Citizen Petition to Amend City Charter
Any citizen or group of citizens may prepare an amendment, in proper legal form, to circulate for registered voters’ signatures. Note: Citizens should seek legal guidance to ensure their efforts are in compliance with the law.
If the amendment is less than 1,000 words, the full text must accompany the signature page. If the amendment is greater than 1,000 words, a summary of the text accompanies the signature page.
Amendment summary process
If a summary is necessary, it must be 50 to 300 words and is submitted to the Charter Commission. The Charter Commission calls a meeting within 10 days of the submission to review the summary for fairness and completeness, and returns the recommended summary language to the petitioners after approval by at least eight Commissioners. See the Citizen Petition Timeframe for important dates for the current year.
Signatures required on petition
Petitions must have the signatures of registered voters equal to five percent of the total votes cast by Minneapolis voters in the last state general election. Electronic signatures are not allowed and will not be counted. Signatures must be in ink or indelible pencil. See Requirement for Number of Signatures on a Citizen Petition .
Registered Minneapolis voters
Registered Minneapolis voters are defined as persons registered to vote under their current name at their current Minneapolis address. An address using any post office box is not valid.
Filing the petition
Petitioners file the petition with the Charter Commission which will transmit the petition and signatures to the City Clerk/Elections Office.
Within 10 days, the Elections Office verifies that an adequate number of registered voters have signed the petition. If there is an insufficient number of registered voter signatures, the Elections Office returns the petition to the petitioners to gather more signatures within an additional 10-day period.
The Elections Office verifies within 5 days after the second submission if the petition has an adequate number of signatures. If the number of signatures is sufficient, the Charter Commission then transmits the petition to the City Council Committee of the Whole/Intergovernmental Relations for action. If the signatures are insufficient, no further action is taken.
The City Council Committee of the Whole/Intergovernmental Relations proposes ballot language and forwards the amendment to the City Council. The Council determines the ballot language subject to the approval of the City Attorney.
The Elections Office publishes the full text of the amendment and the actual ballot language once each week in the two weeks before the election.
The Elections Office publishes the sample ballot one week before the election and publishes notice of times and polling places two weeks before the election.
Approval of the Amendment
Approval of the amendment requires 51% of those voting on the amendment. An amendment concerning the sale of intoxicating liquor or wine requires 55% of those voting on the amendment.
The amendment becomes effective 30 days after passage unless otherwise stipulated in the amendment.
For additional information, see Minnesota Statute Chapter 410.12 or call the Elections Office via Minneapolis 311 or (612) 673-3000.
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011