MONTANA SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICE

HELENA – Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch recently announced that candidate filing for the 2014 elections opens Jan. 9, 2014.

Due to the Redistricting Plan adopted by the 2013 Legislature, McCulloch encourages all legislative candidates to carefully check the newly drawn House and Senate boundaries to determine their eligibility.

“Our state is better served when we have folks with varying strengths in each race,” Secretary McCulloch said. “There are a lot of open seats and candidates have plenty of opportunity to file online, in person, by fax or by mail anytime between Jan. 9 and March 10.”

A record 155 candidates filed for office on opening day in 2012, up from 106 filings on opening day in 2010. The office received a total of 439 filings in 2012 and a total of 379 filings in 2010.

“We’re gearing up for another busy election season,” Secretary McCulloch said. “We’re ready. Candidates are ready. Everyone’s looking forward to opening day.”

When filing, each candidate must affirm that he or she is qualified to hold the office, McCulloch said. Qualifications and fees vary by seat, as do the signature requirements for Independent, Minor Party and Indigent candidates.

Write-in candidates are also required to file for office and pay the applicable filing fee in order to be eligible for the election. In the rare case where no candidate files for an open office, county election administrators will tally the votes for all names written on the ballot.

Detailed candidate information, district maps and a list of holdover Senators are available at sos.mt.goc/Elections. Campaign finance and practice questions should be directed to the Commissioner of Political Practices at (406) 444-2942.