A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT allowing for youth election judges; establishing criteria for youth election judges; establishing limits on the number of youth election judges at polling places and on counting boards and absentee election boards; and AMENDING SECTIONS 13-1-101, 13-4-101, 13-4-102, 13-4-107, 13-13-226, 13-15-112, 20-20-109, AND 20-20-203, MCA."
(4) "Application for voter registration" means a voter registration form prescribed by the secretary of state that is completed and signed by an elector, is submitted to the election administrator, and contains voter registration information subject to verification as provided by law.
(5) "Ballot" means a paper ballot counted manually or a paper ballot counted by a machine, such as an optical scan system or other technology that automatically tabulates votes cast by processing the paper ballots.
(6) (a) "Ballot issue" or "issue" means a proposal submitted to the people at an election for their approval or rejection, including but not limited to an initiative, referendum, proposed constitutional amendment, recall question, school levy question, bond issue question, or ballot question.
(b) For the purposes of chapters 35 and 37, an issue becomes a "ballot issue" upon certification by the proper official that the legal procedure necessary for its qualification and placement on the ballot has been completed, except that a statewide issue becomes a "ballot issue" upon preparation and transmission by the secretary of state of the form of the petition or referral to the person who submitted the proposed issue.
(b) for the purposes of chapter 35, 36, or 37, an individual who has solicited or received and retained contributions, made expenditures, or given consent to an individual, organization, political party, or committee to solicit or receive and retain contributions or make expenditures on the individual's behalf to secure nomination or election to any office at any time, whether or not the office for which the individual will seek nomination or election is known when the:
(i) the receipt by a candidate or a political committee of an advance, gift, loan, conveyance, deposit, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value to support or oppose a candidate or a ballot issue;
(ii) an expenditure, including an in-kind expenditure, that is made in coordination with a candidate or ballot issue committee and is reportable by the candidate or ballot issue committee as a contribution;
(b) The term does not mean services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee or meals and lodging provided by individuals in their private residences for a candidate or other individual.
(10) "Coordinated", including any variations of the term, means made in cooperation with, in consultation with, at the request of, or with the express prior consent of a candidate or political committee or an agent of a candidate or political committee.
(11) "De minimis act" means an action, contribution, or expenditure that is so small that it does not trigger registration, reporting, disclaimer, or disclosure obligations under Title 13, chapter 35 or 37, or warrant enforcement as a campaign practices violation under Title 13, chapter 37.
(13) (a) "Election administrator" means, except as provided in subsection (13)(b), the county clerk and recorder or the individual designated by a county governing body to be responsible for all election administration duties, except that with regard to school elections not administered by the county, the term means the school district clerk.
(b) As used in chapter 2 regarding voter registration, the term means the county clerk and recorder or the individual designated by a county governing body to be responsible for all election administration duties even if the school election is administered by the school district clerk.
(i) an activity or communication for the purpose of encouraging individuals to register to vote or to vote, if that activity or communication does not mention or depict a clearly identified candidate or ballot issue;
(iii) a bona fide news story, commentary, blog, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, internet website, or other periodical publication of general circulation;
(16) (a) "Electioneering communication" means a paid communication that is publicly distributed by radio, television, cable, satellite, internet website, newspaper, periodical, billboard, mail, or any other distribution of printed materials, that is made within 60 days of the initiation of voting in an election, that does not support or oppose a candidate or ballot issue, that can be received by more than 100 recipients in the district voting on the candidate or ballot issue, and that:
(i) a bona fide news story, commentary, blog, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, internet website, or other periodical publication of general circulation unless the facilities are owned or controlled by a candidate or political committee;
(iii) a commercial communication that depicts a candidate's name, image, likeness, or voice only in the candidate's capacity as owner, operator, or employee of a business that existed prior to the candidacy;
(iii) the cost of any bona fide news story, commentary, blog, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication of general circulation; or
(20) "General election" means an election that is held for offices that first appear on a primary election ballot, unless the primary is canceled as authorized by law, and that is held on a date specified in 13-1-104.
(23) (a) "Incidental committee" means a political committee that is not specifically organized or operating for the primary purpose of supporting or opposing candidates or ballot issues but that may incidentally become a political committee by receiving a contribution or making an expenditure.
(b) For the purpose of this subsection (23), the primary purpose is determined by the commissioner by rule and includes criteria such as the allocation of budget, staff, or members' activity or the statement of purpose or goal of the person or individuals that form the committee.
(24) "Independent committee" means a political committee organized for the primary purpose of receiving contributions and making expenditures that is not controlled either directly or indirectly by a candidate and that does not coordinate with a candidate in conjunction with the making of expenditures except pursuant to the limits set forth in 13-37-216(1).
