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Citizen Initiatives fail to qualify for November ballot

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HELENA – Montana Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch has completed tabulating petition signatures for the 2014 ballot issues, and no citizen-proposed issue has qualified to appear on the November general election ballot.

“We haven’t had a general election without a citizen initiative on the ballot since 1972,” McCulloch said. “That’s the same year voters approved the current Montana Constitution.”

The signature gathering requirements provided in state law for a citizen-proposed initiative or referendum are 5 percent of the total number of qualified voters in Montana, including 5 percent of the voters in 34 of the 100 legislative house districts in the state.

“Absentee voting has probably changed things,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Signature gatherers usually set up shop outside polling places for school and primary elections, and now there just aren’t as many people around to sign the petitions.”

Per Montana law, county election offices had until 5 p.m. on July 18 to submit certified signatures for constitutional and statutory initiatives to the Secretary of State’s Office for tabulation. Twelve citizen initiatives were approved for signature gathering among the eighteen submitted proposals.

Two legislative referenda will appear on the ballot, as referred by the 2013 Montana Legislature. “It’s important to read the ballot language carefully and review the Voter Information Pamphlet before casting your vote,” McCulloch said.

The VIP contains detailed information on qualified ballot issues and county election offices will mail the booklet in October to every household with at least one registered voter. The VIP will also be available online and by request in alternative accessible formats including Braille, audio and large print.

Visit to review 2014 Ballot Issue signature totals.

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