.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 22; 1986 c 444
204D.23 AFFIDAVITS OF CANDIDACY; NOMINATING PETITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Place and manner of filing. Candidates for nomination to fill a vacancy at a
special primary shall file their affidavits of candidacy and nominating petitions with the same
officers and in the same manner and shall pay the same fees as provided by law for candidates
for like offices at the state primary.
    Subd. 2. Time of filing. Except as provided in subdivision 3, the affidavits and petitions shall
be filed no later than the seventh day before the special primary.
    Subd. 3. Filing at regular time. If a vacancy occurs before the opening of the time for filing
affidavits of candidacy for the state primary and the special primary is held on the same day as
the state primary, the affidavits and petitions shall be filed during the time for filing affidavits
for the state primary.
    Subd. 4. Filing with the secretary of state; certification. Within 24 hours after the filings
have closed, the secretary of state shall certify to the county auditors the names of the candidates
who have filed with the secretary of state and who will be voted for in those counties at the
special primary.
    Subd. 5. Withdrawal of candidates. A candidate may withdraw from the special primary
ballot by filing an affidavit of withdrawal with the same official who received the affidavit of
candidacy. The affidavit of withdrawal must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. of the day after
the last day for filing affidavits of candidacy.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 23; 1989 c 291 art 1 s 18
204D.24 SPECIAL ELECTIONS; PRECINCTS; ELECTION JUDGES; VOTERS.
    Subdivision 1. Precincts; polling places; officials. The election precincts, polling places
and officials for any special primary or special election shall be the same as at the last preceding
general election in that municipality unless changed according to law. When a special primary
or special election is held on the same day as another primary or election, the same precincts,
polling places and officials shall be used for both. If separate special election ballots are required
pursuant to section 204D.25, separate ballot boxes shall be used.
    Subd. 2. Voter registration. An individual may register to vote at a special primary or
special election at any time before the day that the polling place rosters for the special primary or
special election are prepared by the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall provide the
county auditors with notice of this date at least seven days before the printing of the rosters.
This subdivision does not apply to a special election held on the same day as the state primary,
state general election, or the regularly scheduled primary or general election of a municipality,
school district, or special district.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 24; 1993 c 223 s 19; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 18 s 34
204D.25 SPECIAL ELECTION BALLOTS.
    Subdivision 1. Form. Except as provided in subdivision 2, the county auditor shall prepare
separate ballots for a special primary and special election as required by sections 204D.17 to
204D.27. The ballots shall be headed "Special Primary Ballot" or "Special Election Ballot" as the
case may be, followed by the date of the special primary or special election. Immediately below
the title of each office to be filled shall be printed the words "To fill vacancy in term expiring
..........," with the date of expiration of the term and any other information that is necessary to
distinguish the office from any other office to be voted upon at the same election. For a special
primary or special election, the instructions to voters may use the singular form of the word when
referring to candidates and offices when only one office is to be filled at the special election.
Otherwise the form of the ballots shall comply as far as practicable with the laws relating to
ballots for state primaries and state general elections. The county auditor shall post a sample
of each ballot in the auditor's office as soon as prepared and not later than four days before
the special primary or special election. Publication of the sample ballot for a special primary
or special election is not required.
    Subd. 2. Use of regular ballots. The county auditor shall place the names of the candidates
to fill the vacancy upon the regular ballots used for like offices at the state primary or state general
election, designating the office to be filled in the same manner as provided in subdivision 1 for
separate special primary or special election ballots if:
(a) the candidates at the special election are to be voted for on the day of the state general
election or are to be nominated on the day of the state primary; and
(b) the ballots for the state general election or state primary have not been printed when the
names of the candidates to be elected or nominated to fill a vacancy have been finally determined.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 25; 1986 c 444; 2000 c 467 s 24; 2001 c 7 s 45
204D.26 CONGRESSIONAL OR LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS; CHANGE IN
BOUNDARIES.
No change in the boundaries of any congressional or legislative district is effective with
respect to any election to fill a vacancy in the representation of that district if the term of the office
which is vacant commenced before the change was made.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 26
204D.27 SPECIAL ELECTION RETURNS.
    Subdivision 1. County canvass. The returns of a special primary or special election held
pursuant to sections 204D.17 to 204D.27 shall be delivered promptly upon completion to the
county auditor of the county in which the special primary or special election is held. Except as
provided in subdivisions 2 to 4, the county canvassing board shall canvass and certify the returns
to the secretary of state on the next day, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, following the
special primary or special election.
    Subd. 2. County canvass; special primary on day of regular state primary. When a
special primary is held on the day of the state primary and the special election will be held on the
day of the next state general election, the returns of the special primary shall be canvassed and
certified by the county canvassing board at their regular meeting.
    Subd. 3. State canvass; special primary. When the special primary is held on the day of the
state primary and the special election will be held more than 20 days after that day, the returns of
the special primary shall be canvassed by the county canvassing board at its regular meeting.
    Subd. 4. County and state canvass; vacancy filled at state general election. When the
special election is held on the day of the state general election and separate special election ballots
were not required, the returns of the special election shall be canvassed and certified by the county
and state canvassing boards at their regular meetings.
