MT Supreme Court upholds decision tossing Green Party from ballo - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

MT Supreme Court upholds decision tossing Green Party from ballot

Posted: Updated:

The Montana Supreme Court Tuesday upheld last month’s ruling that tossed five Montana Green Party candidates from the general election ballot this fall.

Five of the court’s seven justices signed the one-page order, which said the court will issue a full opinion “in due course.”

The order comes just two days before the Montana secretary of state must certify the November ballot for printing.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton had appealed the July 9 ruling from state District Judge James Reynolds of Helena, who invalidated 82 registered-voter signatures submitted on petitions by the Green Party to qualify for the ballot.

Once those signatures were invalidated, the Green Party did not have enough signatures to meet a minimum threshold in at least 34 state House districts – a “distribution” requirement in state law for parties to qualify.

The Green Party still has its own legal action pending: A lawsuit filed last week in federal court, saying Montana’s distribution requirement is an arbitrary, unconstitutional barrier for smaller, unestablished parties to qualify for the ballot.

Tuesday’s ruling comes on a lawsuit filed this spring by the state Democratic Party, challenging Stapleton’s decision to qualify the Green Party for the ballot on the last day that candidates could file, in March.

Five Green Party candidates had qualified for the fall ballot: U.S. Senate candidate Steve Kelly, U.S. House candidate Doug Campbell and three legislative candidates.

They will not appear on the fall ballot – unless the federal court reinstates them.

About Mike Dennison

MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison joined MTN News in August 2015 after a 23-year career as a newspaper reporter covering Montana politics and state government. While some may believe that politics are boring, Mike firmly believes that's not the case if you tell the story with pizzazz and let people know why the story is important.
More from Mike: Facebook | Twitter | Stories
Powered by Frankly

© KTVQ.com 2018, KTVQ.com
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?