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HOUSE BILL NO. 490
INTRODUCED BY S. ANDERSON, T. BECK, E. BERGSAGEL, J. BOHLINGER, V. COCCHIARELLA, B. CRIPPEN, E. FRANKLIN, D. FUCHS, B. GLASER, D. GRIMES, L. GROSFIELD, M. HALLIGAN, D. HARGROVE, J. HARP, J. HERTEL, B. KEENAN, D. MCGEE, A. MOHL, K. OHS, D. SHEA, F. THOMAS, C. YOUNKIN
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT CHANGING THE DATE OF THE MONTANA PRESIDENTIAL
PREFERENCE PRIMARY ELECTION TO THE FIRST FRIDAY AFTER THE FIRST
SUNDAY MONDAY IN
MARCH IN ORDER TO COINCIDE WITH A PROPOSED WESTERN REGIONAL PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE
PRIMARY ELECTION; CHANGING THE DATE OF REGULAR SCHOOL ELECTIONS AND THE ANNUAL
ELECTION DATE FOR CERTAIN POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO COINCIDE WITH THE DATE OF THE
PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY ELECTION; ALLOWING THE PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE
PRIMARY AND SCHOOL ELECTIONS TO BE HELD BY MAIL BALLOTS; PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION;
AMENDING SECTIONS 13-1-104, 13-10-201, 13-10-209, 13-10-401, 13-10-402, 13-10-403, 13-10-405, AND
13-13-205, 20-3-304, 20-3-321, 20-20-105, AND 20-20-401, MCA ; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES."
WHEREAS, presidential preference primaries conducted in western states other than California have had little impact upon national politics, owing in part to the fact that those primaries have been conducted at different times and at times late in the presidential nominating process; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the small impact of western preference primaries, presidential candidates spend little time campaigning in western states other than California; and
WHEREAS, if the dates of the presidential preference primaries in western states were all held on the same date and were all moved to a date earlier in the presidential nominating process, western states' primaries as a group would have more effect upon national politics and presidential candidates would respond by campaigning more often in western states and campaigning on issues of concern to westerners; and
WHEREAS, certain members of the legislatures from most western states convened a western regional presidential
preference primary task force meeting on November 16 and 17, 1998, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the members of the task
force agreed that the first Friday after the first
Sunday MONDAY in March in the year of presidential elections would be an
optimal date for holding presidential preference primaries in western states in order to give the presidential preference
primaries as a group more political effect; and
WHEREAS, legislation is necessary to change the date of the Montana presidential preference primary from the date of
other regular party primaries held in June to the first Friday after the first
Sunday MONDAY in March in presidential
election years and thereby allow Montana to participate in the western regional presidential preference primary ; and WHEREAS, changing the date of regular school elections to coincide with the date of the presidential preference
primary will make the presidential preference primary as inexpensive as possible.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 13-1-104, MCA, is amended to read: "13-1-104. Times for holding general elections. (1) A general election shall must be held throughout the state in every
even-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November to vote on ballot issues required by Article III,
section 6, or Article XIV, section 8, of the Montana constitution to be submitted by the legislature to the electors at a
general election, unless an earlier date is provided in a law authorizing a special election on an initiative or referendum
pursuant to Article III, section 6, and to elect federal officers, state or multicounty district officers, members of the
legislature, judges of the district court, and county officers when the terms of such those offices will expire before the next
scheduled election for the offices or when one of the offices must be filled for an unexpired term as provided by law. (2) A general election shall must be held throughout the state in every odd-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the
first Monday in November to elect municipal officers, officers of political subdivisions wholly within one county and not
required to hold annual elections, and any other officers specified by law for election in odd-numbered years when the term
for the offices will expire before the next scheduled election for the offices or when one of the offices must be filled for an
unexpired term as provided by law. (3) The general election for any political subdivision, other than a municipality, required to hold elections annually shall
must be held on school election day, the first Tuesday Friday after the first Sunday of April March of each year, and is
subject to the election procedures provided for in 13-1-401. (4) The general election for a municipality required to hold elections annually may be held either on school election day
as provided in subsection (3) or on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, at the discretion of the governing
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Presidential preference primary election -- secretary of state to reimburse counties
for costs of election. In a year in which a presidential preference primary is held pursuant to 13-10-401, each county
election administrator shall, within 30 days after the election, or in the case of a recount, within 30 days after the recount or
the issuance of a second certificate of election pursuant to 13-16-418, certify the cost of the election to the secretary of
state. The secretary of state shall reimburse the certified amount to the election administrator.
The election administrator
shall reimburse the trustees of a school district, from money paid by the secretary of state pursuant to this section, for
expenses certified to the administrator by the trustees for expenses incurred by the trustees in administering a part of the
presidential preference primary election. NEW SECTION. Section 3. Administration of presidential preference primary election -- county to agree with
school districts -- costs. In a year in which a presidential preference primary election is held in conjunction with school
elections, the trustees of each school district shall agree with the county election administrator of each county on their
respective duties for the administration of the election. If costs are incurred by the trustees as a result of administration of a
part of the presidential preference primary election, those costs may be certified to the county election administrator and
must be reimbursed by the election administrator pursuant to [section 2].
