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Legislative Update (11-20-20)

Friday, November 20, 2020

Neighbor, 

I’ve received some inquiries regarding the process for precincts that went to mail-in election ballots to return to in-person voting. Here’s some information I hope answers some of those questions: 

Cities and towns have to pass a resolution to switch back at least 90 days before the next election; most do so well before the 90 days. 

By statute 204B.45, only non-metro towns and cities with populations of fewer than 400 residents can implement mail-in-only for elections of state/county/federal officers. Counties cannot. When cities/towns resolve to be mail-in-only for these types of election, that resolution stays in effect in perpetuity. Until they pass a new resolution saying to go back to regular voting. This is according to Minnesota Administrative Rule 8210.3000.2

Entire counties can have a mail-in-only question to voters at a special election but, again, no offices may be voted on in this matter, per 204B.46. These resolutions expire after the special election takes place, again according to Minnesota Administrative Rules. 

Minnesota Administrative Rule 8210.3000.3 gives more detail on resolving to switch back to regular voting (from mail-in voting). 

Once a governing body, such as a city council or town board, has resolved to revoke its mail-in ballot status, the municipal clerk needs to notify the county auditor no less than two weeks after. The county auditor then notifies the Minnesota Secretary of State of the change. 

So, yes, townships/small cities can switch back to in-person voting with a simple resolution, and they need 90 days advance notice if they want it to happen before the next election. Most townships have their annual meeting in March, which would be a good time to discuss reverting to in-person voting if that is something you want to pursue.

-Steve 

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