Minneapolis Moves Closer to Higher Election Filing Fees
The City of Minneapolis is now one step closer to bumping up fees for those seeking public office.
On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Charter Commission approved changing fees to run for mayor from $20 to $250. Under the amendment, the fee for a City Council run would be changed from $20 to $100 and the fee for a Park and Recreation Commissioner would change from $20 to $50.
The amendment still needs unanimous approval from City Council and the Mayor.
The fees have not been changed since 1967 and the City's original proposal had requested the fee for mayor be changed to $500 and the fee for city council members be increased to $250.
"The filing fee is sort of the gateway to get on the ballot. And getting on the ballot means I want this office. I have a reason for wanting this office, Here's my agenda, here are the promises that I want to make or the differences that I want to achieve while in office," said Minneapolis City Clerk Casey Carl.
The original proposal referenced a change to the way Minneapolis Runs Elections.
"With Ranked Choice Voting, Minneapolis no longer conducts a primary to narrow the field of candidates to serious contenders. Consequently, the single ballot put in front of voters during the municipal general election needs to be a 'serious ballot' - eliminating, to the degree possible, frivolous candidate," the proposal said.
"It's to ensure that there are serious candidates on the ballot who are seriously interested in running for an office, who come to the race prepared to engage in those debates and this is just one way, it's a gateway onto the ballot. That's all it is," Carl said.
Minneapolis Charter Commissioner Devin Rice and two other commissioners voted against the amendment.
"My most serious concern is that this change or proposed change was drafted specifically to discourage some candidates from running for office," Rice said.
Park Commissioner Bob Fine is considering a run for Mayor of Minneapolis. He says a fee will not make or break his decision but thought that $500 would have been too much of an increase.
"It's everyone's right in this country to run for office and to vote. What is considered frivolous? I would hate to call a candidate frivolous," Fine said.
The fee can be avoided by collecting enough signatures.
Filing for public office in Minneapolis starts on July 30th and ends August 13th. The election is November 5th.