House Bill No. 182
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act relating to general elections in which a candidate dies shortly before the election; providing for election of the governor or lieutenant governor when there is a vacancy in the candidacy; providing methods for correction of ballots; providing for voting in person by electors who have requested absentee ballots; providing a method of correcting and voting absentee ballots; providing for request of an absentee ballot; requiring the opening of absentee ballots after closing of the polls in certain instances; and amending sections 13-10-327, 13-10-328, 13-12-204, 13-13-204, 13-13-212, 13-13-241, and 13-25-101, MCA ."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 13-10-327, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-327. Vacancy after primary and prior to general election. (1)
If Except as provided in 13-10-328 for a vacancy
in the candidacy of either governor or lieutenant governor caused by the death of a candidate, if a party candidate dies or
withdraws after the primary and before the general election, the affected political party shall appoint someone to replace the
candidate in one of the following ways:
(a) For offices to be filled by the state at large, the state central committee shall make the appointment as provided by the rules of the party.
(b) For offices to be filled in districts including more than one county, a committee appointed by the county central
committees of all counties in the district shall make the appointment. Procedures for the appointment of the committee and
making the appointment
shall must be provided in party rules.
(c) For offices to be filled in counties, municipalities, or districts wholly within a county, the appointment
shall must be
made under rules adopted by the county central committee.
Appointments Except as provided in this section, appointments to fill vacancies must be made no later than 75 days
before the election. A candidate may not officially withdraw 85 days or less before a general election. However, if a
candidate for partisan office dies less than 85 days before the general election, the affected political party shall appoint a
candidate within 5 days after being notified of the vacancy. The One of the procedures provided in 13-12-204 shall must
be used to place the name of the appointee on the ballot if necessary.
(3) The appointing committee shall send a certificate to the officer with whom a declaration for nomination for the office would be filed, with the information required on a declaration for nomination and the name of the candidate for whom the appointee is to be substituted. The appointee shall send a signed and acknowledged acceptance of the appointment and the filing fee for the office.
(4) The officer receiving the certificate of appointment, accompanied by a statement of acceptance and the filing fee, shall certify the name of the appointee for the ballot."
Section 2. Section 13-10-328, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-328. Vacancy in governor or lieutenant governor candidacy.
The (1) Except as provided in this section, death
or withdrawal of a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor does not affect the candidacy of the other joint candidate.
(2) If a candidate for the office of governor dies less than 85 days before a general election, the candidate for lieutenant governor must be advanced on the ballot to the candidacy for governor and the candidate for governor shall select an individual to be a candidate for lieutenant governor. If a candidate for the office of lieutenant governor dies less than 85 days before a general election, the candidate for governor shall select an individual to be a candidate for lieutenant governor. The name of a candidate for governor or a candidate for lieutenant governor, or both, designated or selected pursuant to this section, must be certified to the election administrators by the secretary of state, and one of the procedures provided in 13-12-204 must be used to place the name of the new candidate on the ballot."
Section 3. Section 13-12-204, MCA, is amended to read:
Labels to be printed and distributed where vacancy has been filled Method of correction of ballot. (1)
If an appointment has been made to replace a candidate, as provided in 13-10-326 or, 13-10-327, or 13-10-328, or if a
candidate for lieutenant governor has been advanced to the candidacy for governor, as provided in 13-10-328, after the
ballots have been printed but before the election, the election administrator:
(1) shall order labels printed containing the name of the new
nominee candidate and any other information required to go
on the ballot. (2) The If labels are printed, the election administrator shall affix the labels in the proper place on each ballot or deliver the
labels to the chief election judges to be affixed in the proper place on each ballot before it is given to the elector.
(2) must have the entire ballot reprinted; or
(3) must have a separate ballot prepared only for the office for which the new candidate is a candidate."
Section 4. Section 13-13-204, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-13-204. Authority to vote in person -- printing error or ballot destroyed -- failure to receive ballot -- effect of
absentee elector's death. (1) If an elector has voted by absentee ballot but the absentee ballot contains printing errors or
, or contains the name of a candidate who has died since the printing of the ballot, the elector may vote in person
in any manner at his the elector's polling place.
(2) If an elector does not receive
his an absentee ballot or if the absentee ballot was destroyed, he the elector may appear at
his the appropriate polling place on election day and vote in person after signing an affidavit, in the form prescribed by the
secretary of state, swearing that his the elector's ballot has not been received or was destroyed. Before the ballot is given to
the elector, the election judge shall write upon the back of the ballot the number of the ballot. The ballot may be cast out if
it appears to the court to have been wrongfully or illegally voted.
(3) If an elector votes by absentee ballot and dies between the time of balloting and election day,
his the deceased elector's
ballot does not count."
