Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Preprimary Procedures

Arrangement And Preparing Of Primary Ballots

13-10-209. Arrangement and preparing of primary ballots. (1) (a) Ballots for a primary election must be arranged and prepared in the same manner and number as provided in chapter 12 for general election ballots, except that there must be separate ballots for each political party entitled to participate. The name of the political party must appear at the top of the separate ballot for that party and need not appear with each candidate's name.

(b) Nonpartisan offices and ballot issues may be prepared on separate ballots or may appear on the same ballot as partisan offices if:

(i) each section is clearly identified as separate; and

(ii) the nonpartisan offices and ballot issues appear on each party's ballot.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), an election administrator does not need to prepare a primary ballot for a political party if:

(a) the party does not have candidates for more than half of the offices to appear on the ballot; and

(b) no more than one candidate files for nomination by that party for any of the offices to appear on the ballot.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to elections for precinct committee offices. If more than one candidate files for a precinct committee office from a party that will not have a primary ballot prepared, that party shall select the candidate to fill the office.

(4) If, pursuant to subsection (2), in a primary election held in an even-numbered year a primary ballot for a political party is not prepared, the secretary of state shall certify that a primary election is unnecessary for that party and shall instruct the election administrator to certify the names of the candidates for that party for the general election ballot only.

(5) The separate ballots for each party must have the same appearance. Each set of party ballots must bear the same number. If prepared as a separate ballot, the nonpartisan ballot may have a different appearance than the party ballots but must be numbered in the same order as the party ballots.

(6) If a ballot issue is to be voted on at a primary election, it may be placed on the nonpartisan ballot or a separate ballot. A separate ballot may have a different appearance than the other ballots in the election but must be numbered in the same order.

(7) Each elector must receive a set of ballots that includes the party, nonpartisan, and ballot issue choices.

History: En. Sec. 63, Ch. 368, L. 1969; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 28, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 365, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 23-3308(1), (2), (7); amd. Sec. 69, Ch. 571, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 298, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 537, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 15, Ch. 414, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 586, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 273, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 242, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 15, Ch. 336, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 177, Ch. 49, L. 2015.