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     2-16-620. County clerk to verify signatures. (1) The county clerk in each county in which a recall petition is signed shall verify and compare the signatures of each person who has signed the petition to ensure that the person is an elector in that county and, if satisfied that the signatures are genuine, shall certify that fact to the officer with whom the recall petition is to be filed, in substantially the following form:
      To the Honorable ............, Secretary of State of the State of Montana (or name and title of other officer):
      I, ............, ...... (title) of ............ County, certify that I have compared the signatures on ...... sheets (specifying number of sheets) of the petition for recall No. ...... attached, in the manner prescribed by law, and I believe ...... (number) signatures are valid for the purpose of the petition. I further certify that the affidavit of the circulator of the (sheet) (section) of the petition is attached and that the post-office address is completed for each valid signature.
      Signed: ...... (Date) ........(Signature)
      Seal ................ (Title)
     (2) The certificate is prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the certificate, and the secretary of state or other officer receiving the recall petition may consider and count only the signatures that are certified. However, the officer with whom the recall petition is filed shall consider and count any remaining signatures of the registered voters that prove to be genuine, and those signatures must be considered and counted if they are attested to in the manner and form provided for initiative and referendum petitions.
     (3) The county clerk and recorder may not retain any portion of a petition for more than 30 days following the receipt of that portion. At the expiration of that period, the county clerk and recorder shall certify the valid signatures on that portion of the petition and deliver the same to the person with whom the petition is required to be filed.

     History: En. Sec. 11, I.M. No. 73, approved November 2, 1976; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 364, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 59-622; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 159, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 114, Ch. 61, L. 2007.

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