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Full text of "Election laws of the state of Montana, 1931 : arranged and compiled from Revised codes of Montana of 1921, as amended"

ELECTION 

y30 Ecut LvndrtJ- 



£a«t Lyndole 
Helena, MonienQ 



Ave 10© 
5940] 



OF THE 



State of Montana 



1931 



Arranged and Compiled from Revised Codes of 
Montana of 1921, as Amended 



Published by W. E. Harmon 
Secretary of State 



Montana State Library 



llllllllllllllllllllll 

3 0864 1004 2455 8 



ELECTION 
LAWS 



OF THE 



State of Montana 



1931 



Arranged and Compiled from Revised Codes of 
Montana of 1921, as Amended 



Published by W. E. Harmon 

Secretary of State 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



To the Electors of the State of Montana: 

Under Section 807, Revised Codes of the State of Montana, 1921, "It 
is the duty of the Secretary of State to cause to be published, in pamphlet 
form, a sufficient number of copies of election laws, and such other 
provisions of law as bear upon the subject of elections, and to transmit 
the proper number to each County Clerk, whose duty it is to furnish 
each election officer in his county with one of such copies." In obedience 
to the above mandate, I have caused to be prepared what is believed to 
be a complete compilation of all laws dealing with State, County, City 
and School District elections found in the Revised Codes of 1921, as 
amended. 




Secretary of State. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



CONTENTS 

Page 

Abatement of Smoke Nuisance, Cities and Towns 176 

Absent Voters 72 

Apportionment and Representation 18-19 

Ballots, Preparation and Form 65 

Bonding Fire Districts in Unincorporated Cities and Towns 169 

Bond Issue and Tax Levy for Bridge Construction 153 

Bonds to Cover Drought Relief 150 

Bond Issue, Restrained 208 

Bridges, Public — Bonds 153 

Canvass of Returns — Result — Certificates of Election 95 

Cities and Towns: 

Classification and Organization of 160 

Officers and Elections 162 

Initiative and Referendum 165 

Indebtedness of — Bonds 171 

Abatement of Smoke Nuisance 176 

Classification and Organization of Cities and Towns 160 

Clerks of Election and Judges 41 

Commission Form of Government for Cities 177 

Commission-Manager Form of Government for Cities 188 

Conducting Elections, Polls. Voting, Challenges 68 

Counties, New 136 

County Seat, Removal of 129 

County Seat, Location of 131 

County Bond Elections 154, 157 

Constitutional Provisions 7-17 

Constitutional Amendments, Publication of Proposed 26 

Contesting Elections 102 

Consolidation of School Districts 106 

Congress, Members of — Elections and Vacancies 101 

Conventions, National, Election of Delegates 99 

Corrupt Practices 215 

Crimes Against Election Franchise 208 

Creation of New County by Petition and Election 136 

Direct Primary 49 

District Judges 207 

Disqualifications and Restrictions upon Residence of Officers 25 

Duties of County Commissioners, Relative to Elections 147 

Elections — Time of Holding 25 

Proclamations 25 

Precincts 27 

Supplies '^2 

Returns ^3 

Relating to School Matters 102 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 5 

Page 

Electors, Registration of 28 

Presidential, How Chosen .'. 98 

Qualification of 205 

Extra Taxation for School Purposes 116 

Failure of Elections — Procedure on Tie Vote 98 

Free Public Libraries 164 

Government of Counties 158 

High School Code, Elections 122 

High School Abolishment County High 124 

High School Junior District 126 

Indebtedness of Cities and Towns — ^Bonds 171 

Initiative and Referendum 20-25 

Initiative and Referendum, Cities and Towns 165 

Judicial Districts 207 

Judicial Officers 206 

Judges and Clerks of Election 41 

Justices of the Supreme Court 206 

Justices of the Peace 208 

Location of County Seats 131 

Members of Congress — Election and Vacancies 101 

Managerial Form of County Govei-nment 159 

Municipal Contracts and Franchises 169 

Nomination of Candidates for Special Election by Convention or 

Primary Meeting or by Electors 45 

Officers and Elections, Cities and Towns 162 

Precincts, Election 27 

Presidential Electors, How Chosen 98 

Primary, Direct 49 

Proclamations 25 

Public Bridges, Bonds 129 

Publication of Questions Submitted to Popular Vote 26 

Qualifications and Disabilities of Electors 26 

Removal of County Seat 129 

Referendum and Initiative 20-25 

Registration of Electors 28 

Returns Election 93 

School Districts, Consolidation 106 

School Matters, Elections Relating to 102 

School Purposes, Extra Taxation for - 116 

School District Bonds 118, 122 

School District Budget System : 127 

Seed Grain Law — Manner of Voting 147 

Special Road District Laws 128 

Taxation, Extra, for School Purposes 116 

Time of Holding Elections 25 

Tie Vote, Procedure on 98 

Voting by Absent Electors 72 

Voting by Absent Electors, Military Service 79 

Voting Machines, Conduct of Elections When Used 85 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 7 

CONSTITUTION 
ARTICLE III 

A Declaration of KiKhts of the People of the State of Montana 

Section 2. The people of the state have the sole and exclusive right 
of governing- themselves, as a free, sovereign, and independent state, 
and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government, 
whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, pro- 
vided such change be not repugnant to the constitution of the United 
States. 

Section 5. All elections shall be free and open, and no power, civil or 
military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the 
right of suffrage. 

ARTICLE V 

Legislative Department 

Section 1. The legislative authority of the state shall be vested in a 
legislative assembly, consisting of a senate and house of representatives; 
but the people reserve to themselves power to propose laws, and to enact 
or reject the same at the polls, except as to laws relating to appropria- 
tions of money, and except as to laws for the submission of constitu- 
tional amendments, and except as to local or special laws, as enumerated 
in article V, section 26, of this constitution, independent of the legislative 
assembly; and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or 
reject at the polls, any act of the legislative assembly, except as to laws 
necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, 
or safety, and except as to laws relating to appropriations of money, 
and except as to laws for the submission of constitutional amendments, 
and except as to local or special laws, as enumerated in article V, section 
26, of this constitution. The first power reserved by the people is the 
initiative and eight per cent, of the legal voters of the state shall be 
required to propose any measure by petition; Provided, That two-fifths 
of the whole number of the counties of the state must each furnish as 
signers of said petition eight per cent of the legal voters in such county, 
and every such petition shall include the full text of the measure so 
proposed. Initiative petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state, 
not less than four months before the election at which they are to be 
voted upon. 

The second power is the referendum, and it may be ordered either 
by petition signed by five per cent of the legal voters of the state, pro- 
vided that two-fifths of the whole number of the counties of the state 
must each furnish as signers of said petition five per cent of the legal 
voters in such county, or, by the legislative assembly as other bills are 
enacted. 

Referendum petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state, not 
later than six months after the final adjournment of the session of the 
legislative assembly which passed the bill on which the referendum is 
demanded. The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures 
referred to the people by the legislative assembly or by initiative refer- 
endum petitions. 



8 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

All elections on measures referred to the people of the state shall be 
had at the biennial regular general election, except when the legislative 
assembly, by a majority vote, shall oi'der a special election. Any measure 
referred to the people shall still be in full force and effect unless such 
petition be signed by fifteen per cent of the legal voters of a majority 
of the whole number of the counties of the state, in which case the law 
shall be inoperative until such time as it shall be passed upon at an 
election, and the result has been determined and declared as provided by 
law. The whole number of votes cast for governor at the regular election 
last preceding the filing of any petition for the initiative or referendum 
shall be the basis on which the number of the legal petitions and orders 
for the initiative and for the referendum shall be filed with the secretary 
of state; and in submitting the same to the people, he, and all other 
officers, shall be guided by the general laws and the act submitting 
this amendment, until legislation shall be especially provided therefor. 
The enacting clause of every law originated by the initiative shall be 
as follows: 

"Be it enacted by the people of Montana." 

This section shall not be construed to deprive any member of the 
legislative assembly of the right to introduce any measure. 

Section 2. Senators shall be elected for the term of four years, and 
representatives for the term of two years, except as otherwise provided 
in this constitution. 

Section 3. No person shall be a representative who shall not have 
attained the age of twenty-one years, or a senator who shall not have 
attained the age of twenty-four years, and who shall not be a citizen 
of the United States, and who shall not (for at least twelve months next 
preceding his election) have resided within the county or district in 
which he shall be elected. 

Section 4. The legislative assembly of this state, until otherwise 
provided by law, shall consist of sixteen members of the senate, and fifty- 
five members of the house of representatives. 

It shall be the duty of the first legislative assembly to divide the 
state into senatorial and representative districts, but there shall be no 
more than one senator from each county. The senators shall be divided 
into two classes. Those elected from odd-numbered districts shall con- 
stitute one class, and those elected from even-numbered districts shall 
constitute the other class; and when any additional senator shall be pro- 
vided for by law, his class shall be determined by lot. 

One-half of the senators elected to the first legislative assembly 
shall hold office for one year, and the other half for three years; and it 
shall be determined by lot immediately after the organization of the 
senate, whether the senators from the odd or even-numbered districts 
shall hold for one or three years. 

Section 26. The legislative assembly shall not pass local or special 
laws in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say: For 
granting divorces; laying out, opening, altering or working roads or 
highways; vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys or public grounds; 
locating or changing county seats; regulating county or township affairs; 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 9 

regulating the practice in courts of justice; regulating the jurisdiction 
and duties of justices of the peace, police magistrates or constables; 
changing the rules of evidence in any trial or inquiry; providing for 
changes of venue in civil or criminal cases; declaring any person of age; 
for limitation of civil actions, or giving effect to informal or invalid 
deeds; summoning or impaneling grand or petit juries; providing for the 
management of common schools; regulating the rate of interest on 
money; the opening or conducting of any election or designating the 
place of voting; the sale or mortgage of real estate belonging to minors 
or others under disability; chartering or licensing ferries or bridges or 
toll roads; chartering banks, insurance companies and loan and trust 
companies; remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures; creating, increasing 
or decreasing fees, percentages or allowances of public officers; chang- 
ing the law of descent; granting to any corporation, association or indi- 
vidual the right to lay down railroad tracks, or any special or exclusive 
privilege, immunity or franchise whatever; for the punishment of crimes; 
changing the names of persons or places; for the assessment or collection 
of taxes; affecting estates of deceased persons, minors or others under 
legal disabilities; extending the time for the collection of taxes; re- 
funding money paid into the state treasury; relinquishing or extinguish- 
ing in whole or in part the indebtedness, liability or obligation of any 
corporation or person to this state, or to any municipal corporation 
therein; exempting property from taxation; restoring to citizenship 
persons convicted of infamous crimes; authorizing the creation, extension 
or impairing of liens ; creating offices, or prescribing the powers or duties 
of officers in counties, cities, township or school disti*icts; or authorizing 
the adoption or legitimation of children. In all other cases where a 
general law can be made applicable, no special law shall be enacted. 

Section 45. When vacancies occur in either house the governor or 
the person exercising the functions of the governor shall issue writs of 
election to fill the same. 

ARTICLE VI 

Apportionment and Representation 

Section 1. One representative in the congress of the United States 
shall be elected from the state at large, the first Tuesday in October, 
1889, and thereafter at such times and places, and in such manner as 
may be prescribed by law. When a new apportionment shall be made 
by congress the legislative assembly shall divide the state into congres- 
sional districts accordingly. 

Section 2. The legislative assembly shall provide by law for an 
enumeration of the inhabitants of the state in the year 1895, and every 
tenth year thereafter; and at the session next following such enumera- 
tion, and also at the session next following an enumeration made by the 
authority of the United States, shall revise and adjust the apportionment 
for representatives on the basis of such enumeration according to ratios 
to be fixed by law. 

Section 3. Representative districts may be altered from time to time 
as public convenience may require. When a representative district shall 
be composed of two or more counties, they shall be contiguous, and the 



10 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

districts as compact as may be. No county shall be divided in the 
formation of representative districts. 

Section 4. Whenever new counties are created, each of said counties 
shall be entitled to one senator, but in no case shall a senatorial district 
consist of more than one county. 

ARTICLE VII 
Executive Department 

Section 1. The executive department shall consist of a governor, 
lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, 
state auditor and superintendent of public instruction, each of whom 
shall hold his office for four years, or until his successor is elected and 
qualified, beginning on the first Monday of January next succeeding his 
election, except that the terms of office of those who are elected at the 
first election, shall begin when the state shall be admitted into the Union, 
and shall end on the first Monday of January, A. D. ISg^S. The officers 
of the executive department, excepting the lieutenant-governor, shall 
during their terms of office reside at the seat of government, where they 
shall keep the public records, books and papers. They shall perform such 
duties as are prescribed in this constitution and by the laws of the state. 
The state treasurer shall not be eligible to his office for the succeeding 
term. 

Section 2. The officers provided for in section 1 of this article, shall 
be elected by the qualified electors of the state at the time and place of 
voting for members of the legislative assembly, and the persons respec- 
tively, having the highest number of votes for the office voted for shall 
be elected; but if two or more shall have an equal and the highest 
number of votes for any one of said offices, the two houses of the legis- 
lative assembly, at its next regular session, shall forthwith by joint 
ballot, elect one of such persons for said office. The returns of election 
for the officers named in section 1 shall be made in such manner as may 
be prescribed by law, and all contested elections of the same, other than 
provided for in this section, shall be determined as may be prescribed 
by law. 

Section 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor, 
lieutenant-governor, or superintendent of public instruction, unless he 
shall have attained the age of thirty years at the time of his election, 
nor to the office of secretary of state, state auditor, or state treasurer, 
unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, nor to the 
office of attorney general unless he shall have attained the age of thirty 
years, and have been admitted to practice in the supreme court of the 
state, or territory of Montana, and be in good standing at the time of 
his election. In addition to the qualifications above prescribed, each of 
the officers named shall be a citizen of the United States, and have re- 
sided within the state or territory two years next preceding his election. 

ARTICLE VIII 

Judicial Departments 

Section 6. The justices of the supreme court shall be elected by the 
electors of the state at large, as hereinafter provided. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 11 

Section 7. The term of office of the justices of the supreme court, 
except as in this constitution otherwise provided, shall be six years. 

Section 8. There shall be elected at the first general election, pro- 
vided for by this constitution, one chief justice and two associate justices 
of the supreme court. At said first election the chief justice shall be 
elected to hold his office until the general election in the year one thou- 
sand eight hundred ninety-two (1892), and one of the associate justices 
to hold office until the general election in the year one thousand eight 
hundred ninety-four (1894), and the other associate justice to hold his 
office until the general election in the year one thousand eight hundred 
ninety-six (1896), and each shall hold until his successor is elected and 
qualified. The terms of office of said justices, and which one shall be 
chief justice, shall at the first and all subsequent elections be designated 
by ballot. After said first election one chief justice or one associate 
justice shall be elected at the general election every two years, com- 
mencing in the year one thousand eight hundred ninety-two (1892), and 
if the legislative assembly shall increase the number of justices to five, 
the first terms of office of such additional justices shall be fixed by law 
in such manner that at least one of the five justices shall be elected 
every two years. The chief justice shall preside at all sessions of the 
supreme court, and in case of his absence, the associate justice having 
the shortest term to serve shall preside in his stead. 

Section 9. There shall be a clerk of the supreme court, who shall hold 
his office for the term of six years, except that the clerk first elected 
shall hold his office only until the general election in the year one thou- 
sand eight hundred ninety-two (1892), and until his successor is elected 
and qualified. He shall be elected by the electors at large of the state, 
and his compensation shall be fixed by law, and his duties prescribed by 
law, and by the rules of the supreme court. 

Section 10. No person shall be eligible to the office of justice of the 
supreme court, unless he shall have been admitted to practice law in 
the supreme court of the territory or state of Montana, be at least thirty 
years of age, and a citizen of the United States, nor unless he shall have 
resided in said territory or state at least two years next preceding his 
election. 

District Courts 

Section 12. The state shall be divided into judicial districts, in each 
of which there shall be elected by the electors thereof one judge of the 
district court, whose term of office shall be four years, except that the 
district judges first elected shall hold their offices only until the general 
election in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two (1892), 
and until their successors are elected and qualified. Any judge of the 
district court may hold court for any other district judge, and shall do so 
when required by law. 

Section 13. Until otherwise provided by law judicial districts of the 
state shall be constituted as follows: First district, Lewis and Clark 
county; Second district. Silver Bow county; Third district, Deer Lodge 
county; Fourth district, Missoula county; Fifth district, Beaverhead, 



12 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Jefferson and Madison counties; Sixth district, Gallatin, Park and 
Meagher counties; Seventh district, Yellowstone, Custer and Dawson 
counties; Eighth district, Choteau, Cascade and Fergus counties. 

Section 18. There shall be a clerk of the district court in each county, 
who shall be elected by the electors of his county. The clerk shall be 
elected at the same time and for the same term as the district judge. The 
duties and compensation of the said clerk shall be as provided by law. 

County Attorneys 
Section 19. There shall be elected at the general election in each 
county of the state one county attorney, whose qualifications shall be 
the same as are required for a judge of the district court, except that 
he must be over twenty-one years of age, but need not be twenty-five 
years of age, and whose term of office shall be two years, except that 
the county attorneys first elected shall hold their offices until the general 
election in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two (1892), 
and until their successors are elected and qualified. He shall have a 
salary to be fixed by law, one-half of which shall be paid by the state, 
and the other half by the county for which he is elected, and he shall 
perform such duties as may be required by law. 

Justices of the Peace 

Section 20. There shall be elected in each organized township of 
each county by the electors of such township at least two justices of the 
peace, who shall hold their offices, except as otherwise provided in this 
constitution, for the term of two years. Justices' courts shall have such 
original jurisdiction within their respective counties as may be prescribed 
by law, except as in this constitution otherwise provided; Provided, 
That they shall not have jurisdiction in any case where the debt, damage, 
claim or value of the property involved exceeds the sum of three hundred 
dollars. 

Section 34. Vacancies in the office of justice of the supreme court, 
or judge of the district court, or clerk of the supreme court, shall be filled 
by appointment, by the governor of the state, and vacancies in the offices 
of county attorney, clerk of the district court, and justices of the peace, 
shall be filled by appointment, by the board of county commissioners of 
the county where such vacancy occurs. A person appointed to fill any 
such vacancy shall hold his office until the next general election and 
until his successor is elected and qualified. A person elected to fill a 
vacancy shall hold office until the expiration of the term for which the 
person he succeeds was elected. 

ARTICLE IX 
Rights of Suffrage and Qualifications to Hold Office 

Section 1. All elections by the people shall be by ballot. 

Section 2. Every person of the age of twenty-one years or over, 
possessing the following qualifications, shall be entitled to vote at all 
general elections and for all officers that now are, or hereafter may be, 
elective by the people and upon all questions which may be submitted 
to the vote of the people: First, he shall be a citizen of the United 
States; second, he shall have resided in this state one year immediately 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 13 

preceding the election at which he offers to vote, and in the town, county 
or precinct such time as may be prescribed by law; Provided, First that 
no person convicted of felony shall have the right to vote unless he has 
been pai-doned; Provided, Second, that nothing herein contained shall be 
construed to deprive any person of the right to vote who has such right 
at the time of the adoption of this constitution; Provided, That after 
the expiration of five years from the time of the adoption of this con- 
stitution, no person except citizens of the United States shall have the 
right to vote. 

Section 3. For the purpose of voting no person shall be deemed to 
have gained or lost a residence by reason of his presence or absence while 
employed in the service of the state, or of the United States, nor while 
engaged in the navigation of the waters of the state, or of the United 
States, nor while a student at any institution of learning, nor while kept 
at any almshouse or other asylum at the public expense, nor while con- 
fined in any public prison. 

Section 4. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony or breach 
of peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections 
and in going to and returning therefrom. 

Section 5. No elector shall be obliged to perform military duty on 
the days of election, except in time of war or public danger. 

Section 6. No soldier, seaman or marine in the army or navy of the 
United States shall be deemed a resident of this state in consequence 
of being stationed at any military or naval place within the same. 

Section 7. No person shall be elected or appointed to any office in 
this state, civil or military, who is not a citizen of the United States, 
and who shall not have resided in this state at least one year next before 
his election or appointment. 

Section 8. No idiot or insane person shall be entitled to vote at any 
election in this state. 

Section 9. The legislative assembly shall have the power to pass a 
registration and such other laws as may be necessary to secure the 
purity of elections and guard against abuses of the elective franchise. 

Section 10. All persons possessing the qualifications for suffrage 
prescribed by section 2 of this article as amended and such other qualifi- 
cations as the legislative assembly may by law prescribe, shall be eligible 
to hold the office of county superintendent of schools or any other school 
district office. 

Section 11. Any person qualified to vote at general elections and 
for state officers in this state, shall be eligible to any office therein 
except as otherwise provided in this constitution, and subject to such 
additional qualifications as may be prescribed by the legislative assembly 
for city offices and offices hereafter created. 

Section 12. Upon all questions submitted to the vote of the taxpayers 
of the state, or any political division thereof, women who are taxpayers 
and possessed of the qualifications for the right of suffrage required of 
men by this constitution, shall equally with men have the right to vote. 

Section 13. In all elections held by the people under this constitution, 
the person or persons who shall receive the highest number of legal 
votes shall be declared elected. 



14 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA -- ; 

ARTICLE XI 

Education 

Section 10. The legislative assembly shall provide that all elections 
for school district officers shall be separate from those elections at which 
state or county officers are voted for. 

ARTICLE XIII 
Public Indebtedness 

Section 5. No county shall be allowed to become indebted in any 
manner, or for any purpose, to an amount, including existing indebted- 
ness in the aggregate, exceeding five (5) per centum of the value of the 
taxable property therein, to be ascertained by the last assessment for 
state and county taxes previous to the incurring of such indebtedness, 
and all bonds or obligations in excess of such amount given by or on 
behalf of such county shall be void. No county shall incur any indebted- 
ness or liability for any single purpose to an amount exceeding ten 
thousand dollars ($10,000) without the approval of a majority of the 
electors thereof, voting at an election to be provided by law. 

Section 6. No city, town, township or school district shall be allowed 
to become indebted in any manner or for any purpose to an amount, in- 
cluding existing indebtedness, in the aggregate exceeding three (3) per 
centum of the value of the taxable property therein, to be ascertained 
by the last assessment for state and county taxes previous to the in- 
curring of such indebtedness, and all bonds or obligations in excess of 
such amount given by or on behalf of such city, town, township or school 
district shall be void; Provided, however. That the legislative assembly 
may extend the limit mentioned in this section, by authorizing municipal 
corporations to submit the question to a vote of the taxpayers affected 
thereby, when such increase is necessary to construct a sewerage system 
or to procure a supply of water for such municipality which shall own 
and control said water supply and devote the revenues derived therefrom 
to the payment of the debt. 

ARTICLE XVI 
Municipal Corporations and Officers 

Section 2. The legislative assembly shall have no power to remove 
the county seat of any county, but the same shall be provided for by 
general law; and no county seat shall be removed unless a majority of 
the qualified electors of the county, at a general election on a proposition 
to remove the county seat, shall vote therefor; but no such proposition 
shall be submitted oftener than once in four years. 

Section 4. In each county there shall be elected three County Com- 
missioners, whose term of office shall be six years; provided that each 
county in the State of Montana shall be divided into three Commissioner 
Districts, to be designated as Commissioner Districts, numbers one, two 
and three, respectively. 

The board of County Commissioners shall in every county in the 
State of Montana, at their regular session, on the first Monday in May, 
1929, or as soon thereafter as convenient or possible, not exceeding 
sixty days thereafter, meet and by and under the direction of the District 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 15 

Court Judge or Judges of said county, divide their respective counties 
into three Commissioner Districts as compact and equal in population 
and area as possible, and number them respectively, one, two and three, 
and when such division has been made, there shall be filed in the office 
of the County Clerk and Recorder of such county, a certificate designat- 
ing the metes and bounds of the boundary lines and limits of each of 
said Commissioners Districts, which certificate shall be signed by said 
Judge or Judges; provided, also that at the first regular session of any 
newly organized and created county, the said Board of County Commis- 
sioners, by and under the direction of the District Court Judge or Judges 
of said county, shall divide such new county into Commissioner Districts 
as herein provided. 

Upon such division, the Board of County Commissioners shall assign 
its members to such districts in the following manner; each member 
of the said Board then in service shall be assigned to the district in 
which he is residing or the nearest thereto; the senior member of the 
Board in service to be assigned to the Commissioner District No. 1, the 
next member in seniority to be assigned to Commissioner District No. 2, 
and the juliior member of the Board to be assigned to Commissioner 
District No. 3; provided, that at the fii'st general election of any newly 
created and organized county, the commissioner for District No. 1, shall 
be elected for two years, for No. 2, for four years, and for No. 3, for 
six years, and biennially thereafter there shall be one Commissioner 
elected to take the place of the retiring Commissioner, who shall hold 
his office for six years. 

That the Board of County Commissioners by and under the direction 
of the District Court Judge or Judges of said County, for the purpose 
of equalizing in population and area such Commissioner Districts, may 
change the boundaries of any or all of the Commissioner Districts in 
their respective county, by filing in the office of the County Clerk and 
Recorder of such county, a certificate signed by said Judge or Judges 
designating by metes and bounds the boundary lines of each . of said 
Commissioner Districts as changed, and such change in any or all the 
districts in such county, shall become effective from and after filing of 
such certificate; provided, however, that the boundaries of no Com- 
missioner District shall at any time be changed in such a manner as to 
affect the tei-m of office of any County Commissioner who has been 
elected, and whose term of office has not expired; and provided, further, 
that no change in the boundaries of any Commissioner District shall be 
made within six months next preceding a general election. 

At the general election to be held in 1930, and thereafter at each 
general election, the member or members of the Board to be elected, 
shall be selected from the residents and electors of the district or dis- 
tricts in which the vacancy occurs, but the election of such member or 
members of the Board shall be submitted to the entire electorate of the 
county, provided, however, that no one shall be elected as a member of 
said board, who has not resided in said district for at least two years 
next preceding the time when he shall become a candidate for said office. 



16 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

When a vacancy occurs in the Board of County Commissioners the 
Judge or Judges of the Judicial District in which the vacancy occurs, 
shall appoint someone residing in such Commissioner District vi^here the 
vacancy occurs, to fill the office until the next general election when a 
Commissioner shall be elected to fill the unexpired term. 

Section 5. There shall be elected in each county the following of- 
ficers: One county clerk, who shall be clerk of the board of the county 
commissioners and ex-officio recorder; one sheriff; one treasurer, who 
shall be collector of taxes; Provided, That no person shall hold the office 
of county treasurer for more than two consecutive terms; one county 
superintendent of schools; one county surveyor; one assessor; one cor- 
oner; one public administrator. Persons elected to the different offices 
named in this section shall hold their respective offices for the term of 
two years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. Vacancies 
in all county, township and precinct offices, except that of county com- 
missioners, shall be filled by appointment by the board of county com- 
missioners, and the appointee shall hold his office until the next genei'al 
election. 

Section 6. The legislative assembly may provide for the election or 
appointment of such other county, township, precinct and municipal 
officers as public convenience may require and their terms of office 
shall be as prescribed by law, not in any case to exceed two years, except 
as in this constitution otherwise provided. 

Section 7. The legislative assembly may, by general or special law, 
provide any plan, kind, manner or form of municipal government for 
counties, or counties and cities and towns, or cities and towns, and 
whenever deemed necessary or advisable, may abolish city or town 
government and unite, consolidate or merge cities and towns and county 
under one municipal government, and any limitations in this constitution 
notwithstanding, may designate the name, fix and prescribe the number, 
designation, terms, qualifications, method of appointment, election or 
removal of the officers thereof, define their duties and fix penalties for 
the violation thereof, and fix and define boundaries of the territory so 
governed, and may provide for the discontinuance of such form of gov- 
ernment when deemed advisable; Provided, however, that no form of 
government permitted in this section shall be adopted or discontinued 
until after it is submitted to the qualified electors in the territory affect- 
ed and by them approved. 

ARTICLE XIX 

Miscellaneous Subjects and Future Amendments 

Section 8. The legislative assembly may at any time, by a vote of 
two-thirds of the members elected to each house, submit to the electors 
of the state the question whether there shall be a convention to revise, 
alter, or amend this constitution; and if a majority of those voting on 
the question shall declare in favor of such convention, the legislative 
assembly shaU at its next session provide for the calling thereof. The 
number of members of the convention shall be the same as that of the 
he use of representatives, and they shall be elected in the same manner, 
at the same places, and in the same districts. The legislative assembly 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 17 

shall in the act calling' the convention designate the day, hour and place 
of its meeting, fix the pay of its members and officers, and provide for 
the payment of the same, together with the necessary expenses of the 
convention. Before proceeding, the members shall take an oath to sup- 
port the constitution of the United States and of the State of Montana, and 
to faithfully discharge their duties as members of the convention. The 
qualifications of members shall be the same as of the members of the 
senate, and vacancies occurring shall be filled in the manner provided 
for filling: vacancies in the legislative assembly. Said convention shall 
meet within three months after such election and prepare such revisions, 
alterations or amendments to the constitution as may be deemed neces- 
sary, which shall be submitted to the electors for their ratification or 
rejection at an election appointed by the convention for that purpose, 
not less than two nor more than six months after the adjornment thereof; 
and unless so submitted and approved by a majority of the electors voting 
at the election, no such revision, alteration or amendment shall take 
effect. 



18 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

REVISED CODES OF MONTANA, 1921, AS AMENDED 

APPORTIONMENT AND REPRESENTATION 

(Constitutional Provisions Art V and VI — See pages 7-9) 
Section 44. That after the expiration of the Seventeenth Legislative 
Assembly of Montana, the membership of the House of Representatives 
of all Legislative Assemblies of Montana shall be apportioned amongst, 
and to the several counties of the State, upon and according to the 
official Federal census enumeration of the inhabitants of the several 
counties of Montana had, as taken by authority of law in the year 1920, 
and upon the ratio of one Representative or member, therein from each 
county, for each six thousand (6,000) persons in such county, or frac- 
tional part thereof in excess of three thousand (3,000) persons; provided, 
each county now created, shall be entitled to at least one member. 

Section 45. In accordance therewith each county of the State shall 
be entitled to, and shall elect at each biennial general, state and county 
election, the number of members of the House of Representatives in the 
Legislative Assembly of Montana herein below allotted and apportioned 
to it, and set opposite its name as follows, to-wit: 

Beavei'head County One member 

Big Horn County One member 

Broadwater County One member 

Blaine County Two members 

Carbon County Three members 

Carter County One member 

Cascade County Six members 

Chouteau County Two members 

Custer County Two members 

Daniels County One member 

Dawson County Two members 

Deer Lodge County Three members 

Fallon County One member 

Fergus County Four members 

Flathead County Four members 

Gallatin County Three members 

Garfield County _ One member 

Glacier County One member 

Golden Valley County One member 

Granite County One member 

Hill County Two members 

Jefferson County One member 

Judith Basin County One member 

Lake County One member 

Lewis and Clark County Three members 

Liberty County One member 

Lincoln County One member 

Madison County One member 

McCone County One member 

Meagher County One member 

Mineral County One member 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 19 

Missoula County Four members 

Musselshell County One member 

Park County Two members 

Petroleum County One member 

Phillips County Two members 

Pondera County One member 

Powder River County One member 

Powell County One member 

Prairie County One member 

Ravalli County Two members 

Richland County One member 

Rosebud County One member 

Roosevelt County Two members 

Sanders County One member 

Sheridan County Two members 

Silver Bow County Ten members 

Stillwater County One member 

Sweet Grass County One member 

Teton County One member 

Toole County One member 

Treasure County One member 

Valley County Two members 

Wheatland County One member 

Wibaux County One member 

Yellowstone County Five members 

(Above list brought up to date of issue of this pamphlet.) 
Section 46. Whenever a new county is created it shall have and be 
entitled to one member of the House of Representatives until otherwise 
apportioned. 

