Several ways to put issues on ballot

2014-07-26T17:53:00Z 2014-07-26T23:41:04Z Several ways to put issues on ballot The Billings Gazette
July 26, 2014 5:53 pm

HELENA—The Montana Constitution provides a number of ways to put issues directly before voters, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch said.

A booklet published by her office lists these ways in Montana:

— Initiatives. These are ballot measures that seek to propose a new law or revise an existing law on anything except for an appropriation of money or local or special laws. To qualify for the ballot, an initiative must be signed by 5 percent of the registered voters in the state, including at least 5 percent of the voters in at least 34 of the 100 state House districts.

— Referendums: These are proposals that seek to reject or approve a previously passed law by the Legislature, except for an appropriation of money. To appear on the ballot, a referendum must be signed by 5 percent of the voters in Montana, including 5 percent in at least 34 percent of the 100 state House districts.

— Legislative referendums: The Legislature can refer a law to the people for a vote. These require a simple majority in both the House and the Senate. These do not go to the governor for a signature or veto.

— Suspension of an act referred to the people. This act is in effect until suspended by a referendum signed by 15 percent of the registered voters in at least 51 of the 100 state House districts.

— Constitutional amendment. The Legislature can place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. It requires 100 total votes of the 150 legislators, regardless of chamber.

— Constitutional initiative. Others can place a constitutional initiative on the ballot. It requires the signatures of 10 percent of the voters in the state, including at least 10 percent of the voters in at least 40 of the 100 legislative districts.

— Constitutional convention call. To place a call for a constitutional convention on the ballot, the petition must be signed by at least 10 percent of the voters, including 10 percent in at least 40 of the 100 House districts.

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