Signatures beginning to roll in across Montana as initiative drive deadline arrives
By Al Ortiz
HELENA, Montana: Today, June 22, marked the last day that initiative supporters had in Montana to turn in signatures to county elections' offices. Currently, there are five measures being circulated and all but one of them are initiated constitutional amendments. This means that signature requirements are not the same for each one; the proposed constitutional amendments require 48,673 valid signatures and the single initiated state statute requires 24,337.
The four amendments being circulated are the: Juror Prosecution Amendment, Definition of Person Amendment, Marijuana Legalization Amendment, and Initiative Repeal Amendment. And in an interesting twist on "Personhood" measures, the final proposal being circulated is a law seeking to establish that corporations are not human beings with constitutional rights. It is called the Corporate Contributions Initiative because it seeks to ultimately limit corporations' ability to donate to political campaigns.
According to reports, supporters of the Corporate Contributions Initiative, also called I-166, are confident they have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. C.B. Pearson, treasurer of Stand with Montanans, the group that proposed the measure, said that 40,000 signatures have been submitted.
As of 3:00 p.m. CST (1:00 p.m. MST) on June 22, it was reported that four out of the five initiatives had turned in signatures so far. When contacted by Ballotpedia, the Yellowstone County Elections Office stated that three initiatives had turned in signatures. The "definition of a person" initiative, the marijuana legalization amendment, and the corporate contributions amendment.
However, the Montana Secretary of State's website shows that another measure, the juror prosecution amendment had also turned in signatures to select county officials' websites. 105 signatures had so far been turned in for that measure.
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