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Manner of voting by elector in general election when candidate has died. An elector voting in a general election in which a candidate other than a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor has died after the primary election but before the general election may, if the elector receives an absentee ballot that has not been corrected by one of the methods provided in 13-12-204, cross out the name of the deceased candidate and write in the name of a new candidate who has been designated or selected as a candidate in accordance with this title.
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Counting of absentee ballot for deceased joint candidate in general election. (1) An absentee ballot voted in a general election, as provided in subsection (2) or (3), for a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor who dies after printing of the ballot but before the election must be counted as provided in subsection (2) or (3).
(2) A vote for a deceased candidate for governor must be counted as a vote for the lieutenant governor candidate as governor and as a vote for the candidate chosen pursuant to 13-10-328 for lieutenant governor.
(3) A vote for a deceased candidate for lieutenant governor must be counted as a vote for the candidate chosen pursuant to 13-10-328 for lieutenant governor.
Section 7. Section 13-13-212, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-13-212. Application for absentee ballot. (1) Application for absentee ballots
shall must be made by a written
request signed by the applicant and addressed to or transmitted by facsimile to the election administrator of the applicant's
county of residence.
(2) Application for an absentee ballot may be made by any elector in the United States service by the federal
postcard application or by any written request signed by the applicant and addressed to or transmitted by facsimile to the
election administrator of the applicant's county of residence.
(3) If an elector requests an absentee ballot because of a sudden illness or health emergency, the application for an absentee
ballot may be made by written request signed by the elector at the time that the ballot is delivered in person by the special
absentee election board provided for in 13-13-225.
Such The elector may request by telephone, facsimile transmission, or
other means to have a ballot and application personally delivered to him by the special absentee election board at his the
elector's place of confinement, hospitalization, or residence within the county. Such a A request may be made no later than
noon on election day.
(4) An elector who has made a request for an absentee ballot by one of the methods provided in this section may, in the event of the death of a candidate after the primary election but before the general election, make a request for a replacement ballot. The request for a replacement ballot may be made orally to the election administrator."
Section 8. Section 13-13-241, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-13-241. Examination of absentee ballot envelopes and affirmations while polls open -- deposit of absentee and unvoted ballots -- examination of ballots in election in which candidate has died. (1) While the polls are open, the election judges may, except as provided in this section, compare the signature of the elector on the absentee ballot request and affirmation. If they find that the signatures correspond, that the affirmation is sufficient, and that the absentee elector is qualified, they may open the absentee ballot envelope.
(2) If the absentee ballot does not meet the requirements specified in subsection (1), it must be rejected. The election judges, without opening the absentee ballot envelope, shall mark across it the reason for rejection and a majority of the judges shall sign their initials. Unopened rejected absentee ballot envelopes must be handled in the same manner as provided for rejected ballots in 13-13-243.
(3) After opening the absentee envelope and without unfolding the ballots or permitting them to be examined, the election judges shall ascertain whether the stubs are attached or enclosed and whether the numbers correspond to the numbers in the certificate of the election administrator. If so, they shall detach the stubs and deposit the stubs and ballots in the proper ballot boxes. In a primary election, the unvoted ballots must be deposited in the unvoted ballot box without being removed from their enclosure envelope.
(4) If upon opening the absentee ballot envelope it is found that the number does not correspond to the number on the certificate of the election administrator, the ballot must be rejected. The reason for rejection must be marked on the back of the ballot or ballots, and the statement must be initialed by a majority of the election judges.
(5) Election judges in an election in which a candidate has died after absentee ballots have been printed but before election day may not examine absentee ballot envelopes while the polls are open."
Section 9. Section 13-25-101, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-25-101. Nomination of electors -- ballot. (1) Each political party qualified under 13-10-601 shall nominate presidential electors for this state and file certificates of nomination for these candidates with the secretary of state in a form prescribed by the secretary of state no later than 75 days before the general election, in the manner and number provided by law. However, in the event of the death of a candidate for president or vice president, a new candidate for president or vice president, or both, may be nominated for the affected political party and certificates of election may be filed with the secretary of state less than 75 days before a general election.
(2) The secretary of state shall certify to the election administrator the names of the candidates for president and vice
president of the several political parties, which must be
printed placed on the ballot by one of the methods provided in
13-12-204. If the name of a new candidate for president or vice president, or both, is certified to the secretary of state in
less than 75 days pursuant to subsection (1), the secretary of state shall immediately certify the new name or names to the
election administrators and the new name or names must be placed on the ballot by one of the methods provided in
(3) The names of candidates for electors of president and vice president may not be printed upon the ballot."
NEW SECTION. Section 10. Codification instruction. (1) [Section 5] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 13, chapter 13, part 1, and the provisions of Title 13, chapter 13, part 1, apply to [section 5].
(2) [Section 6] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 13, chapter 15, and the provisions of Title 13, chapter 15, apply to [section 6].