House Bill No. 26

Introduced By cobb

A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act providing two methods of nominating an individual for the presidential preference primary; reducing the number of signatures necessary on a nominating petition; and amending sections 13-10-201 and 13-10-404, MCA.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  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."

Section 2.  Section 13-10-404, MCA, is amended to read:

"13-10-404.   Nomination petition Placement of candidate on primary ballot -- methods of qualification. Before an individual intending to qualify as a presidential candidate may qualify for placement on the ballot, the candidate must be individual shall qualify by one or more of the following methods:

(1) The individual has been nominated on petitions with the verified signatures of at least 2,000 500 qualified electors. The secretary of state is empowered to shall prescribe the form and content of the petition.

(2) The individual has submitted a declaration for nomination to the secretary of state pursuant to 13-10-201, and the secretary of state has determined, by the time that declarations for nomination are to be filed, that the individual is eligible to receive payments pursuant to the federal Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act, 26 U.S.C. 9031, et seq."