Montana Prohibit Warrantless Digital Communication Searches Initiative (2014)

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The Montana Prohibit Warrantless Digital Communication Searches, Initiative 113 (2014) was not on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Montana as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure would have prohibited warrantless searches of digital communications and prohibit general warrants.[1]

Former Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger (D) sponsored the initiative.[1]

Text of measure

The ballot question would have read as follows:[2]

CI-113 amends Article II, Section 11 of the Montana Constitution to prohibit warrantless searches by the state government of electronic or digital communications, including records obtained in the normal course of business by internet, telephone and other service providers. CI-113 further prohibits the issuance of general warrants authorizing state law enforcement officers to search unspecified places or persons or to seize unspecified records.

[ ] YES on Constitutional Initiative CI-113.
[ ] NO on Constitutional Initiative CI-113.[3]

Constitutional changes

The proposed amendment would have amended Section 11 of Article V of the Constitution of Montana to read as:[2]

Section 11. Searches and seizures. The people shall be secure in their persons, papers, communications in any form, including digital, homes and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures, or from any form of interception, reproduction, or storage of communications, including digital communications, that is not authorized by a warrant. No warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing shall issue without describing the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized, or without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation reduced to writing. There shall be no issuance of general warrants.

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Montana

Former Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger (D) sponsored the initiative and submitted documents to the Office of the Secretary of State on December 10, 2013. The measure was approved for circulation on February 21, 2014.[1]

Supporters needed to collect valid signatures from ten percent of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial general election, including ten percent of the voters in each of the forty legislative house districts. In total, supporters were required to collect 48,349 valid signatures. Those signatures needed to be submitted by the petition drive deadline on June 20, 2014.

The initiative did not meet the signature threshold to make the ballot.[4]

See also

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Additional reading

References


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