Montana signature requirements

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This page details Montana signature requirements. The signatures of registered voters are often required to place candidates or initiatives on the ballot. However, for candidates, filing fees are sometimes required or accepted in lieu of signatures.

Federal offices

U.S. Senate

Partisan candidates for Senate must submit a filing fee of $1,740.[1] Candidates must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least 9 years, and a resident of Montana.[2]

Independent candidates for Senate must submit a petition with 9,993 signatures, equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election.[3] Candidates must still submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee.[3]

Write in candidates for Senate must file a declaration of intent and pay the filing fee at the time of filing.[4] Candidates must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least 9 years, and a resident of Montana.[2]

U.S. House

Partisan candidates for House must submit a filing fee of $1,740.[1] Candidates must have been a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years, and a resident of Montana.[2]

Independent candidates for House must submit a petition with 10,885 signatures, equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election.[3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee.[3]

Write in candidates for House must file a declaration of intent and pay the filing fee at the time of filing.[4] Candidates must have been a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years, and a resident of Montana.[2]

Filing deadlines

2012

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 U.S. Congress elections

Partisan candidates for Senate and House must submit filing fee by March 12, 2012.[5] Independent and write in candidates must also submit forms and filing fees by same filing deadline of March 12, 2012.[3] [2]

State offices

Statewide executive offices

Governor

Partisan candidates for Governor of Montana must be a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Montana for the two years preceding election.[2] They must also pay a filing fee of $1,945.29.[1]

Independent candidates for Governor of Montana must submit a petition with 15,934 signatures.[3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and appropriate filing fee of $1,945.29.[3][1]

Lieutenant Governor

Partisan candidates for Lieutenant Governor of Montana must be a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Montana for the two years preceding election.[2] Candidates must also pay a filing fee of $1,945.29.[1]

Independent candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee.[3]

Secretary of State

Partisan candidates for Secretary of State of Montana must be a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Montana for the two years preceding election.[2] Candidates must also pay a filing fee of $860.18.[1]

Independent candidates for Secretary of State of Montana must submit a petition with 11,686 signatures, equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election. [3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee.[3]

Attorney General

Partisan candidates for Attorney General of Montana must be a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Montana for the two years preceding election.[2] A candidate must be an attorney in good standing admitted to practice law in Montana and in active practice for at least five years before election. [2] Candidates must also pay a filing fee of $1060.99.[1]

Independent candidates for Attorney General of Montana must submit a petition with 12,284 signatures, equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election. [3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee.[3]

State Auditor

Partisan candidates for State Auditor of Montana must be a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Montana for the two years preceding election.[2] Candidates must also pay a filing fee of $860.18.[1]

Independent candidates for State Auditor Montana must submit a petition with 12,327 signatures, equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election. [3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee.[3]

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Partisan candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction of Montana must be a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Montana for the two years preceding election.[2] Candidates must also pay a filing fee of $1046.35.[1]

Independent candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction of Montana must submit a petition with 11,725 signatures, equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election. [3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee.[3]

State legislature

State Senate

Partisan candidates for State Senate must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Montana for at least 1 year, and a resident of the county and/or district they seek to represent for at least 6 months preceding the election.[2] Candidates must also pay a filing fee of $15.00.[1]

Independent candidates for State Senate must submit a petition with signaatures equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election. [3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee of $15.00.[3]

State House

Partisan candidates for State House must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Montana for at least 1 year, and a resident of the county and/or district they seek to represent for at least 6 months preceding the election.[2] Candidates must also pay a filing fee of $15.00.[1]

Independent candidates for State House must submit a petition with signaatures equal to 5% or more of the total votes cast for the successful candidate for the same office at the last general election. [3] Candidates must also submit a declaration and oath of candidacy and pay the filing fee of $15.00.[3]

Filing deadlines

2012

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 state government elections

Partisan, independent, and write in candidates must all file by the filing deadline of March 12, 2012.[2]

Ballot measures

Signature requirements in Montana are based on the number of votes cast for the position of Governor of Montana in the state's most recent gubernatorial election[6].

Signature requirements

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.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 48,349 24,174 24,174
2012 48,673 24,337 24,337
2010 48,673 24,337 24,337
2008 44,615 22,308 22,308

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Montana Constitution, Article III, Section 4 & Article XIV, Sections 9

Basis of calculation

  • Montana held a gubernatorial election in 2008 and 486,734 votes were cast for the office of governor at that time.[7] The state will hold another in 2012; the requirements for a 2010 initiated measure in Montana will be the same as those for a 2012 initiated measure. The requirements will change again after the November 2012 gubernatorial election.

Geographic distribution

See also: Distribution requirement
  • For an initiated statute or a veto referendum, signatures must come from 5% of the voters in each of 34 legislative districts[8].

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 must be compared with the signatures in the registration records of the office.

Recall

See also: Laws governing recall in Montana
  • To recall statewide officers, signatures must equal 10% of voters for office to be recalled at time of the last election
  • For district officers, signatures must equal 15% of voters for office to be recalled at time of the last election

Signature deadlines

2012

The deadline to submit signatures for the 2012 ballot in Montana is September 30, 2011 for veto referendum and June 22, 2012 for initiated state statute and initiated constitutional amendment.[9].

2010

For the 2010 ballot in Montana:

  • The earliest date to circulate petitions for signatures for 2010 ballot issues is June 18, 2009.
  • The earliest date to submit signed ballot issue petitions to county election administrators to qualify for the 2010 ballot is October 16, 2009, except for signatures for veto referendum ballot issues.
  • Signatures must have been filed by June 18, 2010.

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Montana Secretary of State "2012 Offices and Filing Fees" Accessed April 25, 2012
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Montana Secretary of State "Candidate Filing Information" Accessed April 25, 2012
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 Montana Secretary of State "Independent, Minor Party, Candidate Information" Accessed April 25, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Montana Secretary of State "Candidate Calendar 2012" Accessed April 25, 2012
  5. Montana Secretary of State "Major Party and NonPartisan Candidate Information" Accessed April 25, 2012
  6. [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.]
  7. 2008 Montana Official Election Results
  8. 8.0 8.1 [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]
  9. [Confirmed with MT Secretary of State via phone on 1-26-2011]