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Signatures dropped off in Missoula for two Montana ballot measures

Ballot initiatives CI-126 and CI-127 seek to change the way that Montanans elect their legislators
Montanans for Election Reform Missoula signature drop off
Posted at 11:32 AM, Jun 13, 2024

MISSOULA — The signatures gathered for ballot initiatives Montana CI-126 and CI-127 are currently being dropped off at election offices to be put on the ballot for November.

Ballot initiatives CI-126 and CI-127 seek to change the way that Montanans elect their legislators. They aim to do this by changing the way primaries work as well as how much of the vote a candidate needs to win.

Currently, Montana has an open primary, meaning that a voter can either choose to vote Republican or Democrat but not both.
CI-126 looks to change this process to allow voters to choose the candidates they would like to elect regardless of political party in the primary.

The top four vote-getters in the primary then advance to the general election.

CI-127 is meant to change elections by requiring a candidate to obtain at least 50% of the vote to win. If no one wins 50% of the vote in the election, then runoff elections will be held until someone receives 50%.

Opponents of the ballot measures mainly argue that CI-127 would create unnecessary work for voters by creating runoff elections.
The group that proposed the measures — Montanans for Election Reform — say that the extra work is worth it.

“It’s not like this isn’t done in a lot of other places in the world and in this country," said Montanans for Election Reform board member Franks Garner. "So the good news is that these kind of elections are done successfully and they enjoy the benefits.”

Montanans for Election Reform ultimately argue that these two ballot measures will help reduce polarization in politics, less money in politics, and give Montanans candidates that more accurately represent their views and not the views of special interest groups.