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SENATE BILL NO. 291
INTRODUCED BY W. CRISMORE
AN ACT REVISING THE FILING AND VOTE COUNTING REQUIREMENTS FOR PRECINCT OFFICERS; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 13-10-211 AND 13-15-202, MCA.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 13-10-211, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-10-211. Declaration of intent for write-in candidates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person seeking to become a write-in candidate for an office in any election shall file a declaration of intent. The declaration of intent must be filed with the secretary of state or election administrator, depending on where a declaration of nomination for the desired office is required to be filed under 13-10-201, or with the school district clerk for a school district office. Except as provided in subsection (2), the declaration must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on the 15th day before the election and must contain:
(a) (i) the candidate's first and last names;
(ii) the candidate's initials, if any, used instead of a first name, or first and middle name, and the candidate's last name;
(iii) the candidate's nickname, if any, used instead of a first name, and the candidate's last name; and
(iv) a derivative or diminutive name, if any, used instead of a first name, and the candidate's last name;
(b) the candidate's mailing address;
(c) a statement declaring the candidate's intention to be a write-in candidate;
(d) the title of the office sought;
(e) the date of the election;
(f) the date of the declaration; and
(g) the candidate's signature.
(2) A declaration of intent may be filed after the deadline provided for in subsection (1) but no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election if, less than 15 days before the election, a candidate for the office that the write-in candidate is seeking:
(b) withdraws from the election; or
(c) is charged with a felony offense.
(3) The secretary of state shall notify each election administrator of the names of write-in candidates who have filed a declaration of intent with the secretary of state. Each election administrator and school district clerk shall notify the election judges in the county or district of the names of write-in candidates who have filed a declaration of intent.
(4) The requirements in subsection (1) do not apply to a write-in candidate seeking election
: (a) as a precinct officer in a primary election; or (b) to an office for which no a candidate has not filed a declaration or petition for nomination or a declaration of intent."
Section 2. Section 13-15-202, MCA, is amended to read:
"13-15-202. Counting votes cast -- pollbook. (1) (a) When the procedures required by 13-15-201 are completed, the election judges shall count and determine the votes cast for each individual, except as provided in subsection (1)(b).
(b) The judges may not count or record write-in votes for candidates who have not filed a declaration of intent as provided in 13-10-211, except for write-in votes cast:
(i) for the office of precinct committeeman or committeewoman in a primary election; (ii)(i) for an office for which no a candidate has not filed a declaration or petition for nomination or a declaration of
intent; or (iii)(ii) on a federal write-in absentee ballot as provided in 13-13-273.
(2) In counting, the ballots
shall must be opened singly by one of the election judges and the contents read aloud to the
(3) A ballot or part of a ballot is void and may not be counted if the elector's choice cannot be determined. If part of a ballot is sufficiently plain to determine the elector's intention, the election judges shall count that part. Except as provided in 13-10-211(4), a write-in vote may be counted only if the write-in vote identifies an individual by any of the designations filed pursuant to 13-10-211(1)(a).
(4) As the ballots are read, two judges
must shall write on a tally sheet the name of every individual and the office voted
for and keep tallies of the number of votes for each individual, except as provided in subsection (1)(b).
(5) The tally sheets
shall must be compared and their correctness ascertained, and the judges shall immediately write in
(a) the names of all individuals who received votes;
(b) the offices for which they received votes;
(c) the total votes received by each individual as shown by the tally sheets.
(6) In making the count in precincts where voting machines are used, the votes cast by absentee ballot
shall must be
added to the votes cast on the voting machines.
(7) A ballot or vote rejected by the election judges may not be included in the count."
- END -
Latest Version of SB 291 (SB0291.ENR)
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