(25) "Independent expenditure" means an expenditure for an election communication to support or oppose a candidate or ballot issue made at any time that is not coordinated with a candidate or ballot issue committee.
(29) "Person" means an individual, corporation, association, firm, partnership, cooperative, committee, including a political committee, club, union, or other organization or group of individuals or a candidate as defined in subsection (8).
(d) A political committee is not formed when a combination of two or more individuals or a person other than an individual makes an election communication, an electioneering communication, or an independent expenditure of $250 or less.
(34) "Political subdivision" means a county, consolidated municipal-county government, municipality, special purpose district, or any other unit of government, except school districts, having authority to hold an election.
(a) allow election officials, upon examination of the outside of the envelope, to determine that the ballot is being submitted by someone who is in fact a qualified elector and who has not already voted; and
(a) using express words, including but not limited to "vote", "oppose", "support", "elect", "defeat", or "reject", that call for the nomination, election, or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates, the election or defeat of one or more political parties, or the passage or defeat of one or more ballot issues submitted to voters in an election; or
(b) otherwise referring to or depicting one or more clearly identified candidates, political parties, or ballot issues in a manner that is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as a call for the nomination, election, or defeat of the candidate in an election, the election or defeat of the political party, or the passage or defeat of the ballot issue or other question submitted to the voters in an election.
"13-4-101. Appointment of election judges. (1) At least 30 days before the primary election in even-numbered years, the county governing body shall appoint three or more election judges for each precinct, one of whom must be designated chief judge.
(a) lists of qualified registered electors in the county, submitted at least 45 days before the primary election in even-numbered years by the county central committees of the political parties eligible to nominate candidates in the primary; and
(b) lists of youth election judges that are maintained by the election administrator and, when possible, developed in cooperation with the local school districts, private schools, and home school organizations.
(2) The list of election judges submitted by each party may contain more names than the number of election judges to be appointed. The names of those not appointed as election judges must be given to the election administrator for use in making appointments to fill vacancies.
(3) Each board of election judges must include judges representing all parties that have submitted lists as provided in subsection (1)(a). No more than the number of election judges needed to obtain a simple majority may be appointed from the list of one political party in each county. If any of the political parties entitled to do so fail to submit a list meeting the requirements of this section, the governing body shall, to the extent possible, appoint judges so that all parties eligible to participate in the primary are represented on each board.
(4) The election administrator shall make appointments to fill vacancies from the list provided for in subsection (2) and from the list of youth election judges. If the list is lists are insufficient or if one or more of the eligible political parties fails to submit a list meeting the requirements of this section, the election administrator may select enough people meeting the qualifications of 13-4-107 to fill election judge vacancies in all precincts.
(5)(6) An elector individual chosen to potentially serve as an election judge must be notified of selection at least 30 days before the primary election in even-numbered years. Each elector individual who agrees to serve as an election judge shall attend a training class conducted under 13-4-203 and shall continue to serve as provided in 13-4-103."
(2)(3) No election judge may be a candidate or a spouse, ascendant, descendant, brother, or sister of a candidate or a candidate's spouse or the spouse of any of these in an election precinct where the candidate's name appears on the ballot. However, this does not apply to candidates for precinct offices.
(3)(4) If a polling place for a precinct is located in the same venue as one or more other precincts, a candidate whose name appears on any ballot being voted on within the venue, an ascendant, descendant, brother, sister, or spouse of the candidate, or a spouse of an ascendant, descendant, brother, or sister of the candidate may not serve as an election judge within the venue."
"13-13-226. Manner of selection. (1) The election administrator may make appointments to an absentee election board from lists of qualified electors and youth election judges in the county prepared in substantially the same manner as provided in 13-4-102. The election administrator may refuse for cause to appoint or may for cause remove a member of an absentee election board.
"13-15-112. Appointment of counting boards. (1) To count votes in any election under this title, when election judges are appointed under 13-4-101, each county's governing body shall designate one or more groups of three of the election judges to act as counting boards. The governing body may also designate one or more groups of three of the election judges to act as absentee ballot counting boards under 13-15-104.
"20-20-203. Resolution for poll hours, polling places, and judges. (1) At the trustee meeting when a school election is called, the trustees shall:
(2)(4) There must be one polling place in each district unless the trustees establish additional polling places. If more than one polling place is established, the trustees shall define the boundaries for each polling place so that the boundaries for each polling place are coterminous with county precinct boundaries existing within a district. If the site of a polling place is changed from the polling place site used for the last preceding school election, special reference to the changed site of the polling place must be included in the notice for the election."
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services