Montana "Right to Life" initiative already turning in signatures day before deadline

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June 17, 2010

By Al Ortiz

GALLATIN COUNTY, Montana: Signatures are apparently being turned in to county courthouses during the days leading up to the June 18, 2010 petition drive deadline, as Ballotpedia contacted the Gallatin County Elections Department to find out that the Montana ProLife Coalition has submitted a portion of signatures in hopes of gaining ballot access in November. As of 11 a.m. today, the initiative has had a total of 690 signatures counted and verified in Gallatin County.

The effort to submit signatures by the coalition is currently happening statewide, as the group told Ballotpedia that they have been submitting signatures in an ongoing basis throughout state counties this week and plan to do so all day today and Friday in lieu of the 5 p.m. cut off. The initiative effort is being spearheaded by Dr. Annie Bukacek, who is the head of the organization. The initiated constitutional amendment, according to its potential ballot language, proposes to define a “person” as from the "beginning of the biological development of that human being" and that no "person" shall be deprived of life. The group needs to turn in the required 48,673 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The initiative was filed with the Montana Secretary of State four times as Issue #2, Issue #3, Issue #4 and Issue #5. Steve Bullock, Montana's Attorney General, approved the ballot language of Issue #4, also known as CI-102, during the week of September 4, 2009. The main opposition that the proposed amendment faces is the Helena-based NARAL/Pro-Choice Montana. In the event that supporters do get sufficient signatures, opponents stated a confidence that Montana voters will reject the amendment.

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