Section 47. Whenever a new county is created, it shall be attached 
to and become a part of the Representative district, embracing the 
county from which the largest ai'ea included in the new county has 
been taken. 

Section 48. That all that portion of the State of Montana lying 
west of the east boundary of Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, 
and Gallatin counties, to-wit: the counties of Lincoln, Sanders, Mineral, 
Missoula, Ravalli, Beaverhead, Madison, Silver Bow, Jefferson, Deer 
Lodge, Granite, Powell, Flathead, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, and Broad- 
water shall constitute the First Congressional district of the State; and 
that all that portion of the State of Montana lying east of the east 
boundary of Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, and Gallatin 
counties, to-wit: the counties of Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Sheridan, 
Dawson, Wibaux, Prairie, Richland, Fergus, Chouteau, Cascade, Meagher, 
Musselshell, Rosebud, Custer, Fallon, Big Horn, . Carbon, Yellowstone, 
Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Park, Toole, and Teton shall constitute the 
Second Congressional district of the State. 

Whenever any county is created, comprised partly of the territory 
of both such districts, said county shall belong to and become a part 
of the district to which major portion of the territory of said county 
belonged and was a part prior to the creation of such new county. 



20 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM 

(Constitutional Provisions Art V, Sec. 1 — Page 7) 
Section 99. The following shall be substantially the form of petition 
for the Referendum to the people on any act passed by the Legislative 
Assembly of the State of Montana: 

Warning 

Any person signing any name other than his own to this petition, or 
signing the same more than once for the same measure at one election, 
or who is not, at the time of signing the same, a legal voter of this 
State, is punishable by a fine not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars 
($500), or imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding two years, or 
by both such fine and imprisonment. 

Petition for Referendum 

To the Honorable , Secretary of State for the 

State of Montana: 
We, the undersigned citizens and legal voters of the State of Montana, 

respectfully order that Senate (House) Bill Number , entitled 

(title of act), passed by the Legislative Assembly 

of the State of Montana, at the regular (special) session of said Legis- 
lative Assembly, shall be referred to the people of the State for their 
approval or rejection, at the regular, general, or special election to be 

held on the day of , 19 , 

and each for himself says: I have personally signed this petition; I am 
a legal voter of the State of Montana; and my residence, postoffice 
address, and voting precinct are correctly written after my name. 

Name Residence 

Postoffice address 

If in city, street and number 



Voting precinct 

(Here follow numbered lines for signatures.) 

Section 100. The following shall be substantially the form of pfetition 
for any law of the State of Montana proposed by the Initiative: 

Warning 

Any person signing any name other than his own to this petition, 
or signing the same more than once for the same measure at one elec- 
tion, or who is not, at the time of signing the same, a legal voter of 
this State, is punishable by a fine not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars 
($500), or imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding two years, 
or by both such fine and imprisonment. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 21 

Petition for Initiative 

To the Honorable , Secretary of State of the 

State of Montana: 
We, the undersigned legal voters of the State of Montana, respectfully 
demand that the following proposed law shall be submitted to the legal 
electors of the State of Montana, for their approval or rejection, at 

the regular, general or special election to be held on the 

day of , 19 , and each for himself says: 

I have personally signed this petition and my residence, postoffice 
address, and voting precinct are correctly written after my name. 

Name Residence 

Postoffice address 

If in city, street and number 

Voting precinct 

(Numbered lines for names on each sheet.) 

Every such sheet for petitioners' signature shall be attached to a 
full and correct copy of the title and text of the measure so proposed by 
initiative petition; but such petition may be filed with the Secretary 
of State in numbered sections, for convenience in handling, and referen- 
dum petitions may be filed in sections in like manner. 

Section 101. The county clerk of each county in which any such peti- 
tions shall be signed shall compare the signatures of the electors sign- 
ing the same with their signatures on the registration books and blanks 
on file in his office, for the preceding general election, and shall there- 
upon attach to the sheets of said petition containing such signatures his 
certificate to the Secretary of State, substantially as follows: 

State of Montana, County of ss. 

To the Honorable , Secretary of State 

for Montana: 

I, , County Clerk of the County of 

...., hereby certify that I have com- 
pared the signatures on (number of sheets) of the Referendum (Initia- 
tive) petition, attached hereto, with the signatures of said electors as 
they appear on the registration books and blanks in my office; and I 
believe that the signatures of (names of signers), numbering (number 
of genuine signatures), are genuine. As to the remainder of the signa- 
tures thereon, I believe that they are not genuine, for the reason that 

; and I further certify 

that the following names 

( ) do not appear on the registration books 

and blanks in my office. 

(Signed:) 

(Seal of Office) County Clerk. 

By , 

Deputy 



22 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Every such certificate shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated 
therein, and of the qualifications of the electors whose signatures are 
thus certified to be genuine, and the Secretary of State shall consider 
and count only such signatures on such petitions as shall be so certified 
by said County Clerks to be genuine; provided, that the Secretary of 
State may consider and count such of the remaining signatures as may 
be proved to be genuine, and that the parties so signing were legally 
qualified to sign such petitions, and the official certificate of a Notary 
Public of the county in which the signer resides shall be required as to 
the fact for each of such last named signatures; and the Secretary of 
State shall further compare and verify the official signatures and seals 
of all Notaries so certifying with their signatures and seals filed in his 
office. Such Notaries' certificates shall be substantially in the following 
form : 

State of Montana, County of ss. 

I, - , a duly qualified and acting 

Notary Public in and for the above-named county and State, do hereby 
certify: that I am personally acquainted with each of the following 
named electors whose signatures are affixed to the annexed petition, 
and I know of my own knowledge that they are legal voters of the 
State of Montana, and of the county and precincts written after their 
several names in the annexed petition, and that their residence and 
postoffice address is correctly stated therein, to-wit: (Names of such 
electors.) 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and official seal 

this day of , 19 



Notary Public, in and for County, State 

of Montana. 

The County Clerk shall not retain in his possession any such petition, 
or any part thereof, for a longer period than two days for the first 
two hundred signatures thereon, and one additional day for each two 
hundred additional signatures, or fraction thereof, on the sheets present- 
ed to him, and at the expiration of such time he shall forward the same 
to the Secretary of State, with his certificate attached thereto, as above 
provided. The forms herein given are not mandatory, and if substantially 
followed in any petition, it shall be sufficient, disregarding clerical and 
merely technical errors. 

Section 102. Immediately upon the filing of any such petition for 
the Referendum or the Initiative with the Secretary of State, signed by 
the number of voters and filed within the time required by the consti- 
tution, he shall notify the governor in writing of the filing of such 
petition, and the governor shall forthwith issue his proclamation, an- 
nouncing that such petition has been filed, with a brief statement of its 
tenor and effect. Said proclamation shall be published four times for 
four consecutive weeks in one daily or weekly paper in each county of 
the State of Montana. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 23 

Section 103. The Secretary of State, at the same time that he fur- 
nishes to the county clerk of the several counties certified copies of the 
names of the candidates for office, shall also furnish the said county 
clerks his certified copy of the titles and numbers of the various measures 
to be voted upon at the ensuing general or special election, and he shall 
use for each measure a title designated for that purpose by the legislative 
assembly, committee, or oi'ganization presenting and filing with h'.m the 
act, or petition for the initiative or the referendum, or in the petition 
or act; provided, that such title shall in no case exceed one hundred 
words, and shall not resemble any such title previously filed for any 
measure to be submitted at that election which shall be descriptive of 
said measure, and he shall number such measures. All measures shall 
be numbered with consecutive numbers beginning with the number 
immediately following that on the last measure filed in the office of the 
Secretary of State. The affirmative and negative of each measure shall 
bear the same number, and no two measures shall be numbered alike. 
It shall be the duty of the several county clerks to print said titles and 
numbers on the official ballot prescribed by section 678 of the Revised 
Codes of Montana 1921, in the numerical order in which the measures 
have been certified to them by the Secretary of State. Measures pro- 
posed by the initiative shall be designated and distinguished from meas- 
ures proposed by the Legislative Assembly by the heading "Proposed 
Petition for Initiative." 

All constitutional amendments submitted to the qualified electors of 
the State shall likewise be placed upon the official ballot prescribed by 
said section 678 and no such amendment shall hereafter be submitted on 
a separate ballot. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to change 
the existing laws of the State regulating in other respects the manner 
of submitting such proposed amendments. 

As amended by Chapter 52, Laws of 1927. 

Section 104. The manner of voting on measures submitted to the 
people shall be by marking the ballot with a cross in or on the diagram 
opposite and to the left of the proposition for which the voter desires 
to vote. The following is a sample ballot representing negative vote: 



D 
D 



For Initiative Measure No. 6 
Relating to Duties of Sheriffs. 

Against said Measure No. 6. 

For Referendum Measure No. 7 
Relating to Purchase of Insane Asylum. 

Against said Measure No. 7. 



And no title on a ballot shall contain more than ten words, which 
shall be descriptive of the measure proposed. 



24 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 105. The Secretary of State shall furnish a copy of each 
of the proposed measures to be submitted to the people to, and make 
requisition on, the State Purchasing Agent for the printing, and delivery 
to him of all proposed initiative and referendum measures to be submitted 
to a vote of the people. 

The State Purchasing Agent, shall, not later than the first Monday 
of the third month next before any general or special election, at which 
any proposed law is to be submitted to the people, cause to be printed 
a true copy of the title and text of each measure to be submitted, with 
the number and form in which the question will be printed on a separate 
official ballot. It shall be the duty of the State Purchasing Agent to call 
for bids, and contract with the lowest responsible bidder for the printing 
of the proposed law to be submitted to the people. 

The proposed law to be submitted shall be printed in news type, each 
page to be six inches wide by nine inches long, and when such proposed 
measure constitutes less than six pages, it shall be printed flat and for- 
warded to the County Clerk and Recorder of each of the several counties 
in that form. 

When the proposed measure constitutes more than six pages, said 
measui-e shall be printed in pamphlet form, securely stapled, without 
cover. No proposed measure, hereafter, to be submitted to the people 
of the State, as provided for in this section shall be bound. The quality 
of the paper to be used for the proposed measure shall be left to discre- 
tion of the State Purchasing Agent. The number of said proposed 
measures to be printed shall be five per cent (5%) more than the number 
of registered voters, as shown by the registration lists of the several 
counties of the State at the last preceding general election. 

The Secretary of State shall distribute to each County Clerk before 
the second Monday in the third month next preceding such regular gen- 
eral election, a sufficient number of said pamphlet to furnish one copy 
to every voter in his coufity. And each County Clerk shall be required 
to mail to each registered voter in each of the several counties in the 
State at least one copy of the same within thirty (30) days from the 
date of his receipt of the same from the Secretary of State. The mailing 
of said pamphlets to electors shall be a part of the official duty of the 
County Clerk of each of the several counties, and his official compensa- 
tion shall be full compensation for this additional service. 

As amended by Chapter 137, Laws of 1927. 

Section 106. The votes on measures and questions shall be counted, 
canvassed and returned by the regular boards of judges, clerks, and 
officers as votes for candidates are counted, canvassed, and returned, 
and the abstract made by the several County Clerks of votes on measures 
shall be returned to the Secretary of State on separate abstract sheets 
in the manner provided by sections 801 and 802 of this code for ab- 
stracts of votes for State officers. It shall be the duty of the State Board 
of Canvassers to proceed within thirty days after the election, and 
sooner if the returns be all received, to canvass the votes given for 
each measure, and the governor shall forthwith issue his proclamation, 
which shall be published in two daily newspapers printed at the capital, 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 25 

giving: the whole number of votes cast in the State for and against 
each measure and question, and declaring such measures as are ap- 
proved by a majority of those voting thereon to be in full force and 
effect as the law of the State of Montana from the date of said procla- 
mation, designating such measures by their titles. 

Section 107. Every person who is a qualified elector of the State 
of Montana may sign a petition for the Referendum or for the Initiative. 
Any person signing any name other than his own to such petition, or 
signing the same more than once for the same measure at one election, 
or who is not, at the time of signing the same, a legal voter of this 
State, or any officer or any person wilfully violating any provision of 
this statute, shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not 
exceeding Five Hundred Dollars, or by imprisonment in the penitentiai-y 
not exceeding two years, or by both such fine and imprisonment in 
the discretion of the court before which such conviction shall be had. 

Section 108. A bill passed by the Legislative Assembly and referred 
to popular vote at the next general election, or at a special election, 
shall not be in effect until it is approved at such general or special 
election by a majority of those voting for and against it. 

(Note — See also title, "Initiative and Referendum in Government of 
Cities and Towns.") 

DISQUALIFICATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS UPON 
RESIDENCE OF OFFICERS 

Section 410. No person is capable of holding a civil office in this 
State, who at the time of his election or appointment is not of the age 
of twenty-one years and a citizen of this State. 

TIME OF HOLDING ELECTIONS 

Section 531. There must be held throughout the State, on the first 
Tuesday after the first Monday of November, in the year eighteen 
hundred and ninety-four, and in every second year thereafter, an election 
to be known as the general election. 

Section 532. Special elections are such as are held to supply vacan- 
cies in any office, and are held at such times as may be designated by 
the proper officer or authority. The Board of County Commissioners 
shall be authorized to call a special election at any time for the purpose 
of submitting to the qualified electoi's of the county a proposition to 
raise money for any public improvement desired to be made in the county. 

ELECTION PROCLAMATIONS 

Section .533. At least sixty days before a general election, and 
whenever he orders a special election to fill a vacancy in the office of 
State Senator or member of the House of Representatives, at least ten 
days before such special election, the governor must issue an election 
proclamation, under his hand and the great seal of the State, and 
transmit copies thereof to the Boards of Commissioners of the counties 
in which such elections are to be held. 

Section 534. Such proclamation must contain: 

1. A statement of the time of election, and the offices to be filled. 



26 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

2. An offer of rewards, in the following form: "And I do hereby 
offer a reward of one hundred dollars for the arrest and conviction of 
any person violating any of the provisions of sections 10747 to 10772 
of the Penal Code. Such rewards to be paid until the total amount here- 
after expended for the purpose reaches the sum of five thousand 
dollars." 

Section 535. The Board of County Commissioners, upon the receipt 
of such proclamation, may, in the case of general or special elections, 
cause a copy of the same to be published in some newspaper printed 
in the county, if any, and to be posted at each place of election at least 
ten days before the election; and in case of special elections to fill a 
vacancy in the office of State Senator or member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, the Board of County Commissioners, upon receipt of such 
proclamation, may in their discretion, cause a copy of the same to be 
published or posted as hereinbefore provided, except that such publica- 
tion or posting need not be made for a longer period than five days 
before such election. 

Section 536. Whenever a special election is ordered by the Board 
of County Commissioners, they must issue an election proclamation, 
containing the statement provided for in subdivision 1 of section 534, and 
must publish and post it in the same manner as proclamations issued 
by the governor. 

PUBLICATION OF QUESTIONS SUBMITTED TO 
POPULAR VOTE 

Section 538. Questions to be submitted to the people of the county 
or municipality must be advertised by publication in at least one news- 
paper within the county or municipality, once a week for two successive 
weeks, and one of such publications in such newspaper must be upon 
the last day upon which such newspaper is issued before the election. 

QUALIFICATIONS AND DISABILITIES OF ELECTORS 

Section 539. All elections by the people shall be by ballot. 

Section 540. Every person of the age of twenty-one years or over, 
possessing the following qualifications, if his name is registered as re- 
quired by law, is entitled to vote at all general and special elections and 
for all officers that now are, or hereafter may be, elective by the people, 
and upon all questions which may be submitted to the vote of the 
people: First, he must be a citizen of the United States; second, he must 
have resided in the State one year and in the county thirty days im- 
mediately preceding the election at which he offers to vote. No person 
convicted of felony has the right to vote unless he has been pardoned. 
Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to deprive any 
person of the right to vote who had such right at the time of the adop- 
tion of the State constitution. After the expiration of five years from 
the time of the adoption of the State constitution, no persons except 
citizens of the United States have a right to vote. 

Section 541. Electors must in all cases, except treason, felony, or 
bzeach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance 
at elections, and in going to and returning therefrom. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 27 

Section 542. No elector is required to perform military duty on the 
days of election, except in times of war or public danger. 

Section 543. No idiot or insane person is entitled to vote at any 
election in this State. 

Section 544. The payment of a tax upon property by any person 
assessed therefor on a county or city assessment roll next preceding 
the election at which a question is to be submitted to the vote of the 
taxpayers of the State, or to the vote of the taxpayers of such county 
or city, or any subdivision thereof, constitutes such person a taxpayer 
at such election. 

ELECTION PRECINCTS 

Section 545. The territorial unit for the conduct of elections shall be 
the election precinct. The Board of County Commissioners of each county 
shall establish a convenient number of election precincts therein having 
reference to equalizing the number of electors in the several precincts as 
nearly as possible. Precinct boundaries shall conform to the wards of 
incorporated cities of the first, second and third class and to the boun- 
daries of school districts of the first class only, provided that any ward 
or school district may be divided into two or more precincts and any 
precinct may be divided into two or more polling places. In towns, or 
municipal corporations other than the cities of the first, second and 
third class, election precincts may, however, include two or more wards, 
or may comprise the territory included by one or more wards, together 
with contiguous territory lying outside the said incorporated towns. 

As amended by Chapter 25, Laws of 1929. 

Section 546. The Board of County Commissioners may change the 
boundaries of precincts and create new or consolidate established pre- 
cincts, but no precinct shall be changed or created between the first 
day of January and the first day of December in any year during which 
a general election is to be held within the State of Montana. All 
changes, alterations, or modifications in precinct boundaries must be 
certified to the County Clerk within three days after the order making 
same shall have been made. All election precincts shall be designated by 
numbers but may also be designated by distinctive names in addition 
to such numbers. 

Section 547. The city council of all incorporated cities and towns 
within the State of Montana shall certify to the County Clerk and 
ex-officio Registrar of the county within which such city or town is 
situated, a description of the boundaries of the several wards within such 
city or town, and in like manner shall cei'tify any changes or alterations 
in such boundaries that may from time to time be made, within ten days 
after the same are made. 

Section 548. The County Surveyor of each county must, within ten 
days after the Board of County Commissioners shall have established 
or changed the boundaries of any election precincts within such county, 
deliver to the County Clerk of the county a map correctly showing the 
boundaries of all precincts and school districts within the county as then 
existing. 



28 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 549. The city council of any incoi-porated city or town shall, 
withfh ten days after the ward lines of such city or town shall have 
been established or changed, deliver or cause to be delivered to the 
County Clerk of said county a map correctly showing the boundaries 
of the wards within such city or town as then existing; such map shall 
also show all streets, avenues, and alleys by name, and the respective 
wards by numbers, with the ward boundaries clearly defined thereon. 

Section 550. The board must, at the session at which judges of elec- 
tion are appointed, make an order designating the house or place within 
the precinct where the election must be held. 

Section 551. If the board fails to designate the house or place for 
holding the election, or if it cannot be held at the house or place desig- 
nated, the judges of election, or a majority of those acting as such in 
the precinct must, two days before the election and by order, under 
their hand (copies of which they must at once post in three public places 
in the precinct), designate the house or place. 

Section 552. No officer of this State, nor of any county shall estab- 
lish a voting precinct within or at the premises of any Indian agency 
or trading post. 

REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS 

Section 553. The County Clerk of each county of the State of Mon- 
tana is hereby declared to be ex-officio County Registrar of such county 
and shall perform all acts and duties in this Act provided without extra 
pay or compensation therefor. He shall have the custody of all registra- 
tion books, cards, and papers herein provided for, and the register here- 
inafter provided for to be kept by said County Clerk is hereby declared 
to be an official record of the office of the County Clerk of each county. 

Section 554. The official register of electors in each county shall be 
contained in a book designated "register," which book shall be so ar- 
ranged in precincts and alphabetical divisions suitable to record the full 
and complete information given by each elector, and a card index of 
which the County Clerk of such county shall at all times have the custody. 
The cards shall be four by six inches in size, of white calendar stock, and 
shall be so perforated that all cards in any drawer may be fastened in 
by a rod passing through such perforations, which rod shall be kept 
locked except when the clerk shall be making necessary changes in the 
register. The registry book herein provided shall be in such form as 
shall be designated by the Secretary of State of the State of Montana. 
The registry card shall be substantially in the following form: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 29 

(FACE) 
STATE OF MONTANA, ^ 

County of J 

Number Date Name Sex 

Where born Age Height Occupation 

Ft.-In. 

Naturalized when Where 

Residence Post Office Sec. Twp. Rg. 

Length of time in Precinct Ward School Dist. 

State County City 

Date cancelled Date registered Disability, if any 
Place where last registered 

STATE OF MONTANA, ^ 

^ « rss. 

County of j 

, being duly sworn says: 

I am the elector whose name appears on the face of this card; the several 
statements thereon contained affecting my qualifications as an elector 
are true; I am able to mark my ballot (or I am unable to mark my 
ballot by reason of the physical disabilities on this card specified), and 
I am not registered elsewhere within the State of Montana and claim 
no right to vote elsewhere than in the precinct on this card specified, so 
help me God. 



Subscribed and sworn to before me this day of 



., 19. 



County Clerk and Ex-Officio Registrar. 



By Deputy. 



30 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

(BACK) 

AFFIDAVIT OF LOST NATURALIZATION PAPERS 

STATE OF MONTANA, ^ 

rss. 
County of j 

, being duly sworn on 

oath, says: 

I am the elector named on the face of this card; I am a naturalized 
citizen of the United States; my certificate of naturalization is lost or 
destroyed, or beyond my present reach, and I have no certified copy 

thereof; I came to the United States in the year ; I was 

admitted to citizenship in the state (or territory) of 

county of , by the court 

during the year ; I last saw my certificate of naturalization, 

or a certified copy thereof, at 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 

day of , 19 



County Clerk and Ex-Officio Registrar. 

By Deputy. 

Section 555. Any elector residing within the county may register 
by appearing before the County Clerk and Ex-Officio Registrar and 
making connect answers to all questions propounded by the County Clerk 
touching the items of inform.ation called for by such registry card, and 
by signing and verifying the affidavit or affidavits on the back of such 
card. 

Section 556. If any elector resides more than ten miles distant from 
the office of the County Clerk, he may register before the deputy regis- 
trar within the precinct where such elector resides. If by reason of 
physical infirmity the elector is unable to appear before the County 
Clerk or any deputy registrar, he may send written notice to the County 
Clerk or to the deputy registrar of such disability, with the request 
that his registration be made at his residence. Upon receipt of such 
notice and request it shall be the duty of the County Clerk or deputy 
registrar, as the case may be, to make the registration of such elector 
at his residence; provided, that no greater sum than twenty-five cents 
may be charged or received by any officer or person for taking the 
registration of the elector herein provided for; and provided further, that 
no officer or person shall be entitled to receive from any county in the 
State of Montana any charge for expenses incurred by reason of the 
provisions of this section. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 31 

Section 557. All Notaries Public and Justices of the Peace are desig- 
nated as deputy registrars in the county in which they reside, and may 
register electors residing more than ten miles from the county court 
house in -any precinct within the county. The County Commissionei-s shall 
appoint a deputy registrar, other than Notaries Public and Justices of 
the Peace, for each precinct in the county. Such deputy registrar shall 
be a resident elector in the precinct for which he is appointed and shall 
register electors in that precinct, and shall receive as compensation for 
his services the sum of twenty-five cents for each elector registered by 
him. Each deputy registrar shall forward by mail, within two days, all 
registration cards filled out by him to the County Clerk and Recorder. 

Section 558. The office of the County Clerk shall be open for regis- 
tration of voters between the hours of nine a. m. and five p. m. on all 
days except legal holidays. Registry cards shall be numbered consecu- 
tively in the order of their receipt at the office of the County Clerk; 
provided, however, that electors who are registered upon the registry 
books in use in any county prior to the passage and approval of this 
law shall retain upon their registry cards the same number as they 
have severally had upon such books; and provided also that such electors 
need not again appear at the office of the County Clerk to register, 
but the County Clerk is hereby authorized to fill out from such registry 
books registry cards for all electors entitled to vote at the time of the 
passage and approval of this law, transcribing from such books the data 
called for by such cards. The cards so filled out from the registry books 
shall be marked "transcribed" by the County Clerk, and shall constitute 
part of the official register, and shall entitle the elector represented 
by each such card to vote in the same manner as if the card had been 
filled out, signed and verified by such elector. The County Clei-k shall 
classify register cards according to the precincts in which the several 
electors reside, and shall arrange the cards in each precinct in alpha- 
betical order. The cards for each precinct shall be kept in a separate 
filing case or drawer which shall be marked with the number of the 
precinct. The County Clerk shall, immediately after filling out the 
card index or registry cards as herein provided, enter upon the official 
register of the county in the proper precinct the full information given 
by said elector. 

Section 559. If any applicant for registration applies to be regis- 
tered who has not resided within the State of Montana, or the county 
or city for the required length of time, and who shall be entitled to and 
is qualified to register on or before the day of election, provided he 
answers the question of the County Clerk in a satisfactory manner, and it 
is made to appear to the County Clerk that he will be entitled to become 
a qualified elector by the date upon which the election is to be held, the 
County Clerk shall accept such registration. If any person applies to 
be registered who is not a citizen of the United States, but states that 
he will be qualified to be registered as a citizen of the United States 
before the date upon which the election is to be held, the County Clerk 
shall accept such registration, but shall place opposite the name of such 
person the words, "to be challenged for want of naturalization papers," 



32 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

and such person shall not be entitled to vote unless he exhibits to the 
judges of election his final naturalization papers. 

Section 560. Every elector, on changing his residence from one pre- 
cinct to another within the same county, may cause his registry card 
to be transferred to the register of the precinct of his new residence, 
by a request in writing to the County Clerk of such county, in the follow- 
ing form: 

I, the undersigned, elector, having changed my residence from Precinct 

No to Pi-ecinct No in the County of 

, State of Montana, herewith make application 

to have my registry card transferred to the precinct register of the pre- 
cinct of my present residence. My registration number is 

Dated at , on the day of 

, 19 

Whenever it shall be more convenient for any elector residing outside 
of an incorporated city or town to vote in another precinct in the same 
political township in the county, such elector may cause his registry 
card to be transferred fi'om the precinct of his residence to such other 
precinct, by filing in the office of the County Clerk of such county, at 
least thirty days prior to any election, a request in writing in the 
following form: 

I, the undersigned elector, herewith make application to have my 

registry card transferred from Precinct No to the register of 

Precinct No , in the county of , State of 

Montana. The reason why it is more convenient for me to vote in said 

Precinct No is that 

Dated at , on the day of 

, 19 

The County Clerk shall compare the signature of the elector upon 
such request in either case, with the signature upon the registry card 
of the elector as indicated, and may question the elector as to any of 
the information contained upon such registry card, and if the County 
Clerk is satisfied concerning the identity of the elector and his right to 
have such transfer made, he shall endorse upon the registry card of 
such elector the date of the transfer and the precinct to which trans- 
ferred, and shall file said card in the register of the precinct of the 
elector's present residence, or of the precinct to which he has requested 
that his registry card be transferred, and the County Clerk shall in 
each case make a transfer of the elector's name, together with all data 
connected therewith, to the proper precinct in the register. 

Section 561. If any elector registered as such in any county shall 
change his residence to another county in the State of Montana, he shall 
make and file with the County Clerk of the latter county the following 
affidavit in duplicate, to-wit: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 33 

STATE OF MONTANA, "I 

,- ss. 
County of J 

I, the undersigned elector, being duly sworn on oath say: 

I have heretofore registered as an elector in the State of Montana, 

County of , Precinct No , but 

on the day of , 19 , I 

moved my residence to the County of in 

said State, and now reside at Section Township 

Range Precinct No ; I occupy 

Room No of the Building, 

floor; I was born in and was naturalized as 

a citizen of the United States in My height is 

ft in. I request that I be registered to conform to my 

present address. 



Elector. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this day of 

, 19 



Said affidavit may be sworn to before any officer authorized to ad- 
minister oaths within the State of Montana. Upon filing such affidavit 
in duplicate with the County Clei'k, such elector shall fill out a registry 
card as herein provided for the original registration of voters, and he 
shall thereupon be entitled to all of the rights of an elector in the pre- 
cinct of his present residence, and such registry card shall be filed in 
the official registry of such precinct in the same manner as an original 
registry card. 

Upon receiving the duplicate affidavits above referred to the County 
Clerk shall file one in his own office, and shall within two days there- 
after transmit the other to the County Clerk of the county wherein 
said elector was previously registered. Upon the receipt of such duplicate 
affidavit by the County Clerk of such other county, he shall transfer the 
registry card of the elector named in such affidavit to the cancelled file 
of said county. Upon receiving the duplicate affidavit referred to in 
this section, the County Clerk shall cancel the name of such elector in the 
register herein provided for, by drawing a line through said entry in 
red ink and by endorsing thereon the cause of said cancellation. 

Section 562. Immediately after evex-y general election, the County 
Clerk of each county shall compare the list of electors who have voted 
at such election in each precinct, as shown by the official poll-book, with 
the official register of said precinct, and he shall remove from the 
official register herein provided for the registry cards of all electors who 
have failed to vote at such election, and shall mark each of said cards 



34 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

with the word "Cancelled," and shall place such cancelled cards for the 
•entire county in alphabetical order in a separate drawer to be known as 
the "cancelled file;" but any elector whose card is thus removed from 
the official register may re-register in the same manner as his original 
registration was made, and the registration card of any elector who thus 
re-registers shall be filed by the County Clerk in the official register 
in the same manner as original registration cards are filed. The County 
Clei'k shall at the same time cancel, by drawing a red line through the 
entry thereof, the name of all such electors who have failed to vote at 
such election. 

Section 563. Every citizen of the State of Montana who was engaged 
in the active military or naval services of the United States during the 
late war, and was duly registered and entitled to vote at the last general 
election, and by reason of such sei'vice was unable to vote at such elec- 
tion, shall not be considered to have lost any rights by reason thereof, 
and the provisions of the preceding section shall not apply. 

Section 564. The County Clerk shall, within ten days after the pas- 
sage and approval of this Act, withdraw from the "cancelled file" the 
registration cards of all persons subject to the provisions of this Act, 
and place such cards in the active precinct registration files, and enter 
the names of such persons upon the proper registration rolls. 

Section 565. Any person subject to the provisions of this Act, whose 
name does not appear upon the register of voters for the precinct in 
which such person resides, shall be entitled to vote at any election upon 
filing with the judges of election an affidavit, showing that he is a 
citizen of the State of Montana and was duly registered as an elector 
for the general election in 1918, and that by reason of service in the 
military or naval service of the United States he was unable to vote at 
such election. Upon the filing of such affidavit said judges shall enter the 
name of such person upon the register of voters for such precinct and 
forward to the County Clerk the affidavit so made. The County Clerk 
shall immediately withdraw the registration card of such person from 
the "cancelled file," and place the same in the proper precinct file. 

Section 566. The County Clerk shall close all registration for the 
full period of forty-five days prior to and before any election. He shall 
immediately transmit to the Secretary of State a certificate showing 
the number of voters registered in each precinct in said county. The 
County Clerk of each county must cause to be published in a newspaper 
within his county, having a general circulation therein, for thirty days 
before which time when such registration shall be closed for any elec- 
tion, a notice signed by him to the effect that such registration will be 
closed on the day provided by law, and which day shall be specified in 
such notice; and must also state that electors may register for the en- 
suing election by appearing before the County Clerk at his office, or by 
appearing before a deputy registi'ar or before any Notary Public or 
Justice of the Peace in the manner provided by law. The publication of 
such notice must continue for the full period of thirty days. At least 
thirty days before the time when the official register is closed for any 
election, the County Clerk shall cause to be posted, in at least five 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 35 

conspicuous places in each voting precinct at such election, notice of the 
time when the official register will close for such election. 

