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2000 Minnesota Session Laws

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                            CHAPTER 467-H.F.No. 2826 
                  An act relating to elections; clarifying provisions 
                  and conforming procedures under the Minnesota election 
                  law and related provisions; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1998, sections 103C.305, subdivision 6; 
                  103C.315, subdivision 2; 123B.09, subdivision 1; 
                  201.061, subdivision 4; 203B.06, subdivision 6; 
                  204B.09, subdivisions 1a, 2, and by adding a 
                  subdivision; 204B.12, subdivision 1; 204B.14, 
                  subdivisions 2, 5, and 6; 204B.16, subdivision 1; 
                  204B.18, subdivision 1; 204B.19, subdivision 6; 
                  204B.40; 204C.32, subdivision 1; 204C.33, subdivision 
                  1; 204C.37; 204D.13, subdivision 1; 204D.25, 
                  subdivision 1; 204D.27, subdivision 8; 205.13, 
                  subdivision 6, and by adding a subdivision; 205.17, 
                  subdivision 1; 205A.06, subdivision 5, and by adding a 
                  subdivision; 206.90, subdivision 6; and 447.32, 
                  subdivision 1; Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, 
                  sections 10A.31, subdivision 3a; 203B.04, subdivision 
                  1; 203B.085; 367.03, subdivision 4; and 447.32, 
                  subdivision 4; repealing Minnesota Statutes 1998, 
                  section 204B.45, subdivision 1a. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 
        10A.31, subdivision 3a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3a.  [QUALIFICATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES.] (a) A 
        major political party qualifies for inclusion on the income tax 
        form and property tax refund return as provided in subdivision 3 
        if it qualifies as a major political party by July 1 of the 
        taxable year. 
           (b) A minor political party qualifies for inclusion on the 
        income tax form and property tax refund return as provided in 
        subdivision 3 if the secretary of state certifies to the 
        commissioner of revenue by July 1 of the taxable year that the 
        party satisfies the following conditions:  
           (1) in the last general election, the party ran a candidate 
        for the office of governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of 
        state, state auditor, or attorney general, who received votes in 
        each county that in the aggregate total at least one percent of 
        the total number of individuals who voted in the election; 
           (2) it is a political party, not a principal campaign 
        committee; and 
           (3) it has held a state convention in the last two years 
        and an officer of the party has filed with the secretary of 
        state a certification to that effect. 
           The secretary of state shall notify each minor political 
        party by the first Monday in January of each odd-numbered year 
        of the conditions necessary for the party to participate in 
        income tax form and property tax refund return programs. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103C.305, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [VACANCY.] (a) If a vacancy occurs in the office 
        of an elected supervisor more than 56 days before the next state 
        primary, the district board shall fill the vacancy by 
        appointment.  The supervisor appointed shall hold office until 
        December 31 the first Monday in January following the next 
        general election.  A successor shall be elected at the general 
        election following the appointment and hold office for the 
        remainder of the term or for the next regular term, whichever is 
        appropriate. 
           (b) If a vacancy occurs less than 56 days before the next 
        state primary, the district board shall fill the vacancy by 
        appointment.  The appointed supervisor shall hold office until 
        the expiration of the term or until December 31 the first Monday 
        in January following the second succeeding general election, 
        whichever is shorter.  A successor shall be elected at the 
        general election preceding expiration of the appointed term and 
        hold office for the remainder of the term or for the next 
        regular term, whichever is appropriate.  
           (c) All terms under this subdivision continue until a 
        successor has been elected and has qualified. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 103C.315, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [TERMS.] The two supervisors appointed by the 
        state board upon the establishment of a district shall serve 
        terms ending on December 31 the first Monday in January 
        following the next general election after their appointment.  
        Their successors shall be elected for terms of four years.  
