Minneapolis 2020 Ballot Measures Information

Do you have questions about the two Minneapolis ballot measures on November’s ballot? We’ve compiled information to help you!

 

Question #1: Redistricting of Wards and Park Districts

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to allow ward and park district boundaries to be reestablished in a year ending in 1 and to allow the use of those new boundaries for elections in that same year; to allow ward and park district boundaries to be modified after the legislature has been redistricted to establish City precinct boundaries; to provide that an election for a Council Member office required by Minnesota law in a year ending in 2 or 3 after a redistricting shall be for a single 2-year term; and to clarify that a regular election means a regular general election?

Narrative: This question has been widely understood to address aligning the election of city officials so that back to back two year terms, in lieu of the currently scheduled two year followed by a four year term, would synchronize election of all city offices to occur simultaneously (in the same years).

 

Question #2: Special Municipal Elections 

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to comply with Minnesota election law related to uniform dates for special municipal elections and to provide that a special election be held on a legal election day under Minnesota law that is more than 90 days from a vacancy in the office of Mayor or Council Member?

Narrative: This question addresses aligning Minneapolis elections with dates specified in MN statute. Implications included length of potential office vacancies and costs to hold non compliant special elections.

 

LWVMpls positions which may apply to these ballot questions:

We support:

  • Four-year terms for Council Members, the Mayor, Park Commissioners, and School Board members. (1970) 
  • Electing the City Council by ward to non-staggered terms, at the same time as the mayoral term and limited to twelve years in office (1989; revised 2005 to allow but not require a smaller council by eliminating the reference to 13-member). 

(LWVMpls Program for Action 2019, City Government: Structure, pg 7-8)

 

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LWVMpls will use the following criteria to determine whether to support or oppose charter amendments as they are proposed (1965): Does the amendment: 

  1.  Fill a need? Are the functions being handled efficiently and responsibly at the present time?
  2.  Provide sufficient flexibility in scope and authority to adjust to future growth and development patterns?
  3. Simplify the governmental structure rather than complicate it?
  4. Define clearly the lines of authority and responsibility so that the voter understands the governmental procedures?
  5. Lead to separation of administrative and legislative functions? 
  6. Assist in coordinating all the City’s services so that they may be planned together? 7. Provide sufficient checks and balances to permit considered thought and public opinion to play their roles in determining public policy? 

(LWVMpls Program for Action 2019, cited positions updated in 2009)