Minneapolis voters, get ready for a heavier dose of local politics over the next five years.

City Council members will run for two-year terms in 2021 and 2023, breaking with their normal four-year election pattern, after voters on Tuesday approved two election changes. Council members will run for four-year terms again in 2025.

The change is designed to help the city comply with a decade-old state law that is, for the first time, scrambling the city's election cycle.

The Kahn Rule, named after its author, former state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, is designed to ensure that City Council members represent wards that reflect their cities' changing demographics.

It requires Minneapolis and St. Paul to hold council elections in years ending in 2 or 3 after a census is taken — a requirement that sometimes conflicts with their normal four-year election cycle required in the City Charter.

Voters approved the change overwhelmingly in a year that saw record turnout, with the city reporting an unofficial total of 237,689 ballots cast as of Wednesday afternoon.

That figure included ballots received through Tuesday and could change if more mail-in ballots arrive.

Not all voters weighed in on the city's elections questions.

As of Wednesday, roughly 187,000 voters had cast ballots on the council election change, with 75% approving it.

Minneapolis voters also approved a change to the City Charter that clarifies when special elections can be held after a local official leaves office.

The city's charter, which serves as its constitution, will now say that special elections must be held on a state-sanctioned Election Day that is more than 90 days after a city official resigns. State law says most special elections can only be held on one of five dates.

That sometimes conflicted with the prior version of the charter, which stated that special elections had to be held within 90 days of an elected official's resignation.

This conflict became apparent when Abdi Warsame resigned from the City Council in March to take the helm of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority earlier this year.

The Sixth Ward seat remained vacant until Jamal Osman won a special election in August, the same date as the state's primary election.

The charter change on setting special election dates was also approved overwhelmingly, with roughly 187,000 people voting on the change, of which 87% approved it.

Liz Navratil • 612-673-4994