           A supervisor shall hold office commencing on the first 
        Monday in January and until a successor is elected or appointed 
        and has qualified.  Vacancies in the office of supervisor 
        appointed by the state board shall be filled by the state board. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 123B.09, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERSHIP.] The care, 
        management, and control of independent districts is vested in a 
        board of directors, to be known as the school board.  The term 
        of office of a member shall be four years commencing on the 
        first Monday in January and until a successor qualifies.  The 
        membership of the board shall consist of six elected directors 
        together with such ex officio member as may be provided by law.  
        The board may submit to the electors at any school election the 
        question whether the board shall consist of seven members.  If a 
        majority of those voting on the proposition favor a seven-member 
        board, a seventh member shall be elected at the next election of 
        directors for a four-year term and thereafter the board shall 
        consist of seven members. 
           Those districts with a seven-member board may submit to the 
        electors at any school election at least 150 days before the 
        next election of three members of the board the question whether 
        the board shall consist of six members.  If a majority of those 
        voting on the proposition favor a six-member board instead of a 
        seven-member board, two members instead of three members shall 
        be elected at the next election of the board of directors and 
        thereafter the board shall consist of six members.  
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 201.061, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [REGISTRATION BY ELECTION JUDGES; PROCEDURES.] 
        Registration at the polling place on election day shall be 
        conducted by the election judges.  The election judge who 
        registers an individual at the polling place on election day 
        shall not handle that voter's ballots at any time prior to the 
        opening of the ballot box after the voting ends.  Registration 
        cards and forms for oaths shall be available at each polling 
        place.  If an individual who registers on election day proves 
        residence by oath of a registered voter, the form containing the 
        oath shall be attached to the individual's registration card 
        until the individual's address is verified by the county 
        auditor.  Registration cards completed on election day shall be 
        forwarded to the county auditor who shall add the name of each 
        voter to the registration system unless the information 
        forwarded is substantially deficient.  A county auditor who 
        finds an election day registration substantially deficient shall 
        give written notice to the individual whose registration is 
        found deficient.  An election day registration shall not be 
        found deficient solely because the individual who provided proof 
        of residence was ineligible to do so. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 
        203B.04, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [APPLICATION PROCEDURES.] Except as 
        otherwise allowed by subdivision 2, an application for absentee 
        ballots for any election may be submitted at any time not less 
        than one day before the day of that election.  The county 
        auditor shall prepare absentee ballot application forms in the 
        format provided in the rules of the secretary of state and shall 
        furnish them to any person on request.  An application submitted 
        pursuant to this subdivision shall be in writing and shall be 
        submitted to:  
           (a) the county auditor of the county where the applicant 
        maintains residence; or 
           (b) the municipal clerk of the municipality, or school 
        district if applicable, where the applicant maintains residence. 
           An application shall be accepted approved if it is timely 
        received, signed and dated by the applicant, contains the 
        applicant's name and residence and mailing addresses, and states 
        that the applicant is eligible to vote by absentee ballot for 
        one of the reasons specified in section 203B.02.  The 
        application may contain a request for the voter's date of birth, 
        which must not be made available for public inspection.  An 
        application may be submitted to the county auditor or municipal 
        clerk by an electronic facsimile device, at the discretion of 
        the auditor or clerk.  An application mailed or returned in 
        person to the county auditor or municipal clerk on behalf of a 
        voter by a person other than the voter must be deposited in the 
        mail or returned in person to the county auditor or municipal 
        clerk within ten days after it has been dated by the voter and 
        no later than six days before the election.  The absentee ballot 
        applications or a list of persons applying for an absentee 
        ballot may not be made available for public inspection until the 
        close of voting on election day.  
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 203B.06, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [REQUESTS FROM ABROAD.] If an application for 
        absentee ballots requests delivery of absentee ballots to a 
        point outside the continental United States, the absentee 
        ballots shall must be sent by air mail.  The transmittal and 
        return envelopes shall be marked with the words "OFFICIAL 
        ELECTION BALLOTING MATERIAL -- VIA AIR MAIL." must contain the 
        text or symbol or both prescribed by the United States Postal 
        Service for transmitting election mail outside the continental 
        United States.  Priority in mailing shall be given to all 
        ballots sent by air mail.  
