Laws 2011, Chapter 65 (S.F. No. 1009) modifies the procedures for filling a vacancy in nomination in nonpartisan offices, such as judges. When a vacany in nomination occurs, a nominating petition is no longer used. Further, if the vacancy in nomination occurs within the withdrawal period after the filing period closes and more than two candidates file for the office, the names are placed on the primary ballot (instead of being placed on the general election ballot). Filing periods are modified. Canvassing boards are authorized to meet on the second or third day after the primary in certain situations, as opposed to only being authorized to meet on the third day.
Background. In the 2010 election in the Tenth Judicial District, 24 candidates were on the general election ballot to fill one judicial seat. This occurred because the two candidates that filed for office during the filing period both withdrew from the race during the withdrawal period (after the filing period had closed). The filing period and withdrawal period were in late May and early June. Their withdrawals created a vacancy in nomination for the seat. Candidates had seven days to file to run for the seat. Each of the candidates whose petition was verified was placed on the November general election ballot. There was no primary election for this seat.
Section 1. A cross-reference regarding filling a vacancy in nonpartisan office by nominating petitions is removed to be consistent with other changes made in the bill.
Section 2. A reference to the death of a candidate for a nonpartisan office is removed from the provision regarding vacancies in nomination for a nonpartisan office, for which one or two candidates filed.
Section 3. A vacancy in nomination in nonpartisan offices may be filled by filing an affidavit of candidacy and paying a filing fee or petition in place of a filing fee within five days after the vacancy in nomination occurs; this is in place of a nominating petition, which is no longer used. There must be a two-day period for withdrawal of candidates after the last day for filing. If the vacancy in nomination resulted from a withdrawal during the withdrawal period held on the 68th or 69th day before the primary, and if there more than two candidates, the candidates’ names must appear on the primary ballot; placing names on the primary ballot is a new requirement. In all other cases, the candidates’ names must appear on the general election ballot. All references to nominating petitions are removed.
Section 4. County canvassing boards may meet on either the second or third day after the primary. The board must complete the canvass by the third day after the primary.
Section 5. A municipal canvassing board may meet on either the second or third day after the primary either if the primary was conducted only in that municipality or if the county auditor agrees to administratively review the voting statistics. In all other situations, the canvassing must meet on the third day after the primary.
Section 6. The filing period is modified for candidates in a municipal general election held in November when the municipality does not hold a primary.
Section 7. A school board canvassing board may meet on either the second or third day after the primary either if the primary was conducted only in that school district or if the county auditor agrees to administratively review the voting statistics. In all other situations, the canvassing must meet on the third day after the primary.
Section 8. The filing period is modified for candidates for school board elections in districts that do not have a primary.
Section 9. Repeals Minnesota Statutes 2010, sections 204B.41 (changing ballot after vacancy in nomination); 204D.169 (example supplemental ballots); 205.065, subdivision 7 (cross-reference to vacancy in nomination statute); and 205A.03, subdivision 6 (cross-reference to vacancy in nomination statute).
Section 10. Sections 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 were effective the day following final enactment, which was May 25. The remaining sections were effective on August 1.