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Partisan to nonpartisan election change to be weighed by Gallatin Co. commissioners

Posted at 2:59 PM, Jun 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-14 14:03:35-04

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Gallatin County voters might be asked if they want to change county elections from partisan to nonpartisan for Gallatin County Officers.

At their June 18 public meeting, Gallatin County Commissioners will discuss the issue.

In this year’s Legislature, Montana lawmakers passed House Bill 129, which allows Montana counties to ask voters if they would like to change the types of elections held for county officials from partisan to nonpartisan.

Commissioners will decide Tuesday if they would like to add this question for Gallatin County voters on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Gallatin County has 12 elected positions that this would impact: three County Commissioners, two Justices of the Peace, Sheriff, County Attorney, Treasurer, Clerk and Recorder, Superintendent of Schools, Auditor and Clerk of District Court.

To get this question onto this fall’s ballot, Commissioners must pass an ordinance, which they will consider Tuesday. Read a draft of the ordinance here.

If passed, the ordinance will have a second reading at the Commissioners’ Tuesday, July 9 public meeting. If passed at that meeting, the question will then be placed on November’s ballot.

Gallatin County residents are encouraged to submit public comment on this topic by:

  • Attending Tuesday’s public meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. in the third floor Community Room at the Gallatin County Courthouse, 311 W. Main St. in downtown Bozeman.
  • Submitting written public comment by email at or dropping it off at the Commission Office, located in room 306 at the Gallatin County Courthouse.

Commission meetings are audio streamed live online, televised on cable channel 190, and are recorded.

For any questions, please contact the Gallatin County Commission Office at 582-3000.