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 
        203B.085, is amended to read: 
           203B.085 [COUNTY AUDITOR'S OFFICE TO REMAIN OPEN DURING 
        CERTAIN HOURS PRECEDING ELECTION.] 
           The county auditor's office in each county must be open for 
        acceptance of absentee ballot applications and casting of 
        absentee ballots from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and 
        until 5:00 p.m. on Monday immediately preceding a primary, 
        special, or general election.  Town clerks' offices must be open 
        for absentee voting from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on the 
        Saturday before a town general election held in March.  The 
        school district clerk, when performing the county auditor's 
        election duties, need not comply with this section. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.09, 
        subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [ABSENT CANDIDATES.] A candidate for special 
        district, county, state, or federal office who will be absent 
        from the state during the filing period may submit a properly 
        executed affidavit of candidacy, the appropriate filing fee, and 
        any necessary petitions in person to the filing officer.  The 
        candidate shall state in writing the reason for being unable to 
        submit the affidavit during the filing period.  The affidavit, 
        filing fee, and petitions must be submitted to the filing 
        officer during the seven days immediately preceding the 
        candidate's absence from the state.  Nominating petitions may be 
        signed during the 14 days immediately preceding the date when 
        the affidavit of candidacy is filed. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.09, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [OTHER ELECTIONS.] Affidavits of candidacy and 
        nominating petitions for city, town or other elective offices 
        shall be filed during the time and with the official specified 
        in chapter 205 or other applicable law or charter, except as 
        provided for a special district candidate under subdivision 1a.  
        Affidavits of candidacy and applications filed on behalf of 
        eligible voters for school board office shall be filed during 
        the time and with the official specified in chapter 205A or 
        other applicable law. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.09, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [WRITE-IN CANDIDATES.] A candidate for state or 
        federal office who wants write-in votes for the candidate to be 
        counted must file a written request with the filing office for 
        the office sought no later than the day before the general 
        election.  The filing officer shall provide copies of the form 
        to make the request. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.12, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [BEFORE PRIMARY.] A candidate may withdraw 
        from the primary ballot by filing an affidavit of withdrawal 
        with the same official who received the affidavit of candidacy.  
        The affidavit shall request that official to withdraw the 
        candidate's name from the ballot and shall be filed no later 
        than three two days after the last day for filing for the office.
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.14, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           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; 
        or 
           (3) for up to four contiguous municipalities located 
        entirely outside the metropolitan area, as defined by section 
        473.121, subdivision 2, that are contained in the same 
        congressional, legislative, and county commissioner district. 
           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 
        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.  
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.14, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [PRECINCT BOUNDARIES; DESCRIPTION; MAPS.] When a 
        precinct boundary has been changed, the municipal clerk shall 
        immediately notify the secretary of state.  Upon receipt of this 
        notice or a notice of annexation from the Minnesota municipal 
        board, the secretary of state shall provide the municipal clerk 
        with a base map on which the clerk shall note the boundary 
        change.  The clerk shall return the file a corrected base map to 
        with the secretary of state within 30 days after the boundary 
        change was made.  Upon request, the secretary of state shall 
        provide a base map to the municipal clerk.  The secretary of 
        state shall update the precinct boundary database, prepare a 
        corrected precinct map, and provide the corrected precinct map 
        to the county auditor and the municipal clerk who shall make 
        them available for public inspection.  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, 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.  
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.14, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           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 shall 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. 
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.16, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           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 473.121 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 204B.14, subdivision 2, or a school 
        district pursuant to section 205A.11.  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 473.121, 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. 