Section 2. Section 13-10-201, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-201. Declaration for nomination. (1) Each candidate in the primary election, except nonpartisan candidates filing under the provisions of chapter 14, shall send a declaration for nomination to the secretary of state or election administrator. Each candidate for governor shall send a joint declaration for nomination with a candidate for lieutenant governor.
(2) A declaration for nomination must be filed in the office of:
(a) the secretary of state for placement of a name on the ballot for the presidential preference primary, a congressional office, a state or district office to be voted for in more than one county, a member of the legislature, or a judge of the district court;
(b) the election administrator for a county, municipal, precinct, or district office (other than a member of the legislature or judge of the district court) to be voted for in only one county.
(3) Each candidate shall sign the declaration and send with it the required filing fee or, in the case of an indigent candidate, send with it the documents required by 13-10-203. The declaration for nomination must be acknowledged by an officer empowered to acknowledge signatures if sent by mail or by the officer of the office at which the filing is made.
(4) The declaration, when filed, is conclusive evidence that the elector is a candidate for nomination by the elector's party.
(5) (a) The declaration for nomination must be in the form and contain the information prescribed by the secretary of state.
(b) A person seeking nomination to the legislature shall provide the secretary of state with a street address, legal description, or road designation to indicate the person's place of residence. If a candidate for the legislature changes residence, the candidate shall, within 15 days after the change, notify the secretary of state on a form prescribed by the secretary of state.
(c) The secretary of state and election administrator shall furnish declaration for nomination forms to individuals requesting them.
(6) Declarations for nomination must be filed no sooner than 135 days before the election in which the office first appears on the ballot and no later than 5 p.m., 75 days before the date of the primary election.
(7) A declaration for nomination of a candidate for the presidential preference primary election may be filed no sooner and no later than as provided in subsection (6) of this section before the date of the primary as provided in 13-10-401."
Section 3. Section 13-10-209, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-209. Arrangement of ballots. (1) (a)
Ballots Except as provided in 13-10-403, ballots for a primary election
shall must be arranged and printed in the same manner and number as provided in chapter 12 for general election ballots,
except there shall must be separate ballots for each political party entitled to participate. The name of the political party
shall must be printed at the top of the separate ballot for that party and need not be printed opposite each candidate's name.
(b) Nonpartisan offices and ballot issues may be printed on separate ballots or may appear on the same ballot as partisan offices if:
(i) each section is clearly identified as separate; and
such the nonpartisan offices and ballot issues appear on each party's ballot.
(2) It is not necessary to print a primary ballot for a political party
which that does not have candidates for more than
half of the offices on the ballot in even-year elections if no more than one candidate files for nomination by that party for
any of the offices on the ballot. The secretary of state shall certify that no a primary election is not necessary for that party if
such that is the case and shall certify or instruct the election administrator to certify the names of the candidates for that
party for the general election ballot only.
(3) The separate ballots for each party
shall must be the same size and color. The stubs of each set of party ballots shall
must bear the same number. If printed as a separate ballot, the nonpartisan ballot shall must be a different size or color than
the party ballots, but the stubs shall must be numbered in the same order as the party ballots.
(4) If a ballot issue is to be voted on at a primary election, it may be placed on the nonpartisan ballot or a separate
ballot. A separate ballot may be a different size and color than the other ballots in the election, but the stubs
shall must be
numbered in the same order.
(5) Each elector shall receive a set of party ballots and a nonpartisan and a ballot issue ballot if
such the ballots are
Section 4. Section 13-10-401, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-401. Date of presidential preference primary election. In the years in which a president of the United States
is to be elected, a presidential preference primary election
will must be held on the same day as the primary provided for in
13-1-107 first Friday after the first Sunday MONDAY in March."
Section 5. Section 13-10-402, MCA, is amended to read:
The (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the THE regular party primary ballots shall must be
used for the presidential preference primary election. The presidential section of the ballot shall must be placed before any
other section , national, state, or listing local candidates for election. (2) The presidential preference primary election may be conducted by mail ballot in accordance with Title 13, chapter
Section 6. Section 13-10-403, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-403. Form of ballot. The form of the presidential preference ballot
shall must be specified by the secretary of
state, must list all candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of this part, and shall must, in addition, include a
presidential ballot position which shall that must be designated as "no preference" and a blank write-in space."
Section 7. Section 13-10-405, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-405. Submission and verification of petition. Petitions of nomination for the presidential preference primary
election and the affidavits of circulation required by 13-27-302 must be presented to the election administrator of the
county in which the signatures are gathered at least 1 week before the presidential preference primary election filing
deadline prescribed in 13-10-201
(6)(7). A filing fee is not required. The election administrator shall verify the signatures in
the manner prescribed in 13-27-303 through 13-27-308 and must shall forward the petitions to the secretary of state."
