Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Preprimary Procedures

Declaration Of Intent For Write-In Candidates

13-10-211. Declaration of intent for write-in candidates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (7), a person seeking to become a write-in candidate for an office in any election shall file a declaration of intent. Except for a candidate under 13-38-201(4) or a candidate covered under 7-1-205, a candidate may not file for more than one public office. 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. When a county election administrator is conducting the election for a school district, the school district clerk or school district office that receives the declaration of intent shall notify the county election administrator of the filing. Except as provided in 13-1-403, 13-1-503, 20-3-305(3)(b), and subsection (2) of this section, the declaration must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th day before the earliest date established under 13-13-205 on which a ballot must be available and must contain:

(a) the candidate's name, including:

(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, after the deadline prescribed in subsection (1), a candidate for the office that the write-in candidate is seeking dies or is charged with a felony offense and if the election has not been canceled as provided by law.

(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 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) A properly completed and signed declaration of intent may be provided to the election administrator or secretary of state:

(a) by facsimile transmission;

(b) in person;

(c) by mail; or

(d) by electronic mail.

(5) A declaration is not valid until the filing fee required pursuant to 13-10-202 is received by the secretary of state or the election administrator.

(6) A write-in candidate who files a declaration of intent for a general election may not file with a partisan, nonpartisan, or independent designation.

(7) Except as provided in 13-38-201(4)(b), the requirements in subsection (1) do not apply if:

(a) an election is held;

(b) a person's name is written in on the ballot;

(c) the person is qualified for and seeks election to the office for which the person's name was written in; and

(d) no other candidate has filed a declaration or petition for nomination or a declaration of intent.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 391, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 143, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 40, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 129, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 15, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 414, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 19, Ch. 475, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 586, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 191, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 273, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 338, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 18, Ch. 297, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 22, Ch. 242, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 336, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 178, Ch. 49, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 420, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 242, L. 2017; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 141, L. 2019.