Section 567. The County Clerk shall, at least thirty days preceding 
any election, cause to be printed and posted a list of all elctors entitled 
to be registered, as shown by the official register of the county, and 
who are on the precinct registers as entitled to vote in the several pre- 
cincts of such county, city or town, or school district of the first class. 
Such printed list of registered electors shall contain the name of the 
elector in full, together with his residence, giving the number and street, 
or the name of the house, or the section, township and range, as shown 
by the official register card of the elector, and the registry number. The 
expense of printing said list shall be paid by said county, city or town, 
or school district in which the election is to be held. The County Clerk 
shall cause to be posted, not less than thirty days before any such elec- 
tion, as in this Act provided for, at least five copies of such printed 
registry list in at least five conspicuous places within the said precinct, 
a copy of the list of registered voters herein pi'ovided for, and shall 
retain sufficient number of said printed lists of registered voters in his 
office as may be necessary for the convenience of the public. He shall 
furnish to any qualified elector of any county, city or town or school 
district applying therefor a copy of the same provided that where the 
list herein provided for has been printed and posted for any primary 
election, the same may be used for the election proper following by 
posting in connection therewith at the time provided for in this section 
a supplemental list giving the names of electors who may have registered 
after the first list was prepared. 

Section 568. During the time intervening between the closing of the 
official register and the day of the ensuing election, the County Clerk 
shall prepare for each precinct a book to be known as the "poll-book," 
which shall be for the use of the clerks and judges of election in each 
such precinct. Such books shall be arranged for the listing of the names 
of the electors in alphabetical divisions, each division to be composed of 
ruled columns with appropriate headings, under which the information 
contained upon the registry card of each elector shall be transci-ibed, 
excepting the oath of the elector, and the certified copy of the poll-books 
so prepared shall be delivered to the judges of the election at or prior 
to the opening of the polls in each precinct. Where the precincts in mu- 
nicipal elections, or in elections in school districts of the first class, 
include more than one county precinct, the County Clerk shall combine 
into one poll-book the names of all electors in the several precinct 
registers of the precincts of which such municipal or school district 
precinct is composed. The County Clerk shall omit from the list of names 
of all certified voters so inserted in the poll-book herein provided for, 
the names and registry of all electors which it is the duty of the County 
Clerk to cancel under the provisions of Section 570, provided that the 
requirements contained in the provisions of said section shall have been 
brought to the attention of the County Clerk not less than twenty days 
preceding the election. 



36 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 569. Whenever the period during which the official registry 
is closed preceding any election shall occur during the time within which 
any elector is entitled to register for another election, such elector shall 
be permitted to register for such other election, but the County Clerk 
shall retain his registi'y card in a separate file until the official register 
is again open for filing of cards, at which time all cards in such 
temporary file shall be placed in their proper position in the official 
register. 

Section 570. The County Clerk must cancel any registry card in the 
following cases: 

1. At the request of the party registered. 

2. When he has personal knowledge of the death or removal from 
the county of the person registered, or when duly authenticated certifi- 
cate of the death of any elector is filed in his office. 

3. When there is presented and filed with the County Clerk the 
separate affidavit of three qualified registered electors residing within 
the precinct, which affidavit shall give the name of such elector, his 
registry number, and his residence, and which affidavit shall show that 
of the personal knowledge of the affiant, that any person registered 
does not reside or has removed from the place designated as the resi- 
dence of such elector. 

4. When the insanity of the elector is legally established. 

5. Upon the production of a certified copy of a final judgment of 
conviction of any elector of felony. 

6. Upon the production of a certified copy of the judgment of any 
court directing the cancellation to be made. 

Section 571. The County Clerk shall receive, for the use and benefit 
of the county, from every city or town, or from every school district 
of the first class, to which the poll-books referred to in the last section 
have been furnished, the sum of five cents for each and every name 
entered in such poll-books, and in addition he shall receive in like man- 
ner the amount of the actual expense incurred in printing and posting 
the lists of electors, and in publishing the notices required by this law, 
and any other expense incurred on account of any such municipal or 
school district election. It shall be the duty of the city or town council, 
or board of school trustees, to order a warrant drawn for such sum as 
may be due to the County Clerk under the provisions of this section, 
within thirty days after the presentation of the account to them by said 
County Clerk. 

Section 572. The County Clerk shall furnish to any person or per- 
sons who in writing may so request, a copy of the official precinct 
registers of any county, city or school district precinct, and upon delivery 
thereof shall charge and collect for the use and benefit of the county the 
sum of five cents for each and every name entered in such official pre- 
cinct register. 

Section 573. At any time not later than the tenth day prior to any 
election, a challenge may be filed with the County Clerk, signed by a 
qualified elector in writing, and duly verified by the affidavit of the 
elector, that the elector designated therein is not entitled to register. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 37 

Such affidavit shall state the grounds of challenge, objection and dis- 
qualification. The County Clerk shall file the affidavit of challenge in 
his office as a record thereof. The County Clerk must deliver a true 
and correct copy of any and all of such affidavits so filed, challenging 
the right of any elector to vote who has been so registered at the same 
time, and together with the copy of the precinct registers and check 
lists, and other papers required by this Act to be delivered to the judges 
of election, as in this Act provided, and he must write distinctly opposite 
to the name of any person to whose qualification as an elector objections 
may be thus made, the words "To be challenged." It shall be the duty 
of the judges of election, if on election day such person who has been 
objected to and challenged applies to vote, to test, under oath, his quali- 
fications. Notwithstanding the elector is registered, his right to vote 
may be challenged on the day of election by any qualified registered 
elector, orally stating, to the judges of election, the grounds of such 
objection or challenge to the right of any registered elector to vote. 

It is the duty of the judges of election, when it appears that any 
elector offers to vote and is either challenged by a duly qualified reg- 
istered elector, on election day, or if an affidavit of objection to the 
right of such elector to vote has been filed with the County Clerk and 
the copy of the precinct registers furnished to the judges of election 
have endorsed thereon, opposite to the name of such elector, "to be 
challenged," to test the qualifications of the elector and ask any ques- 
tions that such judges may deem proper, and shall compare the answers 
of the elector to such questions with the entries in the precinct register 
books, and if it be found that said elector is disqualified, or that the 
answers given by such elector to the questions propounded by the judges 
do not correspond to the entry in the precinct registers, or that said 
elector is disqualified from any cause under the law, or if he refuses to 
take an oath as to his qualifications, he shall not be permitted to vote. 
The judges of election, in their discretion, may require such elector to 
produce before them one or more freeholders of the county, as they may 
deem necessary, and have them examined under oath as to the qualifica- 
tions of the elector. 

Section 574. For the purpose of registration or voting, the place of 
residence of any person must be governed by the following rules as far 
as they are applicable: 

1. That place must be considered and held to be the residence of a 
person in which his habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever he is 
absent, he has the intention of returning. 

2. A person must not be held to have gained or lost a residence by 
reason of his presence or absence while employed in the service of the 
United States, or of this State, nor while a student at any institution 
of learning, nor while kept at any alms-house or other asylum at the 
public expense, nor while confined in any public prison, nor while residing 
on any military reservation. 

3. No soldier, seaman, or marine in the army or navy of the United 
States shall be deemed a resident of this State in consequence of being 
stationed at any military or naval place within the same. 



38 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

4. A person must not be considered to have lost his residence who 
leaves his home to go into another state, or other district of this State, 
for temporary purposes merely with the intention of returning, provided 
he has not exercised the right of the election franchise in said state or 
district. 

5. A person must not be considered to have gained a residence in 
any county into which he comes for temporary purposes merely without 
the intention of making such county his home. 

6. If a person removes to another state with the intention of making 
it his residence, he loses his residence in this State. 

7. If a person removes to another state with the intention of remain- 
ing there for an indefinite time, and as a place of present residence, he 
loses his residence in this State, notwithstanding he entertains an inten- 
tion of returning at some future period. 

8. The place where a man's family resides is presumed his place of 
residence, but any man who takes up or continues his abode with the 
intention of remaining, or a place other than where his family resides, 
must be regarded as a resident of the place where he so abides. 

9. A change of residence can only be made by the act of removal 
joined with the intent to remain in another place. There can only be 
one residence. A residence cannot be lost until another is gained. 

10. The terms of residence must be computed by including the day 
of the election. 

Section 575. When a naturalized citizen applies for registration his 
certificate of naturalization, or a certified copy thereof, must be pro- 
duced and stamped, or written in ink by the registry agent, with such 
registry agent's name and the year and day and county where pre- 
sented; but if it satisfactorily appears to the registry agent, by the 
affidavit of the applicant (and the affidavit of one or more credible 
electors as to the credibility of such applicant when deemed necessary), 
that his certificate of naturalization, or a certified copy thereof, is 
lost or destroyed, or beyond the reach of the applicant for the time 
being, said registry agent must register the name of said applicant, 
unless he is by law otherwise disqualified; but in case of failure to pro- 
duce the certificate of naturalization, or a certified copy thereof, the 
registry agent must propound the following questions: 

1. In what year did you come to the United States? 

2. In what state or territory, county, court, and year were you 
finally admitted to citizenship ? 

3. Where did you last see your certificate of naturalization, or a 
certified copy thereof? 

Section 576. The judges of election in each precinct, at every general 
or special election, shall, in the precinct register book, which shall be 
certified to them by the County Clerk, mark a cross (X) upon the 
line opposite to the name of the elector, before any elector is permitted 
to vote, the judges of election shall require the elector to sign his name 
upon one of the precinct register books, designated by the County Clerk 
for that purpose, and in a column reserved in the said precinct books for 
the signature of electors. If the elector is not able to sign his name he 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 39 

shall be required by the judges to produce two freeholders who shall 
make an affidavit before the judges of election, or one of them, in sub- 
stantially the following form: 



STATE OF MONTANA, | 
County of j 



We, the undersigned witnesses, do swear that our names and signa- 
tures are genuine, and that we are each personally acquainted with 

, (the name of the elector) 



and that we know that he is residing at , 

and that we believe that he is entitled to vote at this election, and that 
we are each freeholders in the county. Which affidavit shall be filed by 
the judges, and returned by them to the County Clerk, with the return 
of the election; one of the judges shall thereupon write the elector's 
name, and note the fact of his inability to sign, and the names of the 
two freeholders who made the affidavit herein provided for. If the 
elector fails or refuses to sign his name and if unable to write fails to 
procure two freeholders who will take the oath herein provided, he shall 
not be allowed to vote. Immediately after the election and canvass of 
the returns, the judges of election shall deliver to the County Clerk the 
copy of said official precinct register sealed, with the election returns 
and poll-book, which have been used at said election. 

Section 577. In any action or proceeding instituted in a district court 
to compel the County Clerk to make and enter the name of any elector 
in the precinct register, as many persons may be joined as plaintiffs 
for cause of action and as many persons as there are causes of action 
against may be joined as defendants. 

Section 578. No person shall be entitled to vote at any election 
mentioned in this Act unless his name shall on the day of election, 
except at school election in school districts of the second and third class, 
appear in the copy of the official precinct register furnished by the 
County Clerk to the judges of election, and the fact that his name so 
appears in the copy of the precinct register shall be prima facie evidence 
of his right to vote; provided, that when the judges shall have good 
reason to believe, or when they shall be informed by a qualified elector 
that the person offering to vote is not the person who was so registered 
in that name, the vote of such person shall not be received until he 
shall have proved his identity as the person who was registered in 
that name by the oath of two reputable freeholders within the precinct 
in which such elector is registered. 

Section 579. Any elector whose name is erroneously omitted from 
any precinct poll-book may apply for and secure from the County Clerk 
a certificate of such error, and stating the precinct in which such elector 
is entitled to vote, and upon the presentation of such certificate to the 
judges of election in such precinct, the said elector shall be entitled 
to vote in the same manner as if his name had appeared upon the precinct 
poll-book. Such certificate shall be marked "voted" by the judges, and 
shall be returned by them with the poll-book. 



40 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 580. Wherever in this Act the word "Ck)unty Clerk" appears, 
it shall be construed as extending and giving authority to any regularly 
appointed Deputy County Clerk. 

Section 581. The v^^ord "elector" as used in this law, whether used 
with or without the masculine pronoun, shall apply equally to male and 
female electors. 

Section 582. The word "election" as used in this law where not 
otherwise qualified, shall be taken to apply to general, special, primary 
nominating and municipal elections, and to elections in school districts of 
the first class. 

Section 583. Any person or persons, or any officer of any county, 
city or town, or school district, who, under the provisions of this Act, are 
required to perform any duty, who shall wilfully or knowingly fail, 
refuse or neglect to perform such duty, or to comply with the provisions 
of this Act, shall, upon conviction, be fined in the sum of not less than 
Three Hundred Dollars, nor more than One Thousand Dollars, or by 
imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than three months 
and no more than one year. Upon the conviction of any officer of the 
violation of the provisions of this Act, the Judge of the District Court 
hearing such proceeding shall, at the time of rendering judgment of 
conviction, include in such order of conviction an order of the court 
that such officer be removed from office. 

Section 584. If any person offering to vote at any primary election 
be challenged by a judge or any qualified elector at said election, as 
to his right to vote thereat, an oath shall be administered to him by one 
of the judges that he will truly answer all questions touching his right 
to vote at such election, and if it appear that he is not a qualified voter 
under the provisions of this Act, his vote shall be rejected; and if any 
person whose vote shall be so rejected shall offer to vote at the same 
election, at any other polling place, he shall be deemed guilty of a 
misdemeanor. 

Section 585. Any person who shall make false answers, either for 
himself or another, or shall violate or attempt to violate any of the 
provisions of this Act, or knowingly encourage another to violate the 
same, or any public officer or officers, or other persons upon whom any 
duty is imposed by this Act, or any of its provisions, who shall wilfully 
neglect such duty, or shall wilfully perform it in such way as to hinder 
the objects and purposes of this Act, shall, excepting where some penalty 
is provided by the terms of this Act, be deemed guilty of a felony, and 
upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the State 
prison for a period of not less than one year or more than fourteen years, 
and if such person be a public officer, shall also forfeit his office. 

Section 586. It shall be the duty of the Board of County Commis- 
sioners of each county to provide the County Clerk thereof with sufficient 
help to enable him to properly perform the duties imposed upon him by 
this Act, and the cost of the stationery, printing, publishing, and posting 
to be furnished or procured by the County Clerk by the pi'ovisions of this 
law shall be a proper charge upon the county. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 41 

JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ELECTION 

Section 587. The Board of County Commissioners of the several 
counties at the regular session next preceding a general election, must 
appoint five judges of election for each precinct in which the voters 
therein, by the last registration, were two hundred or more and three 
judges of election for each precinct in which such registration was less 
than two hundred, as amended by Chapter 43, Laws of 1923. 

Section 588. The Board of County Commissioners, notwithstanding 
the registration, may appoint five judges of each precinct in which upon 
information obtained by them they have reason to believe contains two 
hundred voters or more and three judges of election in precincts which 
upon information obtained by them, they have reason to believe was 
less than two hundred, as amended by Chapter 43, Laws of 1923. 

Section 589. In any new precinct established, the Board of County 
Commissioners must, in like manner, appoint five or three judges of 
election, according to the estimated number of voters therein, as required 
by the two next preceding sections. 

Section 590. In making the appointment of judges of election, not 
more than a majority of such judges must be appointed from any one 
political party for each precinct. 

Section 591. The compensation of members of boards of election, 
including judges and clerks, is hereby fixed at forty cents per hour for 
the time actually on duty, and must be audited by the Board of County 
Commissioners and paid out of the county treasury. 

Section 592. The clerk of the board must make out and forward by 
mail, immediately after the appointment of the judges, a notice thereof 
in writing, directed to each of them. In case there is no postoffice in 
any one or more of the precincts in any county, the clerk must forward 
notices of such appointment by registered mail to the postoffice nearest 
such precinct, directed to the judges aforesaid. If, in any of the precincts, 
any of the judges refuse or neglect to serve, the electors of such precinct 
may elect a judge or judges to fill vacancies on the morning of the 
election, to serve at such election. 

Section 593. The judges must elect two persons having the same 
qualifications as themselves to act as clerks of the election. The judges 
continue judges of all elections to be held in their respective precincts 
until other judges are appointed; and the clerks of election continue 
to act as such during the pleasure of the judges of election, and the 
Board of County Commissioners must from time to time fill vacancies 
which may occur in the office of judges of election in any precinct 
within their respective counties. 

Section 594. The clerks of the several Boards of County Commis- 
sioners must, at least thirty days before any general election, make and 
forward by mail to such judge or judges as are designated by the County 
Commissioners, three written notices for each precinct, said notices to 
be substantially as follows: 



42 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Notice is hereby given that on the first Tuesday after the first 

Monday of November, 19 , at the house , in the county of 

, an election will be held for (nam- 
ing the offices to be filled, including electors of President and Vice- 
President, a Representative in Congress, State, county and township 
officers), and for the determination of the following questions (naming 
them) , the polls of which election will be open at 8 o'clock in the morning 
and continue open until 6 o'clock in the afternoon of the same day. Dated 

this day of , A. D. 19 

Signed, A. B., Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners. 

Section 595. The judges to whom such notice is directed, as provided 
in the next preceding section, must cause to be put up in three of the 
most public places in each precinct the notices of election in such precinct, 
at least ten days previous to the time of holding any general election, 
which notices must be posted as follows: One at the house where the 
election is authorized to be held, and the others at the two most public 
and suitable places in the precinct. 

Section 596. Previous to votes being taken, the judges and clerks 
of election must take and subscribe the official oath prescribed by the 
constitution. It is lawful for the judges of election, and they are hereby 
empowered, to administer the oath to each other, and to the clerks of 
the election. 

Section 597. Any member of the board, or either clerk thereof, may 
administer and certify oaths required to be administered during the 
progress of an election. 

ELECTION SUPPLIES 

Section 598. The Board of County Commissioners of each county 
must furnish for the several election precincts in each county poll-books 
after the forms hereinafter prescribed. 

Section 599. The clerk of the board must forward by mail, as a 
registered package, to one of the judges of election so appointed, in 
each precinct, at least ten days prior to any general election and five days 
prior to any special election, two of such blank poll-books for the use 
of the judges of such precinct. 

Section 600. The following is the form of poll-books to be kept in 
duplicate by the judges and clerks of election: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



43 



Poll-Book of Precinct No. 
Number and names of electors voting. 



No. 



NAME 



No. 



NAME 



No. 



NAME 



Total number of votes cast at Precinct No 

We, the undersigned, judges and clerks of an election held at Precinct 

No , in the County of , in the State 

of Montana, on the day of , 19 , 

having first been severally sworn according to law, hereby certify that 
the foregoing is a true statement of the number and names of the persons 
voting at said precinct at said election, and that the following named 
persons received the number of votes annexed to their respective names 
for the following described offices to-wit: 



Governor 



Members of Legislative Assembly 



A. B.,- 
C. D.,- 



- Votes Senate' House of Representatives 
-Votes E. F., Votes G. H., Votes 



Certified and Signed by Us. 

~ [ Clerks. 



Judges. 



Section 601. No poll-book or certificate returned from any election 
precinct must be set aside or rejected for want of form, nor on account 
of its not being strictly in accordance with the directions of this chapter, 
if it can be satisfactorily understood. 

Section 602. The necessary printed blanks for poll lists, tally lists, 
lists of electors, tickets, and returns, together with envelopes in which 
to enclose the returns, must be furnished by the Boards of County Com- 
missioners to the officers of each election precinct at the expense of the 
county. 

Section 603. Before the opening of the polls, the County Clerk, or 
the City Clerk in the case of municipal elections, must deliver to the 
judges of each election precinct which is within the county (or within 
the municipality in case of municipal election) and in which the election 



44 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

is to be held, at the polling place of the precinct, the proper number of 
election ballots as provided for in section 687 of this Code. He must also 
deliver to said judges a rubber or other stamp, with ink pad, for the 
purpose of stamping or designating the official ballots as hereinafter 
provided. Said stamp must contain the words "Official Ballot," the 
name or number of the election precinct, the name of the county, the 
date of the election, and name and official designation of the clerk who 
furnishes the ballots. The judge of election to whom the stamps and 
ballots are given pursuant to this section must be the same person who 
may be designated by the commissioners to post the notices required by 
section 594 of this Code. But in case it be impracticable to deliver such 
stamps and ballots to such judge then they may be delivered to some 
other one of the judges of election. 

Section 604. There shall be provided at the expense of the county, 
for each polling precinct, a substantial ballot box or canvas pouch with 
a secure lock and key for the ballots and detached stubs as hereinafter 
provided for. There shall be one opening and no more in such box or 
canvas pouch, of sufficient size to admit a single folded ballot. The 
adoption of the canvas pouch to be used instead of the ballot box, in any 
precinct, shall be optional with the commissioners of each county, but in 
such precincts where pouches are so adopted, the pouches shall be re- 
turned to the County Clerk together, with the other election returns, as 
by law provided. 

Section 605. There must be an opening in the lid of such box of no 
larger size than shall be sufficient to admit a single folded ballot. 

Section 606. Before receiving any ballots, the judges must, in the 
presence of any persons assembled at the polling place, open and exhibit 
the ballot-box and remove any contents therefrom, and then close and 
lock the same, delivering the key to one of their members, and thereafter 
the ballot-box must not be removed from the polling place or presence 
of the bystanders until all the ballots are counted, nor must it be opened 
until after the polls are finally closed. 

Section 607. The County Clerk of each county must cause to be 
printed in large type on cards, in the English language, instructions 
for the guidance of electors in preparing their ballots. He must furnish 
six cards to the judges of election in each election precinct, and one 
additional card for each fifty registered electors, or fractional part 
thereof, in the precinct, at the same time and in the same manner as 
the printed ballots. The judges of election must post not less than one 
of such cards in each place or compartment provided for the preparation 
of ballots, and not less than three of such cards elsewhere in and about 
polling places upon the day of election. Said cards must be printed in 
large, clear type, and must contain full instructions to the voters as to 
what should be done, viz.: 

1. To obtain ballots for voting. 

2. To prepare the ballots for deposit in the ballot boxes. 

3. To obtain a new ballot in the place of one spoiled by accident or 
mistake. Said card must also contain a copy of sections 10753, 10757, 
10758, 10759, 10760, 10761 of the Penal Code. There must also be posted 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 45 

in each of the compartments, or booths, one of the official tickets, as 
provided in sections 677 to 686, without the official stamp, and not less 
than three such tickets posted elsewhere in and about the polling places 
upon the day of election. 

Section 608. In sending out election supplies to each precinct for 
each general election, it shall be the duty of the County Clerk in each 
county to send with such supplies not less than six printed forms, with 
a return envelope, for the use of judges of election in transmitting elec- 
tion returns for public information. Said printed forms shall be in ballot 
form on tinted paper, and the name of each candidate and each proposi- 
tion voted on shall be printed on said blank. Brief instructions for the 
use of said blank, as contained in this Act, shall also be printed on 
said blank. 

Section 609. As soon as all of the ballots have been counted in any 
precinct, it shall be the duty of the election judges to correctly copy the 
total vote cast for each candidate and the total vote cast for and against 
each proposition on the blanks furnished by the County Clerk, as 
provided in the preceding section. 

Section 610. One of said blanks, properly filled out, shall be posted 
forthwith at the polling place; and one copy, correctly filled out, shall 
be sent by mail or by messenger, when the same can be done without 
expense, to the County Clerk. Said copy may be sent by the same mes- 
senger carrying the official election returns, but the same shall not be 
enclosed or sealed with the other returns. 

Section 611. Any judge of election, or other officer, who shall fail 
or refuse to comply with the provisions of this Act, shall be deemed 
guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in 
any sum not exceeding Fifty Dollars. 

NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR SPECIAL ELECTIONS BY 
CONVENTION OR PRIMARY MEETING OR BY ELECTORS 

Section 612. Any convention or primary meeting held for the pur- 
pose of making nominations to public office, or the number of electors 
required in this chapter, may nominate candidates for public office to be 
filled by election in the State. A convention or primary meeting within 
the meaning of this chapter is an organized assemblage of electors or 
delegates representing a political party or principle. 

Section 613. All nominations made by such convention or primary 
meeting must be certified as follows: The certificate of nomination, 
which must be in writing, must contain the name of each person nomi- 
nated, his residence, his business, his business address, and the office 
for which he is named, and must designate, in not more than five words, 
the party or principle which such convention or primary meeting repre- 
sents, and it must be signed by the presiding officer and secretary of 
such convention or primary meeting, who must add to their signatures 
their respective places of residence, their business, and business ad- 
dresses. Such certificates must be delivered by the secretary or the 
president of such convention or primary meeting to the Secretary of the 
State or to the County Clerk, as in this chapter required. 



46 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 614. Cei'tificates of nomination of candidates for offices to 
be filled by the electors of the entire State, or of any division or district 
greater than a county, must be filed with the Secretary of State. Cer- 
tificates of nomination for county, township, and precinct officers must 
be filed with the clerks of the respective counties wherein the officers 
are to be elected. Certificates of nomination for municipal officers must 
be filed with the clerks of the respective municipal corporations wherein 
the officers are to be elected. The certificate of nomination of joint 
member of the House of Representatives must be filed in the offices of 
the County Clerks of the counties to be represented by such joint member. 

Section 615. Candidates for public office may be nominated other- 
wise than by convention or primary meeting in the manner following: 

A certificate of nomination, containing the name of a candidate for 
the office to be filled, with such information as is required to be given 
in certificates provided for in section 613, must be signed by electors 
residing within the State and district, or political division in and for 
which the officer or officers are to be elected, in the following required 
numbers: 

The number of signatures must not be less in number than five per 
cent of the number of votes cast for the successful candidate for the 
same office at the next preceding election, whether the said candidate 
be State, county, township, municipal, or any other political division or 
subdivision of State or county; but the signatures need not all be ap- 
pended to one paper. Each elector signing a certificate shall add to his 
signature his place of residence, his business, and his business address. 
Any such certificate may be filed as provided for in the next preceding 
section of this chapter, in the manner and with the same effect as a 
certificate of nomination made by a party convention or primary meeting. 

Section 616. No certificate of nomination must contain the name of 
more than one candidate for each office to be filled. No person must join 
in nominating more than one person for each office to be filled, and no 
person must accept a nomination to more than one office. 

Section 617. The Secretary of State and the clerks of the several 
counties and of the several municipal corporations must cause to be 
preserved in their respective offices for one year all certificates of nomi- 
nation filed under the provisions of this chapter. All such certificates 
must be open to public inspection under proper i-egulations to be made 
by the officers with whom the same are filed. 

Section 618. Certificate of nomination to be filed with the Secretary 
of State must be filed not more than sixty (60) days and not less than 
thirty (30) days before the date fixed by law for the election. Certificates 
of nomination herein directed to be filed with the County Clerk must 
be filed not more than sixty (60) days and not less than thirty (30) 
days before the election; certificates of the nomination of candidates 
for municipal offices mu^t be filed with the clerks of the respective 
municipal corporations not more than thirty (30) days and not less than 
ten days previous to the day of election; but the provisions of this section 
shall not be held to apply to nominations for special elections to fill 
vacancies, as amended by Chapter 64, Laws of 1925. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 47 

Section 619. Not less than twenty-five nor more than forty days 
before an election to fill any public office, the Secretary of State must 
certify to the County Clerk of each county within which any of the 
electors may by law vote for candidates for such office, the name and 
description of each person nominated, as specified in the certificates of 
nomination filed with the Secretary of State, as amended by Chapter 58, 
Laws of 1925. 

Section 620. Whenever any pei'son nominated for public office, as 
in this chapter provided, shall at least twenty days before election, 
except in the case of municipal elections, in writing, signed by him, 
notify the office with whom the certificate nominating him is by this 
chapter to be filed, that he declines such nomination, such nomination 
shall be void. In municipal elections, such declination shall be made at 
least five days before the election. As amended by Chapter 15, Laws of 
1925. 

Section 621. If any person so nominated dies before the printing of 
the tickets, or declines the nomination as in this chapter provided, or if 
any certificate of nomination is or becomes insufficient or inoperative 
from any cause, the vacancy or vacancies thus occasioned may be filled 
in the manner required for original nomination. If the original nomina- 
tion was made by a party convention which had delegated to a committee 
the power to fill vacancies, such committee may, upon the occurring 
of such vacancies, proceed to fill the same. The chairman and secretary 
of such committee must thereupon make and file with the proper officer 
a certificate setting forth the cause of the vacancy, the name of the 
person nominated, the office for which he was nominated, the name of 
the person for whom the new nominee is to be substituted, the fact that 
the committee was authorized to fill vacancies, and such further informa- 
tion as is required to be given in an original certificate of nomination. 
The certificate so made must be executed in the manner prescribed for 
the original certificate of nomination, and has the same force and effect 
as an original certificate of nomination. When such certificate is filed 
with the Secretary of State, he must, in certifying the nominations to 
the various County Clerks, insert the name of the person who has thus 
been nominated to fill a vacancy in place of the name of the original 
nominee. And in the event he has already transmitted his certificate, he 
must forthwith certify to the clerks of the proper counties the name and 
description of the person so nominated to fill a vacancy, the office he 
is nominated for, the party or political principle he represents and the 
name of the person for whom such nominee is substituted. 

Section 622. Whenever it appears by affidavit that an error or 
omission has occurred in the publication of the name or description of a 
candidate nominated for office, or in the printing of the ballots, the 
District Court of the county may, upon application of any elector, by 
order require the County or Municipal Clerk to correct such error, or to 
show cause why such error should not be corrected. 

Section 623. No person shall be entitled to vote at any caucus, pri- 
mary meeting, or election, held by any political party, except he be an 
elector of the state and county within which such caucus, primary meet- 



48 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

inpr, or election is held, and a legal resident of the precinct or district 
within which such caucus, primary meeting, or election is held, and the 
limits of which said precinct or district are fixed and prescribed by the 
regularly chosen and recognized representatives of the party issuing the 
call for such caucus, primary meeting, or election. 

Section 624. No person shall be entitled to vote at any caucus, pri- 
mary meeting, or election, who is not identified vnth the political party 
holding such caucus, primary meeting, or election, or who does not intend 
to act with such political party at the ensuing election, whose candidates 
are to be nominated at such caucus or primary meeting. And no person, 
having voted at any primary meeting or election of any political party 
whose candidates are to be or have been nominated, shall be permitted 
to vote at the primary meeting or election of any other political party 
whose candidates are to be or have been nominated, and to be voted for 
at the same general or special election. 

Section 625. Three judges, who shall be legal voters in the precinct 
where such caucus or primary meeting is held, shall be chosen by the 
qualified voters of said precinct or district, who are present at the 
opening of such caucus or primary meeting, and said judges shall be 
empoM-^ered to administer oaths and affirmations, and they shall decide 
all questions relating to the qualifications of those voting or offering 
to vote at such caucus or primary meeting, and they shall correctly 
count all votes cast and certify the results of the same. 

Section 626. The judges shall select one of their number who shall 
act as clerk, and the clerk must keep a true record of each and every 
person voting, with their residence, giving the street and number and 
postoffice address. 

Section 627. Any qualified voter may challenge the right of any 
person offering to vote at such caucus or primary meeting, and in the 
event of such challenge, the person challenged shall swear to and sub- 
scribe an oath administered by one of the judges, which oath shall be 
substantially as follows: 

"I do solemnly swear that I am a citizen of the United States, and 
am an elector of this county and of this precinct where this primary is 
now being held, that I have been and now am identified with the party 
or that it is my intention bona fide to act with the party, and identify 
myself with the same at the ensuing election, and that I have not voted 
at any primary meeting or election of any other political party whose 
candidates are to be voted for at the next general election or special 
election." 

If the challenged party takes the oath above prescribed he is entitled 
to vote; provided, in case a person taking the oath as aforesaid shall 
intentionally make false answers to any questions put to him by any 
one of the judges concerning his right to vote at such caucus or primary 
meeting or election, he shall, upon conviction be deemed guilty of perjury, 
and shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term 
of not less than one year nor more than three years. 