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.18, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [BOOTHS.] Each polling place must contain a 
        number of voting booths in proportion to the number of 
        individuals eligible to vote in the precinct.  Each booth must 
        be at least six feet high, three feet deep and two feet wide 
        with a shelf at least two feet long and one foot wide placed at 
        a convenient height for writing.  The booth shall be provided 
        with a door or curtains.  Each accessible polling place must 
        have at least one accessible voting booth or other accessible 
        voting station.  All booths or stations must be constructed so 
        that a voter is free from observation while marking ballots.  In 
        all other polling places every effort must be made to provide at 
        least one accessible voting booth or other accessible voting 
        station.  During the hours of voting, the booths or stations 
        must have instructions, a pencil, and other supplies needed to 
        mark the ballots.  If needed, a chair must be provided for 
        elderly and handicapped voters to use while in the voting 
        booth.  All ballot boxes, voting booths, voting stations, and 
        election judges must be in open public view in the polling place.
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.19, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.] Notwithstanding any other 
        requirements of this section, a student enrolled in a high 
        school in Minnesota who has attained the age of 16 is eligible 
        to be appointed as a without party affiliation trainee election 
        judge in the municipality county in which the student resides.  
        The student must meet qualifications for trainee election judges 
        specified in rules of the secretary of state.  A student 
        appointed as a trainee election judge may be excused from school 
        attendance during the hours that the student is serving as a 
        trainee election judge if the student submits a written request 
        signed and approved by the student's parent or guardian to be 
        absent from school and a certificate from the appointing 
        authority stating the hours during which the student will serve 
        as a trainee election judge to the principal of the school at 
        least ten days prior to the election.  Students shall not serve 
        as trainee election judges after 10:00 p.m.  Notwithstanding 
        section 177.24 to the contrary, trainee election judges may be 
        paid not less than two-thirds of the minimum wage for a large 
        employer.  The principal of the school may approve a request to 
        be absent from school conditioned on acceptable academic 
        performance and the requirement that the student must have 
        completed or be enrolled in a course of study in government at 
        the time of service as a trainee election judge.  
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.40, is 
        amended to read: 
           204B.40 [BALLOTS; ELECTION RECORDS AND OTHER MATERIALS; 
        DISPOSITION; INSPECTION OF BALLOTS.] 
           The county auditors and, municipal clerks, and school 
        district clerks shall retain all election materials returned to 
        them after any election for at least one year 22 months from the 
        date of that election.  The county auditor may also retain 
        election materials from school district elections.  All election 
        materials involved in a contested election shall must be 
        retained for one year 22 months or until the contest has been 
        finally determined, whichever is later.  Abstracts filed by 
        canvassing boards shall be retained permanently by any officer 
        with whom those abstracts are filed.  Election materials no 
        longer required to be retained pursuant to this section shall be 
        disposed of in accordance with sections 138.163 to 138.21.  
        Sealed envelopes containing voted ballots must be retained 
        unopened, except as provided in this section, in a secure 
        location.  The county auditor, municipal clerk, or school 
        district clerk shall not permit any voted ballots to be tampered 
        with or defaced. 
           After the time for filing a notice of contest for an 
        election has passed, the secretary of state may open the sealed 
        ballot envelopes and inspect the ballots for that election 
        maintained by the county auditors, municipal clerks, or school 
        district clerks for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating 
        election procedures.  No inspected ballot may be marked or 
        identified in any manner.  After inspection, all ballots must be 
        returned to the ballot envelope and the ballot envelope must be 
        securely resealed. 
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204C.32, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [COUNTY CANVASS.] The county canvassing 
        board shall meet at the county auditor's office on or before the 
        third day following the state primary.  After taking the oath of 
        office, the canvassing board shall publicly canvass the election 
        returns delivered to the county auditor.  The board shall 
        complete the canvass no later than the third day following the 
        state primary and shall promptly prepare and file with the 
        county auditor a report that states:  
           (a) The number of individuals voting at the election in the 
        county, and in each precinct; 
           (b) The number of individuals registering to vote on 
        election day and the number of individuals registered before 
        election day in each precinct; 
           (c) For each major political party, the names of the 
        candidates running for each partisan office and the number of 
        votes received by each candidate in the county and in each 
        precinct; 
           (d) The names of the candidates of each major political 
        party who are nominated; and 
           (e) The number of votes received by each of the candidates 
        for nonpartisan office in each precinct in the county and the 
        names of the candidates nominated for nonpartisan office.  
