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1987 Minnesota Session Laws

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                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 212-H.F.No. 230 
           An act relating to elections; authorizing combination 
          of certain municipalities for election purposes; 
          providing mail balloting; amending Minnesota Statutes 
          1986, sections 204B.14, subdivisions 2, 4, 5, and by 
          adding a subdivision; 204B.21, subdivision 2; and 
          204B.22, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law 
          in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 204B. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.14, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  [SEPARATE PRECINCTS; REQUIREMENTS.] The following 
shall constitute at least one election precinct:  
    (a) Each city ward; and 
    (b) Each town and each statutory city, unless a town and 
statutory city municipalities are combined for election purposes 
under subdivision 8.  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, 
each town and each statutory city located within the 
metropolitan area as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2 
shall constitute at least one election precinct.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.14, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    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 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.  Except in the case of the combination or separation of 
municipalities for election purposes under subdivision 8, the 
municipal clerk or county auditor shall notify each affected 
registered voter of the change in election precinct boundaries 
at least 30 days prior to the first election held after the 
change takes effect.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.14, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 5.  [PRECINCT BOUNDARIES; DESCRIPTION; MAPS.] Each 
municipal clerk shall prepare and file with the county auditor 
of each county in which the municipality is located, with the 
secretary of state and with the state planning director maps 
showing the correct boundaries of each election precinct in the 
municipality.  At least 30 days before any change in an election 
precinct or in a corporate boundary becomes effective, the 
municipal clerk shall prepare maps showing the new boundaries of 
the precincts and shall forward copies of these maps to the 
secretary of state, the appropriate county auditors and the 
state planning director.  The clerk shall retain copies of the 
precinct maps for public inspection.  The county auditor shall 
prepare and file precinct boundary maps for precincts in 
unorganized territories, and the municipal clerk designated in 
the combination agreement shall prepare and file precinct 
boundary maps in the case of municipalities combined for 
election purposes under subdivision 8, 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.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.14, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 8.  [COMBINED PRECINCT.] (a) Up to four contiguous 
municipalities located entirely outside the metropolitan area as 
defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, that are contained in 
the same legislative district, congressional district, and 
county commissioner district may enter into a combination 
agreement to form one precinct for state and county election 
purposes, upon the approval of the county auditor.  The 
governing body of each municipality proposing to enter into a 
combination agreement must provide the inhabitants of the 
municipality with published and posted notice of the proposed 
agreement three weeks before the second Tuesday in March.  A 
combination agreement must be approved by resolutions of all of 
the governing bodies of the combining municipalities on or 
before the second Tuesday in March of an election year.  A copy 
of the combination agreement must be submitted to the county 
auditor for approval, on or before May 1 of an election year. 
    (b) One or more of the municipalities in the combined 
precinct may withdraw from the combination by a resolution of 
the governing body of the withdrawing municipality, passed on or 
before the second Tuesday in March of an election year.  The 
withdrawing municipality shall file the resolution with the 
county auditor no later than May 1 of an election year.  The 
decision of any one municipality to withdraw from the 
combination agreement automatically dissolves the combination 
unless all the remaining municipalities continue to meet all the 
requirements of this subdivision. 
    (c) The combination agreement must specify the designated 
polling place and the municipal election officials or governing 
bodies responsible for appointing election judges and the chair 
of the election board, posting notices, preparing precinct maps, 
and carrying out other election duties required by law. 
    (d) In combining or separating, the municipalities must 
meet the time requirements specified in this section for 
changing precinct boundaries and in section 204B.16, subdivision 
3, for designating a different polling place. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.21, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  [APPOINTING AUTHORITY; POWERS AND DUTIES.] 
Election judges for precincts in a municipality shall be 
appointed by the governing body of the municipality.  Election 
judges for precincts in unorganized territory shall be appointed 
by the county board.  Election judges for a precinct composed of 
two or more municipalities must be appointed by the governing 
body of the municipality or municipalities responsible for 
appointing election judges as provided in the agreement to 
combine for election purposes.  Appointments shall be made from 
lists furnished pursuant to subdivision 1 subject to the 
eligibility requirements and other qualifications established or 
authorized under section 204B.19.  If no lists have been 
furnished or if additional election judges are required after 
all listed names have been exhausted, the appointing authority 
may appoint any other individual to serve as an election judge 
subject to the same requirements and qualifications.  The 
appointments shall be made at least 25 days before the election 
at which the election judges will serve.  
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 204B.22, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [MINIMUM NUMBER REQUIRED.] A minimum of 
three election judges shall be appointed for each precinct.  In 
a precinct of municipalities combined for election purposes 
under section 204B.14, subdivision 8, at least one judge must be 
appointed from each municipality in the combined precinct, 
provided that not less than three judges shall be appointed for 
each combined precinct.  The appointing authorities may appoint 
election judges for any precinct in addition to the number 
required by this subdivision including additional election 
judges to count ballots after voting has ended. 
    Sec. 7.  [PRECINCT BOUNDARY CHANGES.] 
    Notwithstanding section 204B.14, subdivision 3, 
municipalities may enter a combination agreement as provided in 
section 4 until April 1, 1988. 
    Sec. 8.  [204B.45] [MAIL BALLOTING.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORIZATION.] Any town having fewer than 
400 registered voters and not located in a metropolitan county 
as defined by section 473.121 may apply to the county auditor to 
provide balloting by mail at any county or state election with 
no polling place other than the office of the auditor or clerk.  
The county board may provide for balloting by mail in 
unorganized territory.  
    Subd. 2.  [PROCEDURE.] Notice of the election and the 
special mail procedure must be given at least six weeks prior to 
the election.  No earlier than 20 days or later than 18 days 
prior to the election, the auditor shall mail ballots by 
nonforwardable mail to all voters registered in the town or 
unorganized territory.  Eligible voters not registered at the 
time the ballots are mailed may apply for ballots as provided in 
chapter 203B.  Ballot return envelopes, with return postage 
provided, must be preaddressed to the auditor or clerk and the 
voter may return the ballot by mail or in person to the office 
of the auditor or clerk.  The costs of the mailing shall be paid 
by the election jurisdiction in which the voter resides.  Any 
ballot received by 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election must be 
counted.  
    Subd. 3.  [ELECTION LAW APPLIED; RULES.] The Minnesota 
election law is applicable to mail balloting except as provided 
by this section or by rules adopted by the secretary of state, 
but only paper ballots may be used.  The secretary of state 
shall adopt rules for the conduct of mail balloting, including 
instructions to voters, procedures for challenge of voters, 
public observation of the counting of ballots, and procedures 
for proper handling and safeguarding of ballots to ensure the 
integrity of the election. 
    Approved May 26, 1987

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