DOJ: News Release

McGrath: Read, Understand Petitions Before Deciding Whether to Sign

HELENA – On the eve of the primary election, Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath Monday reminded voters to pay attention to the details when they are asked to sign petitions to qualify measures for the November ballot.

“Montanans going to and from the polls on Tuesday may be approached to sign these petitions,” McGrath said. “Ballot measures can lead to major changes in state law and the state constitution, so voters should read the title of the proposed measures carefully before they decide whether to sign.”

The Attorney General’s Office prepares the “statement of purpose” for each ballot measure, and that text – no more than 100 words – must be on the form voters are asked to sign. The statement is designed to be a clear explanation of the measure. It is identical to the statement that appears on the November ballot if and when the measure qualifies.

Recently, there have been complaints about signature gatherers pressuring voters to sign more than one petition at a time.

“If voters opt to sign a petition, they should remember that they sign each petition only once, on one signature line,” McGrath said.

Signature gatherers must sign an affidavit that the signatures are genuine and that the signers knew the contents of the petition before signing it. Signers must be registered to vote, and signed petitions must be submitted to county clerks by June 23.

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