July 20, 2012
CONTACT: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch Certifies 2012 Ballot Issues; IR-124, I-166, LR-120, LR-121, LR-122, LR-123 Will Appear on General Election Ballot
HELENA, MT - Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch says two citizen-proposed ballot measures (IR-124, I-166) have received enough signatures to qualify for the November General Election ballot. Four legislative referenda (LR-120, LR-121, LR-122, LR-123) are also slated to appear on the ballot, as referred by the Montana Legislature.
"None of the other issues appear to have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot," Secretary McCulloch said. "We will continue to tabulate all certified signatures, and the totals at the time of qualification will be certified to the Governor and released publicly next week."
To qualify I-166 and IR-124 for the ballot, signatures had to be obtained from at least 24,337 registered voters, including at least 5 percent of the voters in each of 34 legislative house districts.
LR-120, LR-121, LR-122, and LR-123* were referred to the ballot by the Montana Legislature, and did not have to meet signature gathering requirements. (*LR-123 was ruled unconstitutional on June 5 pursuant to a District Court Order. The measure is currently on appeal before the Montana Supreme Court.)
Per Montana law, county election offices have until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20, to submit certified signatures for constitutional and statutory initiatives to the Secretary of State's Office for tabulation. Certified signatures for initiative referenda were due to the SOS Office on October 28, 2011.
Counties certify petitions by checking the names and signatures to verify the signer is registered in that county, and that their signature matches the voter registration record. The Secretary of State's Office verifies that each certified petition meets statutory requirements before tallying the signatures by house district to determine qualification for the ballot.
"The ability to enact laws by initiative is a powerful constitutional right," Secretary McCulloch said. "It is important for voters to inform themselves on the issues, and cast their vote in November."
The Secretary of State's Office produces a Voter Information Pamphlet (VIP) that contains detailed information on qualified ballot issues. County election offices will mail the booklet in October to every household with at least one registered voter. The VIP will also be available online and by request in alternative formats including Braille, audio and large print.
Signature totals for each of the 2012 ballot issue proposals are available online.