Section 628. It shall be unlawful for any judge of any caucus or 
primary meeting or primary election to knowingly receive the vote of 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 49 

any person whom he knows is not entitled to vote, or to fraudulently or 
wrongfully deposit any ballot or ballots in the ballot box, or take any 
ballot or ballots from the ballot box of said caucus or primai-y election, 
or fraudulently or wrongrfully mix any ballots with those cast at such 
caucus or primary election, or knowingly make any false count, canvass, 
statement, or return of the ballots cast or vote taken at such caucus or 
primary election. 

Section 629. No person shall, by bribery or other improper means or 
device, directly or indirectly, attempt to influence any elector in the 
casting of any ballot at such caucus or primary meeting, or deter him 
in the deposit of his ballot, or interfere or hinder any voter at such 
caucus or primary meeting in the full and free exercise of his right of 
suffrage at such caucus or primary meeting. 

Section 630. Any person or persons violating any of the provisions 
of this Act, except as provided in section 627, shall be guilty of a mis- 
demeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not 
less than Fifty Dollars, nor more than Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars, 
or by imprisonment in the county jail not less than three months nor 
more than twelve months, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in 
the discretion of the court. 

(See also Direct Primaries.) 

PARTY NOMINATIONS BY DIRECT VOTE— THE DIRECT PRIMARY 

Section 631. Whenever the provisions of this law in operation prove 
to be of doubtful or uncertain meaning, or not sufficiently explicit in 
directions and details, the general laws of Montana, and especially the 
election and registration laws, and the customs, practice, usage, and 
forms thereunder, in the same circumstances or under like conditions, 
shall be followed in the construction and operation of this law, to the 
end that the protection of the spirit and intention of said laws shall be 
extended so far as possible to all primary elections, and especially to 
all primary nominating elections provided for by this law. If this pro- 
posed law shall be approved and enacted by the people of Montana, the 
title of this bill shall stand as the title of the law. 

Section 632. On the third Tuesday of July preceding any general 
election (not including special elections to fill vacancies, municipal elec- 
tions in towns and cities, irrigation district and school elections) at which 
public officers in this state and in any district or county are to be elected, 
a primary nominating election shall be held in accordance with this law 
in the several election precincts comprised within the territory for which 
such officers are to be elected at the ensuing election, which shall be 
known as the primary nominating election, for the purpose of choosing 
candidates by the political parties, subject to the provisions of this law, 
for Senator in Congress, and all other elective State, district and county 
officers, and delegates to any constitutional convention or conventions 
that may hereafter be called, who are to be chosen, at the ensuing elec- 
tion wholly by electors within this State, or any subdivision of this State, 
and also for choosing and electing county central committeemen by the 
several parties subject to the provisions of this law. 

As amended by Chapter 3, Laws of 1927. 



50 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 633. It shall be the duty of the County Clerk, thirty days 
before any primary nominating election, to prepare printed notices of 
such election, and mail two of said notices to each judge and clerk of 
election in each precinct; and it shall be the duty of the several judges 
and clerks immediately to post said notice in public places in their 
respective precincts. Said notices shall be substantially in the following 
form: 

Primary Nominating Election Notice 

Notice is hereby given that on , the 

day of , 19 , at the , in the 

Precinct of , , in the County of , 

Montana, a primary nominating election will be held at which the (insert 
names of political parties subject to this law) will choose their candidates 
for State, district, county, precinct and other offices, namely (here 
name the offices to be filled, including a Senator in Congress when the 
next Legislative Assembly is to elect a Senator, delegates to any con- 
stitutional convention then called, and candidates for county central com- 
mitteemen to be elected) ; which election will be held at 12 o'clock, noon, 
and will continue until 7 o'clock in the afternoon of said day. 

Dated this day of , 19 

, County Clerk. 

Section 634. The nomination of candidates for municipal offices by 
the political parties subject to the provisions of this law shall be governed 
by this law in all incorporated towns and cities of this State having a 
population of thirty-five hundred and upward as shown by the last pre- 
ceding national or State census. All petitions by the members of such 
political parties for placing the names of candidates for nomination for 
such municipal offices on the primary nominating ballots of the several 
political parties shall be filed with the city clerk of said several towns 
and cities, and it shall be the duty of such officers to prepare and issue 
notices of election for such primary nominating elections in like manner 
as the several county clerks perform similar duties for nomination by 
such political parties for county offices at primary nominating elections. 
The duties imposed by this law on the county clerks at primary nomi- 
nating elections are hereby, as to said towns and cities, designated to 
be the duties of the city clerk of said towns and cities as to primary 
nominating elections of the political parties subject to the provisions of 
this law, provided, that in cities and towns the primary nominating elec- 
tion shall be held on the fourteenth day preceding their municipal elec- 
tions. Under the provisions of this law the lawfully constituted legislative 
and executive authorities of cities and towns within the provisions of this 
section shall have such power and authority over the establishing of 
municipal voting precincts and wards, municipal boards of judges and 
clerks of election and other officers of their said municipal election, and 
other matters pertaining to municipal primary nominating elections re- 
quired for such cities and towns by this law, such legislative and execu- 
tive authorities have over the same matter at their municipal elections 
for choosing the public officers of said cities and towns. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 61 

Section 635. This Act is declared to be an emergency law, and a 
law necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace and 

safety. 

Section 636. Immediately after the closing of the polls at a primary 
nominating election, the clerks and judges of election shall open the 
ballot-boxes at each polling place and proceed to take therefrom the 
ballots. Said officers shall count the number of ballots cast by each 
political party, at the same time bunching the tickets cast for each 
political party together in separate piles, and shall then fasten each pile 
separately by means of a brass clip, or may use any means which shall 
effectually fasten each pile together at the top of each ticket. As soon 
as the clerks and judges have sorted and fastened together the ballots 
separately for each political party, then they shall take the tally sheets 
provided by the County Clerk and shall count all the ballots for each 
political party separately until the count is completed, and shall certify 
to the number of votes for each candidate for nomination for each 
office upon the ticket of each party. They shall then place the counted 
ballots in a box. After all have been counted and certified to by the 
clerks and judges they shall seal the returns for each of said political 
parties in separate envelopes, to be returned to the County Clerk. 

Section 637. Tally sheets for each political party having candidates 
to be voted for at said primary nominating election shall be furnished 
for each voting precinct by the County Clerk, at the same time and in 
the same manner that the ballots are furnished and shall be substantially 
as follows: 

Tally sheet of the primary nominating election for 

(name of political party) held at precinct, in the County 

of , on the day of 

, 19 

The names of the candidates shall be placed on the tally sheets and 
numbered in the order in which they appear on the official and sample 
ballots, and in each case shall have the proper political party designated 
at the head thereof. 

The following shall be the form of the tally sheets kept by the judges, 
and clerks of the primary nominating election under this law, containing 
the number and name of each person voted for, the particular office for 
nomination to which each person was voted for, the total number of 
votes cast for each candidate for nomination. The tally or count as it is 
kept by each of the clerks shall be audibly announced as it proceeds, and 
shall be kept in the manner and form as follows: 



52 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



No. 1 Name of Candidate Office "^RecLi^ed*" 


No. Tally 5 STo. Tally 10 Tally 15 


12 








12 
13 
14 




12 
13 
14 




12 
13 
14 




13 














14 





























The columns for the numbers 12, 13, 14, etc., shall not be over three- 
eighths of an inch wide. The columns for the tallies shall be three-eighths 
of an inch wide, the lines shall be three-eighths of an inch apart; every 
ten lines the captions of the columns shall be reprinted between double- 
ruled lines in bold-face small pica, and all figures shall be printed in 
bold-face small pica. The tally sheets shall conclude with the following 
form of certificate: 

We hereby certify that at the above primary nominating election and 
polling place each of the foregoing named persons received the number 
of votes set oposite his name, as above set forth, for the nomination for 
the office specified. 



., Chairman 



, Clerk 

(Who kept this sheet.) 



., Judge 



Clerk 



., Judge 



, Clerk 

(Who kept the other sheet.) 

During the counting of the ballots each clerk shall, with pen and ink, 
keep tally upon one of the above tally sheets, of each political party, 
and shall total the number of tallies and write the total in ink immedi- 
ately to the right of the last tallies for each candidate, and also in the 
columns headed "Total Vote," and shall prepare the certificate thereto 
above indicated; and immediately upon the completion of the count, all 
the clerks shall sign the tally sheets, and each of them shall certify which 
sheets were kept by him; and the chairman and the judges, being satis- 
fied of the correctness of the same, shall then sign all of said tally sheets. 
The clerks shall then prepare a statement of that portion of the tally 
sheets showing the number and name and political party of each candi- 
date for nomination and the office and total votes received by each in 
the precinct, and shall prepare the certificate thereto, which statement 
shall be signed by the judges and clerks who complete the count, and 
shall be immediately posted in a conspicuous place on the outside of 
said polls, there to remain for ten days. 

Section 638. Immediately after canvassing the votes in the manner 
aforesaid, the judges and clerks who complete the count, before they 



ELECTION LAWS O."^ MONTANA 63 

separate or adjourn shall inclose the poll-books in separate covers and 
securely seal the same. They shall also inclose the tally sheets in separate 
envelopes and seal the same securely. They shall also envelope all the 
ballots fastened together, as aforesaid, and seal the same securely; and 
they shall be in writing, with pen and ink, specify the contents, and 
address each of said packages upon the outside thereof to the County 
Clerk of the county in which the election precinct is situated. These 
sealed packages of counted ballots shall be marked on the outside, show- 
ing what numbers are contained therein, but once sealed they are not 
to be opened by any one until so ordered by the proper court. When 
the count is completed, the ballots counted and sealed, and enveloped 
and marked for identification as aforesaid, shall be packed in the two 
ballot-boxes, and nothing else shall be put into the boxes. The boxes shall 
then be locked, and the official seal of the board shall be pasted over 
the keyhole and over the rim of the lid of the box, so that the box cannot 
be opened without breaking the seal. Thereafter neither the County Clerk 
nor the canvassers making the abstracts of the vote? shall break the 
said seals upon the ballot boxes, nor shall any one break the seals on the 
boxes or the ballots, except upon the order of the proper court in case 
of contest, or upon the order of the county board when the boxes are 
needed for the ensuing election. 

Section 639. Every political party which has cast three per centum 
(3%) or more of the total vote cast for Representative in Congress at 
the next preceding general election in the county, district or state for 
which nominations are proposed to be made, shall nominate its candidates 
for public office in such county, district or state, under the provisions 
of this law, and not in any other manner; and it shall not be allowed to 
nominate any candidate in the manner provided by section 612 of this 
Code. Every political party and its regularly nominated candidates, 
members, and officers, shall have the sole and exclusive right to the use 
of the party name and the whole thereof, and no candidate for office shall 
be permitted to use any word of the name of any other political party 
or organization than that of and by which he is nominated. No inde- 
pendent or non-partisan candidate shall be permitted to use any word 
of the name of any existing political party or organization in his can- 
didacy. The names of candidates for public office nominated under the 
provisions of this law shall be printed on the official ballots for the 
ensuing election as the only candidates of the respective political parties 
for such public office in like manner as the names of the candidates 
nominated by other methods are required to be printed on such official 
ballots. 

Any political party that did not cast three per centum (3%) or more 
of the total vote cast for Representative in Congress, as above, and any 
new political party about to be formed or organized, may make nomina- 
tions for public office as provided in section 612 of this code. 

As amended by Chapter 7, Laws of 1927. 

Section 640. Any person who shall desire to become a candidate for 
nomination to any office under this law shall send by registered mail, 



54 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

or otherwise, to the Secretary of State, County Clerk, or City Clerk, a 
petition for nomination, signed by himself, accompanied by the filing fee 
hereinafter provided for, and such petition shall be filed and shall be con- 
clusive evidence for the purpose of this law that such elector is a candi- 
date for nomination by his party. All nominating petitions pertaining to 
congressional, state or district offices to be voted for in more than one 
county, and for judges of the District Court shall be filed in the offices 
of the Secretary of State; for county and district offices, to be voted 
for in one county only, and for township and precinct officers, shall be 
filed in the office of the County Clerk; and for all city offices in the 
office of the City Clerk. 

The fees required to be paid for filing such petitions shall be as 
follows: 

For any office with a salary attached of One Thousand Dollars 
($1,000.00) or less per annum. Ten Dollars (.$10.00); except candidates 
for the State Senate and House of Representatives shall be Fifteen Dol- 
lars ($15.00). 

For any office with a salary attached of more than One Thousand 
Dollars ($1,000.00) per annum, one per cent (1%) of total amount of 
annual salary. 

For the office of County Commissioner in counties of the first class 
Forty Dollars ($40.00) ; in counties of the second class. Thirty-five Dol- 
lars ($35.00) ; in counties of the third class. Thirty Dollars ($30.00) ; in 
counties of the fourth class. Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) ; in all other 
classes of counties Ten Dollars ($10.00). 

For the office the compensation of which consists of fees instead of 
a salary, Five Dollars ($5.00). 

For state, county and precinct committeemen, delegates to national 
conventions and presidential electors no fees shall be required to be paid. 

Any person receiving the nomination by having his name written in 
on the primary ballot, and desiring to accept such nomination, shall file 
with the Secretary of State, county clerk, or city clerk, a written declara- 
tion indicating his acceptance of said nomination within ten (10) days 
after the election at which he receives such nomination, and at the same 
time he shall pay to the officer with whom such declaration of acceptance 
is filed the fee above provided for filing a primary nominating petition 
for such office. No candidate receiving a nomination at a primary election 
as above provided shall have his name printed on the official ballot for 
the general election without complying with the provisions of this 
section. 

As amended by Chapter 125, Laws of 1927. 

Section 641. The petition for nomination required by the preceding 
section shall be substantially in the following form: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 65 

To (name and title of officer with whom petition 

is to be filed) and to the members of the 

party and the electors of the (State or counties of 

comprising the district or county or city, as the 

case may be) in the State of Montana: 

I reside at and my 

postoffice address is I am a candidate of the 

party for the nomination for the office of 

at the primary nominating election to be held in the (State 

of Montana or district, or county or city) on the 

day , 19 , and if I am nominated as the can- 
didate of the party for such office I will accept the 

nomination and will not withdraw, and if I am elected I will qualify as 
such officer. 

If I am nominated and elected I will, during my term of office (Here 
the candidate, in not exceeding one hundred words, may state any meas- 
ure or principles he especially advocates, and the form in which he wishes 
it printed after his name on the nominating ballot, in not exceeding 
twelve words.) 

Signature of Candidate for Nomination. 

Each such petition shall be signed as above by the elector seeking 
such nomination. 

Sections 642, 643, Repealed by Chapter 133, Laws of 1923. 

Section 644. All petitions for nomination under this Act for offices 
to be filled by the State at large or by any district consisting of more 
than one county, and nominating petitions for judges of district courts 
in districts consisting of a single county, shall be filed in the office of 
the Secretary of State not less than forty days before the date of the 
primary nominating election; and for other offices to be voted for in 
only one county, or district or city, every such petition shall be filed 
with the County Clerk or City Clerk, as the case may be, not less than 
thirty days before the date of the primary nominating election. As amend- 
ed by Chapter 133, Laws of 1923. 

Section 645. The Secretary of State, County Clerk and City Clerk 
shall keep a book entitled "Register of Candidates of Nomination at the 
Primary Nominating Election," and shall enter thereon on different 
pages of the book for different political parties subject to the provisions 
of this law, the title of the office sought and the name and residence of 
each candidate for nomination at the primary election; the name of his 
political party; the date of receiving the petition for nomination signed 
by the candidate; the words he wishes printed after his name on the 
nominating ballot, if any; and such other information as may aid him 
in arranging his official ballot for said primary nominating election. 
Immediately after the canvass of votes cast at a primary nominating 
election is completed, the County Clerk, Secretary of State or City Clerk, 
as the case may be, shall enter in his book marked "Register of Nomina- 



56 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

tions," the date of such entry, the name of each candidate nominated, 
the office for which he is nominated, and the name of the pax-ty making 
the nomination. As amended by Chapter 133, Laws of 1923. 

Section 646. Such registers of candidates for nomination, and of 
nominations and petitions, letters and notices, and other writings required 
by law as soon as filed, shall be public records, and shall be open to 
public inspection under proper regulations; and when a copy of any 
such writing is presented at the time the original is filed, or at any 
time thereafter, and a request is made to have such copy compared 
and certified, the officers with whom such writing was filed shall foi'th- 
with compare such copy with the original on file, and, if necessary, cor- 
rect the copy and certify and deliver the copy to the person who pre- 
sented it on payment of his lawful fees therefor. All such writings, 
poll-books, tally sheets, ballots, and ballot stubs pertaining to primary 
nominating elections under the provisions of this Act shall be preserved 
as other records are for two years after the election to which they 
pertain, at which time, unless otherwise ordered or restrained by some 
court, the County Clerk shall destroy the ballots and ballot stubs, by 
fire, without any one inspecting the same. 

Section 647. The provisions of sections 620 and 621 of this Code 
shall apply to nominations, or petitions for nominations, made under 
the provisions of this law, in case of the death of the candidate or his 
removal from the State or his county or electoral district before the date 
of the ensuing election, but in no other case. In case of any such vacancy 
by death or removal from the State, or from the county or electoral 
district, such vacancy may be filled by the committee which has been 
given power by the political party or this law to fill such vacancies sub- 
stantially in the manner provided by said sections 620 and 621 of this 
Code. 

Section 648. Arrangement and notice of nominations. Not more than 
forty days and not less than twenty-five days before the day fixed by 
law for the primary nominating election the Secretary of State shall 
arrange, in the manner provided by this law, for the arrangement of the 
names and other information upon the ballots, all the names of and 
information concerning all the candidates for nomination contained in 
the valid petitions for nomination which have been filed with him in 
accordance with the provisions of this law, and he shall forthwith certify 
the same under the seal of the State, and file the same in his office, 
and make and transmit a duplicate thereof by registered letter to the 
County Clerk of each county in the State, and he shall also post a duplicate 
thereof in a conspicuous place in his office and keep the same posted 
until after said primary nominating election has taken place. In case of 
emergency the Secretary of State may transmit such duplicate by tele- 
graph. As amended by Chapter 12, Laws of 1925. 

Section 649. Arrangement of ballots and notice. Not moi'e than 
thirty days, and not less than twenty days before the day fixed by law 
for the primary nominating election, the County Clerk of each county, or 
the City Clerk of each city, as the case may be, subject to the provisions 
of this law, shall arrange in the manner provided by this law for the 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 87 

ax'rangement of the names and othei* information concerning all the can- 
didates and parties named in the valid petitions for nomination which 
have been filed with him and those which have been certified to him by 
the Secretary of State, in accordance vdth the provisions of this law; 
and he shall forthwith certify the same under the official seal of his 
office, and file the same in his office, and make and post a duplicate 
thereof in a conspicuous place in his office, and keep the same posted 
until after the primary nominating election has taken place; and he 
shall forthwith proceed and cause to be printed, according to law, the 
colored sample ballots and the official ballots required by this law. As 
amended by Chapter 12, Laws of 1925. 

Section 650. All blanks, ballots, poll-books and other supplies to be 
used at any primaries shall be provided, and all expenses necessarily 
incurred in the preparation for, or conducting such primaries shall be 
paid out of the treasury of the county in the same manner and by the 
same officers as in the case of elections. Not later than one day next 
preceding any primary the County Clerk must furnish one of the judges 
of the primaries in each precinct with a copy of the official register and 
a check list for the precinct. 

Section 651. At all primary elections there shall be a ballot made up 
of the several party tickets herein provided for, each of which shall be 
printed on a separate sheet of white paper, and all of which shall be the 
same size, and shall be securely fastened together at the top and folded, 
provided that there shall be as many separate tickets as there are parties 
entitled to participate in said primary election. 

The names of all candidates shall be arranged alphabetically accord- 
ing to surnames, under the appropriate title of the respective officers, 
and under the proper party designation upon the party ticket, except 
as hereinafter provided. When two or more persons are candidates for 
nomination for the same office, it shall be the duty of the County Clerk 
in each of the Counties of the State to divide the ballot forms provided 
by the law for the county, into sets so as to provide a substantial rotation 
of the names of the respective candidates as follows: 

He shall divide the whole number of ballot forms for the county into 
sets equal in number to the greatest number of candidates for the nomi- 
nation or election to any office, and he shall so arrange said sets that 
the names of the candidates shall, beginning with a form arranged in 
alphabetical order as provided herein, be rotated by removing one name 
from the top of the list for each nomination or office and placing said 
name or number at the bottom of the list for each successive set of ballot 
forms; provided, however, that no more than one of said sets shall be 
used in printing the ballots for use in any one precinct, and that all 
ballots furnished for use in any precinct shall be of one form and identi- 
cal in every respect. If any elector write upon his ticket the name of 
any person who is a candidate for the same office upon some other ticket 
than that upon which his name is so written this ballot shall be counted 
for such person only as a candidate of the party upon whose ticket his 
name is written, and in no case shall be counted for such person as a 
candidate upon any other ticket. In case any person is nominated as 



58 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

provided in this Act, upon more than one ticket, he shall within ten (10) 
days after such election file with the Secretary of State, County Clerk 
or City Clerk, a written document indicating the party designation under 
which his name is to be printed on the official ballot for the general 
election, failing in which, his name shall be printed upon the party ticket 
for which his nominating petition shall have been first filed, and no 
candidate shall have his name printed on more than one ticket; provided, 
however, that in the event a candidate whose name has been printed upon 
the party ticket for which his nominating petition shall have been first 
filed shall fail of nomination upon the ticket upon which his name is 
so printed, his name shall not be printed upon any ballot under any party 
designation; and provided further that nothing in this Act shall preclude 
any elector from having his name printed upon the ballot as an Inde- 
pendent Candidate. The ballots with the endorsements shall be printed 
on white paper in substantially the forms of the Australian Ballot, used 
in general elections, except that the candidates of each party shall be 
printed on a separate ticket or sheet. After preparing his ballot the 
elector shall detach the same from the remaining tickets and fold it so 
that its face will be concealed and with official stamp thereon seen. The 
remaining tickets attached together shall be folded in like manner by 
the elector who shall thereupon, without leaving the polling place, vote 
the marked ballot forthwith, and deposit the remaining tickets in the 
separate ballot box to be marked and designated as the blank ballot box. 
Immediately after the canvass, the Judges of the Election shall, without 
examination, destroy the tickets deposited in the blank ballot box. As 
amended by Chapter 67, Laws of 1929. 

Section 652. There shall be printed and furnished for each election 
precinct a number of ballots equal to the number of voters registered in 
such voting precinct and entitled to vote at such primary nominating 
election. 

If any political party shall desire sample ballots its political com- 
mittee may order the same from the County Clerk or City Clerk who 
shall collect from such committee an amount sufficient to pay the cost 
of printing such sample ballots, and such sample ballots after being 
printed, shall, on the written order of the clerk, be delivered to the 
committee ordering the same, but no such sample ballots shall be printed 
except on the order of the County or City Clerk. The sample ballots shall 
be duplicate impressions of the official ballots to be voted, but in no case 
shall they be white, nor shall said sample ballots have perforated stubs, 
nor shall they have the same margin either at the top or sides or bottom 
as the official ballots have, or nearer thereto than twelve points, and the 
names of the candidates on the tickets composing the same shall not be 
rotated as required for the official ballots, but shall be impressions of 
the tickets belonging to lot one of each party. As amended by Chapter 
133, Laws of 1923. 

Section 653. At all general primary nominating elections next pre- 
ceding the election of a Senator in Congress by the Legislature of 
Montana there shall be placed upon the official primary nominating 
election ballots, by each of the county clerks and clerks of the county 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 59 

board, the names of all candidates for the office of Senator in Congress, 
for whose nominations petitions have been duly made and filed under 
the provisions of this law, the votes for which candidates shall be 
counted and certified to by the election judges and clerks in the same 
manner as the votes for other candidates; and records of the vote for 
such candidates shall be made out and sworn to by the board of can- 
vassers of each county of the State and returned to the Secretary of 
State at the time and in like manner as they shall transmit other records 
and i-eturns required by this law. 

Section 654. On the third day after the close of any primary nomi- 
nating election, or sooner if all the returns be received, the County Clerk, 
taking to his assistance two Justices of the Peace of the county of dif- 
ferent political parties, if practicable, shall proceed to open said returns 
and make abstracts of the votes. Such abstracts of votes for nomination 
for Governor and for Senator in Congress shall be on one separate sheet 
for each political party, and shall be immediately transmitted to the 
Secretary of State in like manner as other election returns are trans- 
mitted to him. Such abstract of votes for nomination of each party for 
Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney-General, State Aud- 
itor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Railroad Commissioners, Clerk 
of the Supreme Court, State Treasurer, Justices of the Supreme Court, 
members of Congress, Judges of the District Court, and members of the 
Legislative Assembly, who are to be nominated from a district composed 
of more than one county, shall be on one sheet, separately for each 
political party, and shall be forthwith transmitted to the Secretary of 
State, as required by the following section. The abstract of votes for 
county and precinct offices shall be on another sheet separately for each 
political party; and it shall be the duty of said clerk immediately to 
certify the nomination for each party and enter upon his register of 
nominations the name of each of the persons having the highest number 
of votes for nomination as candidates for members of the Legislative 
Assembly, county and precinct offices, respectively, and to notify by mail 
each person who is so nominated; provided, that when a tie shall exist 
between two or more persons for the same nomination by reason of 
said two or more persons having an equal and the highest number of 
votes for nomination by one party to one and the same office, the County 
Clerk shall give notice to the several persons so having the highest and 
equal number of votes to attend at his office at a time to be appointed 
by said clerk, who shall then and there proceed publicly to decide by lot 
which of the persons so having an equal number of votes shall be declared 
nominated by his party; and said clerk shall forthwith enter upon his 
register of nominations the name of the persons thus duly nominated, in 
like manner as though he had received the highest number of the votes 
of his party for that nomination; and it shall be the duty of the County 
Clerk of every county on receipt of the returns of any general primary 
nominating election, to make out his cei'tificate stating therein the com- 
pensation to which the judges and clerks of election may be entitled for 
their services, and lay the same before the county Board of County Com- 
missioners at its next term, and the said Board shall order the compen- 



60 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

sation aforesaid to be paid out of the county treasury. In all primary 
nominating elections in this State, under the provisions of this law, the 
person having the highest number of votes for nomination to any office 
shall be deemed to have been nominated by his political party for that 
office. 

Section 655. The County Clerk, immediately after making the ab- 
stracts of votes given in his county, shall make a copy of each of said 
abstracts and transmit it by mail to the Secretary of State, at the seat 
of government; and it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, in 
the presence of the Governor and the State Treasurer, to proceed within 
fifteen days after the primary nominating election, and sooner, if all 
returns be received, to canvass the votes given for nomination for Gov- 
emoi% Senator in Congress, Lieutenant-Governor, Attorney-General, 
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Railroad Commissioners, Secretary 
of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Justices of the Supreme Court, 
Clerk of the Supreme Court, members of Congress, Judges of the District 
Court, Senators and Representatives, and all other officers to be voted 
for by the people of the State, or of any district comprising more than 
one county; and the Governor shall grant a certificate of nomination to 
the person having the highest number of votes for each office, and shall 
issue a proclamation declaring the nomination of each person by his 
party. In case there shall be no choice for nomination for any office by 
reason of any two or more persons having an equal and the highest num- 
ber of votes of his party for nomination for either of said offices, the 
Secretary of State shall immediately give notice to the several persons 
so having the highest and equal number of votes to attend at his office, 
either in person or by attorney, at a time to be appointed by said Secre- 
tary, who shall then and there proceed to publicly decide by lot which 
of said persons so having an equal number of votes shall be declared 
duly nominated by his party; and the Governor shall issue his proclama- 
tion declaring the nomination of such person or persons, as above pro- 
vided. 

Section 656. Whenever it shall appear by affidavit to the District 
Court or Judge thereof, or to the Supreme Court or Judge thereof, that 
an error or omission has occurred or is about to occur in the printing 
of the name of any candidate or other matter on the official primary 
nominating election ballots, or that any error has been or is about to 
be committed in the printing of the ballots, or that the name of any 
person or any other matter has been or is about to be wrongfully placed 
upon such ballots, or that any wrongful act has been performed by any 
judge or clerk of the primary election. County Clerk, canvassing board 
or member thereof, or by any person charged with the duty under this 
Act, or that any neglect of duty by any of the persons aforesaid has 
occurred or is about to occur, such court or judge shall by order require 
the officer or person or persons charged with the error, wrongful act, 
or neglect, to forthwith correct the error, desist from the wrongful act, 
or perform the duty and do as the court shall order, or show cause forth- 
with why such error should not be corrected, wrongful act desisted from, 
or such duty or order performed. Failure to obey the order of any such 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 61 

court or judge shall be contempt. Any person in interest or aggrieved 
by the refusal or failure of any person to perform any duty or act re- 
quired by this law shall, without derogation to any other right or remedy, 
be entitled to pray for a mandamus in the District Court of appropriate 
jurisdiction, and any proceedings under the provisions of this law shall 
be immediately heard and decided. 

Section 657. If the returns and abstracts of the primary nominating 
election of any county in the State shall not be received at the office of 
the Secretary of State within twelve days after said election, the Secre- 
tary of State shall forthwith send a messenger to the county board of 
such county, whose duty it shall be to furnish said messenger with a 
copy of said returns, and the said messenger shall be paid out of the 
county treasury of such county the sum of twenty cents for each mile he 
shall necessarily travel in going to and returning from said county. The 
County Clerk, whenever it shall be necessary for him to do so in order 
to send said returns and abstracts within the time above limited, may 
send the same by telegraph, the message to be repeated, and the county 
shall pay the expense of such telegram. 

Section 658. If any judge or clerk of a primary nominating election, 
or other officers or persons on whom any duty is enjoined by this law, 
shall be guilty of any wilful neglect of such duty, or of any corrupt 
conduct in the discharge of the same, such judge, clerk, officer or other 
person, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in 
the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than five years, or by 
imprisonment in the county jail not less than three months nor more 
than one year, or by fine not less than One Hundred Dollars nor more 
than Five Hundred Dollars. 

Section 659. Any person wishing to contest the nomination of any 
other person to any State, county, district, township, precinct, or munici- 
pal office may give notice in writing to the person whose nomination he 
intends to contest that his nomination will be contested stating the cause 
of such contest briefly, within five days from the time said person shall 
claim to have been nominated. 

Section 660. Said notice shall be served in the same manner as a 
summons issued out of the District Court three days before any hearing 
upon such contest as herein provided shall take place, and shall state 
the time and place that such hearing shall be had. Upon the return of 
said notice served to the Clerk of the Court he shall thereupon enter the 
same upon his issue docket as an appeal case, and the same shall be heard 
forthwith by the District Court; provided, that if the case can not be 
determined by the District Court in term time, within fifteen days after 
the termination of such primary nominating election, the Judge of the 
District Court may hear and determine the same at chambers forthwith, 
and shall make all necessary orders for the trial of the case and carrying 
his judgment into effect; provided, that the District Court provision 
of this section shall not apply to township or precinct officers. In case 
of contest between any persons claiming to be nominated to any town- 
ship or precinct office, said notice shall be served in the manner afore- 
said, and shall be returned to the District Court of the county. 



62 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 661. Each party to such contest shall be entitled to sub- 
poenas, and subpoenas duces tecum, as in ordinary cases of law; and the 
court shall hear and determine the same without the intervention of a 
jury, in such manner as shall carry into effect the expressed will of a 
majority of the legal voters of the political party, as indicated by their 
votes for such nominations, not regarding technicalities or errors in 
spelling the name of any candidate for such nomination; and the County 
Clerk shall issue a certificate to the person declared to be duly nominated 
by said court, which shall be conclusive evidence of the right of said 
person to hold said nomination; provided, that the judgment or decision 
of the District Court in term time, or a decision of the Judge thei-eof 
in vacation, as the case may be, may be removed to the Supreme Court 
in such manner as may be provided for removing such causes from the 
District Court to the Supreme Court. 

