Signature requirements for ballot measures in Montana
|Laws • History|
|List of measures|
The number of signatures required to qualify a measure for the ballot is tied to how many votes were cast in the last gubernatorial election. To place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, proponents must collect 10% of votes cast for governor in the last gubernatorial general election. For a new state statute or veto referendum, 5% of votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election are required.
Basis of calculation
- Montana held a gubernatorial election in 2012 and 483,489 votes were cast for the office of governor at that time.
- Montana held a gubernatorial election in 2008 and 486,734 votes were cast for the office of governor at that time. The requirements for a 2010 initiated measure in Montana were the same as those for a 2012 initiated measure.
- See also: Distribution requirement
- For a constitutional amendment, signatures had to come from 10 percent of the voters in each of 40 legislative districts. Montana has 100 legislative districts
- For an initiated statute or a veto referendum, signatures had to come from 5% of the voters in each of 34 legislative districts.
Signature validation procedure
In Montana, signed petition sheets are turned in by sponsors on a county-by-county basis to county election officials rather than centrally with the Montana Secretary of State. County officials are required to check the names of all petition signers to verify the registration status of each petition signer. In addition, county election officials are to randomly select signatures on each petition sheet for comparison with the signatures of the electors as they appear in the registration records of the office. If any of the randomly selected signatures do not appear to be genuine, all signatures on that sheet had to be compared with the signatures in the registration records of the office.
- See also: Laws governing recall in Montana
- To recall statewide officers, signatures had to equal 10% of voters for office to be recalled at time of the last election
- For district officers, signatures had to equal 15% of voters for office to be recalled at time of the last election
- See also: Petition drive deadlines, 2014
For the 2010 ballot in Montana:
- The earliest date to circulate petitions for signatures for 2010 ballot issues was June 18, 2009.
- The earliest date to submit signed ballot issue petitions to county election administrators to qualify for the 2010 ballot was October 16, 2009, except for signatures for veto referendum ballot issues.
- Signatures had to have been filed by June 18, 2010.
- Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Idaho
- Laws governing the initiative process in Montana
- States where signature requirements are based on votes cast for governor
- Proposed 2010 ballot measures
- Ballot Issues (dead link), overview of procedures and signature requirements for ballot proposals from the Montana Secretary of State.
- The Power to Recall from the Independent American's website
- NCSL signature chart for 2008
- Montana signature requirements collated by the Citizens in Charge Foundation
- Confirmed with Montana Secretary of State via phone on January 25, 2011. Representative with SOS said that the signature requirements based on electors in the gubernatorial election is correct.
- 2012 Montana Official Election Results
- 2008 Montana Official Election Results
- Confirmed with a representative of the Montana Secretary of State on January 25, 2011 via phone. A representative with the SOS said that the current requirements are based on a court decision 10 years ago mandating the distribution requirement to be calculated by legislative districts
- Montana Secretary of State, "2014 Ballot Issues," accessed December 27, 2013
- Confirmed with MT Secretary of State via phone on 1-26-2011
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