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S.F. No. 752 - Minor Political Party Modifications
Author: Senator Scott M. Jensen
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: February 19, 2020


Section 1. Major political party. The definition of “major political party” is amended so that the petition required to become a major political party must be signed by 20,000 eligible voters in the state. (Under current law, the petition must be signed by members of the party in a number equal to at least five percent of the total numbers of individual who voted in the preceding state general election.) Under current law, a signature is valid only if it was signed within one year prior to the petition being filed; this language is stricken.

Section 2. Minor political party. “Minor political party” is defined as a political party that is not a major political party.

Section 3. Form of petition. Specifies that a petition may be prepared on letter-sized paper (8.5” x 11”) or legal-sized paper (8.5” x 14”).

Section 4. Oath and address of signer. This section amends the oath on a nominating petition. A person that intends to vote at the primary election for the office that is the subject of the petition may sign the petition.

Section 5. Qualifications of signers. A person may sign more than one nominating petition for candidates running for the same office.

Section 6. Number of signatures. The minimum number of signatures for a nominating petition are lowered. These thresholds do not apply to special election petitions.

Section 7. Candidates in state and county general elections. Minor party candidates must file affidavits of candidacy and nominating petitions for state and federal offices for the state general election between 99 and 71 days prior to the state general election. The nominating petition may be prepared and signed any time between 60 days before the filing period starts and the last day of the filing period.

Section 8. Party affiliation of candidate. A political party may determine whether a candidate is authorized to affiliate with the party on a ballot. A political party may submit to the secretary of state a list of candidates that are authorized to affiliate with the party. If a candidate that files for office with the party is not authorized to affiliate with the party, that candidate must not appear on the ballot with the party designation.

Section 9. Special election when legislature will be in session. The timeline for special elections to fill legislative vacancies is amended to reflect the change in section 10.

Section 10. Posting of writ. A writ ordering a special election to fill a legislative vacancy must be posted for 14 days, an increase from five days under current law.

Section 11. Place and manner of filing. The required number of signatures on a nominating petition for a special election to fill a legislative vacancy is half of the required number of signatures for the general election.

Section 12. Filing period. In municipalities where nominating petitions are allowed, the petition must be filed during the same filing period for affidavits of candidacy. Affidavits of candidacy and nominating petitions may be prepared and signed between 60 days before the filing period opens and the last day of the filing period.

Section 13. Nominating petition; cities of the first class. The number of signatures required on a nominating petition for a candidate in a first class city is lowered from 500 to 200 or two percent of the total number of voters who voted in the city in the last election, whichever is less.

Section 14. Repealer. Repeals section 204D.22, which says that an omission or defect in notice of a special election does not invalidate a special election.


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