Section 662. County and City Central Committeemen, How Elected. 
There shall be elected by each political party, subject to the provisions 
of this law, at said primary nominating election, a committeeman for 
each election precinct, who shall be a resident of such precinct. Any 
elector may be placed in nomination for committeeman of any precinct 
by a writing so stating, signed by such elector, and filed in the office of 
the County Clerk within the time required in this Act for the filing of 
petitions naming individuals as candidates for nomination at the regular 
biennial primary election. The names of the various candidates for Pre- 
cinct Committeemen of each political party shall be printed on the ticket 
of the same in the same manner as other candidates and the voter shall 
express his choice among them in like manner as for such other candi- 
dates. The committeeman thus elected shall be the representative of his 
political party in and for such precinct in all ward or subdivision com- 
mittees that may be formed. The committeemen elected in. each precinct 
in each county shall constitute the County Central Committee of each of 
said respective political parties. Those committeemen who reside within 
the limits of any incorporated city or town shall constitute ex-officio the 
City Central Committee of each of said respective political parties and 
shall have the same power and jurisdiction as to the business of their 
several parties in such city matters that the County Committees have 
in county matters, save only the power to fill vacancies in said com- 
mittee, which power is vested in the County Central Committee. Each 
committeeman shall hold such position for the term of two years from 
the date of the first meeting of said committee immediately following 
their election. In case of a vacancy happening, on account of death, 
resignation, removal from the precinct, or otherwise, the remaining mem- 
bers of said County Committee may select a committeeman to fill the 
vacancy and he shall be a resident of the precinct in which the vacancy 
occurred. Said County and City Central Committees shall have the power 
to make rules and regulations for the government of their respective 
political parties in each county and city, not inconsistent with any of 
the provisions of this law, and to elect the county members of the State 
Central Committee, and of the members of the Congressional Committee, 
and said committee shall have the same power to fill all vacancies and 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 63 

make rules in their jurisdiction that the county committees have to fill 
county vacancies and make rules. Said County and City Centi'al Com- 
mittees shall have the power to make nominations to fill vacancies oc- 
curring among the candidates of their respective parties nominated for 
city or county offices by the primary nominating election w^here such 
vacancy' is caused by death or removal from the electoral district, or 
otherwise. Said committees shall meet and organize by electing a chair- 
man and secretary within thirty days after the candidates of their 
respective political parties shall have been nominated. They may select 
managing or executive committees and authorize such sub-committees to 
exercise any and all powers conferred upon the County, City, State and 
Congressional Central Committees respectively by this law. The chair- 
man of the County Central Committee shall call said Central Committee 
meeting and not less than fifteen days before the date of said Central 
Committee meeting, shall publish said call in a newspaper published 
at the county seat and shall mail a copy of the call, enclosing a blank 
proxy, to each Precinct Committeeman. No proxy shall be recognized 
unless held by an elector of the precinct of the committeeman executing 
the same. As amended by Chapter 34, Laws of 1929. 

Section 663. The State Central Committee of each political party in 
the State of Montana shall select one national committeeman and one 
national committeewoman. The chairman of the State Central Committee 
shall at once file with the national committee the names of the national 
committeeman and national committeewoman so selected, and it shall be 
the duty of the chairman of the delegation to the national convention of 
each political party to report to the national convention the names of the 
persons so selected to be the national committeeman and the national 
committeewoman of his political party for the State of Montana. Said 
committeeman and committeewoman shall represent said political party 
as members of the national committee of said party and shall be selected 
in each year in which a president and vice-president of the United States 
are elected, and such selection shall be made prior to the meeting of the 
national conventions of the respective political parties. The national com- 
mitteeman and committeewoman shall hold office for a term of four 
years. As amended by Chapter 159, Laws of 1925. 

Section 664. Upon the passage and approval of this Act, the State 
Central Committee of each political party shall select a national com- 
mitteeman who shall hold office from the date of his selection until the 
year 1924, and until the selection of his successor. 

Section 665. If any candidate for nomination shall be guilty of any 
wrongful or unlawful act or acts at a primary nominating election which 
would be sufficient, if such wrongful or unlawful act or acts had been 
done by such candidate at the regular general election, to cause his re- 
moval from office, he shall, upon conviction thereof, be removed from 
office in like manner as though such wrongful or unlawful act or acts 
had been committed at a regular general election, notwithstanding that 
he may have been regularly elected and shall not have been guilty of any 
wrongful or unlawful act at the election at which he shall have been 
elected to his office. 



64 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 666. The candidates for the various State offices, and for 
the United States Senate, Representatives in Congress and the Legis- 
lative Assembly nominated by each political party at such primary, and 
Senators of such political party, whose term of office extends beyond 
the first Monday in January of the year next ensuing, and the members 
of the State Central Committee of such political party, shall meet at 
the call of the chairman of the State Central Committee not later than 
September fifteenth next preceding any general election. They shall 
forthwith formulate the State platform of their party. They shall there- 
upon proceed to elect a chairman of the State Central Committee and 
perform such other business as may properly be brought before such 
meeting. 

Section 667. Any person who shall offer, or with knowledge of the 
same permit any person to offer for his benefit, any bribe to a voter to 
induce him to sign any nomination paper, and any person who shall 
accept any such bribe or promise of gain of any kind in the nature of 
a bribe as consideration for signing the same, whether such bribe or 
promise of gain in the nature of a bribe be offered or accepted before 
or after such signing, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon trial 
and conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not less than Twenty- 
five nor more than One Thousand Dollars, and by imprisonment in the 
county jail of not less than ten days nor more than six months. 

Section 668. Any act declared an offense by the general laws of 
this State concerning caucuses, primaries and elections shall also, in like 
case, be an offense in and as to all primaries as herein defined, and shall 
be punished in the same form and manner as therein provided, and all 
the penalties and provisions of the law as to such caucuses, primaries 
and elections, except as herein otherwise provided, shall apply in such 
case with equal force, and to the same extent as though fully set forth 
in this Act. 

Section 669. Any person who shall forge any name of a signer or 
a witness to a nomination paper shall be guilty of forgery, and on convic- 
tion punished accordingly. Any person who, being in possession of nomi- 
nation papers entitled to be filed under this Act, or any Act of the 
Legislature, shall wrongfully either suppress, neglect or fail to cause 
the same to be filed at the proper time in the proper office, shall, on 
conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 
six months, or by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars, or by both 
such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. 

Section 670. The provisions of the laws of this State now in force 
in relation to the holding of elections, the solicitation of voters at the 
polls, the challenging of voters, the manner of conducting elections, of 
counting the ballots and making return thereof, the appointment and 
compensation of officers of election, and all other kindred subjects, shall 
apply to all primaries, insofar as they are consistent with this Act, the 
intent of this Act being to place the primary under the regulation and 
protection of the laws now in force as to elections. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 65 

BALLOTS. PREPARATION AND FORM 

Section 677. All ballots cast in elections for public offices within 
the State (except school district officers), must be printed and distributed 
at public expense as provided in this chapter. The printing of ballots 
and cards of instruction for the elections in each county, and the delivery 
of the same to the election officer is a county charge, and the expense 
thereof must be paid in the same manner as the payment of other county 
expenses, but the expense of printing and delivering the ballots must, 
in the case of municipal elections, be a charge upon the city or town in 
which such election is held. 

Section 678. Except as in this chapter otherwise provided, it is the 
duty of the County Clerk of each county to provide printed ballots for 
every election for public officers in which electors or any of the electors 
within the county participate, and to cause to be printed in the ballot 
the name of every candidate whose name has been certified to or filed 
with the County Clerk in the manner provided for in this chapter. Ballots 
other than those printed by the respective County Clerks according to 
the provisions of this chapter must not be cast or counted in any election. 
Any elector may write or paste on his ballot the name of any person for 
whom he desires to vote for any office, and must mark the same as pro- 
vided in section 696, and such vote must be counted the same as if printed 
upon the ballot and marked by the voter, and any voter may take with 
him into the polling place any printed or written memorandum or paper 
to assist him in marking or preparing his ballot except as otherwise 
provided in this chapter. 

Section 679. In all municipal elections the City Clerk must perform 
all the duties prescribed for County Clerks in this chapter. 

Section 680. When any vacancy occurs before election day and 
after the printing of the ballots, and any person is nominated according 
to the provisions of this code to fill such vacancy, the officer whose duty 
it is to have the ballots printed and distributed must thereupon have 
printed a requisite number of pasters containing the name of the new 
nominee, and must mail them by registered letter to the judges of 
election in the various precincts interested in such election, and the judges 
of election, whose duty it is made by the provisions of this chapter to 
distribute the ballots, must affix such pasters over the name for which 
substitution is made in the proper place on each ballot before it is given 
out to the elector. 

Section 681. Ballots prepared under the provisions of this chapter 
must be white in color and of a good quality of paper, and the names 
must be printed thereon in black ink. The ballots used in any one county 
must be uniform in size, and every ballot must contain the names of 
every candidate whose nomination for any special office specified in 
the ballot has been certified or filed according to the provisions of law, 
and no other names. The list of candidates of the several parties shall 
be placed in separate columns of the ballot, in such order as the authori- 
ties charged with the printing of the ballots shall decide. As near as 
possible the ballot shall be in the following form: (Stub hereinafter 
provided for in this section.) 



66 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Perforated Line 

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICAN LABOR PARTY 



For Governor 

1 1 

1 1 Joseph K. Toole 

1 1 

LJ 


For Governor 

1 1 

1 1 John E. Richards 

1 ! 
LJ 


For Governor 

r 

1 Fred Whiteside 

LJ 


For Lieut.-Governor 

1 1 

1 1 Frank C. Higgins 

1 

For Secretary of State 

1 

1 Geo. M. Hayes 


For Lieut.-Governor 

1 1 

1 1 AlexC. Botkin 

1 1 
l_l 


For Lieut.-Governor 

1 1 
1 f 

I 

LJ 


For Secretary of State 

1 1 

I 1 Louis Rotwitt 


For Secretary of State 

1 1 

j 1 W. R. Allen 



And continuing in like manner as to all candidates to be voted for at 
such election. 

Section 682. Every ballot must also contain the name of the party, 
or principle, w^hich the candidates in the respective columns represent, 
as contained in the certificates of nomination; provided, however, that 
where any person is nominated for the same office by more than one 
party or convention, his name shall be placed upon the ticket under the 
designation of the party which first nominated him, unless he declines, 
in writing, one or more of such nominations, or by written election 
indicates the party designation under which he desires his name to be 
printed, or if he was nominated by more than one party or convention 
at the same time shall, within the time fixed by law for filing certificates 
of nomination, file with the officer with whom his certificate of nomina- 
tion is required to be filed a written election indicating the party desig- 
nation under which he desires his name to be printed on the ballot, and 
it shall be so printed. If he shall fail or neglect to so file such an 
election, the officer with whom the certificate of nomination is required 
to be filed shall place his name under the designation of either of the 
parties by which he was nominated, but under no other designation 
whatever, and no person, who has been nominated by petition or other- 
wise, shall have his name printed upon the ticket if the same already ap- 
pears under a party designation. 

Section 683. Below the names of candidates for each office there 
must be left a blank space large enough to contain as many written 
names of candidates as there are persons to be elected. There must be a 
margin on each side of at least half an inch in width, and a reasonable 
space between the names printed thereon, so that the voter rtiay clearly 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 67 

indicate, in the way hereinaftei- provided, the candidate or candidates 
for whom he wishes to cast his ballot. 

Section 684. The ballot shall be printed on the same leaf with a 
stub, and separated therefrom by a perforated line. The part above the 
perforated line, designated as the stub, shall extend the entire width of 
the ballot, and shall be of sufficient depth to allow the following instruc- 
tions to voters to be printed thereon, such depth to be not less than 
two inches from the perforated line to the top thereof, upon the face 
of which stub shall be printed, in type known as brevier capitals, the 
following: "This ballot should be marked with an 'X' in the square before 
the name of each person or candidate for whom the elector intends to 
vote. In cases of a ballot containing a constitutional amendment, or 
other question to be submitted to a vote of the people by marking an 'X' 
in the square before the answer of the question or amendment submitted. 
The elector may write in the blank spaces, or paste over another name, 
the name of any person for whom he wishes to vote, and vote for such 
person by marking an 'X' in the square before such name." On the back 
of the stub shall be printed or stamped by the County Clerk, or other 
officer whose duty it is to provide the ballots, the consecutive number of 
the ballot, beginning with number "1," and increasing in regular numeri- 
cal order to the total number of ballots required for the precinct. 

Section 685. All of the official ballots of the same sort, prepared by 
any officer or board for the same balloting place, shall be of precisely 
the same size, arrangement, quality and tint of paper, and kind of type, 
and shall be printed in black ink of the same tint, so that when the 
stubs, numbered as aforesaid, shall be detached therefrom it shall be 
impossible to distinguish any one of the ballots from the other ballots 
of the same sort, and the names of all candidates printed upon the ballot 
shall be in type of the same size and character. 

Section 686. Whenever the Secretary of State has duly certified 
to the County Clerk any question to be submitted to the vote of the 
people, the County Clerk must print the ballot in such form as will enable 
the electors to vote upon the question so presented in the manner pro- 
vided by law. The County Clerk must also prepare the necessary ballots 
whenever any question is required by law to be submitted to the electors 
of any locality, and any of the electors of the State generally, except 
that as to all questions submitted to the electors of a municipal corpor- 
ation alone the City Clerk must prepare the necessary ballots. 

Section 687. The County Clerk must provide for each election pre- 
cinct in the county ten more than an equal number of ballots as there 
are electors registered in the precinct. If there is no registry in the pre- 
cinct, the County Clerk must provide ballots equal to the number of 
electors who voted at the last preceding election in the precinct, unless 
in the judgment of the County Clerk a greater number be needed, but 
in no case to exceed one and one-half times as many as the number of 
registered voters in the precinct. He must keep a record in his office, 
showing the exact number of ballots, that are delivered to the judges 
of each precinct. In municipal elections it is the duty of the City Clerk 
to provide ballots as specified in this section. As amended by Chapter 16, 
Laws of 1925. 



•68 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

CONDUCTING ELECTIONS: THE POLLS, VOTING AND 

CHALLENGES 

Section 688. Voting may commence as soon as the polls are open, 
and may be continued during all the time the polls remain open. 

Section 689. The polls must be opened at 8 o'clock on the morning 
of election day, and must be kept open continuously until 6 o'clock in the 
afternoon of said day, when the same must be closed. 

Section 690. Before the judges receive any ballots they must cause 
it to be proclaimed aloud at the place of election that the polls are open, 
and thirty minutes before the closing of the polls proclamation must be 
made that the polls will close in one-half hour. 

Section 691. When polls are closed, that fact must be proclaimed 
aloud at the place of election; and after such proclamation no ballots 
must be received. 

Section 692. All officers upon whom is imposed by law the duty of 
designating the polling-places must provide in each polling-place desig- 
nated by them, a sufficient number of places, booths, or compartments, 
each booth or compartment to be furnished with a door or curtain suf- 
ficient in character to screen the voter from observation, and must be 
furnished with such supplies and conveniences as shall enable the elector 
to prepare his ballot for voting, and in which electors must mark their 
ballots, screened from observation, and a guard-rail so constructed that 
only persons within such rail can approach within ten feet of the ballot- 
boxes, or the places, booths, or compartments herein provided for. The 
number of such places, booths, or compartments must not be less than 
one for every fifty electors, or fraction thereof, registered in the precinct. 
In precincts containing less than twenty-five registered voters, the elec- 
tion may be conducted under the provisions of this chapter without the 
preparation of such booths or compartments, as required by this section. 

Section 693. No person other than electors engaged in receiving, 
preparing, or depositing their ballots, or a person present for the purpose 
of challenging the vote of an elector about to cast his ballot, is permitted 
to be within said rail; and in cases of small precincts where places, 
booths, or compartments are not required, no person engaged in prepar- 
ing his ballot shall, in any way, be interfered with by any person, unless 
it be some one authorized by the provisions of this chapter to assist him 
in preparing his ballot; nor shall any officer of election do any elec- 
tioneering on election day. No person whatsoever shall do any electioneer- 
ing on election day, within any polling-place, or any building in which 
an election is being held, or within twenty-five feet thereof; said space 
of twenty-five feet to be protected by ropes and kept free of trespassers; 
nor shall any person obstruct the doors or entries thereto, or prevent free 
ingress to and egress from said building. Any election officer, sheriff, 
constable, or other peace officer is hereby authorized and empowered, and 
it is hereby made his duty, to clear the passageway, and prevent such 
obstruction, and to arrest any person so doing. No person shall remove 
any ballot from the polling-place before the closing of the polls. No 
person shall show his ballot after it is marked, to any person, in such a 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 69 

way as to reveal the contents thereof, or the name of the candidate or 
candidates for whom he has marked his vote; nor shall any person solicit 
the elector to show the same; nor shall any person, except the judge of 
election, receive from any elector a ballot prepared for voting. No elector 
shall receive a ballot from any other person than one of the judges of 
election having charge of the ballots; nor shall any person other than 
such judge of election deliver a ballot to such elector. No elector shall 
vote, or offer to vote, any ballot except such as he has received from 
the judges of election having charge of the ballots. No elector shall 
place any mark upon his ballot by which it may afterwards be identified 
as the one voted by him. Every elector who does not vote a ballot de- 
livered to him by the judges of election having charge of the ballots, 
shall, before leaving the polling-place, i-eturn such ballot to such judges. 

Section 694. The expense of providing such places or compart- 
ments, ropes, and guard-rails is a public charge, and must be provided 
for in the same manner as the other election expenses. 

Section 695. At any election the judges of election must designate 
two of their number whose duty it is to deliver ballots to the qualified 
electors. Before delivering any ballot to an elector, the said judges must 
print on the back, and near the top of the ballot, with the rubber or 
other stamp provided for the purpose, the designation "official ballot" 
and the other words on same, as provided for in Section 603 of this 
Code; and the clerks must enter on the poll-lists the name of such 
elector and the number of the stub attached to the ballot given him. Each 
qualified elector must be entitled to receive from the judges one ballot. 

Section 696. On receipt of his ballot the elector must forthwith, 
without leaving the polling-place and within the guard-rail provided, and 
alone, retire to one of the places, booths, or compartments, if such are 
provided, and prepare his ballot. He shall prepare his ballot by marking 
an "X" in the square before the name of the person or persons for 
whom he intends to vote. In case of a ballot containing a constitutional 
amendment, or other question to be submitted to the vote of the 
people, by marking an "X" in the square before the answer of the 
question or amendment submitted. The elector may write in the blank 
spaces or paste over any other name the name of any person for whom 
he wishes to vote, and vote for such person by marking an "X" before 
such name. No elector is at liberty to use or bring into the polling-place 
any unofficial sample ballot. After preparing his ballot the elector must 
fold it so the face of the ballot will be concealed and so that the 
endorsement stamped thereon may be seen, and hand the same to the 
judges in charge of the ballot-box, who shall announce the name of the 
elector and the printed or stamped number on the stub of the official 
ballot so delivered to him, in a loud and distinct tone of voice. If such 
elector be entitled then and there to vote, and if such printed or stamped 
number is the same as that entered on the poll-list as the number on 
the stub of the official ballot last delivered to him by the ballot judge, 
such judge shall receive such ballot, and, after removing the stub there- 
from in plain sight of the elector, and without removing any other part 
of the ballot, or in any way exposing any part of the face thereof below 



70 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

the stub, shall deposit each ballot in the proper ballot-box for the recep- 
tion of voted ballots, and the stubs in a box for detached ballot stubs. 
Upon voting, the elector shall forthwith pass outside the guard-rail, 
unless he be one of the persons authorized to remain within the guard- 
rail for other purposes than voting. 

Section 697. No more than one person must be allowed to occupy 
any one booth at one time, and no person must remain in or occupy a 
booth longer than may be necessary to prepare his ballot, and in no 
event longer than five minutes, if the other booths or compartments 
are occupied. 

Section 698. Any elector who by accident or mistake spoils his ballot, 
may, on returning said spoiled ballot, receive another in place thereof. 

Section 699. Any elector who declares to the judges of election, or 
when it appears to the judges of election that he cannot read or write, or 
that because of blindness or other physical disability he is unable to 
mark his ballot, but for no other cause, must, upon request, receive the 
assistance of two of the judges, who shall represent different parties, 
in the marking thereof, and such judges must certify on the outside 
thereof that it was so marked with their assistance, and must there- 
after give no information regarding the same. The judges must require 
such declaration of disability to be made by the elector under oath 
before them, and they are hereby authorized to administer the same. No 
elector other than the one who may, because of his inability to read or 
write, or of his blindness or physical disability, be unable to mark his 
ballot, must divulge to any one within the polling-place the name of any 
candidate for whom he intends to vote, or ask or receive the assistance 
of any person within the polling-place in the preparation of his ballot. 

Section 700. The person offering to vote must hand his ballot to the 
judges, and announce his name, and in incorporated cities and towns 
any such person must also give the name of the street, avenue, or loca- 
tion of his residence, and the number thereof, if it be numbered, or such 
clear and definite description of the place of such residence as shall 
definitely fix the same. 

Section 701. The judges must receive the ballot, and before deposit- 
ing it in the ballot-box must, in an audible tone of voice, announce the 
name, and in incorporated tovims and cities the judges must also an- 
nounce the residence of the person voting, and the same must be recorded 
on each poll-book. 

Section 702. If the name be found on the official register in use at 
the precinct where the vote is offered, or if the person offering to vote 
produce and surrender a proper registry certificate, and the vote is not 
rejected, upon a challenge taken, the judges must immediately and 
publicly, in the presence of all the judges, place the ballot, without open- 
ing or examining the same, in the ballot-box. 

Section 703. When the ballot has been placed in the box, one of 
the judges must write the word "Voted" opposite the number of the 
person on the check-list for the precinct. 

Section 704. The judges of election in each precinct, at every gen- 
eral or special election, shall, in the precinct register book, which shall 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 71 

be certified to them by the County Clerk, mark a cross (X) upon the 
line opposite to the name of the elector. Before any elector is permitted 
to vote, the judges of election shall require the elector to sign his name 
upon one of the precinct register books, designated by the County Clerk 
for that purpose, and in a column reserved in the said precinct books for 
the signature of electors. If the elector is not able to sign his name, he 
shall be required by the judges to produce two freeholders who shall 
make an affidavit before the judges of election, or one of them, in sub- 
stantially the following form: 

STATE OF MONTANA. } 

County of \ 

"We, the undersigned witnesses, do swear that our names and signa- 
tures are genuine, and that we are each personally acquainted with 

(the name of the elector), and 

that we know that he is residing at , and 

that we believe that he is entitled to vote at this election, and that we 
are each freeholders in the county," which affidavit shall be filed by 
the judges, and returned by them to the County Clerk, with the return 
of the election; one of the judges shall thereupon write the elector's 
name, and note the fact of his inability to sign, and the names of the 
two freeholders who made the affidavit herein provided for. If the 
elector fails or refuses to sign his name, and, if unable to write, fails 
to procure two freeholders who will take the oath herein provided, he 
shall not be allowed to vote. Immediately after the election and canvass 
of the returns, the judges of election shall deliver to the County Clerk 
the copy of said official precinct register, sealed, with the election re- 
tui-ns and poll-book, which have been used at said election. 

Section 705. Each clerk must keep a list of persons voting, and the 
name of each person who votes must be entered thereon and numbered 
in the order voting. Such list is known as the poll-list and forms a 
part of the poll-book of the precinct. 

Section 706. Any person offering to vote may be orally challenged 
by any elector of the county, upon either or all of the following grounds: 

1. That he is not the person whose name appears on the register or 
check-list. 

2. That he is an idiot or insane person. 

3. That he has voted before that day. 

4. That he has been convicted of a felony and not pardoned. 

Section 707. If the challenge is on the ground that he is not the 
person whose name appears on the official register, the judges must 
tender him the following oath: 

"You do swear (or affirm) that you are the person whose name is 
entered on the official register and check-list." 

Section 708. If the challenge is on the ground that the person 
challenged has voted before that day, the judges must tender to the 
person challenged this oath: 

"You do swear (or affirm) that you have not before voted this day." 
Section 709. If the challenge is on the ground that the person 



72 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

challenged has been convicted of a felony, the judges must tender him 
the following oath: 

, "You do swear (or affirm) that you have not been convicted of a 
felony." 

Section 710. Challenges upon the grounds either: 

1. That the person challenged is not the person whose name appears 
on the official register; or 

That the person has before voted that day, are determined in favor 
of the person challenged by his taking the oath tendered. 

2. A challenge upon the ground that the person challenged has been 
convicted of a felony and not pardoned must be determined in favor of 
the person challenged on his taking the oath tendered, unless the fact 
of conviction be proved by the production of an authenticated copy of 
the record or by the oral testimony of two witnesses. If the person 
challenged asserts that he has been convicted of a felony and pardoned 
therefor, he must exhibit his pardon or a proper certified copy thereof 
to the judges, and if the pardon be found sufficient, the judges must 
tender to him the following oath: "You do swear that you have not been 
convicted of any felony other than that for which a pardon is now 
exhibited." 

Upon taking this oath the person challenged must be permitted to 
vote if otherwise qualified, unless a conviction of some other felony be 
proved, as in this section provided for the proof of a conviction. 

Section 711. Challenges for causes other than those specified in the 
preceding section must be tried and determined by the judges of election 
at the time of the challenge. 

Section 712. If any person challenged refuses to take the oaths 
tendered, or refuses to be sworn and to answer the questions touching 
the matter of residence, he must not be allowed to vote. 

Section 713. If the challenge is determined against the person 
offering to vote, the ballot must, without examination, be destroyed by 
the judges in the presence of the person offering the same; if determined 
in his favor, the ballot must be deposited in the ballot-box. 

Section 714. The judges must cause each of the clerks to keep a 
list showing: 

1. The names of all persons challenged. 

2. The grounds of such challenges. 

3. The determination of the judges upon the challenge. 

VOTING BY ABSENT ELECTORS 

Section 715. Any qualified elector of this State, having complied 
with the laws in regard to registration, who is absent from the county 
of which he is an elector on the day of holding any general or special 
election, or primary election for the nomination of candidates for such 
general election, or any municipal general, special, or primary election, 
may vote at any such election as hereinafter provided. 

Section 716. At any time within thirty days next preceding such 
election, any voter expecting to be absent on the day of election from 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 73 

the county in which his voting precinct is situated may make applica- 
tion to the County Clerk of such county, or to the City or Town Clerk, 
in the case of a municipal general, special, or primary election, for 
an official ballot or official ballots to be voted at such election as an 
absent voter's ballot or ballots. 

Section 717. Application for such ballots shall be made on a blank 
to be furnished by the County Clerk of the county of which the applicant 
is an elector, or the City or Town Clerk, if it be municipal, general, 
special, or primary election, and shall be in substantially the following 
form : 

"I, , a duly qualified elector of the 

Precinct, in the County of and State 

of Montana, and am to the best of my knowledge and belief entitled to 
vote in such precinct in the next election, expecting to be absent from 
the said county on the day for holding such election, hereby make ap- 
plication for an official ballot to be voted by me at the said election. 



Postoffice address to which ballot is to be mailed 

STATE OF ) 

COUNTY OF i ^^* 

On this day of , personally appeared 

before me , who being first duly sworn, 

deposes and says that he is the person who signed the foregoing applica- 
tion, that he has read and knows the contents of same and knows to his 
own knowledge the matters and things therein stated are true." 



This application must be subscribed by the applicant and sworn to 
before some officer authorized to administer oaths, and the application 
shall not be deemed complete without his affidavit. As amended by 
Chapter 151, Laws of 1923. 

Section 718. The voter making such application shall forward by 
mail or deliver in person the same to the County Clerk of the county in 
which he is registered and it shall be the duty of the said County Clerk 
to look up the applicant's registration card and compare the signature 
on the application for absent voter's ballot and the registration card 
and if convinced the person making the application for absent voter's 
ballot and the person who signed the original registration card is one 
and the same person, he shall accept the same in good faith and deliver 
the ballot as provided in Section 719. As amended by Chapter 151, Laws 
of 1923. 

Section 719. Such application blank shall, upon request therefor, 
be sent by such County or City or Town Clerk to any elector of the 
county, by mail, and shall be delivered to any elector upon application 
made personally at the office of such County or City or Town Clerk; 
provided, however, that no elector shall be entitled to receive such a 



74 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

ballot on election day, nor unless his application is made to or received 
by the County or City or Town Clerk before the delivery of the official 
ballots to the judge of election. 

Section 720. Upon receipt of such application, properly filled out 
and duly signed, or as soon thereafter as the official ballot for the 
precinct in which the applicant resides has been printed, the said County 
or City or Town Clerk shall send to such elector by mail, postage pre- 
paid, one official ballot, or if there be more than one ballot to be voted 
by an elector of such precinct, one of each kind, and shall enclose with 
such ballot or ballots an envelope, to be furnished by such County or City 
or Town Clerk, which envelope shall bear upon the front thereof the 
name, official title and postoffice address of such County or City or Town 
Clerk, and upon the other side a printed affidavit, in substantially the 
following form: 

State of County of ss. 

I, , do solemnly swear that I am a 

resident of the precinct, (and if he be a resident 

of a city or town, add: "Residing at , in the 

town or city of ,") county of 

and State of Montana, and entitled to vote in such precinct at the next 
election ; that I expect to be absent from the said county of my residence 
on the day of holding such election and that I will have no opportunity 
to vote in person on that day. 



Subscribed and sworn to before me this day of 

, 19 ; and I hereby certify that the 

affiant exhibited to me the enclosed ballot or ballots for inspection be- 
fore marking, and that the same was (or were) then unmarked and that 
he then in my presence, and in the presence of no other person, and in 
such manner that I could not see his vote, marked said ballot (or ballots) 
and enclosed and sealed the same in this envelope. That the affiant was 
not solicited or advised by me to vote for or against any candidate or 
measure. 



Section 721. Such voter shall make and subscribe the said affidavit 
before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths, and who has 
an official seal, and may do so at any place in the State of Montana, or 
in any other state or territory of the United States, before any officer 
authorized by the laws of this State to take acknowledgments of instru- 
ments without the state, and such voter shall thereupon, in the presence 
of such officer and of no other person, mark such ballot or ballots, but 
in such manner that such officer cannot see the vote, and such ballot or 
ballots thereupon, in the presence of such officer, shall be folded by 
such voter so that each ballot shall be separate, and so as to conceal 
the vote, and shall be, in the presence of such officer, placed in such 
envelope securely sealed veth mucilage and in addition thereto sealing 
wax in not less than two places thereon, the sealing wax to contain 
the impression of the official seal of the officer administering the oath. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 75 

Said officer shall thereupon append his signature and official title and 
affix his seal at the end of said jurat and affidavit. Said envelope shall 
be mailed by such absent voter, postage prepaid, or delivered to the 
County or City or Town Clerk, as the case may be. As amended by Chap- 
ter 151, Laws of 1923. 

Section 722. Upon receipt of such envelope, such County or City or 
Town Clerk shall forthwith enclose the same, unopened, together with 
the written application of such absent voter in a larger envelope, which 
shall be securely sealed and endorsed with the name of the proper 
voting precinct, the name and official title of such clerk, and the words 
"This envelope contains an absent voter ballot and must be opened only 
on election day at the polls when the same are open," and such clerk 
shall safely keep the same in his office until the same is delivered or 
mailed by him as provided in the next section. 

Section 723. In case such envelope is received by such clerk prior 
to the delivery of the official ballots to a judge of election of the precinct 
in which such absent voter resides, said larger envelope, containing the 
said voter's envelope and his said application, as above provided, shall 
be delivered to the judge of election of such precinct, to whom the 
official ballots of the precinct shall be delivered, and at the same time. 
In case the official ballots for such precinct shall have been delivered 
to the judge of election prior to the time of the receipt by the said 
clerk of said absent voter's envelope, such clerk shall immediately after 
enclosing such voter's envelope and his application in a larger envelope, 
and after endorsing the latter as provided in the foregoing section, 
address and mail the larger envelope, postage prepaid, to the said 
judge of election of said precinct, as hereinafter further provided. 

