Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

July 16, 2010

CONTACT INFORMATION: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807

Certified Ballot Issue Petitions Due Today;
Secretary of State’s Office To Release Final Signature Totals Next Week

HELENA – Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch says Montana law requires counties to submit all certified ballot issue petitions to the Secretary of State’s Office before 5 p.m. today - Friday, July 16. (13-27-104, MCA)

Counties certify ballot issue petitions by checking the names and signatures of the signers to verify they are registered electors of their county. (13-27-303, MCA)

The Secretary of State’s Office verifies that each certified petition meets statutory requirements before tallying the signatures to see which ballot issue proposals will qualify to be placed on the November 2, 2010 general election ballot. (13-27-307, MCA)

“Our elections staff has been working around the clock, and will continue to work through the weekend, to verify and tally the remaining signatures,” Secretary McCulloch said. “We received more than 25,000 signatures just this week.”

The most recent signature totals for the 11 ballot issue proposals that qualified for signature gathering are listed below. For any ballot issues that qualify, the signature totals at the time of qualification will be certified to the Governor and released publicly next week.

Unofficial Petition Signature Tallies

Ballot  Issue

Number of Signatures Required

Number of Accepted Signatures Received by SOS

Number of Legislative Districts Qualified

I-160

24,337

20,318

32 of 34

I-161

24,337

24,270

32 of 34

I-162

24,337

0

0 of 34

I-163

24,337

504

0 of 34

I-164

24,337

20,321

41 of 34

I-165

24,337

8,482

10 of 34

CI-102

48,674

29,938

12 of 40

CI-103

48,674

1,261

0 of 40

CI-104

48,674

11

0 of 40

CI-105

48,674

44,645

43 of 40

CI-106

48,674

0

0 of 40

At least one proposal is guaranteed to appear on the November general election ballot. The Montana Constitution requires the question of holding an unlimited constitutional convention to be submitted to voters every 20 years. (Article XIV) The ballot language can be accessed on the Secretary of State’s website at sos.mt.gov/Elections. The proposal is listed under “Current Ballot Issues” in the left column of the page.

“The initiative and referendum process provides additional assurance that our government reflects the will of the people,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Voters are able to voice their opinions on important issues by signing their name to petitions or by voting for approved proposals on the general election ballot. Every vote counts, and every vote is a voice heard.”

The Secretary of State’s Office received 26 ballot issue proposals for the 2010 general election ballot. Eleven proposals were approved for signature gathering after meeting the legal and language requirements provided in Montana law.