Montana State Ballot Initiatives

Ballot Initiatives

As of January 5, 2020, three statewide ballot measures were certified to appear on the ballot in Montana on November 3, 2020. 

Getting on the ballot

There are two pathways for initiatives and/or referendums to be placed on the Montana ballot, citizen initiatives and legislative referrals. 


Citizen Initiatives

Petitioners are required to file the requisite number of signatures by June 17, 2020, for initiated state statues and initiated constitutional amendments.  The law requires signatures for veto referendums to be submitted by six months after the legislature that passed the targeted bill adjourns.  Citizens are required to file at least 50,936 valid signatures for initiated constitutional amendments and at least 25,468 valid signatures for initiated state statutes and veto referendums.  To qualify a measure for the ballot in Montana, supporters must submit signatures directly to county officials, who are responsible for preliminary verification before passing the petition sheets on to the Secretary Of State.  Thus, the status of some measures can remain unknown for some time after the signature submission deadline.



Legislative Referrals

The Montana Legislature may refer statutes or constitutional amendments to the ballot.  Any member of the legislature can propose a statute or amendment.  A simple majority is required in both chambers of the state legislature to place a legislatively referred state statute on the ballot.  Amendments must be adopted by an affirmative roll call vote of two-thirds of all members of the legislature and approved by state voters.  The governor cannot veto legislatively referred state statutes or stop them from appearing on the ballot.  Constitutional amendments do not require the governor's signature. 

Please note all links on a initiative's name takes you to their BallotPedia page. 

On the ballot

Montana LR-130, Remove Local Government Authority to Regulate Firearms Measure

A yes  vote supports this measure to remove local governments' authority to regulate firearms.

A no vote opposes this measure to remove local governments' authority to regulate firearms, thus allowing local governments to continue to regulate firearms within their jurisdictions. 



Montana C-46, Initiated Amendment Distribution Requirements Measure

A yes vote supports amending constitutional language to match the existing signature distribution requirements for initiated constitutional amendments.

A no vote opposes amending constitutional language to match the existing signature distribution requirements for initiated constitutional amendments, thereby thereby keeping unenforced, county-based signature distribution requirements in the language of the constitution. 



Montana C-47, Initiated Statute and Referendum Distribution Requirements Amendment

A yes vote supports amending constitutional language to match the existing signature distribution requirements for initiated state statutes and veto referendums.

A no vote opposes amending constitutional language to match the existing signature distribution requirements for initiated state statutes and veto referendums, thereby thereby keeping unenforced, county-based signature distribution requirements in the language of the constitution.
 


Potential measures

Montana I-187, Renewable Energy Initiative

The measure would require investor-owned electric utilities to acquire 80% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2035.  It would also fund programs to address the reduction in coal mining employment.  The measure would create new taxes on each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced in the state. 


Montana I-188, Vehicular Manslaughter Initiative

The measure would create a criminal offense in state law for vehicular manslaughter carrying a fine of up to $50,000, up to 20 years incarceration, driver's license suspension, and more. 


Allow for a Legal Age for Marijuana Amendment

Authorizes the legislature or a citizen initiative to set a legal age for marijuana purchase, use, and possession.


Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Legalizes, regulates, and taxes recreational marijuana in Montana.


I-189, Same Legal Requirements and Fees for Government and Private Parties Initiative

This initiative would establish that the same time limit requirements, filing requirements, deadlines, and fees for court and legal proceedings that apply to private parties also apply to government lawyers, agencies, and officials.  It deletes certain fee exemptions for government officials and removes certain filing deadline differences between government parties and private parties. 


For state agencies, I-189 will increase costs due to the new filing fees and additional employees necessary to handle increased workloads created by shorter timelines.  These costs cannot be reasonably determined.  State courts will receive additional filing fees, but the amount of the fees cannot be determined.