Citizens Opposing Political Corruption
    in Montana's Elections

People's Power League 

"The Vigilance of the Pen" continues in 2018 with an Initiative giving County Election Officials the option to conduct a mail-ballot election. 

County newspapers were the first notified of the Initiative proposal on May 14, 2017.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

COMMENTS REQUESTED ON MAIL-BALLOT INITIATIVE FOR 2018 ELECTION

Helena, Montana – May 14, 2017

A small Helena group has floated an Initiative idea for a vote in 2018 about mail-ballot elections. The group follows the play-book of the People's Power League (PPL) established in 1912, which bypassed a recalcitrant legislature and returned control of elections back to Montana voters.

“I'd like to turn things upside-down,” said Carole Mackin of Helena. “As the law now stands, the counties have to beg for permission to use a mail-ballot for many elections. In the proposed wording of the initiative, the legislators would have to pass a bill when they want to prohibit a mail-ballot election.”

During the past legislative session, the House Judiciary committee refused to agree with the Senate on SB305, which allowed counties the option to use a mail-ballot to conduct the Special Election on May 25. County election administrators and other county officials favored SB305 because a mail-ballot option was quicker and easier to organize thus saving taxpayer dollars.

Comments on the proposal may be sent to: carole.mackin@peoplespowerleague.info
The comments will be reviewed and incorporated prior to submitting an Initiative proposal to the Secretary of State.
If the form of the Initiative is approved, petition backers can start gathering 25,500 signatures of registered voters on June 22, 2017.

PETITION TO PLACE

INITIATIVE NO._3777_ON THE ELECTION BALLOT

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA

SECTION 1: Section 13-19-104, MCA is amended to read:

“13-19-104. Mail ballot elections not mandatory -- when authorized -- when prohibited -- when county election administrator conducts. (1) Conducting elections by mail ballot is only one option available to local officials, and this chapter does not mandate that the procedure be used.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), any election may be conducted by mail ballot.

(3) The following elections may not be conducted by mail ballot:

(a) a regularly scheduled federal, state, or county election; an election in which the legislature authorizes a voting method other than by mail ballot; or.

(b) special federal or state election, unless authorized by the legislature; or

(c) (b) a regularly scheduled or special election when another election in the political subdivision is taking place at the polls on the same day.

(4) (a) Except as provided in subsection (4)(b), if more than one mail ballot election is being conducted in the political subdivision on the same day, the county election administrator shall conduct the elections.

(b) The requirement that a county election administrator shall conduct more than one mail ballot election on the same day does not apply to a mail ballot school bond election conducted by the trustees of any two or more school districts that have unified pursuant to 20-6-312 or that have created a joint board of trustees pursuant to 20-3-361.”

NEW SECTION. Section 2: Duties of Election Administrator (1) If an election administrator conducts the election by mail: (a) the election administrator shall ensure that voting systems are available at accessible sites on election day for voters with disabilities based on the number of registered electors in the county, with at least:

      (i) one site for 1 to 5,000 registered electors;

      (ii) two sites for 5,001 to 10,000 registered electors;

      (iii) three sites for 10,001 to 20,000 registered electors; and 

      (iv) four sites for 20,001 or more registered electors.

(b) the election administrator shall allow a registered voter, whose name does not appear on the list of voters verified as having returned a mail ballot, to vote on election day at the accessible sites described in (1)(a).

NEW SECTION. Section 3: Codification instruction. Section 2 is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 13, chapter 19, and the provisions of Title 13, apply to Chapter 2.

NEW SECTION. Section 4: Severability. If a part of this act is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of the act is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid parts.

- END -


 


 

 

 

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