Section 724. The ballot or ballots to be delivered or marked by 
such absent voter shall be one of the regular official ballots to be used 
at such election, and of each kind of such official ballots if there be 
more than one kind to be voted, beginning with ballot one and following 
consecutively, according to the number of applications for such absent 
voter ballots. The County or City or Town Clerk shall keep a record of 
all ballots so delivered for the purpose of absent voting, as well as of 
ballots, if any, marked before him as hereinafter provided, and shall 
make and deliver to the judge of election, to whom the ballots for the 
precinct are delivered, and at the time of the delivery of such ballots, 
a certificate stating the numbers of ballots delivered or mailed to absent 
voters, as well as those marked before him, if any, and the names of the 
voters to whom such ballots shall be delivered or mailed, or by whom 
they shall have been marked if marked before him. 

Section 725. The judges of election, at the opening of the polls, 
shall note on the poll-lists when one is required by law to be kept, op- 
posite the numbers corresponding to the numbers of the ballots issued 
to absent voters, as shown by the certificate of the County or City or 
Town Clerk, the fact that such ballots were issued to absent voters, and 
shall reserve said numbers for the absent voters. The notation may be 
made by writing the words "Absent Voters" opposite such numbers. 



76 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

The judges shall not allow any names to be inserted in the poll-list 
on the lines corresponding to said numbers, except the name of the 
elector entitled to each particular number according to the certificate 
of the County or City or Town Clerk, and the number of his ballot. Any 
so rejected shall be placed together with the voter's application and the 
absent voter's envelope provided for the purpose by the Clerk and Re- 
corder or City or Town Clerk which shall be sealed and endorsed by the 

words, "Rejected absent voter ballots" numbered , 

and shall put thereon the number of the ballots given to absent voters 
according to the County or City or Town Clerk's certificate. There shall 
be a separate enclosing envelope for the ballot or ballots of each absent 
voter whose ballot or ballots may have been rejected, and such envelopes 
shall be placed in an envelope together with the other ballots, and shall 
not be opened without order of a court of competent jurisdiction. 

Section 726. Any qualified elector who is present in his county 
after the official ballots of such county have been printed and who has 
reason to believe that he will be absent from such county on election 
day as provided in Section 71 may vote before he leaves his county, in 
like manner as an absent voter, before the County or City or Town Clerk 
or some officer authorized to administer oaths and having an official 
seal; and the provisions of this Act shall be deemed to apply to such 
voting. If the ballot be marked before the County or City or Town Clerk 
it shall be his duty to deal with it in the same manner as if it had come 
by mail. 

Section 727. At any time between the opening and closing of the 
polls on such election day, the judges of election of such precinct shall 
first open the outer envelope only, and compare the signature of such 
voter to such application, with the signature to such affidavit. 

In case the judge finds the affidavit is sufficient and that the signa- 
tures correspond, and that the applicant is then a duly qualified elector 
of such precinct, and has not voted at such election, they shall open the 
absent voter's envelope, in such manner as not to destroy the affidavit 
thereon, and take out the ballot or ballots therein contained, and without 
unfolding the same, or permitting the same to be opened or examined, 
shall ascertain whether the stub or stubs is or are still attached to the 
ballot or ballots, and whether the number thereon corresponds to the 
number in the County or City or Town Clerk's certificate. If so, they 
shall endorse the same in like manner that other ballots are endorsed, 
shall detach the stub as in other cases, and deposit the ballot or ballots 
in the proper ballot-box or boxes, and make in their election list and 
books the proper entries to show such elector to have voted. In case 
such affidavit is found to be insufficient, or that the said signatures do 
not correspond, or that such applicant is not then a duly qualified elector 
of such precinct, such vote shall not be allowed, but, without opening 
the absent voter envelope, the judges of such election shall mark across 
the face thereof "rejected as defective," or "rejected as not an elector" 
as the case may be. The absent voter envelope, when such absent vote is 
voted, and the absent voter envelope with its contents, unopened; when 
such absent vote is rejected, shall be deposited in the ballot-box con- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 77 

taining the general or party ballots, as the case may be, retained and 
preserved in the manned by law provided for the retention and preser- 
vation of official ballots voted at such election. If, upon opening the 
absent voter's envelope, it be found that the stub of any ballot has been 
detached, or that the number thereon does not correspond to the number 
in the County or City or Town Clerk's certificate of the number issued 
to such absent voter, the ballot shall be rejected and it shall then and 
there, and without looking at the face thereof, be marked on the back 

"rejected on the ground of ," filling the 

blank with the statement of the reason of rejection; which statement 
shall be dated and signed by the majority of the judges. The ballot or 
ballots so rejected, together with the absent voter's envelope bearing the 
application, and the said application, shall be all enclosed in an envelope, 
which shall be then and there securely sealed, and on such envelope the 
judges shall write or cause to be written (if not already printed thereon) 
the words, "rejected ballot of absent voter" (writing in the name of the 

elector). "The rejected ballot or ballots is or are " 

The judges shall designate the rejected ballot as "General ballot," if it 
be a ballot for candidates that be rejected. If the rejected ballot be a one 
put on a question submitted to the vote of the electors, the judges shall 

designate such ballot as Ballot Question No in the certificate 

on the envelope. There shall be a separate enclosing envelope for the 
ballot or ballots of each absent voter whose ballot or ballots may have 
been rejected and such enclosing envelope shall be placed in the envelope 
in which the other ballots voted or (are) required to be placed and shall 
not be opened without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction. The 
County or City or ToMm Clerk shall provide and have delivered to the 
judge of election suitable envelopes for enclosing rejected absent voters 
ballots. 

Section 728. Whenever the County or City or Town Clerk shall mail 
the envelope containing an absent voter's envelope and ballots as pro- 
vided in this Act, to a judge of election, he shall place thereon the proper 
postage and the proper stamp or stamps, and the proper markings to 
secure the transmission and delivery thereof as a special delivery letter, 
in accordance with the postal laws of the United States and the regula- 
tions of the United States postoffice. 

Section 729. Any qualified elector who has mai'ked his ballot as 
hereinbefore provided, who shall be in his precinct on election day, shall 
be permitted to vote in person, provided his said ballot has not already 
been deposited in the ballot-box. 

Section 730. In case any elector who shall have marked his ballot 
as an absent voter, as in this Act provided, shall appear at the voting 
place of his precinct on election day, before his ballot or ballots shall 
have been deposited in the ballot-box, his envelope containing his ballot 
shall, if he so desii-es, be opened in his presence, and the ballot or ballots 
found therein shall be deposited in the ballot-box as hereinbefore pro- 
vided. If such elector shall ask for a new ballot or ballots with which 
to vote, he shall be entitled to the same, but in such case his absent- 
voter envelope shall not be opened, and the judges shall mark, or cause 



78 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

to be marked, across the face thereof "unopened because voter appeared 
and voted in person," and then deposit in the said envelope, unopened, 
in the ballot-box. If the envelope containing the absent-voter ballot shall 
have been marked "rejected as defective," and deposited in the ballot- 
box, such elector so appeai-ing shall have the same right to vote as if he 
had not attempted to vote as an absent voter. If voting machines are 
there used, he shall vote by machine as other voters. 

Section 731. If the aforesaid envelope containing an absent-voter 
ballot shall have been deposited, unopened, in the ballot-box, the said 
envelope shall not be opened, without an order of a court of competent 
jurisdiction. 

Section 732. If any person shall wilfully swear falsely to any affi- 
davit in this Act provided for, he shall, upon conviction thereof, be 
deemed guilty of perjury, and shall be punished as in such cases by law 
provided. If the County or City or Town Clerk, or any election officer, 
shall refuse or neglect to perform any of these duties prescribed by 
this Act, or shall violate any of the provisions thereof, or if any officer 
taking the affidavit provided for in section 720 shall make any false 
statement in his certificate thex-eto attached, or look at any mark or 
marks made by the voter upon any such ballot, or permit or allow any 
other person to be present at the marking of any such ballot by the 
voter, or to see any mark or marks made thereon by the voter, he shall 
be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine 
not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars, or by imprisonment in the county 
jail not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

Section 733. In and for precincts where voting-machines are to be 
used, the County or City or Town Clerk shall cause to be printed and 
shall provide ballots in the regular form of printed ballots, and sufficient 
printed ballots and sufficient in number for possible absent voters, and 
also poll-books and ballot-boxes such as lists required for the precincts 
in which printed ballots are used. Absent voters' ballots received in such 
precincts shall be cast as in this Act provided, and all provisions of this 
Act and of the Election Laws shall apply to the casting, canvassing, 
counting, and returning of such ballots and votes, except as herein 
otherwise provided. In making the canvass the votes cast by absent 
voters shall be added by the judges of election to the votes cast on 
the voting machines, and the results determined and reported accordingly. 

Section 734. In case any elector who shall have taken advantage of 
the provisions of this Act, and marked his ballot as an absent voter, as 
in this Act provided, shall not leave his county, or shall return thereto 
on or before election day, and in time to allow him to go to the polls, 
to-wit, to the voting place in his precinct, and to be admitted therein 
before the close of the polls, it shall be his duty so to go to the said voting 
place and to present himself to the judges of election at said voting 
place, and if he shall wilfully neglect so to do, he shall be deemed guilty 
of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a 
fine of not more than One Hundred Dollars or by imprisonment not 
more than thirty days in the county jail or by both such fine and im- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 79 

prisonment. If such an electoi- so appears the judges of election shall 
note in the poll-books and lists the fact of his appearance as well as 
whether or not he voted in person. 

Section 735. If any elector of this state or any other person or any 
officer shall, in any matter connected with voting outside of the state 
under the provisions of this law, in any manner violate any of the pro- 
visions of this Act, or of any of the election or penal laws of this state 
applicable to voting under this Act, in such manner that such violation 
would constitute an offense if committed within the state, then and in 
such case such elector, person, or officer shall be deemed guilty of a 
like offense, and be punishable to the same extent and in the same man- 
ner as if the act, omission, or violation had been committed in this 
state, and may be prosecuted in any county in this state; provided, how- 
ever, that if the defendant or one of several defendants be a resident 
of the state he may have the case removed to the county in which the 
ballot was cast, or was to be cast, if not, in fact cast; and provided, 
further, that the court may order any such case removed to such county, 
subject always to the power of the court of any county to grant a 
change of venue as in other cases. 

VOTING BY ABSENT ELECTORS IN MILITARY OR 
NAVAL SERVICE 

Section 736. Any qualified duly registered elector of this state who 
is absent from the State of Montana and the county of which he is an 
elector on the date of holding any general election, and who is in the 
actual military service of the State of Montana, or of the United States 
in the army or navy thereof, or who is in the actual service of the 
National Red Cross, or the Young Men's Christian association, or the 
Young Women's Christian association, or the Knights of Columbus, or 
any similar organization auxiliary to the army and navy, and recognized 
by the government of the United States, shall be entitled to vote as fully 
as if he were present at his place of residence in the manner hereinafter 
provided. 

Section 737. Within thirty days after the approval of this Act, and 
each thirty days following, and thereafter not later than five days after 
the general primary election held preceding the general election, the 
County Clerk of each and every county within the State of Montana 
shall make out and forward by registered mail to the Secretary of the 
State and the Adjutant-General of the State of Montana a separate list 
of the names of all persons who are qualified registered electors, 
known to him to be in the actual service of the army or navy of the 
State of Montana, or of the United States of America, or any of the 
organizations mentioned in section 736 of this Code, and also the names 
of all persons proven to him to be so engaged by the affidavit of two 
qualified electors residing within the county. 

Section 738. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to prepare 
and make a general register on cards by counties, in which shall be 
entered the names of the voters of the state absent from their respective 
counties in time of war in the actual military service of the State of 



80 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Montana, or of the United States of America, or in the actual service 
of any of the organizations named in section 736 of this Code, from the 
list of names so certified to the said Secretary of State by the County 
Clerks of the several counties of the State of Montana. Said cards in 
each county shall be arranged in alphabetical order of the names of the 
voters, and shall contain the name and residence and precinct of each 
such voter, and the name of the county and city or town in which he 
resides, and so far as can be ascertained without prejudice to the military 
purposes of the federal government of the place or post of duty at which 
such elector is stationed. 

It is hereby made the duty of the Secretary of State and the Adjutant- 
General of the State of Montana to secure the necessary information 
to complete such general register from the appropriate naval and military 
authorities, or from the most accessible source from which said informa- 
tion can be obtained. The Secretary of State shall furnish proper blanks 
to the several County Clerks and to the Adjutant-General for such pur- 
pose and such general register shall be a public record andn shall at all 
reasonable times be open to inspection by any voter in this state. 

It is hereby made the duty of every public officer and every citizen 
to furnish to the Secretary of State such information as he may possess 
relating to such absent voter, and any person who shall refuse so to do, 
or who furnishes false information in reference to such absent voters, 
shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and shall upon conviction thereof 
be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than one 
year nor more than three years. 

Section 739. It is hereby made the duty of the Secretary of State, 
immediately and within twenty-four hours after the canvass of the re- 
turns for state offices shall have been completed of any general primary 
election, to transmit by telegram to each of the several County Clerks 
of the State of Montana the names of any and all candidates of each 
and every political party which may be entitled to be printed on the 
official ballot for the general election to be held within the State of 
Montana. 

Section 740. It is hereby made the duty of the County Clerks of the 
several counties of the State of Montana to have prepared and printed 
the official ballot to be used at the genei-al election, not more than ten 
days after the canvass and return of the general primary election and 
the receipt by him from the Secretary of State of the names of per- 
sons to be printed on the official ballots to be used in said general 
election. 

Section 741. It is hereby made the duty of the Seci'etary of State, 
within ten days after a general primary election, to notify the County 
Clerks of the several counties of the State of Montana the number of 
absent voters as shown by the register in this Act provided for in each 
of the several counties. The County Clerk of each county shall forward 
to the Secretary of State one official ballot for each of said persons so 
absent from the county in which he resides, and which said official 
ballot shall bear endorsed in the proper place as provided by law, the 
stamp showing that said ballot is an official ballot, and shall have 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



81 



stamped across the face thereof the words, "Ballot of absent voter 
engaged in military service." The County Clerk of each county shall, 
not later than ten days after he shall have been notified of the result 
of the general primary election held preceding the general election, send 
to the Secretary of State by registered mail, postage prepaid, one 
official ballot, or if there be more than one ballot to be voted by the 
elector of such county, one of each kind, for each of said voters. 

Section 742. The County Clerk of each county shall cause to be 
prepared and printed a sufficient number of official envelopes, to be 
used for voters absent from their counties as shown by the general 
register herein provided for. Upon one side of said envelope shall be 
printed, in substantially the following form, the following: 











SECRETARY OF STATE, 




pq 












.2 

tin 

o 








Helena, 




a 
£ 


> 

c 
c 


a 




Mont. 



Upon the other side of such envelope shall be printed the following: 

OATH OF ELECTOR 
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a citizen of the United 
States and am now of the age of years, and that I am 

a resident of the County of , State of Montana, 

and was such resident at the time of my entry in the military service 
of the United States, and am entitled to vote in such county at the 
general election to be held in the State of Montana on the fifth day of 
November, 1918. That I am at the present time engaged in the actual 

service of the (here insert the branch 

of service engaged in), and absent from the State of Montana by reason 
of such service, and that I will have no opportunity to vote in person 
on that date; and that I have not received or offered, do not expect to 
receive, have not paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, offered, 
or promised to contribute to another, to be paid or used in money or 
other valuable thing as compensation or reward for the giving or with- 
holding of a vote at this election, and have not made any promise to 
influence the giving or withholding of any such vote, and that I have 
not made or become, directly or indirectly, interested in any bet or 
wager depending upon the result of this election. 



Signature of Elector. 



82 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that the affiant whose name is 
subscribed to the foregoing affidavit was sworn to by and before me, 
and that said affiant exhibited to me the enclosed ballot (or ballots) for 
inspection before marking, and that the same was (or were) then un- 
marked, and that he then, in the presence of myself, and in the presence 
of no other person, and in such manner that I could not see his vote, 
marked said ballot or ballots, and enclosed and sealed the same in this 
envelope; that the affiant was not solicited or advised by me to vote 
for or against any candidate or measure. 



Section 743. Any such voter shall sign the oath and statement pro- 
vided for in the preceding section before a person authorized to admin- 
ister an oath as in this Act provided, and may do so at any place in 
which the elector may be present, and such elector shall thereupon, in 
the presence of such person authorized to administer an oath, and no 
other person, mark such ballot or ballots in such manner that such 
person cannot see the vote on such ballot or ballots, which shall there- 
upon, in the presence of such person, be folded by the voter so the ballot 
will be separate so as to seal the vote, and shall be, in the presence of 
such person, placed in said envelope without detaching any stub or stubs, 
and the said envelope securely sealed. The person before whom such 
envelope is sealed shall append his signature and title at the end of 
the certificate herein provided; said envelope shall be mailed by such 
absent voter, postage prepaid, to the Secretary of State of Montana. 

Section 744. Every elector authorized by the provisions of this Act 
may cast his ballot at any time before six o'clock p. m. of the day on 
which said general election will be held. 

Section 745. The Secretary of State shall, within forty-eight hours 
after the receipt of the official ballots and envelopes, as provided for 
in this Act, from the several County Clerks cause the official ballot or 
ballots and envelopes so received to be enclosed in a separate envelope 
and addressed to the qualified elector, to be delivered to the Adjutant- 
General of the State of Montana who shall cause to be deposited in 
the United States mail such ballot, addressed to such qualified electors, 
to be forwarded to them through such channels and in such manner as 
may have been directed by the military authorities of the government of 
the United States, and by such means as shall, in the judgment of the 
Adjutant-General of the State of Montana, be best suited to secure their 
safe and timely delivery for the use of the voters. 

Section 746. Upon receipt of the envelope containing the ballot of 
any elector by the Secretary of State, he shall, if the same be received 
by him five days before the date of the general election, forward the 
same, unopened, in a large envelope by registered mail to the County 
Clerk of the county in which such elector resides, and the County Clerk 
of the county in which such elector resides shall forthwith enclose the 
same, unopened, in a larger envelope, which shall be securely sealed and 
endorsed with the name of the proper voting precinct, the name and 
official title of such clei^k, and the words "this envelope contains an 
absent voter ballot, and must be opened only on election day and at the 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 83 

polls when the same are opened"; and such clerk shall safely keep the 
same in his office until same is delivered or mailed by him to the judges 
of election of the precinct in which such absent voter resides, as provided 
by this law. 

Section 747. If the envelope containing the vote of an absent voter 
be received by the Secretary of State on or after five days preceding the 
day of general election, and on or before the first Monday in December 
following the general election, such envelope containing the ballot of 
such absent voter shall by said Secretary of State, unopened, be deposited 
with the State Treasurer, who shall retain the envelopes containing such 
ballots until the first Monday in December succeeding the general elec- 
tion. On the first Monday of December, the State Canvassing Board shall 
convene at the State capitol, and shall in public, at the hour of twelve 
o'clock noon, open the envelopes and packages so received, and proceed to 
canvass said vote for all persons or measures voted for in the manner 
provided by law. The State Board of Canvassers shall cause to be 
transmitted by the Secretary of State to the County Clerks of each 
county a complete statement of the votes cast for each person, as shown 
by the canvass of said vote, and the vote so received by each candidate 
shall be added to the total vote received by said person, as shown by the 
County Board of Canvassers or the State Board of Canvassers. 

Section 748. If the envelope containing the vote of an absent voter 
be received by the Secretary of State after the first Monday in December 
following the general election, and on or before the fourth Monday in 
December following the general election, such envelope containing the 
ballot of such absent voter shall by the Secretary of State, unopened, 
be deposited with the State Treasurer, who shall retain the envelopes 
containing such ballots until the fourth Monday in December succeeding 
the general election. On the fourth Monday of December following the 
general election, the State Cancassing Board shall convene at the state 
capitol and shall in public, at the hour of twelve o'clock noon, open the 
envelope and packages so received, and proceed to canvass said vote 
for all persons or measures voted for in the manner provided for by law. 
The State Board of Canvassers shall cause to be transmitted by the 
Secretary of State to the County Clerks of each county a complete 
statement of the votes cast for each person, as shown by the can- 
vassing of said vote, and the vote so received by each candidate shall 
be added to the total vote received by said person as shown by the prior 
official canvass. At the meeting of the State Canvassing Board on the 
first Monday in December following the general election and on the 
fourth Monday in December following the general election the State 
Canvassing Board shall proceed to canvass such statements and returns 
of the absent voters' ballots herein provided for, and shall from such 
statements and returns, together with the statements and retui'ns there- 
tofore made of such election, make new and separate statements of the 
votes cast in each county, or any part thereof, as shown by the canvass 
of such vote, and shall complete their canvass and make the statements 
provided for in this Act, and they shall not, until the foui-th Monday in 
December following the general election, finally determine the result 



84 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

of the election; but nothing herein shall prevent any County Board of 
Canvassers or State Board of Canvassers from proceeding as provided 
by law, except as to such final determination. Such meeting or meetings 
of the Board of County Canvassers or State Canvassers shall be deemed 
a continuation of its regular session. 

Section 749. The County Board of Canvassers of each county of the 
state shall convene at the county seat of their respective counties on the 
last day of December, or as soon as the final returns shall have been 
received from the Secretary of State, but not later than the Saturday 
preceding the first Monday in January following the general election, 
and shall from the returns theretofore canvassed by them, together 
with such statements and returns as shall have been received from and 
certified to by the Secretary of State of Montana, make new and sep- 
arate statements of the votes cast in such county, or any part thereof, 
and shall complete their canvass and make the final statements provided 
for by law, and they shall not until such meeting finally determine the 
result of the election; but nothing herein shall prevent the County Board 
of Canvassers from proceeding as provided by law for canvassing the 
returns of such election, except as to final determination. Such meeting 
or meetings of the Board of County Canvassers shall be deemed a con- 
tinuation of its regular session. 

Section 750. The County Board of Canvassers and the State Board 
of Canvassers shall each, in the determination of the number of votes 
received by any person for any office, add the total number of votes 
received by such person at the general election and canvassed by said 
boards in the manner provided by law, the number of votes received by 
any such person as canvassed by the State Board of Canvassers, and 
the total number of votes so received by any person as a candidate for 
any office of the State of Montana shall be the number of votes declared 
and determined by the County Board of Canvassers or the State Board 
of Canvassers and they shall thereupon declare such person elected as 
shown by such vote and shall order issued thereto certificates of election. 

Section 751. No statement of returns or any ballot of an absent 
voter, as provided in this Act, which shall not have been made or can- 
vassed prior to or on the fourth Monday of December succeeding the 
general election, shall be canvassed or affect the result of such an elec- 
tion; and no return or statement not received by the County or State 
Boards of Canvassers at their meetings herein provided for shall be 
thereafter canvassed or affect the result of such election. 

Section 752. Persons authorized to administer oaths and before 
whom an elector may mark his ballot as hereinabove provided shall be: 
Any commissioned officer of the army or navy of the United States; 
any person in charge of a section, camp, or detachment of any of the 
auxiliary organizations mentioned in section seven hundred thirty-six 
of this Code, or any person authorized to administer oaths by the laws 
of this state or of the United States, or of the county in which the elector 
may be and marks his ballot. 

Section 753. No mere informality in the matter of carrying out or 
executing the provisions of this Act shall invalidate the election, or 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 85 

authorize the rejection of the returns thereof, and the provisions of this 
Act shall be liberally construed for the purposes herein expressed and 
intended. All the provisions of the penal law of the State of Montana 
relating to crime against the elective franchise shall be deemed to apply 
to the provisions of this Act. 

Section 754. All ballots received by the Secretary of State and can- 
vassed under this Act shall be securely sealed in separate packages 
and retained by him, subject to the order of any court of competent 
jurisdiction. 

Section 755. The Secretary of State shall cause this Act to be printed 
in suitable form and a copy thereof to be forwarded with the ballot to 
each person entitled to vote under the provisions of this Act. 

Section 756. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to repeal or amend 
any of the provisions of the law now existing relating to elections, but 
this Act shall be construed as supplementary to all such laws and de- 
signed to carry into effect the purposes herein expressed, but in case 
of conflict, or apparent conflict, the provisions of this Act shall, within 
its scope and purpose, prevail. 

VOTING MACHINE— CONDUCT OF ELECTION WHEN USED 

Section 757. The Governor, Secretary of State, and State Auditor, 
and their successors in office, are hereby created and constituted the 
State Board of Voting-Machine Commissioners. It shall be the duty of 
said board to examine all voting or ballot machines in order to determine 
whether such machines comply with the requirements of this Act and 
can safely be used by voters at elections under the provisions of this 
Act, and no machine or machines shall be provided or used at any elec- 
tion in this state unless the said machine or machines shall have re- 
ceived the approval of a majority of said board as herein provided. Said 
board may employ two qualified mechanics, who shall be qualified 
electors of the State of Montana, to examine said machines and assist 
said board in the discharge of its duties under this Act, the compensation 
to be paid such qualified mechanics not to exceed the sum of Ten Dollars 
each for each day actually employed. Any machine or machines which 
shall have the approval of the majoi-ity of said board may be provided 
for in this Act. The report of said board on each and every kind of voting 
machine shall be filed with the Secretary of State within thirty days 
after examining the machine, and the Secretary of State shall, within 
five days after the filing of any report approving any machine or ma- 
chines, transmit to the Board of County Commissioners, City Council 
or other board of officers having charge and control of elections in 
each of the counties and cities of this state, a list of the machines so 
approved. No machine or machines shall be used unless they shall have 
received the approval of the state board at least sixty days prior to any 
election at which such machine or machines are to be used. The compen- 
sation of the mechanics and all other expenses connected with the exam- 
ination of any machine shall be paid, or caused to be paid, by the person 
or company submitting the machine for examination before the filing of 



86 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

the report thereon. The amount of such expenses shall be certified by 
the State Auditor and paid to the State Treasurer, 

Section 758. No machine or machine system shall be approved by the 
commission unless it be so constructed as to afford every elector a reason- 
able opportunity to vote for any person for any office, or for or against 
any proposition for whom, or for or against vv^hich he is by law entitled 
to vote, and enable him to do this in secrecy; and it must be so con- 
structed as to preclude an elector from voting for any candidate for 
the same office or upon any question more than once, and from voting 
for any person for any office for whom he is not by law entitled to 
vote. The machine or machine system must admit of his voting a split 
ticket as he may desire. It must also be so constructed as to register 
or record each and every vote cast. For presidential electors on6 device 
may be provided for voting for all the candidates of one party at one 
time by the use of such device, opposite or adjacent to which shall be 
a ballot on the machine containing the names of all the candidates for 
all presidential electors of that pai-ty, and a vote registered or recorded 
by the use of such device shall be counted for each of such candidates 
on said ballot. The machine must be constructed so that it cannot be 
tampered with or manipulated for any fraudulent purpose, and the ma- 
chine must be so locked, arranged, or constructed that during the 
progress of the voting no person can see or know the number of votes 
registered or recorded for any candidate. 

Section 759. The Boards of County Commissioners of counties of 
the first class shall, and the Boards of County Commissioners of other 
counties and City Councils of all cities and towns, may, at their option, 
adopt and purchase, for use in the various precincts, any voting-machine 
approved in the manner above set forth in this Act, by the Voting- 
Machine Commission, and none other. If it shall be impracticable to 
supply each and every election district with a voting-machine or voting- 
machines at any election following the adoption of such machines in a 
city, village, or town, as many may be supplied as it is practicable to 
procure, and the same shall be used in such precinct of the municipality, 
as the proper officers may order. The proper officers of any city, 
village, or town may, not later than the tenth day of September, in 
any year in which a general election is held, unite two or more precincts 
into one for the purpose of using therein at such election a voting- 
machine, and the notice of such uniting shall be given in the manner 
prescribed by law for the change of election districts. 

Section 760. Payment for voting-machines purchased may be pro- 
vided by the issuance of interest-bearing bonds, certificates of indebted- 
ness, or other obligation, which will be a charge upon such county, city, 
or town. Such bonds, certificates, or other obligation may be made 
payable at such time or times, not exceeding ten years from the date of 
issue, as may be determined, but shall not be issued or sold at less than 
par. 

Section 761. The room in which the election is held shall have a 
railing separating that part of the room to be occupied by the election 
officers from that part of the room occupied by the voting-machine. The 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 87 

exterior of the voting-machine and every pai-t of the polling place shall 
be in plain view of the judges. The machine shall be so placed that no 
person on the opposite side of the railing can see or determine how 
the voter casts his vote, and that no person can so see or determine 
from the outside of the room. After the opening of the polls, the judges 
shall not allow any person to pass within the railing to that part of 
the room where the machine is situated, except for the purpose of 
voting and except as provided in the next succeeding section of this 
Act; and they shall not permit more than one voter at a time to be 
in such part of the room. They shall not themselves remain or permit 
any person to remain in any position that would permit him or them 
to see or ascertain how the voter votes or how he has voted. No voter 
shall remain within the voting-machine booth or compartment longer 
than one minute, and if he should refuse to leave it after that lapse of 
time he shall at once be removed by the judges. The election board of 
each election precinct in which a voting-machine is used shall consist of 
three judges of election. Where moi-e than one machine is to be used in 
an election precinct, one additional judge shall be appointed for each 
additional machine. Before each election at which voting-machines are 
to be used, the custodian shall instruct all judges of election that are to 
serve thereat in the use of the machine and their duties in connection 
therewith; and he shall give to each judge that has received such in- 
struction, and is fully qualified to conduct the election with the machine 
a certificate to that effect. For the purpose of giving such instruction, 
the custodian shall call such meeting or meetings of the judges of election 
as shall be necessary. Each judge of election shall attend such meeting 
or meetings and receive such instructions as shall be necessary for 
the proper conduct of the election with the machine; and, as compen- 
sation for the time spent in receiving such instruction, each judge that 
shall qualify for and serve in the election shall receive the sum of 
one dollar, to be paid to him at the same time and in the same manner 
as compensation is paid to him for his services on election day. No such 
judge of election shall serve in any election at which a voting-machine 
is used, unless he shall have received such instruction and is fully qual- 
ified to perform his duties in connection with the machine, and has re- 
ceived a certificate to that effect from the custodian of the machine; pro- 
vided, however, that this shall not prevent the appointment of a judge 
of election to fill a vacancy in an emergency. 

Section 762. If any voter shall, in the presence of the judges of 
election, declare that he is unable to read or write the English language, 
or that by reason of a physical disability or total blindness he is unable 
to register or record his vote upon the machine, he shall be assisted 
as provided by Section 699 of the Statutes of 1921, as amended. Any 
person who shall deceive any elector in registering or recording his 
vote under this section, or who shall register or record his vote in any 
other way than as requested by such person or who shall give informa- 
tion to any person as to what ticket or for what person or persons 
such person voted, shall be punished as provided in section 10753 of the 
Penal Code. 



