Mail-ballot initiative seeks comments

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A small Helena group has floated an initiative idea for a vote in 2018 about mail-ballot elections. The group follows the play-book the People’s Power League (PPL) established in 1912, which bypassed a recalcitrant legislature and returned control of elections back to Montana voters.

I’d like to turn things upside-down. As the law now stands, the counties have to beg for permission to use a mail-ballot for many elections. In the proposed wording of the initiative, the legislators would have to pass a bill when they want to prohibit a mail-ballot election.

During the past legislative session, the House Judiciary Committee refused to agree with the Senate on SB305, which allowed counties the option to use a mail-ballot to conduct the Special Election on May 25. County election administrators and other county officials favored SB305 because a mail-ballot option was quicker and easier to organize thus saving taxpayer dollars.

Comments on the proposal may be sent to carole.mackin@peoplespowerleague.info and will be reviewed and incorporated prior to submitting an initiative proposal to the Secretary of State.

If the form of the Initiative is approved, petition backers can start gathering 25,500 signatures of registered voters on June 22, 2017.

—Carole Mackin

Helena

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