From 1858 until 1898, the Minnesota Constitution required that a proposed amendment be approved by a simple majority of both chambers of the legislature and then ratified by a simple majority of the voters at the next general election who voted “yes” or “no” on the proposed amendment. The total number of voters who cast any ballot at the election did not determine whether an amendment was approved or rejected. The total election vote figures set forth below for 1858 through 1898 are for historical information only.
Since 1898, the Minnesota Constitution has required that a constitutional amendment be approved by a simple majority of both chambers of the legislature at one session, and then ratified by “a majority of all the electors voting at the election,” whether or not the voter casts a “yes” or “no” vote on a proposed amendment. (Article IX, Section 1 of the Constitution of Minnesota). Therefore, although the following table may indicate that more votes were cast to approve an amendment than the votes cast to reject the amendment, the amendment may still have failed because a majority of all voters at the election did not cast a “yes” vote.
For more detailed information concerning the constitutional amendment process in Minnesota, refer to “Amending Our State Constitution: Continuity Through Ordered Change,” by Betty Kane, 1981.