88 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 763. Not more than ten (10) or less than three (3) days 
before each election at which voting-machines are to be used, the board, 
or officials, charged with the duty of providing ballots, shall publish in 
newspapers representing at least two (2) political parties a diagram of 
reduced size showing the face of the voting-machine, after the official 
ballot labels are arranged thereon, together with illustrated instruc- 
tions how to vote, and a statement of the locations of such voting- 
machines as shall be on public exhibition; a voting-machine shall at all 
time be on exhibition for public demonstration in the office of the 
County Clerk and Recorder in the counties where said voting-machines 
are used, and it shall be the duty of the said County Clerk and Recorder 
to demonstrate and explain the working and operation of said voting- 
machine to any inquiring voter; or in lieu of such publication, said board 
or officials may send by mail or otherwise at least three (3) days before 
the election, a printed copy of said reduced diagram to each registered 
voter. Not later than forty (40) days before each election at which voting- 
machines are to be used, the Secretary of State shall prepare samples of 
the printed matter and supplies named in this section, and shall furnish 
one of each thereof to the board of officials having charge of election in 
each county, city or village in which the machines are to be used, 
such samples to meet the requirements of the election to be held, and 
to suit the construction of the machine to be used. The board or officials 
charged with the duty of providing ballots, shall provide for each voting- 
machine for each election the following printed matter and supplies: 
suitable printed or written directions to the custodian for testing and 
preparing the voting-machines for the election; one certificate on which 
the custodian can certify that he has properly tested and prepared the 
voting-machine for the election; one certificate on which some person 
other than the custodian preparing the machine, can certify that the 
voting-machine has been examined and found to have been properly 
prepared for the election; one certificate on which the party representa- 
tives can verify that they have witnessed the testing and preparation of 
the machines; one certificate on which the deliverer of the machine can 
certify that he has delivered the machines to the polling-places in good 
order; one card stating the penalty for tampering with or injuring a 
voting-machine; two seals for sealing the voting-machine; one envelope 
in which the keys to the voting-machine can be sealed and delivered to 
the election officers, said envelope to have printed or written thereon 
the designation and location of the election district in which the machine 
is to be used, the number of machine, the number shown on the protective 
counter thereof after the machine has been prepared for the election and 
the number or other designation on such seal as the machine is sealed 
with; said envelope to have attached to it a detachable receipt for the 
delivery of the keys of the voting-machine to the judges of election; 
one envelope in which keys to the voting-machine can be returned by 
the election officers after the election; one card stating the name and 
telephone address of the custodian on the day of the election; two state- 
ments of canvass on which the election officers can report the canvass of 
the votes as shown on the voting-machine, together with other necessary 
information relating to the election, said statements of canvass to take 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 89 

the place of all tally papers, statements, and returns as provided hereto- 
fore; three (3) complete sets of ballot labels; two diagrams of the face 
of the machine with the ballot labels thereon, each diaj^ram to have 
printed above it the proper instructions to voters for voting on the ma- 
chine; six (6) suitable printed instructions to judges of election; six (6) 
notices to judges of election to attend the instruction meeting; six (6) 
certificates that the judges of election have attended the instruction 
meeting, have received the necessary instruction, and are qualified to 
conduct the election with the machine. The ballot labels shall be printed 
in black ink on clear white material of such size and arrangement as 
shall suit the construction of the machine; provided, however, that the 
ballot labels for the questions may contain a condensed statement of 
each question to be voted on, followed by the words "Yes" and "No"; 
and provided further, that the titles of the officers thereon shall be 
l)rinted in type as large as the space for each office will reasonably 
permit, and wherever more than one candidate will be voted for for an 
office, there shall be printed below the office title thereof the words 
"vote for any two," or such number as the voter is lawfully entitled to 
vote for for such office. When any person is nominated for an office by 
moi*e than one political party his name shall be placed upon the ticket 
under the designation of the party which first nominated him ; or, if 
nominated by more than one party at the same time, he shall, within the 
time fixed by law for filing certificates of nomination, file with the offi- 
cer with whom his certificate of nomination is required to be filed, a 
written statement indicating the party designation under which he de- 
sires his name to appear upon the ballot, and it shall be so printed. If he 
shall refuse or neglect to so file such a statement, the officer with whom 
the certificate of nommation is required to be filed shall place his name 
under the designation of either of the parties nominating him, but under 
no other designation whatsoever. If the election be one at which all the 
candidates for office of Presidential electors are to be voted for with 
one device, the County Commissioners shall furnish for each machine 
twenty-five (25) ballots for each political party, each ballot containing 
the names of the candidates for the office of Presidential electors of 
such party and a suitable space for writing in names, so that the voter 
can vote thereon for part of the candidates for the office of Presidential 
electors of one party and part of the candidates therefor of one or more 
other parties or for persons for that office not nominated by any party. 
For election precincts in which voting-machines are to be used, no books 
01 blanks for making poll-lists shall be provided, but in lieu thereof, the 
registry lists shall contain a column in which can be entered the number 
of each voter's ballot as indicated by the number registered on the public 
counter as he emerges from the voting machine. 

Section 764. The City or County Clerks of each city or county in 
which a voting-machine is to be used shall cause the proper ballots to 
be put upon each machine corresponding with the sample ballots herein 
provided for, and the machines in every way put in order, set and ad- 
justed ready for use in voting when delivered at the precinct, and for 
the purpose of so labeling the machines, putting in order, setting and 
adjusting the same, they may employ one or more competent persons, 



90 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

and they shall cause the machine so labeled, in order and set and adjust- 
ed, to be delivered at the voting precinct, together w^ill all necessary- 
furniture and appliances that go with the same in the room v^^here the 
election is to be held in the precinct, in time for the opening of the polls 
on election day; provided, however, that a shield of tin painted black 
made to conform with the shape of the keys or levers on said voting- 
machine, shall be placed over the keys or levers not in use on the face 
of the ballot of the voting machine; said shields to be plainly marked 
with the words "not in use"; and provided that a space of at least one 
row of keys or levers be left vacant and marked "not in use" between 
the rows assigned to the two parties obtaining the largest number of 
votes cast at the previous general election; and provided also that the 
general ballot used on the voting-machine shall conform in the location 
of the various pai'ties and the location of the various names of the can- 
didates, with the paper ballots used in the precincts where voting-ma- 
chines are not in use. Thus the party assigned to the fix'st vertical col- 
umn on the paper ballot be given the first vertical column or the top 
horizontal row on the voting machine; the party assigned to the second 
vertical column on the paper ballot be given the second vertical column, 
or the second horizontal row to be voted on the voting machine. The 
judges shall compare the ballots on the machine with the sample ballot, 
see that they are correct, examine and see that all counters, if any, in 
the machine are set at zero, and that the machine is otherwise in perfect 
order, and they shall not thereafter permit the machine to be operated 
or moved except by electors in voting, and they shall also see that all 
necessary arrangements and adjustments are made for voting irregular 
ballots on the machine, if such machine be so arranged. 

Section 765. In case a voting-machine be adopted which provides for 
the registry or recording of votes for candidates whose names are not 
on the official ballot, such ballot shall be denominated irregular ballots. 
A person whose name appears on a ballot, or on or in a machine or 
machine system, shall not be voted for for the same office or on or in 
any regular device for casting an irregular ticket, and any such vote 
shall not be counted, except for the office of Presidential electors, and an 
elector may vote in or on such irregular device for one or more persons 
nominated by one party with one or more persons nominated by any one 
oi" all other parties or for one or more persons nominated by one or more 
parties with one or more persons not in nomination, or he may vote in 
such irregular device a Presidential electoral ticket composed entirely of 
names of persons not in nomination. 

Section 766. As soon as the polls of the election are closed the judges 
shall immediately lock the machine, or remove the recording device so as 
to pi'ovide against voting, and open the registering or recording com- 
partments in the presence of any person desiring to attend the same, 
and shall proceed to ascertain the number of votes cast for each person 
voted for at the election, and to canvass, record, announce, and return 
the same as provided by law. 

Section 767. The judges as soon as the count is completed and fully 
ascertained, shall place the machine for one hour in such a position that 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 91 

the registerini? or i-ecordinp,' compai-tments will be in full view of the 
public and any person desiring: to view the number of votes cast for 
each person voted for at the election, must be permitted to do so. Imme- 
diately after the above said one hour shall have expired, the judges shall 
seal, close, lock the machine or remove the record so as to provide against 
voting or being tampered with, and in case of a machine so sealed or 
locked, it shall so remain for a period of at least thirty (30) days, unless 
opened by oi'der of a court of competent jurisdiction. When irregular 
ballots have been voted, the judges shall I'eturn them in a properly sealed 
package endorsed "irregular ballots," and indicating the precinct and 
county and file such package with the City or County Clerk. It shall be 
preserved for six (6) months after such election and may be opened and 
its contents examined only upon an order of a court of competent jurisdic- 
tion; at the end of such six (6) months unless ordered otherwise by the 
court, such package and its contents shall be destroyed by the City or 
County Clerk. All tally sheets taken from such machine, if any, shall be 
retui'ned in the same manner. The officers heretofore charged with the 
duty of furnishing tally sheets and returns blanks shall furnish suitable 
returns blanks and certificates to the officers of election. Such return 
sheets shall have each candidate's name designated by the same refer- 
ence character that said candidate's name bears on the ballot labels and 
counters, and shall make provision for writing in of the vote for such 
candidate in figures and shall also provide for writing in of the vote 
in words. Such return sheet shall also provide for the return of the vote 
on questions. It shall also have a blank thereon, on which can be marked 
the precinct, ward, etc., of which said return sheet bears the returns and 
the number and make of the machine used. Said return sheet shall also 
have a certificate thereon, to be executed before the polls open by the 
judges of election, stating that all counters except the protective counter, 
if any, and except as otherwise noted thereon, stood at "000" at the be- 
ginning of the election, and that all of said counters had been carefully 
examined before the beginning of the election; that the ballot labels 
were correctly placed on the machine and correspond to the sample bal- 
lot, and such other statements as the particular machine may require: 
and shall provide for the signature of the election officers. Said return 
sheet shall also have thereon a second certificate stating the manner of 
closing the polls, the manner of verifying the returns, that the foi-egoing 
returns are correct, giving the indication of the public counter, and poll- 
list, and protective counter, if any, at the close of the election. Such cer- 
tificate shall properly specify the procedure of canvassing the vote and 
locking the machine, etc., for the particular type of machine used, and 
such certificate shall be such that the election officers can properly sub- 
scribe to it as having been followed and shall have provisions for the 
signature of the election officers. The election officers shall conform 
their procedure to that specified in the certificate to which they must 
certify. The certificate and attest of the election officers shall appear 
on each return sheet. 

Section 768. All laws of this state applicable to elections where voting- 
is done in another manner than by machine, and all penalties prescribed 
for violation of such laws, shall apply to elections and precincts where 



92 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

voting machines are used, in so far as they are not in conflict with the 
provisions of this chapter. 

Section 769. Any public officer or any election officer upon whom 
any duty is imposed by this Act, who shall wilfully neglect or omit to 
perform any such duties, or do any act prohibited herein for which pun- 
ishment is not otherwise provided herein, shall, upon conviction, be im- 
prisoned in the state prison for not less than one year or more than three 
years, or be fined in any sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, or may 
be punished by both such imprisonment and fine. 

Section 770. Any person not being an election officer who, during 
any election or before and election, after a voting-machine has had 
placed upon it the ballots for such election, shall tamper with such ma- 
chine, disarrange, deface, injure, or impair the same in any manner, or 
mutilate, injure or destroy any ballot placed thereon or to be placed 
thereon, or any other appliance used in connection with such machine, 
shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a period of not more than ten 
years, or be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or be punished by 
both such fine and imprisonment. 

Section 771. Whoever, being a judge of election, with intent to per- 
mit or cause any voting-machine to fail to correctly register or record 
any vote cast thereon, tampers with or disarranges such machine in any 
way, or any part or appliance thereof, or who causes or consents to said 
iiiachine being used for voting at any election with knowledge of the fact 
that the same is not in order or not perfectly set and adjusted, so that it 
will correctly register or record all votes cast thereon, or who, for the 
purpose of defrauding or deceiving any voter, or causing it to be doubt- 
ful for what ticket or candidate or candidates or proposition any vote 
is cast, or of causing it to appear upon said machine that votes cast for 
one ticket, candidate, or proposition were cast for another ticket, candi- 
date, or proposition, removes, changes, or mutilates any ballot on said 
machine, or any part thereof, or does any other like thing, shall be im- 
prisoned in the state prison not more than ten years, or fined not exceed- 
ing one thousand dollars, or punished by both such fine and imprison- 
ment. 

Section 772. Any judge or clerk of an election who shall pui-posely 
cause the vote registered or recorded on or in such machine to be incor- 
rectly taken down as to any candidate or proposition voted on, or who 
shall knowingly cause to be made or signed any false statement, certifi- 
cate, or return of any kind, of such vote, or who shall knowingly consent 
to such things, or any of them, being done, shall be imprisoned in the 
state prison not more than ten years, or fined not more than one thou- 
cand dollars, or punished by both such fine and imprisonment. 

Section 773. The proper officers authorized by this Act to adopt 
voting machines, may provide for the experimental use of an election in 
one or more precincts, of a machine approved by the Montana Voting- 
Machine Commission without a formal adoption or purchase thereof 
and its use at such election shall be as valid for all purposes as if form- 
ally adopted. If from any cause a machine becomes unworkable, or unfit 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 93 

for use, votine: shall proceed as in cases where machines are not used, 
and the County Clerk must furnish each votinp: place with the supply 
of ballots and other supplies required by the election laws to be used 
in the case of emergency herein provided for, and in such case only. 

ELECTION RETURNS 

Section 774. As soon as the polls ai-e closed, the judges must imme- 
diately proceed to canvass the votes given at such election. The canvass 
must be public in the presence of bystanders and must be continued with- 
out adjournment until completed and the result thereof is publicly de- 
clared. 

Section 775. The canvass must commence by a comparison of the 
poll-lists from the commencement, and the correction of any mistakes 
that may be found therein, until they are found to agree. The judges 
must then take out of the box the ballots unopened except to ascertain 
whether each ballot is single, and count the same to determine whether 
the number of ballots corresponds with the number of names on the poll- 
lists. If two or more ballots are found so folded together as to present 
the appearance of a single ballot, they must be laid aside until the count 
of the ballots is completed, and if, on comparing the count with the poll- 
lists and further considering the appearance of such ballots, a majority 
of the judges are of the opinion that the ballots thus folded .together 
were voted by one elector, they must be rejected; otherwise they must 
be counted. 

Section 776. If the ballots then are found to exceed in number the 
whole number of names on the poll-list, they must be placed in the box 
(after being purged in the manner above stated), and one of the judges 
must, publicly, and without looking in the box, draw therefrom singly 
and destroy unopened so many ballots as are equal to such excess. And 
the judges must make a record on the poll-list of the number of ballots 
so destroyed. 

Section 777. In the canvass of the votes, any ballot which is not en- 
dorsed as provided in this Code by the official stamp is void and must 
not be counted, and any ballot or parts of a ballot from which it is im- 
possible to determine the elector's choice is void and must not be counted; 
if part of a ballot is sufficiently plain to gather therefrom the elector's 
intention, it is the duty of the judges of election to count such part. 

Section 778. The ballots and poll-lists agreeing or being made to 
agree, the judges must then proceed to count and ascertain the number 
of votes cast for each person voted for. In making such count the ballots 
must be opened singly by one of the judges, and the contents thereof, 
while exposed to the view of the other judges, must be distinctly read 
aloud by the judge who opens the ballot. As the ballots are read, each 
clerk must write at full length on a sheet to be known as a tally-sheet 
the name of every person voted for and of the office for which he re- 
ceived votes, and keep by tallies on such sheet the number of votes for 
each person. The tally-sheets must then be compared and their correct- 
ness ascertained, and the clerks must, under the supervision of the judges, 
immediately thereafter set down, at length and in their proper places 






94 EL1CTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

ir the poll-books the names of all persons voted for, the offices for which 
they respectively received votes, and the total number of votes received 
by each person, as shown by the tally-sheets. No ballot or vote rejected 
by the judges must be included in the count provided for in this section. 

Section 779. The ballots, as soon as read or rejected for illegality, 
must be strung upon a string by one of the judges, and must not there- 
after be examined by any person, but must, as soon as all legal ballots 
are counted, be carefully sealed in a strong envelope, each member of 
the judges writing his name across the seal. 

Section 780. Any ballot rejected for illegality must be marked by 
the judges, by writing across the face thereof "Rejected on the ground 

of ," filling the blank with a brief 

statement of the reasons for the rejection, which statement must be 
dated and signed by a majority of the judges. 

Section 781. As soon as all the votes are counted and the ballots 
sealed up, the poll-books must be signed and certified to by the judges 
and clerks of election substantially as in the form in Section 600 of this 
Code. 

Section 782. The judges must, before they adjourn, inclose in a strong 
envelope, securely sealed up and directed to the County Clerk, the check 
lists, all certificates of registration received by them, one of the lists of 
the persons challenged, one of the poll-books, one of the tally-sheets, and 
the official oaths taken by the judges and clerks of election; and must 
inclose in a separate package or envelope, securely sealed up and directed 
to the County Clerk, all detached stubs from ballots voted and all unused 
ballots with the numbered stubs attached; and must also inclose in a 
separate package or envelope, securely sealed up and directed to the 
County Clerk, all ballots voted, including all voted ballots which, for any 
reason, were not counted or allowed, and indorse on the outside thereof 
"Ballots voted." Each of the judges must write his name across the seal 
of each of said envelopes or packages. 

Section 783. The judges must select one of their number to retain, 
open to the inspection of all electors, for at least six months, the other 
list of persons challenged, the other tally-sheet and poll-book. The 
judge so selected must also retain the ballot-box. 

Section 784. The sealed envelope containing the check-lists, certifi- 
cates of registration, poll-book, tally-sheets, oaths of election officers, 
also the package or envelope containing the detached stubs and unused 
ballots, must, before the judges adjourn, be delivered to one of their 
number, to be determined by lot, unless otherwise agreed upon. 

Section 785. The judges to whom such packages ai'e delivered must, 
within twenty-four hours, deliver them, without their having been opened, 
to the County Clerk, or convey the same, unopened, to the postoffice 
nearest the house in which the election for such precinct was held, and 
register and mail the same, duly directed to the said clerk. 

Section 786. Upon receipt of the packages by the County Clerk, he 
must file the one containing the ballots voted and the one containing 
the detached stubs and unused ballots, and must keep them unopened 
and unaltered for twelve months, after which time if there is no contest 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 95 

commenced in some tribunal having jui'isdiction about such election, he 
must burn such packages, or envelopes, without opening or examining 
their contents. 

Section 787. If, within twelve months, there is such a contest com- 
menced, he must keep the packages of envelopes unopened and unaltered 
until it is finally determined, when he must, as provided in the preced- 
ing section, destroy them, unless the same ai'e by virtue of an order of 
the tribunal in which the contest is pending, brought and opened before 
it to the end that evidence may be had of their contents, in which event 
the packages or envelopes and their contents are in the custody of such 
tribunal. 

Section 788. The envelopes containing the check-lists, certificates of 
registration, poll-book, tally-sheets, and oaths of election officers must 
be filed by the County Clei'k and be kept by him, unopened and unaltei-ed, 
until the Board of County Commissioners meet for the purpose of can- 
vassing the returns, when he must produce them before such board, 
where the same shall be opened. 

Section 789. As soon as the returns are canvassed, the clerk must 
file in his office the poll-book, lists, and the papers produced before the 
board from the package mentioned in the next preceding section. 

CANVASS OF ELECTION RETURNS— RESULTS AND CERTIFI- 
CATES 

Section 790. The Board of County Commissioners of each county is 
ex-officio a Board of County Canvassers for the county, and must meet 
as the Board of County Canvassers at the usual place of meeting of the 
County Commissioners within ten days after each election at twelve 
o'clock noon, to canvass the returns. 

Section 791. If, at the time and place appointed for such meeting, 
one or mere of the County Commissioners should not attend, the place 
of the absentees must be supplied by one or more of the following county 
officers, whose duty it is to act in the order named, to-wit, the 
Treasurer, the Assessor, the Sheriff, so that the Board of County Can- 
vassers shall always consist of three acting members. The Clerk of the 
Boai'd of County Commissioners is the Clerk of the Board of County 
Canvassers. 

Section 792. If, at the time of meeting, the returns from each pre- 
cinct in the county in which polls were opened have been received, the 
Board of County Canvassers must then and there proceed to canvass the 
returns; but if all the returns have not been received, the canvass must 
be postponed from day to day until all of the returns are received, or 
until seven postponements have been had. If the returns from any elec- 
tion precinct have not been received by the County Clerk within seven 
days after any election, it is his duty forthwith to send a messenger to 
the judges for the missing returns, who must procure such returas from 
the judges, or any of them, and return the same to the County Clerk. 
Such messenger must be paid out of the county treasury fifteen cents 
per mile in going and coming. If it appears to the boai'd, by evidence, 
that the polls were not opened in any precinct, and no returns have 
been received therefrom, the board must certify to the same, and file 



96 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

such certificate with the County Clerk, with the evidence, if any, who 
must enter the same in the minutes and in the statement mentioned in 
Section 794. 

Section 793. The canvass must be made in public by opening the 
returns and determining therefrom the vote of such county or precinct 
for each person voted for, and for and against each proposition voted 
upon at such election, and declaring the result thereof. In canvassing, 
no returns must be rejected if it can be ascertained therefrom the num- 
ber of votes cast for each person. The fact that the returns do not show 
who administered the oath to the judges or clerks of election, or a failure 
to fill out all the certificates in the poll-books, or to do or perform any 
other act in making up the returns, that is not essential to determine 
for whom the votes were cast, is not such an irregularity as to entitle 
the board to reject the same, but they must be canvassed as other re- 
turns are. 

Section 794. The clerk of the board must, as soon as the result is 
declared, enter on the records of such board a statement of such result, 
which statement must show: 

1. The whole number of votes cast in the county. 

2. The names of the persons voted for and the propositions voted 
upon. 

3. The office to fill which each person was voted for. 

4. The number of votes given at each precinct to each of such per- 
sons, and for and against each of such propositions. 

5. The number of votes given in the county to each of such persons, 
and for and against each of such propositions. 

Section 795. The person receiving at any election the highest num- 
ber of votes for any office to be filled at such election is elected thereto. 

Section 796. The board must declare elected the person having the 
highest number of votes given for each office to be filled by the votes of 
a single county or a subdivision thereof, and in the event of two or more 
persons receiving an equal and sufficient number of votes to elect to the 
office of State Senator, or member of the House of Representatives, it 
shall be the duty of the board, under the direction of and in the pres- 
ence of the District Court, or Judge thereof, to recount the ballots cast 
for such persons, and the board shall declare elected the person or per- 
sons shown by the recount to have the highest number of votes. If such 
recount shall show that two or more such persons receive an equal 
and sufficient number of votes to elect to the same office, then, and 
in that event, the board shall certify such facts to the Governor. 

Section 797. The Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners must 
immediately make out and deliver to such person (except to the person 
elected District Judge) a certificate of election signed by him and au- 
thenticated with the seal of the Board of County Commissioners. 

Section 798. Where there are members of the House of Representatives 
voted for by the electors of a district composed of two or more counties, 
each of the clerks of the counties composing such district, immediately 
after making out the statement specified in Section 794, must make a 
certified abstract of so much thereof as relates to the election of such 
officers. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 97 

Section 799. The clerk must seal up such abstract, indorse it "Elec- 
tion Returns," and without delay transmit the same by mail to the Clerk 
of the Board of Commissioners of the county which stands first in alpha- 
betical arrangement in the list of counties composing such district. 

Section 800. The clerk to whom the i-eturns of a district are made 
must on the twentieth day after such election, or sooner, if the returns 
from all the counties in the district have been received, open in pubMc 
such returns, and from them and the statement of the vote for such 
officers in his own county: 

1. Make a statement of the vote of the district for such officers, and 
file the same, together with the returns, in his office. 

2. Transmit a certified copy of such statement to the Secretary of 
State. 

3. Make out and deliver or transmit by mail to the persons elected 
a certificate of election (unless it is by law otherwise provided). 

Section 801. When there has been a general or special election for 
officers voted for by the electors of the State at large or for judicial 
officers (except Justices of the Peace), each Clerk of the Board of 
County Canvassers, so soon as the statement of the vote of his county is 
made out and entered upon the records of the Board of County Commis- 
sioners, must make a certified abstract of so much thereof as relates 
to the votes given for persons for said offices to be filled at such elec- 
tion. 

Section 802. The clerk must seal up such abstract, endorse it "Elec- 
tion Returns," and without delay transmit it by mail, registered, to the 
Secretary of State. 

Section 803. On the first Monday of December after the day of elec- 
tion, at twelve o'clock noon, the State Auditor, State Treasurer, and 
Attorney General, who constitute a Board of State Canvassers, must 
meet in the office of the Secretary of State and compute and determine 
the vote, and the Secretary of State, who is secretary of said board, must 
make out and file in his office a statement thereof and transmit a copy 
of such statement to the Governor. 

Section 804. If the returns from all the counties have not been re- 
ceived on the fifth day before the day designated for the meeting of the 
Board of State Canvassers, the Secretary of State must foi'thwith send 
a messenger to the Clerk of the Board of County Canvassers of the 
delinquent county, and such clerk must furnish the messenger with a 
certified copy of the statement mentioned in Section 794. The person 
appointed is entitled to receive as compensation Five Dollars per day for 
the time necessarily consumed in such service, and the traveling expenses 
necessarily incurred. His account therefor, certified by the Secretary of 
State, after being allowed by the Board of Examiners, must be paid ouc 
of the general fund of the state treasury. 

Section 805. Upon receipt of such copy mentioned in Section 803, 
the Governor must issue commissions to the persons who from it appear 
to have received the highest number of votes for offices to be filled at 
such election. In case a Governor has been elected to succeed himself, 
the Secretary of State must issue the commission. 



98 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 806. No declaration of the result, commission, or certificate 
must be withheld on account of any defect or informality in the return 
of any election, if it can with reasonable certainty be ascertained from 
such return what office is intended and who is elected thereto. 

Section 807. It is the duty of the Secretary of State to cause to be 
published, in pamphlet form, a sufficient number of copies of election 
laws and such other provisions of law as bear upon the subject of elec- 
tions and to transmit the proper number to each County Clerk, whose 
duty it is to furnish each election officer in his county with one of such 
copies. 

Section 808. The penalties for the violation of election laws are pre- 
scribed in Sections 10747 to 10820 of the Penal Code. 

FAILURE OF ELECTIONS— PROCEEDINGS ON TIE VOTE 

Section 809. In case of a failure, by reason of a tie vote or other- 
wise, to elect a Representative in Congress, the Secretary of State must 
transmit to the Governor a certified statement showing the vote cast 
for such persons voted for, and in case of a failure to elect, by reason of 
a tie vote or otherwise, the Governor must order a special election. 

Section 810. In case any two or more persons have an equal and 
highest number of votes for either Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Sec- 
retary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Clerk 
of the Supreme Court, Superintendent of Public Instruction, or any other 
State executive officer, the Legislative Assembly, at its next regular 
session, must forthwith, by joint ballot of the two houses, elect one of 
such persons to fill such office; and in case of a tie vote for Clerk of 
the District Court, County Attorney, or for any county officer except 
County Commissioner, and for any township officer, the Board of County 
Commissioners must appoint some eligible person, as in case of other 
vacancies in such offices; and in case of a tie vote for County Commis- 
sioner, the District Judge of the county must appoint an eligible person 
to fill the office, as in other cases of vacancy. 

Section 811. In case of a tie vote for state officers, as specified in 
the preceding section, it is the duty of the Secretary of State to transmit 
to the Legislative Assembly, at its next regular session, a certified copy 
of the statement showing the vote cast for the two or more persons hav- 
ing an equal and the highest number of votes for any state office. 

Section 812. In case any two or more persons have an equal and 
highest number of votes for Justice of the Supreme Court or Judge of 
a District Court, the Secretary of State must transmit to the Governor a 
certified statement showing the vote cast for such person, and thereupon 
the Governor must appoint an eligible person to hold office as in case 
of other vacancies in such offices. 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS— HOW CHOSEN 

Section 813. At the general election in November, preceding the time 
fixed by law of the United States for the choice of President and Vice- 
President of the United States, there must be elected as many Electors 
of President and Vice-President as this state is entitled to appoint. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 99 

Section 814. The votes for Electors of President and Vice-President 
must be canvassed, certified to, and returned in the same manner as the 
votes for state officers. 

Section 815. The Governor must transmit to each of the electors a 
certificate of election, and on or before the day of their meeting: deliver 
to each of the electors a list of the names of electors, and must do all 
other things required of him in the premises by any Act of Congress in 
force at the time. 

Section 816. The electors chosen must assemble at the seat of gov- 
ernment on the second Monday in January next after their election, at 
two o'clock in the afternoon. 

Section 817. In case of the death or absence of any elector chosen, 
or in case the number of electors from any cause be deficient, the electors 
then present must elect, from the citizens of the state, so many persons 
as will supply such deficiency. 

Section 818. The electors, when convened, must vote by ballot for one 
person for President and one for Vice-President of the United States, 
one of whom at least is not an inhabitant of this state. 

Section 819. They must name in their ballots the persons voted for 
as President, and in distinct ballots the persons voted for as Vice-Presi- 
dent. 

Section 820. They must make distinct lists of all persons voted for 
as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the 
number of votes given for each. 

Section 821. They must certify, seal up, and transmit such lists in 
the manner prescribed by the constitution and laws of the United States. 

Section 822. Electors receive the same pay and mileage as is allowed 
to members of the Legislative Assembly. 

Section 823. Their accounts therefor, certified by the Secretary of 
the State, must be audited by the State Auditor, who must draw his 
wai-rants for the same on the Treasurer, payable out of the general fund. 

CHAPTER 126 

(Laws of 1927) 

An Act Relating to Elections, Providing a Method of Electing Presiden- 
tial Electors and Delegates to National Conventions by Political Par- 
ties, and Repealing all Acts and Parts of Acts in Conflict Herewith. 

Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana: 

Section 1. The term Political Party as used in this Act shall include 
any party conducted for political purposes, which now has or hereafter 
shall perfect a national organization. 

Section 2. All political parties in Montana shall hereafter nominate 
their presidential electors and elect their delegates to National Conven- 
tions in the manner provided by this Act. It shall be the duty of each 
political party to select in each county in the state in such manner as 
is now provided by law, or by the rules of the party in case the law does 
not so provide, a pi'ecinct committeeman for each election precinct, a 
county chairman in each county and a state chairman. 



100 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 3. In each year when a President of the United States is to 
be chosen a county convention shall be held by each political party on 
the second Tuesday in May in each county in the state, composed of the 
county precinct committeemen of the party. The chairman of the County 
Central Committee shall call said county convention and not less than 
ten days nor more than two weeks before the date of the convention, 
shall publish said call in a newspaper published at the county seat and 
shall mail a copy of the call to each precinct committeeman. In the 
event there is no county central committee in any county, the state 
central committee of the political party having no county central com- 
mittee in said county shall appoint a county central committee therein 
and said county central committee shall have the same powers and duties 
as county central committee selected as now provided by law. 

Section 4. The county chairman of the party shall preside at the 
county convention. No person other than a duly elected or appointed 
precinct committeeman shall be entitled to sit in said convention or 
participate in its proceedings. No proxy shall be recognized unless held 
by an elector of the precinct of the committeeman executing the same. 
In case of the absence of any precinct committeeman and his duly ap- 
pointed proxy, the convention may fill the vacancy by appointing some 
qualified elector of the party, resident in the precinct, to represent such 
precinct in the convention. 

Section 5. Said county convention shall organize by the appointment 
of a secretary, who, with the chairman of the meeting, shall issue and 
sign certificates of election to the delegates and alternates elected by 
xhe convention. The convention shall elect delegates and alternate dele- 
gates to attend the state convention, in a number equal to the total 
number of State Senators and Representatives elected from said county 
to the Legislative Assembly. 

Section 6. On the third Tuesday in May the delegates (or alternate 
delegates in case any elected delegates can not attend) shall hold a state 
convention at the seat of government for the purpose of electing dele- 
gates and alternates to the national convention of the party, and presi- 
dential electors. 

Section 7. Said state convention shall be conducted in accordance 
with the party rules, subject, however, to the following requirements: 

The Chairman of the State Central Committee shall call the state 
convention and shall publish the call at least once in a newspaper pub- 
lished at the seat of the government. Said call shall be published not less 
than ten (10) days nor more than two (2) weeks before the date of 
the convention and a copy of the call shall be mailed to the County 
Chairman in each county. The Chairman of the State Central Committee 
shall preside over the convention and, together with a secretary chosen 
by the convention, shall sign certificates of election, which shall be de- 
livered as credentials to the several persons elected by the convention 
as delegates to the national convention of said party, and certificates 
of nomination for presidential electors for said party which shall be filed 
with the Secretary of State. Only regularly elected delegates or alter- 
nates shall be entitled to sit in said convention or participate in its pro- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 101 

ceedingrs and no proxies shall be recoprnized by the convention. In case 
of the absence of a member or members of the delegation elected from 
any county the delegates present for said county shall be entitled to cast 
a number of votes equal to the number of delegates elected to the conven- 
tion from said county. 

