2019 Montana Legislature
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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11
INTRODUCED BY F. MANDEVILLE
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING AN INTERIM LEGISLATIVE STUDY ON ALTERNATIVE ELECTORAL SYSTEMS IN WHICH A WINNING CANDIDATE WOULD ULTIMATELY EARN A MAJORITY OF THE VOTES.
WHEREAS, Montana uses a plurality electoral system, sometimes called a "winner-take-all" system, in which the candidate with the most votes wins; and
WHEREAS, a plurality electoral system may result in a candidate being elected with less than majority support, which fails what is sometimes called the "Condorcet criterion" used to ensure the winner is the candidate with more than 50% of the votes; and
WHEREAS, other electoral systems are available, such as two-round systems, ranked choice and instant runoff systems, and nonpartisan blanket "jungle" primaries, sometimes called a top-two primary; and
WHEREAS, other states have adopted versions of these alternative electoral systems, such as California and Louisiana with top-two primaries, Georgia with a two-round system, and Maine with a ranked choice instant runoff system; and
WHEREAS, an interim legislative study would facilitate research and discussion about the various aspects of these systems and whether an alternative system would be desirable in Montana.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee, pursuant to section 5-5-217, MCA, to:
(1) gather information on alternative electoral systems;
(2) evaluate the pros and cons of these systems and how these systems are applied in other states; and
(3) if appropriate, develop recommendations to the next legislature for the adoption of an alternative electoral system in Montana.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study facilitate participation by the public and all the various stakeholders.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all aspects of the study, including presentation and review requirements, be concluded prior to September 15, 2020.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the final results of the study, including any findings, conclusions, comments, or recommendations of the appropriate committee, be reported to the 67th Legislature.
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