Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Montana Supreme Court Denies Ballot Access Relief to the Green Party

Ballot Access News

On August 21, the Montana Supreme Court issued a one-page order, saying the Green Party should not be on the ballot. The order says the court will explain its reasoning later. Larson v State of Montana, DA 18-0414

The only hope for the Green Party to be on the November 2018 ballot is to win its federal court case, which challenges the March 5 petition deadline, and the distribution requirement. Unlike other states with distribution requirements, the Montana distribution requirement does not treat each voter equally. The law requires signatures from each of at least 34 state house districts. But in some of those districts, the party needs as few as 50 signatures, whereas in other such districts, the party needs 150 signatures. Thus, voters in some counties have more power than voters in other districts, because a voter’s signature in some districts has three times the weight of voters in other districts. Such unequal distribution requirements have been invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts in many states.

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