           Upon completion of the canvass, the county auditor shall 
        mail or deliver a notice of nomination to each nominee for 
        county office voted for only in that county.  The county auditor 
        shall transmit one of the certified copies of the county 
        canvassing board report for state and federal offices to the 
        secretary of state by express mail or similar service 
        immediately upon conclusion of the county canvass.  The 
        secretary of state shall mail a notice of nomination to each 
        nominee for state or federal office. 
           Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204C.33, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [COUNTY CANVASS.] The county canvassing 
        board shall meet at the county auditor's office on or before the 
        seventh day following the state general election.  After taking 
        the oath of office, the board shall promptly and publicly 
        canvass the general election returns delivered to the county 
        auditor.  Upon completion of the canvass, the board shall 
        promptly prepare and file with the county auditor a report which 
        states:  
           (a) The number of individuals voting at the election in the 
        county and in each precinct; 
           (b) The number of individuals registering to vote on 
        election day and the number of individuals registered before 
        election day in each precinct; 
           (c) The names of the candidates for each office and the 
        number of votes received by each candidate in the county and in 
        each precinct; 
           (d) The number of votes counted for and against a proposed 
        change of county lines or county seat; and 
           (e) The number of votes counted for and against a 
        constitutional amendment or other question in the county and in 
        each precinct.  
           The result of write-in votes cast on the general election 
        ballots must be compiled by the county auditor before the county 
        canvass, except that write-in votes for a candidate for state or 
        federal office must not be counted unless the candidate has 
        timely filed a request under section 204B.09, subdivision 3.  
        The county auditor shall arrange for each municipality to 
        provide an adequate number of election judges to perform this 
        duty or the county auditor may appoint additional election 
        judges for this purpose.  The county auditor may open the 
        envelopes or containers in which the voted ballots have been 
        sealed in order to count and record the write-in votes and must 
        reseal the voted ballots at the conclusion of this process. 
           Upon completion of the canvass, the county canvassing board 
        shall declare the candidate duly elected who received the 
        highest number of votes for each county and state office voted 
        for only within the county.  The county auditor shall transmit 
        one of the certified copies of the county canvassing board 
        report for state and federal offices to the secretary of state 
        by express mail or similar service immediately upon conclusion 
        of the county canvass. 
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204C.37, is 
        amended to read: 
           204C.37 [COUNTY CANVASS; RETURN OF REPORTS TO SECRETARY OF 
        STATE.] 
           Two copies of the reports required by sections 204C.32, 
        subdivision 1 and 204C.33, subdivision 1 shall be certified 
        under the official seal of the county auditor.  Each copy shall 
        be enclosed in an envelope addressed to the secretary of state, 
        with the county auditor's name and official address and the 
        words "Election Returns" endorsed on the envelope.  The copies 
        shall copy of the canvassing board report not sent by express 
        mail and the precinct summary statements must be mailed or 
        delivered to the secretary of state and, if mailed, shall be 
        forwarded by different mails.  If neither copy is received by 
        the secretary of state within ten days following the applicable 
        election, the secretary of state shall immediately notify the 
        county auditor, who shall deliver another copy to the secretary 
        of state by special messenger.  
           Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.13, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [ORDER OF OFFICES.] The candidates for 
        partisan offices shall be placed first on the white ballot and 
        shall appear 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.  
           Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.25, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           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 tense 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.  
           Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204D.27, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           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 county auditor 
        of any county or 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.  
           Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.13, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1b.  [ABSENT CANDIDATES.] A candidate for municipal 
        office who will be absent from the state during the filing 
        period may submit a properly executed affidavit of candidacy, 
        the appropriate filing fee, and any necessary petitions in 
        person to the filing officer.  The candidate shall state in 
        writing the reason for being unable to submit the affidavit 
        during the filing period.  The affidavit, filing fee, and 
        petitions must be submitted to the filing officer during the 
        seven days immediately preceding the candidate's absence from 
        the state.  In cities of the first class, and in any city where 
        the use of nominating petitions is permitted under the city's 
        charter, a nominating petition for a candidate who will be 
        absent from the state during the filing period may be signed 
        during the 14 days immediately preceding the date when the 
        affidavit of candidacy is filed. 
           Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.13, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [WITHDRAWAL.] A candidate for a municipal 
        elective office may withdraw from the election by filing an 
        affidavit of withdrawal with the municipal clerk by 12 o'clock 
        noon of the day no later than 5:00 p.m. two days after the last 
        day for filing affidavits of candidacy.  Thereafter, no 
        candidate may file an affidavit of withdrawal.  
           Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205.17, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH CLASS CITIES; 
        TOWNS.] In all statutory and home rule charter cities of the 
        second, third and fourth class, and in all towns, for the 
        municipal general election, the municipal clerk shall have 
        printed on light green paper the official ballot containing the 
        names of all candidates for municipal offices.  The ballot shall 
        be printed in blocks quantities of 25, 50, or 100, shall be 
        headed "City or Town Election Ballot,"  shall state the name of 
        the city or town and the date of the election, and shall conform 
        in other respects to the white ballot used at the state general 
        election.  The names shall be arranged on city ballots in the 
        manner provided for the state elections.  On town ballots names 
        of the candidates for each office shall be arranged either: 
           (1) alphabetically according to the candidates' surnames; 
        or 
           (2) in the manner provided for state elections if the town 
        electors chose at the town's annual meeting to arrange the names 
        in that way for at least two consecutive years. 
           Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205A.06, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1c.  [ABSENT CANDIDATES.] A candidate for the office 
        of school board member who will be absent from the state during 
        the filing period may submit a properly executed affidavit of 
        candidacy, the appropriate filing fee, and any necessary 
        petitions in person to the filing officer.  The candidate shall 
        state in writing the reason for being unable to submit the 
        affidavit during the filing period.  The affidavit, filing fee, 
        and petitions must be submitted to the filing officer during the 
        seven days immediately preceding the candidate's absence from 
        the state.  
           Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 205A.06, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [WITHDRAWAL.] A candidate for a school district 
        elective office may withdraw from the election by filing an 
        affidavit of withdrawal with the school district clerk by 12:00 
        noon of the day no later than 5:00 p.m. two days after the last 
        day for filing affidavits of candidacy.  After that date, no 
        candidate may file an affidavit of withdrawal.  
           Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 206.90, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [BALLOTS.] In precincts using optical scan voting 
        systems, a single ballot card on which all ballot information is 
        included must be printed in black ink on white colored material 
        except that marks not to be read by the automatic tabulating 
        equipment may be printed in another color ink.  
           When optical scan ballots are used, the offices to be 
        elected must appear in the following order:  federal offices; 
        state legislative offices; constitutional offices; proposed 
        constitutional amendments; county offices and questions; 
        municipal offices and questions; school district offices and 
        questions; special district offices and questions; and judicial 
        offices. 
           On optical scan ballots, the names of candidates and the 
        words "yes" and "no" for ballot questions must be printed as 
        close to their corresponding vote targets as possible. 
           The line on an optical scan ballot for write-in votes must 
        contain the words "write-in, if any." 
           If a primary ballot contains both a partisan ballot and a 
        nonpartisan ballot, the instructions to voters must include a 
        statement that reads substantially as follows:  "THIS BALLOT 
        CARD CONTAINS A PARTISAN BALLOT AND A NONPARTISAN BALLOT.  ON 
        THE PARTISAN BALLOT YOU ARE PERMITTED TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES OF 
        ONE POLITICAL PARTY ONLY."  If a primary ballot contains 
        political party columns on both sides of the ballot, the 
        instructions to voters must include a statement that reads 
        substantially as follows:  "ADDITIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE 
        PRINTED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS BALLOT.  VOTE FOR ONE 
        POLITICAL PARTY ONLY."  At the bottom of each political party 
        column on the primary ballot, the ballot must contain a 
        statement that reads substantially as follows:  "CONTINUE VOTING 
        ON THE NONPARTISAN BALLOT."  The instructions in section 
        204D.08, subdivision 4, do not apply to optical scan partisan 
        primary ballots. 
