(Please note: A recall election may not occur fewer than six months before the end of the term of the elected state officer.).
Step 1: A proposed petition to recall an elected state officer (“Proposed Recall Petition”) stating the specific grounds upon which the state officer is sought to be recalled and a complete synopsis (summary) of the specific facts that are alleged to warrant (justify) recall on those grounds must be signed by 25 or more persons who are eligible voters residing within the area served by the official. (Blank sample petitions are available from the Secretary of State or on the Secretary of State’s web site, at the Petitions webpage) (Minnesota Statutes §211C.04)
Step 2: The petitioners must file the Proposed Recall Petition with the Secretary of State along with a $100.00 filing fee. The petition must designate in writing no more than three individuals among the signers to represent all petitioners in matters relating to the recall. (Minnesota Rule 8205.2000)
Step 3: The Secretary of State verifies that the Proposed Recall Petition contains at least 25 valid signatures. (Minnesota Statutes §211C.04; Minnesota Rule 8205.2010)
Step 4: If fewer than 25 valid signatures, the Proposed Recall Petition is dismissed by the Secretary of State. If the Proposed Recall Petition satisfies all requirements, the Secretary of State shall immediately notify in writing the State Officer named and forward the Proposed Recall Petition to the Clerk of Appellate Courts. (Minnesota Statutes §211C.04)
Step 5: Upon receiving the Proposed Recall Petition from the Secretary of State, the Clerk of Appellate Courts shall submit it immediately to the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court (“Chief Justice”). (Minnesota Statutes §211C.05, subdivision 1)
Step 6: The persons proposing the Proposed Recall Petition provide materials supporting the petition to the Chief Justice (or designee). (Minnesota Statutes § 211C.05, subdivision 1)
Step 7: The officer who is named in the Proposed Recall Petition may submit materials in opposition to the Chief Justice (or designee). (Minnesota Statutes §211C.05, subdivision 1)
Step 8: The Chief Justice (or designee) shall review the Proposed Recall Petition to determine whether it alleges specific facts that, if proven, would constitute grounds for recall under the Minnesota Constitution, Article VIII, Section 6; and Minnesota Statutes §211C.02
Step 9: If the Proposed Recall Petition does not allege specific facts that, if proven, would constitute grounds for recall, the Chief Justice (or designee) shall immediately issue an order dismissing the Proposed Recall Petition and indicating the reason for dismissal.
If the Proposed Recall Petition does allege specific facts that, if proven, would constitute grounds for recall, the Chief Justice (or designee) shall assign the case to a special master (an active Judge or retired Judge) for a public hearing. (Minnesota Statutes §211C.05, subdivision 1)
Step 10: The special master holds a public hearing on the allegations of the Proposed Recall Petition must be held within 21 days after the issuance of the order assigning the case to a special master (Minnesota Statutes §211C.05, subdivision 2)
Step 11: Within seven days after the end of the public hearing, the special master must report to the Supreme Court:
“(1) Whether the persons proposing the petition have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the factual allegations supporting the petition are true; and
(2) If so, whether the persons proposing the petition have shown that the facts found to be true are sufficient grounds for issuing a recall petition.”
“If the special master determines that these standards have been met, the report must include a statement of specific facts and grounds for the recall petition” (Minnesota Statutes §211C.05, subdivision 2)
Step 12: Within 20 days, the Supreme Court shall review the report of the special master and make a decision:
If the Supreme Court decides that the standard expressed in Minnesota Statutes §211C.05, subdivision 2 has not been met the Supreme Court shall dismiss the Proposed Recall Petition. (If the Supreme Court dismisses a petition under this section because the persons proposing the petition have acted in bad faith in violation of Minnesota Statutes §211C.09, the Supreme Court may assess the persons proposing the petition for reasonable costs of conducting the proceeding.)
If the Supreme Court decides that the standard has been met the court shall prescribe, by order to the Secretary of State, the statement of the specific facts and grounds that must appear on the petition for recall issued under section 211C.06. (Minnesota Statutes §211C.05, subdivision 3)
Step 13: Upon receipt of the order from the Supreme Court, the Secretary of State shall issue a Recall Petition. (Minnesota Statutes §211C.06)
Step 14: The Recall Petition is circulated. Petitioners must collect signatures of eligible voters who reside in the district where the officer serves equal to at least 25 percent of the number of votes cast for the office at the most recent general election. (Minnesota Constitution, Article VIII, Section 6)
Step 15: The Recall Petition must be filed with Secretary of State within 90 days after the date of issuance. (Minn. Stat. §211C.06)
Step 16: Upon the filing of the Recall Petition, the Secretary of State verifies the numbers and eligibility of the signers.