Section 8. Section 13-13-205, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-13-205. When ballots to be available. (1) The election administrator shall ensure that ballots are printed and available for absentee voting at least 45 days prior to an election for those elections held in compliance with 13-1-104(1) and (3) and 13-1-107(1).
(2) For elections held in compliance with 13-1-104(2)
and (3) and 13-1-107(2), the election administrator shall ensure
that ballots are printed and available for absentee voting at least 20 days prior to an election." Section 11. Section 20-3-304, MCA, is amended to read: "20-3-304. Annual election. In each district an election of trustees shall must be conducted annually on the regular
school election day, the first Tuesday of April Friday after the first Sunday in March. Election of trustees shall must comply
with the election provisions of Title 13 and this title." Section 12. Section 20-3-321, MCA, is amended to read: "20-3-321. Organization and officers. (1) The trustees of each district shall annually organize as a governing board of
the district after the regular election day and after the issuance of the election certificates to the newly elected trustees, but
not later than the third Saturday of April March. In order to organize, the trustees of the district shall must be given notice
of the time and place where the organization meeting will be held, and at such that meeting they shall choose one of their
number as the chairman presiding officer. In addition, except for the trustees of a high school district operating a county
high school, the trustees shall employ and appoint a competent person, who is not a member of the trustees, as the clerk of
the district. The trustees of a high school district operating a county high school shall appoint a secretary, who shall must be
a member of the board. (2) The chairman presiding officer of the trustees of any district shall serve until the next organization meeting and shall
preside at all the meetings of the trustees in accordance with the customary rules of order. He The presiding officer shall
perform the duties prescribed by this title and any other duties that normally pertain to such the officer." Section 13. Section 20-20-105, MCA, is amended to read: "20-20-105. Regular school election day and special school elections. The first Tuesday of April Friday after the first
Sunday of March of each year shall be is the regular school election day. Unless otherwise provided by law, special school
elections may be conducted at such times as determined by the trustees. The election may be held by mail ballot in
accordance with Title 13, chapter 19." Section 14. Section 20-20-401, MCA, is amended to read: "20-20-401. Trustees' election duties -- ballot certification. (1) The trustees are the general supervisors of school
elections unless the trustees request and the county election administrator agrees to conduct a school election under
20-20-417. (2) Not less than 15 50 days before an election, the clerk of the district shall prepare a certified list of the names of all
candidates entitled to be on the ballot and the official wording for each ballot issue. The clerk shall arrange for printing the
ballots. Ballots for absentee voting must be printed and available at least 11 45 days before the election, except as provided
in 20-9-426(2) for a bond election not held in conjunction with a school election. Names of candidates on school election
ballots need not be rotated. (3) Before the opening of the polls, the trustees shall cause each polling place to be supplied with the ballots and
supplies necessary to conduct the election." NEW SECTION. Section 9. Appropriation -- REVERSION OF UNSPENT APPROPRIATION. (1) There is
appropriated $188,000 $527,584 from the general fund to the office of the secretary of state for the fiscal year beginning
July 1, 1999, and for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2000 BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2001, for the purposes of [this
act]. (2) MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS SECTION FOR THE PURPOSES OF [THIS ACT] THAT IS NOT SPENT
BY JULY 1, 2001, REVERTS TO THE GENERAL FUND.
NEW SECTION. Section 9. Codification instruction.
(1) [Section 2 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of
Title 13, chapter 1, part 2, and the provisions of Title 13, chapter 1, part 2, apply to [section 2 1]. (2) [Section 3] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 13, chapter 1, part 3, and the provisions of Title 13,
chapter 1, part 3, apply to [section 3]. (3) [Section 3] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 20, chapter 1, part 1, and the provisions of Title 20,
chapter 1, part 1, apply to [section 3]. NEW SECTION. Section 17. Effective dates -- contingency. (1) This section is effective October 1, 1999. (2) [Sections 1 through 16] are effective on the date that the secretary of state makes the certification to the governor
required by subsection (3)(b). If the secretary of state does not make the certification required by subsection (3)(b),
[sections 1 through 16] are void. (3) (a) The secretary of state shall determine as soon as possible but no later than February 1, 2000, whether or not six
of the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming have passed or are extremely likely to
pass legislation, if legislation is necessary, or have taken other steps as needed if legislation is unnecessary, to hold a
presidential preference primary election on the first Friday after the first Sunday in March 2000. (b) If the secretary of state determines that six of the states listed in subsection (3)(a) will hold or are extremely likely to
hold a presidential preference primary election on the first Friday after the first Sunday in March 2000, the secretary of state
shall certify that fact to the governor.
- END -
Latest Version of HB 490 (HB0490.05)
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