    Subd. 5. Canvass; special primary; state canvassing board. Not later than four days
after the returns of the county canvassing boards are certified to the secretary of state, the State
Canvassing Board shall complete its canvass of the special primary. The secretary of state shall
then promptly certify to the county auditors the names of the nominated individuals, prepare
notices of nomination, and notify each nominee of the nomination.
    Subd. 6. Canvass; special election; senator or representative in Congress; State
Canvassing Board. Except as provided in subdivision 4, the State Canvassing Board shall
complete its canvass of a special election for senator or representative in Congress and declare
the results within seven days after the returns of the county canvassing boards are certified to
the secretary of state.
    Subd. 7. Special congressional election contest; conduct. In case of a contest of a special
election for senator or representative in Congress the notice of contest shall be filed within five
days after the canvass is completed, and the contest otherwise shall proceed in the manner
provided by law for contesting elections.
    Subd. 8. Certificate of congressional election. No certificate of election in a special election
for senator or representative in Congress may be issued by the secretary of state to any individual
declared elected by the county or state canvassing board until seven days after the canvassing
board has canvassed the returns and declared the results of the election. In case of a contest the
certificate may not be issued until the district court determines the contest.
    Subd. 9. Canvass; special legislative election; State Canvassing Board. Except as
provided in subdivision 4, the State Canvassing Board shall complete its canvass of a special
election for state senator or state representative and declare the results within four days, excluding
Sundays and legal holidays, after the returns of the county canvassing boards are certified to
the secretary of state.
    Subd. 10. Special legislative election contest; conduct. In case of a contest of a special
election for state senator or state representative, the notice of contest shall be filed within two
days, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, after the canvass is completed, and the contest
otherwise shall proceed in the manner provided by law for contesting elections.
    Subd. 11. Certificate of legislative election. A certificate of election in a special election
for state senator or state representative shall be issued by the secretary of state to the individual
declared elected by the county or state canvassing board two days, excluding Sundays and legal
holidays, after the appropriate canvassing board finishes canvassing the returns for the election.
In case of a contest the certificate shall not be issued until the district court determines
the contest.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 27; 1986 c 444; 1989 c 291 art 1 s 19; 1993 c 223 s 20; 2000 c
467 s 25; 2004 c 293 art 2 s 33; 2005 c 156 art 6 s 53
204D.28 UNITED STATES SENATE VACANCY; MANNER OF FILLING.
    Subdivision 1. Scope of section. Every vacancy in the office of United States senator shall
be filled in the manner provided in this section.
    Subd. 2. Definitions. The definitions in subdivisions 3 to 5 apply to this section.
    Subd. 3. Vacancy. "Vacancy" means a vacancy in the Office of United States Senator.
    Subd. 4. November election. "November election" means:
(a) the state general election in even-numbered years; or
(b) the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years.
    Subd. 5. Regular state primary. "Regular state primary" means:
(a) the state primary at which candidates are nominated for offices elected at the state
general election; or
(b) a primary held four weeks before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of
odd-numbered years.
    Subd. 6. Special election required; exception; when held. Every vacancy shall be filled for
the remainder of the term by a special election held pursuant to this subdivision; except that no
special election shall be held in the year before the term expires.
The special election shall be held at the next November election if the vacancy occurs at
least six weeks before the regular state primary preceding that election. If the vacancy occurs less
than six weeks before the regular state primary preceding the next November election, the special
election shall be held at the second November election after the vacancy occurs.
    Subd. 7. Special primary; when held. A special primary shall be held at the regular state
primary preceding the November election at which the special election is held.
    Subd. 8. Notice of special election. The secretary of state shall issue an official notice of any
special election required to be held pursuant to this section not later than ten weeks before the
special primary, except that if the vacancy occurs ten weeks or less before the special primary,
the secretary of state shall issue the notice no later than two days after the vacancy occurs. The
notice shall state the office to be filled, the opening and closing dates for filing of candidacy and
the dates of the special primary and special election. For the purposes of those provisions of
sections 204D.17 to 204D.27 that apply generally to special elections, this notice shall be used in
place of the writ of the governor.
    Subd. 9. Filing by candidates. The time for filing of affidavits and nominating petitions for
candidates to fill a vacancy at a special election shall open six weeks before the special primary
or on the day the secretary of state issues notice of the special election, whichever occurs later.
Filings shall close four weeks before the special primary.
    Subd. 10. United States senator; candidates; designation of term. When the names of
candidates for both offices of United States senator are required to be placed on the same ballot,
the expiration date of the term of each office shall be printed on the ballot opposite the name of
each candidate for nomination or election to that office.
    Subd. 11. Temporary appointment. The governor may make a temporary appointment to
fill any vacancy. An appointee shall hold office until a successor is elected and qualified at a
special election or until a successor is elected pursuant to subdivision 12.
    Subd. 12. Succession by regularly elected senator. An individual who is elected to the
office of United States senator for a regular six-year term when the office is vacant or is filled
by an individual appointed pursuant to subdivision 11, shall also succeed to the office for the
remainder of the unexpired term.
    Subd. 13. Application of other laws. Except as otherwise provided in this section, all of the
provisions of sections 204D.22 to 204D.27 that apply generally to other special elections apply to
a special election held pursuant to this section.
History: 1981 c 29 art 6 s 28

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