If the Secretary of State determines that a Recall Petition has been signed by a sufficient number of eligible voters, the Secretary of State certifies the Recall Petition and immediately notifies, in writing, the governor, the petitioners, and the state officer named in the Recall Petition.
If the Recall Petition is not signed by a sufficient number of eligible voters, the Secretary of State dismisses the petition. (Minnesota Statutes §211C.06)
Step 17: Within five days of receiving certification of a petition, the Governor issues a Writ calling for a recall election unless the election cannot be held before the deadline specified in the Minnesota Constitution, Article VIII, section 6 (i.e. six months before the end of the officer’s term) (Minnesota Constitution Article VII, section 6; Minnesota Statutes §211C.07)
Step 18: A recall election is held, and the results canvassed and returned, in the manner provided by law for the state general election:
A question will appear on the ballot giving the voters a yes or no choice on whether or not to recall the elected state officer. If a majority of the votes cast in a recall election favor the removal of the state officer, the state officer is removed from office as of the date the election results are certified and the office is vacant. If a voter casts a blank ballot it will have the effect of being a no vote. (Minnesota Statutes §211C.07)
Materials can be provided in Braille, on audio tape, on CD or in Large Print.
To order any of the brochures on this website or to order a Voter Registration Application and instructions on how to fill it out, contact the Secretary of State Elections Division at:
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Refer to the Contact Us link for additional contact information.
Allow up to 5 business days to receive your request.
Note that Voter Registration Applications are available on this website in text-format and letter-size or large print PDF versions on the Registering to Vote page.
To order an application for an absentee ballot or a ballot to be used on Election Day, contact your county elections official or city clerk. Find county contact information with the Election Official Directory. Every county and most cities will have a TDD device for questions. Be sure to call early to provide adequate lead time for the election officials to provide the alternative format materials.
On Election Night, county election officials enter unofficial election results on the Office of the Secretary of State office’s website. Following Election Day, county election officials audit and proof their work to make any corrections as necessary before they canvass their results.
It is routine for election officials to discover a number of small errors, including improper data entry, transposition of digits (e.g., entering the number 48 instead of 84), and other items that affect the reported outcome. For example, in 2006 the difference between the number of votes for U.S. Senate candidates Mark Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar changed by more than 2,100 votes between the first unofficial results reported on this office’s website and the final official results reported to the State Canvassing Board.
As corrections are entered on the website by the local election officials, the statewide unofficial results are updated to reflect the changes. Each county auditor will present their final tallies to their respective county canvassing boards for approval. These reports are then sent to the Office of the Secretary of State where they are carefully reviewed and incorporated into a statewide canvass report that is presented to the State Canvassing Board.
The recount process is determined and detailed by Minnesota law. The first step in a recount process is to assemble all eligible ballots. The ballots are counted precinct by precinct within the county in which they were cast. A recount official, generally the county auditor, is designated for each county and is in charge of the room in which the recount is occurring.
Ballots are then separated into piles — one for each candidate involved in the recount, and one for all other ballots, including those cast for other candidates, those for which the voter’s intent cannot be determined, and/or those declared ineligible due to markings or other problems. All ballots within a precinct are sorted at the same time and are examined by an election official to determine the voter’s intent, in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, section 204C.22. Each candidate is allowed to have a representative observe the election officials sorting, and a candidate’s representative may challenge the decision of the election official.
If there is an objection to the decision being made by the election official by either one or both of the candidates’ representatives, the ballot in dispute becomes “challenged.” The recount official may decide whether or not the challenge is valid. If it is decided the challenge is valid, and if the challenge is not withdrawn, the ballot is marked as challenged and sent to the State Canvassing Board for review and decision.
Once ballots have been sorted into these piles, they are counted by election officials in stacks of 25 and the precinct’s vote count for each candidate is announced.
State primary: August 14, 2012
State general election: November 6, 2012
Most polling places open at 7:00 a.m.; a few polling places in small townships located outside the eleven-county metropolitan area may open as late as 10:00 a.m. All polling places close at 8:00 p.m.
Mail or Walk-In Service:Minnesota Secretary of StateAttn: CertificationRetirement Systems of Minnesota Building60 Empire Drive, Suite 100Saint Paul, MN 55103-2141(Staffed 8:00 - 4:00, Monday - Friday, excluding holidays)
Business Certificate and Copy Fee Schedule
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