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Qualifications for Legislative Office

Candidates for the legislature must meet certain qualifications prescribed by the state constitution.

  • Candidates for the legislature must be qualified Minnesota voters when elected. This means that at the time of the general election (in early November of even-numbered years) a candidate for the legislature must have been a U.S. citizen for three months and must not fall into a class of persons not permitted to vote: persons convicted of treason or felony, unless restored to civil rights; persons under guardianship; and persons who are insane or mentally incompetent.
  • Candidates for the legislature must meet legislative residency requirements when elected. This means that at the time of the general election, a candidate for the legislature must have resided in the state for one year and must have resided in the legislative district for six months.
  • Candidates for the legislature must be at least 21 years of age when the legislative term of office begins, early in January of odd-numbered years. Minn. Const., art. IV, sec. 6, art. VII, sec. 1, 6.

The constitution forbids legislators to hold any other public office, except that of postmaster or notary public, and requires the resignation of a legislator elected or appointed to another public office. Minn. Const., art. IV, sec. 5.

The constitution makes each house the judge of the election returns and eligibility of its members. When the validity of a legislative election is challenged, a judicial proceeding assembles evidence as an aid to the House or Senate in making the final determination. Minn. Const., art. IV, sec. 6; Minn. Stat., sec. 209.10.

August 2014

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