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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

State Constitutional Amendments
The Constitution of the State of Minnesota sets out the process by which it can be amended in Article IX, section 1. It requires that a majority of the members of each house of the legislature must vote to propose amendments to the constitution. The proposed amendments must be published with the laws passed at the same session. The proposed Amendment must be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at a general election. If a majority of all of the people voting at the election vote to ratify an amendment, it becomes a part of the Constitution.

The Legislative Reference Library has a list of proposed constitutional amendments, which includes links to the specific ballot language and whether the amendment was ratified by voters.

Minnesota does not have Initiative and Referendum so other than constitutional amendments no other statewide ballot questions are authorized.

Local Ballot Questions
Unless a question is authorized by law to be voted on it cannot be placed on the ballot. The requirements in the enabling legislation must be met before a ballot question may be placed on the ballot. There are many different types of authorized questions and the requirements for many of them are different so it is important to be sure that all the applicable requirements are met. In addition to these requirements there may be others, some of which are in Election Law Statutes. You may wish to consult with your legal advisor to be sure all requirements are met.

Cities
A special election may be held in a city on a question which the voters are authorized by law or charter to pass judgment. There are two ways to call a special election on a question: 1)A special election may be ordered by the city council on it’s own motion; or 2) (On a question that has not been submitted to the voters within the previous 6 months) Upon a petition signed by a number of voters equal to 20 percent of the votes cast at the last city general election. A question passes only with the majority in its favor as required by law or charter. (Minn. Stat. §205.10, subd. 1) A city council may not act to submit a ballot question or accept a petition for submission of a ballot question at a general or special election unless all election-related deadlines can be met, including publication deadlines for all required notices. (Minn. Stat. §205.10, subd. 5) Some of those requirements are in Minnesota Statutes §205.16 and one of those requirements is a notice of election to the county auditor which must be sent at least 53 days prior to every city election. (Minn. Stat. §205.16) (All requirements in the enabling legislation must be met in addition to these requirements)

Townships
A special election may be held in a township on a question which the voters are authorized by law to pass judgment. There are 2 ways to call a special election on a question: 1) A special election may be ordered by the town board on its own motion; or 2) (On a question that has not been submitted to voters in an election within the previous 6 months) Upon a petition signed by a number of voters equal to 20 percent of the votes cast at the last town general election. A question passes only with the majority in its favor as required by law. (Minn. Stat. §205.10, subd. 1) A town board may not act to submit a ballot question or accept a petition for submission of a ballot question at a general or special election unless all election related deadlines can be met, including publication deadlines for all required notices. (Minn. Stat. §205.10, subd. 5) Some of those requirements are in Minnesota Statutes §205.16 and one of those requirements is a notice of election to the county auditor which must be sent at least 53 days prior to every township election. (Minn. Stat. §205.16) (All requirements in the enabling legislation must be met in addition to these requirements)

School Districts
Special elections must be held for a school district on a question on which the voters are authorized by law to pass judgment. There are two ways to call a special election on a school district ballot question: 1) The school board may call a special election on its own motion on any matter requiring approval of the voters of a district; or 2) Upon petition of 50 or more voters of a school district or 5 percent of the number of voters voting at the preceding regular school district election, the school board shall by resolution call a special election to vote on any matter requiring approval of the voters of the district. A question is passed only with a majority in its favor as required by law. A school district special election may not be held during the 30 days before and the 30 days after the state primary, during the 30 days before and the 40 days after the state general election, or during the 20 days before and the 20 days following any regularly scheduled election of a municipality either wholly or partially within the school district. (Minn. Stat. §205A.05) (All requirements in the enabling legislation must be met in addition to these requirements)

Last updated: 4/4/2014 10:57:26 AM