           Sec. 32.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 
        367.03, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [OFFICERS; NOVEMBER ELECTION.] Supervisors and 
        other town officers in towns that hold the town general election 
        in November shall be elected for terms of four years commencing 
        on the first Monday in January and until their successors are 
        elected and qualified.  The clerk and treasurer shall be elected 
        in alternate years. 
           Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 447.32, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [TERMS OF OFFICE.] Each hospital district 
        shall be governed by a hospital board composed of one member 
        elected from each city and town in the district and one member 
        elected at large.  A member's term of office is four 
        years commencing on the first Monday in January and until a 
        successor qualifies.  At the first election, however, members 
        must be elected for terms set by the governing body calling the 
        election, so that half the terms, as nearly as may be, expire on 
        December 31 the first Monday in January of the next 
        even-numbered odd-numbered year and the remaining terms expire 
        two years from that date.  After that, before a member's term 
        expires, a new member shall be elected for a term of four years 
        from the expiration date.  
           If a member dies, resigns, fails to qualify, or moves from 
        the hospital district, a successor may be appointed by a 
        majority of the remaining members of the board.  The successor 
        shall hold office until December 31 the first Monday in January 
        after the next regular hospital district election.  At the 
        election a successor must be elected to fill the unexpired term. 
           When an additional city or town is annexed to the district, 
        in accordance with section 447.36, its governing body shall by 
        resolution appoint a member to the board.  The member shall hold 
        office until December 31 the first Monday in January after the 
        next regular hospital district election.  At the election a 
        successor must be elected for a term of either two or four 
        years, to be set by the hospital board so that the number of 
        members of the board whose terms expire in any later year will 
        not exceed one-half of the members plus one. 
           Sec. 34.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 
        447.32, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [CANDIDATES; BALLOTS; CERTIFYING ELECTION.] A 
        person who wants to be a candidate for the hospital board shall 
        file an affidavit of candidacy for the election either as member 
        at large or as a member representing the city or town where the 
        candidate resides.  The affidavit of candidacy must be filed 
        with the city or town clerk not more than ten weeks nor less 
        than eight weeks before the election.  The city or town clerk 
        must forward the affidavits of candidacy to the clerk of the 
        hospital district or, for the first election, the clerk of the 
        most populous city or town immediately after the last day of the 
        filing period.  A candidate may withdraw from the election by 
        filing an affidavit of withdrawal with the clerk of the district 
        no later than 12:00 p.m. on the day 5:00 p.m. two days after the 
        last day to file affidavits of candidacy. 
           Voting must be by secret ballot.  The clerk shall prepare, 
        at the expense of the district, necessary ballots for the 
        election of officers.  Ballots must be printed on tan paper and 
        prepared as provided in the rules of the secretary of state.  
        The ballots must be marked and initialed by at least two judges 
        as official ballots and used exclusively at the election.  Any 
        proposition to be voted on may be printed on the ballot provided 
        for the election of officers.  The hospital board may also 
        authorize the use of voting systems subject to chapter 206.  
        Enough election judges may be appointed to receive the votes at 
        each polling place.  The election judges shall act as clerks of 
        election, count the ballots cast, and submit them to the board 
        for canvass.  
           After canvassing the election, the board shall issue a 
        certificate of election to the candidate who received the 
        largest number of votes cast for each office.  The clerk shall 
        deliver the certificate to the person entitled to it in person 
        or by certified mail.  Each person certified shall file an 
        acceptance and oath of office in writing with the clerk within 
        30 days after the date of delivery or mailing of the 
        certificate.  The board may fill any office as provided in 
        subdivision 1 if the person elected fails to qualify within 30 
        days, but qualification is effective if made before the board 
        acts to fill the vacancy. 
           Sec. 35.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 204B.45, subdivision 1a, 
        is repealed. 
           Presented to the governor May 11, 2000 
           Signed by the governor May 15, 2000, 10:56 a.m.

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