Section 8. The entire expense of conducting the county and state 
conventions herein provided for shall be defrayed by the several political 
parties, except that each elected delegate or alternate who shall attend 
the state convention and participate therein shall receive the sum of five 
(5c) cents per mile for each mile actually travelled by him in .going to 
and returning from said convention, said mileage to be computed by the 
shortest practicable route, and to be paid out of the general funds of 
the county in the same manner as other election expenses. 

Section 9. All Acts and parts of Acts in conflict herewith are hereby 
repealed. 

Approved March 9, 1927. 

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS— ELECTIONS AND VACANCIES 

Section 824. The election of Senators in Congress of the United 
States for full terms must be held on the first Tuesday after the first 
Monday in November next preceding the commencement of the term to 
be filled; and the election of Senators in Congress of the United States 
to fill vacancies therein must be held at the time of the next succeeding 
general state election following the occurrence of such vacancy; if any 
election therefor be invalid or not held at such time, then the same shall 
be held at the second succeeding general state election. Nominations 
of candidates and elections to the office shall be made in the same man- 
ner as is provided by law in case of Governor. 

Section 825. When a vacancy happens in the office of one or more 
Senators from the State of Montana in the Congress of the United States, 
the Governor of this state shall issue, under the seal of the state, a writ 
or writs of election, to be held at the next succeeding general state elec- 
tion, to fill such vacancy or vacancies by vote of the electors of the 
state; provided, however, that the Governor shall have power to make 
temporary appointments to fill such vacancy or vacancies until the 
electors shall have filled them. 

Section 826. At the general election to be held in the year eighteen 
hundred and ninety-two, and at the general election every two years 
thereafter, there must be elected for each congressional district one 
Representative to the Congress of the United States. 

(Note — Montana is now entitled to two Representatives in Congress.) 

Section 827. The vote for Representative in Congress must be can- 
vassed, certified to, and transmitted in the same manner as the vote for 
state officers. 

Section 828. The Governor must, upon the receipt of the statement 
mentioned in Section 803 of this Code, transmit to the person elected a 
certificate of his election, sealed with the great seal and attested by the 
Secretarv of the State. 



102 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

CONTESTING ELECTIONS 

Section 829. Election contests are governed by the provisions of Sec- 
tions 659 to 661, and Sections 10810 to 10814 of these Codes. 

ELECTIONS RELATING TO SCHOOL MATTERS 

Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Section 931. There shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the 
state, at the time and place of voting for members of the legislature, a 
superintendent of public instruction, who shall have attained the age of 
thirty y6ars at the time of his election, and shall have resided within the 
state two years next preceding his election, and is the holder of a state 
certificate of the highest grade, issued in some state, and recognized by 
the state board of education, or is a graduate of some university, college, 
or normal school recognized by the state board of education as of equal 
rank with the university of Montana or the state normal school. He 
shall hold his office at the seat of government for the term of four 
years from the first Monday in January following his election, and until 
his successor is elected and qualified. ****** 

County Superintendent of Schools. 

Section 951. A county superintendent of schools shall be elected in 
each organized county in this state at the general election preceding the 
expiration of the term of office of the present incumbent, and every two 
years thereafter. 

School Trustees. 

Section 985. Any person, male or female, who is a qualified voter at 
any election under this Act, shall be eligible to the office of school 
trustee in such district. 

Section 986. In districts of the first class, the number of trustees 
shall be seven, in districts of the second class the number of trustees 
shall be five, and in districts of the third class the number of trustees 
shall be three. 

Section 987. An annual election of school trustees shall be held in 
each school district in the state on the* first Saturday in April of each 
year at the district schoolhouse, if there be one, and if there be none, 
at a place designated by the board of trustees. In districts of the third 
class having more than one schoolhouse where school is held, one trustee 
must be elected from persons residing where such outside schools are 
located. 

Section 988. In districts of the second and third class, the names of 
all candidates for membership on the school board must be received and 
filed by the clerk and posted at each polling-place at least five days next 
preceding the election. Any five qualified electors of the district may 
file with the clerk the nominations of as many persons as are to be 
elected to the school board at the ensuing election. 

Section 989. In districts of the second and third class, the election of 
school trustees shall be held and conducted under the supervision of the 
Board of School Trustees. The clerk of the school district must, 
not less than fifteen days before the election required under this Act, 
post notices in three public places in said district, and in incorporated 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 103 

cities in each ward, which notices must specify the time and place of 
election, and the hours during which the polls will be open. The trustees 
must appoint by an order entered in their records three qualified electors 
of said district, to act as judgres at such election, and the clerk of the 
district shall notify them by mail of their appointment. If the judges 
named ai'e not present at the time for opening the polls, the electors 
present may appoint judges, and the judges so appointed shall designate 
one of their number to act as clerk. The voting must be by ballot, with- 
out reference to the general election laws in regard to nomination:-, 
form of ballot, or manner of voting, and the polls shall be open for 
such length of time as the board of trustees may order; provided, that 
such polls must be open from two p. m. to six p. m. 

Section 990. In districts of the first class, no person shall be voted 
for or elected as ti-ustee unless he has been nominated therefor by a 
bona fide public meeting, held in the district at least ten days before 
the day of election, and at which at least twenty qualified electors were 
present, and a chairman and secretary were elected, and a certificate of 
such nomination, setting forth the place where the meeting was held, 
giving the names of the candidates in full, and if there are different 
terms to be filled, the term for which such candidate was nominated, 
duly certified by the chairman and secretary of such meeting, shall be 
filed with the District Clerk at least eight days before the day of elec- 
tion. The nomination and election of any person shall be void, unless 
he was nominated at a meeting as above provided at which at least 
twenty qualified electors were present, and his nomination certified and 
filed as aforesaid, and the Board of Trustees acting as a canvassing 
board shall not count any votes cast for any person, unless he has been 
so nominated and a certificate thereof filed as herein required. 

Section 991. The Board of Trustees shall, at least thirty days before 
the annual election of school trustees, by an order entered upon the 
minutes of their meeting, designate and establish a suitable number of 
polling-places and create an equal number of election precincts to cor- 
respond, and define the boundaries thereof. 

Section 992. The District Clerk stiall, at least fifteen days before 
the election in districts of the first class, give notice of the election to 
be held in all such districts, by posting a notice thereof in three public 
places in the district, and in incorporated cities and towns in each ward, 
which notices must specify the time and place of election, the number 
of trustees, and the terms for which they are to be elected, and the hours 
during which the polls will be open. Whenever, in the judgment of the 
Board of Tinastees, the best interests of the district will be served by 
the publication of such notices of election in some newspaper in the 
county, they may, by an order entered on the minutes of their meeting, 
direct the District Clerk to publish the notice of election required to be 
given in districts of the first class, in some newspaper in the county. 

Section 993. In districts of the first class the polls must be opened 
at eight o'clock a. m. and kept open until twelve o'clock m., and from 
one o'clock p. m. until eight o'clock p. m. 



104 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 994. The Board of District Trustees shall, at least ten days 
before the day of the annual election of trustees in any district of the 
first class, appoint three qualified electors of the district for each polling 
place established to act as judges of election, and the District Clerk 
shall notify such persons by mail of their appointment. Such judges 
shall designate one of their number to act as clerk of such election. If 
the judges appointed, or any of them, are not present at the time for 
the opening of the polls, the electors present may appoint judges, who 
must be qualified electors, to act in the place of those who are absent. 

Section 995. In districts of the first class, the ballot shall show the 
name or names of the candidates and the length of time for which they 
are to be elected. These ballots shall be as near as possible in the fol- 
lowing form: 

For School Trustees: 

For Three (3) Year Term. 

Vote for Three: 

John Abner 

William Brown 

Adam Smith 

For One (1) Year Term, 
George Davis 

Section 996. At every election held under this Act, a poll-list shall 
be kept by the judges and clerk at each polling-place, and immediately 
after the close of the polls the judges shall count the ballots, and if there 
be more ballots than votes cast the judges must draw by lot from the 
ballots, without seeing them, sufficient number of ballots to make the 
ballots remaining correspond with the number of votes cast. The clerk 
shall write down in alphabetical order in a poll-book provided for that 
purpose the name of every person voting at the time he deposits his 
ballot. There shall also be provided a tally-list for each polling place; 
after the ballots have been counted and made to agree with the poll-list 
the judges shall proceed to count them. The clerk shall enter in the 
tally-list the name of every person voted for as trustee, and the term, 
and tally opposite his name the number of votes cast for him, and at the 
end thereof set down in a column provided for that purpose the whole 
number of votes he received. The judges and clerk shall sign a certifi- 
cate to said tally-list, setting forth the whole number of votes cast for 
each person or trustee, designating the term, and they shall verify the 
same as being correct, to the best of their knowledge, before an officer 
authorized to administer oaths. No informality in such certificate shall 
vitiate the election, if the number of votes received for each person can 
reasonably be ascertained from said tally-list. Said books and tally-lists 
shall be returned to the Board of Trustees of the district, who shall can- 
vass the vote and cause the clerk of the district to issue a certificate of 
election to the person or persons elected, designating their term, a copy 
of which must be forwarded to the County Superintendent of Schools. 
School Trustees are hereby authorized to administer oaths to judges of 
election. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 105 

Section 997. Trustees elected shall take office immediately after 
qualifying', and shall hold office for the term of three years except as 
elsewhere expressly provided herein, and until their successors are elected 
or appointed and qualified. 

The clerk of the district shall, at the time of issuing certificate of 
election to a person elected as trustee, deliver to such person a blank 
oath of office. Every trustee shall file his oath of office with the County 
Superintendent of Schools within fifteen days of the receipt of the cer- 
tificate of election and blank oath of office from the clerk. Any trustee 
failing- to qualify as herein provided shall forfeit all rights to his office, 
and the County Superintendent of Schools shall appoint to fill the vacan- 
cy caused thereby. 

Section 998. A vacancy in the office shall be filled by appointment 
by the County Superintendent of Schools; provided, that in districts of the 
first and second class, such appointments shall be subject to confirmation 
by a majority of the remaining members of said board, if those remain- 
ing constitute a majority of the total number of the board. The trustees 
so appointed shall hold office until the next annual election, at which 
election there shall be elected a school trustee for the unexpired term. 
When any vacancy occurs in the office of trustee of any school district 
by death, resignation, failure to elect at the proper time, removal from 
the district, or other cause, the fact of such vacancy shall be immediately 
certified to the County Superintendent by the clerk of the school district, 
and the County Superintendent shall immediately appoint in writing, 
some competent person, who shall qualify and serve until the next an- 
nual school election. The County Superintendent shall at the time notify 
the clerk of the school district of every such appointment; provided, that 
absence from the school district for sixty consecutive days, or failure 
to attend three consecutive meetings of the Board of Trustees without 
good excuse, shall constitute a vacancy in the office of trustee. 

Section 999, Any school trustee may be removed from office by a 
court of competent jurisdiction by law for removal of elective civil offi- 
cers; provided, however, that upon charges being preferred and good 
cause shown, the Board of County Commissioners may suspend a trustee 
until such time as such charges can be heard in the court having juris- 
diction thereof. 

Section 1000. STiould the office of the clerk of the school district 
become vacant, the Board of School Trustees shall immediately fill such 
vacancy by appointment, and the chairman of the Board of School Trus- 
tees shall immediately notify the County Superintendent of such appoint- 
ment. 

Section 1001. When at any annual school election the tei-ms of a 
majority of the trustees regularly expire in districts of the first class, 
three trustees, in districts of the second class, two trustees, in districts 
of the third class, one trustee shall be elected for three years, and the 
remaining trustee or trustees whose terms expire shall hold over for one 
or two years as may be necessary to prevent the terms of a majority of 
the Board of Trustees expiring in any one year; provided, that it shall 
be determined by lot what trustees shall hold over, and for what term. 



106 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 1002. Every citizen of the United States who has resided in 
the State of Montana for one year, and thirty days in the school district 
next preceding the election, may vote thereat. Women of the age of 
twenty-one years and upwards, who are citizens of the United States, 
and who have resided in the State of Montana one year, and in the 
school district for thirty days next preceding the day of the election, 
may vote thereat. 

Section 1003. Any pei'son offering to vote may be challenged by any 
elector of the district, and the judges must thereupon administer to the 
person challenged an oath or affirmation in substance as follows: "You 
do solemnly swear (or affirm), that you are a citizen of the United 
States; that you are twenty-one years of age and that you have resided 
in the state one year, and in this school district thirty days next 
preceding this election, and that you have not voted this day, so help you 
God." If he takes this oath or affirmation, his vote must be received; 
otherwise rejected. Any person who shall swear falsely before any such 
judge of election shall be guilty of pei'jury, and shall be punished accord- 
ingly. 

Section 1004. All the expenses necessarily incurred in the matter of 
holding elections for school trustees shall be paid out of the school 
funds of the district. Judges of election of districts of the first and 
second class shall receive not to exceed three dollars per day each for 
all services connected with the election. 

Section 1014. The Board of Trustees shall have power to call a special 
election for the purpose of bonding the district for the erection and fur- 
nishing buildings and purchase of school sites, and for permission to sell 
school property; provided, that in districts of the first and second class 
boards of trustees shall have power to change or select school sites. 

Section 1015. Every school board unless otherwise specially provided 
by law shall have power and it shall be its duty: ******§ j,^ ^^^,_ 
chase, acquire, sell and dispose of plots or parcels of land to be used as 
sites for school houses, school dormitories and other school buildings, and 
for other purposes in connection with the schools in the district; to build, 
purchase or otherwise acquire school houses, school dormitories and other 
buildings necessary in the operation of schools of the district, and to 
sell and dispose of the same; provided, that they shall not build or remove 
school houses or dormitories, nor purchase, sell or locate school sites un- 
less directed so to do by a majority of the electors of the district voting 
at an election held in the district for that purpose, and such election shall 
be conducted and votes canvassed in the same manner as at the annual 
election of school officers, and notice thereof shall be given by the clerk 
by posting three notices in three public places in the district at least 
ten days prior to such election, which notices shall specify the time, place, 
and purpose of such election. 

CONSOLIDATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS 

Section 1034. Two or more school districts may be consolidated, either 
by the formation of a new district, or by the annexation bf one or more 
districts to an existing district, as hereinafter provided. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 107 

Whenever the County Superintendent of Schools receives a petition 
sigrned and acknowledged by a majority of the resident freeholders of 
each district affected, qualified to vote at school elections, praying for 
consolidation, he shall within ten days cause a ten days' posted notice 
to be given by the clerk in each district, such notice to be posted in 
three public places, in each district, of an election in such district at a 
time and place specified in each notice to vote on the question of consoli- 
dation. The votes at such election shall be by ballot, which shall read 
"For consolidation" or "Against consolidation." The presiding officer 
at such election shall, within ten days thereafter, certify the result of 
the vote to the County Superintendent of the county in which the district 
mainly lies. If the majority of the votes cast in each district be for con- 
solidation, it carries, and the Superintendent, within ten days thereafter, 
shall make proper orders to give effect to such vote, and shall thereafter 
transmit a copy thereof to the County Clerk and Recorder of each county 
in which any part of any district lies, and to the clerk of each district 
affected. If the order be for the formation of a new district, it shall 
specify the name and number of such district, and he shall appoint three 
trustees to serve until the first Saturday in April succeeding. At the 
regular election succeeding there shall be elected by the regularly quali- 
fied electors three trustees, one of whom shall serve for one year, one 
for two years, and one for three years. The election of trustees and terms 
shall be the same as for other districts under the general school laws. 

^ T* *l* T *** 'P 'V 

"Section 1040. The following terms shall be construed to mean: 

The "rural school district" shall mean the territory obtained by the 
uniting of all third class districts and parts of first or second class dis- 
tricts as may petition to become a part of the "rural school district." 

"Subdivision" shall mean one of the four parts into which the "rural 
school district" is divided for purposes of election of trustees. 

"Subdistrict" shall mean the local third class district as constituted 
by Chapter 76 of the session laws of the thirteenth Legislative Assembly, 
which is Section 1021 of the Revised Codes of Montana, 1921. As amend- 
ed by Chapter 178, Laws of 1925. 

"Section 1041. All school districts and parts of school districts of 
the third class and minor portions of any district of the first and second 
class which may petition to withdraw from the first or second class dis- 
trict as herein provided, shall for the purpose set forth in this Act, from 
and after the first day of July 1925 together constitute a single district 
to be known as the "rural school district" of the county in which it is 
situated. Such rural district shall be a unit for the purpose of taxation 
and such other purposes as are hereinafter provided, and shall be divided 
into subdivisions for the selection of trustees and consist of subdistricts 
for the purpose of local management, local control, and custody of prop- 
erty. The boundaries of the subdivisions shall be determined by the 
Board of County Commissioners who shall divide that portion of the 
county to be included in the rural school district of the county, into four 
parts which shall be known as subdivisions, each having as near as may 
be one-fourth of the total area of the rural school district, and making 



108 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

the boundaries of those parts coincide with the boundaries of the sub- 
districts. All portions of first and second class districts, which become a 
part of the rural school district as herein provided, shall be attached to 
adjacent subdistricts in the manner provided by law. Boundaries of sub- 
divisions may be altered by County Commissioners at a later date in case 
county division or other cause may unduly reduce or increase the size 
of a subdivision or subdivisions. 

"A majority of the school electors of rural sections of first and second 
class districts residing not neai'er than six miles to the largest school 
in such first and second class districts may present a petition in writing 
to the Board of County Commissioners asking for transfer from the 
first or second class district to the rural school district, which petition 
shall describe the boundaries of the territory proposed to be transferred 
and the number of children affected by such transfer. Upon receipt of 
such petition the County Commissioners shall call a meeting for the 
purpose of considering such petition and shall notify all parties inter- 
ested including the Board of Trustees of the first or second class district 
by posting or causing to be posted at least ten days prior to the date 
of such meeting in at least three of the most public places in the proposed 
territory to be transferred and in three of the most public places in the 
remaining portion of the old district notices stating the time, place and 
purpose of such meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, which 
meeting of the Board of County Commissioners shall be not less than 
twenty days from the date of the receipt by the board of such petition. 
The Board of County Commissioners at such special meeting shall ap- 
prove or deny the said petition and shall enter their approval or denial 
upon the records of the county within ten days from the date of such 
meeting. In case the petition is granted, such territory transferred may 
be made a part of adjacent subdistricts or created a subdistrict of the 
rural school district." As amended by Chapter 178, Laws of 1925. 

"Section 1042. Any county in the state may adopt the county unit 
system for rural schools provided in the succeeding sections of this Act, 
on the conditions hereinafter prescribed as follows: 

"Whenever, between the first day of December of any year and the 
first day of April of the following year, twenty per cent of the regis- 
tered electors residing in the third class school districts of any county 
shall petition the Board of County Commissioners requesting that the 
county unit system for rural schools be established in such county, the 
County Commissioners shall call an election to be held in all third class 
districts of the county, within ninety days, and in any event not later 
than the tenth day of May following. The County Commissioners shall 
appoint precinct judges and clerks, and the election shall be conducted 
in accordance with the general election law of the state, and the judges 
and clerks of such election shall serve without compensation. The place 
of election in each precinct shall be the established polling place in each 
precinct. All registered electors residing in the proposed rural school dis- 
trict and whose names appear upon the registration books of the county 
upon the day of calling such election, shall be entitled to vote upon such 
election. The polling books of any precinct shall not contain the names 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 109 

of any registered electors residing in any district of the first and second 
class. The County Clerk shall give twenty days' notice of such election 
by publication in the official paper of the county that the question of 
adopting the county unit system for rural schools will be submitted to 
the qualified electors in all third class districts of the county at the time 
designated. It shall not be necessary to give notice of closing of regis- 
tration books of the county in elections held pursuant to the provisions 
of this Act. But the registration books of the county for such election 
shall automatically close upon the day of calling such election. The 
qualified electors of the proposed rural school district shall vote by ballot 
for or against the adoption of the county unit system for rural schools. 
An elector desiring to vote for such adoption shall do so by marking (X) 
on his ballot before the phrase, "For the rural school district"; an elector 
desiring to vote against such adoption shall do so by marking (X) on 
his ballot before the phrase, "Against the rural school district." 

"After the election the ballots shall be counted and the votes can- 
vassed and returns shall be made to the County Clerk in the manner 
prescribed in the general election laws. If a majority of the votes cast 
at the election is in favor of the county unit, the Board of County Com- 
missioners shall make and enter an order creating such rural school dis- 
tinct and establish the boundaries of each subdivision, and this Act shall 
become effective in so far as the county is concerned. 

"If a majority of the votes cast at such election is against organiza- 
tion of the rural school district, another election upon the question of 
organizing a rural school district cannot be held until after the expira- 
tion of two years. 

"As soon as the Board of County Commissioners has for the first 
time established the boundaries of the subdivisions as hereinbefore pro- 
vided, the said Board of County Commissioners shall thereupon appoint 
one elector from among the residents of each of the four subdivisions 
of the rural school district of the county. Of these four trustees so 
appointed two shall serve until the first regular school election after 
their appointment, one until the second regular school election after his 
appointment, and one until the third regular election after his appoint- 
ment, the terms of trustees so appointed to be determined by lot. 

"The Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, the County 
Superintendent of Schools and the County Treasurer shall be ex-officio 
members of the board. No ex-officio member of the board may serve as 
chairman, nor may such member receive any further remuneration for 
his services than his regular salaiy for the other duties of his office. 
The County Superintendent of Schools shall be ex-officio secretary of the 
board and it shall be his duty to enforce rules, regulations and orders 
of the board. 

"In any county in which a rural school district is in operatin at the 
time of the passage of this Act the County Commissioners shall, at least 
twenty days previous to the first ensuing school election, redistrict the 
county into four subdivisions for purposes of election of trustees from 
the rural school district as heretofore provided. In case the term of one 
trustee of the rural school district is expiring in 1925 at the next ensuing 



110 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

election no trustee shall be elected as his successor. In case the terms 
of two trustees of the rural school district of such county are expiring 
in 1925 it shall be determined by lot which one of the two members shall 
continue on the board. On the third Saturday of April in such county the 
chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, the County Superin- 
tendent of Schools and the County Treasurer shall become ex-officio 
members of the board of the rural school district as heretofore provided 
in this section." As amended by Chapter 178, Laws of 1925. 

"Section 1043. The elected trustees shall be electors of the sub- 
division of the rural school district of the county in which they are to 
serve. Except as hereinbefore provided such trustees shall be elected at 
the annual school election and shall serve for three years and until their 
successors are elected or appointed and qualify. 

"On or before fifteen days prior to the annual school election, there 
may be filed with the secretary of the Board of Trustees of the rural 
school district, petitions signed by at least twenty-five qualified electors 
of each subdivision of the rural school district in which the term of a 
trustee is about to expire, nominating candidates for trustees to be voted 
for at the ensuing election, and if any trustees are to be elected to com- 
plete unexpired terms, as hereinafter provided, such petition shall state 
whether the persons nominated therein are nominated for such unexpired 
terms or for full terms of three years. The Board of Trustees shall cause 
the names of all candidates for trustees of the rural school district to be 
printed and sent to the clerk in each subdistrict of the part in which a 
trustee is to be elected, to be posted at each polling place at least five 
days preceding the election. The election of school trustees shall be held 
and conducted under the supervision of the trustees of the local subdis- 
trict, who shall not less than fifteen days before the annual election post 
notices in three public places in their subdistricts, which notices must 
specify the time and place of election and hours during which the polls 
will be open. The local trustees must appoint, by an order entered in 
their records, three qualified electors of said subdistricts to act as judges 
at said election, and the local clerk shall notify them by mail of their 
appointment. If the judges are not present at the time of opening the 
polls, the electors present may appoint judges, and the judges so ap- 
pointed shall designate one of their number to act as clerk. The voting 
must be by ballot without reference to the general election laws in regard 
to nominations, forms of ballot, or manner of voting, and the polls shall 
be open for such time as the board of trustees may order; provided, that 
such polls must be open between two p. m. and six p. m. It shall be the 
duty of the judges of the election to canvass the votes cast in their 
respective subdistricts for trustees, and make returns of the same to the 
County Clerk in the manner and form as may be prescribed by the gen- 
eral election law of the state in so far as the same may be applicable to 
school elections. The returns shall be canvassed and the result declared 
by the County Commissioners and certificates of election issued by the 
County Clerk in the same manner as may be pi'escribed by the general 
election laws of the state in so far as the same may be applicable thereto; 
provided that in the election of said board of trustees the votes cast in 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 111 

each of the four subdivisions of the rural school district shall be can- 
vassed separately and the candidates receiving the largest number of 
votes in any one subdivision shall be elected as the trustee for such sub- 
division; provided, further, that no one shall be eligible as trustee who is 
not at the time of his election or appointment a bona fide resident and 
elector of the subdivision of the rural school district for which he is 
elected. 

"Persons elected or appointed as trustees shall qualify by taking an 
oath to perform their duties according to law. Their oaths may be ad- 
ministered by the County Superintendent or any other officer authorized 
by law to administer oaths, and must be filed with the clerk of the Board 
of Trustees within fifteen days after the election or appointment. The 
Board of County Commissioners shall appoint trustees to fill vacancies 
in the Board of Rural School District Trustees; provided, that such 
appointment is confirmed by the majority of the remaining members 
of such board. Trustees so appointed shall serve till the next regular 
school election, at which election successors shall be elected to serve for 
the unexpired balance of the term, if any." As amended by Chapter 178, 
Laws of 1925. 

"Section 1044. The Board of Trustees of every rural school district 
shall have only the powers and shall perform only the duties enumerated 
in this Act. The Board of Trustees of each subdistrict of the rural school 
district shall have all the powers and perform all the duties imposed 
upon trustees of school districts according to the provisions of Chapter 
76 of the Session Laws of the Thirteenth Legislative Assembly and Acts 
amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, except as modified by 
the terms of this Act. 

"The Board of Trustees of each subdistrict of the rural school dis- 
trict shall not later than the last day of May prepare and certify to the 
Board of Trustees of the rural school district, a budget containing an 
estimate of all of the different items of expenditures for operation and 
maintenance to be incurred by such subdistricts for the ensuing school 
year. Such budget shall explain in detail the several items of estimated 
expenditures, together with an explanation of the necessity therefor. 
Such budget shall also be accompanied by a full and complete report of 
the school facilities of the subdistrict and of the educational opportuni- 
ties afforded each child in such subdistrict. Any Board of Trustees of 
a subdistrict making expenditures in excess of their budget shall have 
deducted from their budget for the ensuing year the amount of such 
excess expenditure, unless the County Board of Trustees authorized such 
expenditure from its emergency fund. 

"For high school expenses in excess of the revenues derived from 
the high school levy of the county and for any extraordinary expendi- 
ture or expenditures for any purpose other than operation and mainte- 
nance of elementary schools to be incurred by a subdistrict, not included 
in the budget for such subdistrict, as adopted by the Board of Trustees 
of the rural school district, the Board of Trustees of such subdistrict 
may cause to be levied upon the property in the subdistrict a special tax 
pursuant to the provisions of Section 1203 of the Revised Codes of Mon- 
tana 1921. 



112 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

"The Board of Trustees of the rural school district shall on the first 
Monday in June, examine the budgets certified to it by the Trustees of 
the several subdistricts, and from such budgets shall prepare a complete 
budget for the rural school district, which shall provide for the furnishing 
of reasonable educational facilities to every child in the rural school 
district, including the payment of board or rent, or both, and transporta- 
tion of children from isolated sections, in cases where the same is more 
expedient than maintaining a school in such isolated sections; all interest 
on all outstanding bonds issued by such rural school district or the pay- 
ment of which has been assumed by such district, and so much of the 
principal of any such bonds as is to become due during the ensuing school 
year and also including any other reasonable item of expenditure not 
herein enumerated, and necessary for carrying out the provisions of this 
Act. Such budget shall contain the detailed estimated expenditures of 
each subdistrict. Patrons shall have the right of appeal to the Board of 
Trustees of the rural school district in case provisions of educational 
opportunities of children have been neglected or overlooked by the Trus- 
tees of the subdistrict, and the decision of the Trustees of the rural 
school district shall be final. 

"The Board of Trustees of evei-y rural school district is hereby author- 
ized to include in the budget for any year as a separate item an amount 
not in excess of a one-half mill levy to provide for the following general 
purposes affecting the entire rural school district or for any of them: 
The supervision of the health of students, employment of a truant officer, 
provision for new students in any local district who may have come into 
said district after the adoption of the budget for said district and not 
provided for in said budget. They shall also be authorized to provide a 
levy not in excess of one mill in any one year for establishing a building 
fund for the erection of portable or other school buildings, barns, dormi- 
tories or teacherages when the same are deemed necessary by the Board 
of Trustees of the rural school district and to make provision of neces- 
sary building facilities for isolated and special cases. Whenever such 
extra levies are made the Board of Trustees of the rural school district 
shall specify the purposes for which same are to be used and make the 
expenditures for said purposes as set out in said budget. 

"The Board of Trustees of the rural school district shall on or before 
the second Monday in June in each year certify to the Board of County 
Commissioners the total amount of money required in excess of the 
state and county apportionments to be raised by taxation for the rural 
school district pursuant to the budget adopted by the board, and the 
Board of County Commissioners shall cause to be levied at the time of 
the levy for taxes for state and county purposes, a sufficient levy upon 
all of the taxable property within the rural school district to raise the 
amount of money so certified by the Board of Trustees of the rural school 
district, after allowing a deduction of ten per cent on account of delin- 
quencies. The Board of Trustees of the rural school district shall at its 
regular meeting held on the second Thursday in December, apportion 
to the several subdistricts their proportionate part of the taxes then 
collected, such proportionate part to be determined in accordance with 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 113 

the budget as above mentioned. They may at this meeting make such 
adjustments in the budgets as may seem necessai-y because of new con- 
ditions arising since the budgets were allowed. 

"Any warrant issued by any subdistrict board, except for salaries, 
shall be countersigned by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the 
I'ural school district. Said secretary is authorized to countersign only 
such warrants as are drawn in payment of expenses approved by the 
Board of Trustees of the rural school district in the budget of the sub- 
district. Hereafter all warrants issued by subdistricts shall carry the 
notation "This warrant not valid, except for salaries, unless counter- 
signed by the Secretary of Board of Trustees of the rural school district." 

"The Board of Trustees of the rural school district is authorized to 
close schools with an enrollment of fewer than five pupils, if in the 
judgment of said board such children can be cared for more economically 
and in a satisfactory manner in another school. Said board shall also 
be empowered to place textbooks and equipment of schools closed in 
other communities where such materials are needed, provided that such 
textbooks and equipment shall be replaced or new materials shall be 
provided in their stead at such time as it may become desirable to reopen 
said school. 

"The faith of the rural school district is solemnly pledged for the 
payment of the interest and the redemption of the principal of the bonds 
which at the time when this Act takes effect have been issued or as- 
sumed by the rural school district. And for the purpose of enforcing 
the provisions of this chapter, the rural school disti'ict shall be a body 
corporate, which may sue and be sued by or in the name of the Board 
of School Trustees of such district. 

"The Board of Trustees of the rural school district shall be authorized 
to establish a salary schedule based upon teaching experience, training 
and certification of teachers and to determine transportation rates and 
allowances for board and house rent." As amended by Chapter 178, 
Laws of 1925. 

"Section 1045. All sinking funds on hand as a surplus or credit to 
the various third class districts in any county prior to and on July 1 of 
the year in which the provisions of this Act shall be accepted in such 
county shall remain as the sinking funds of the several subdistricts and 
in no event may they be used for any other purpose than as the sinking 
fund of the subdistrict. All moneys to the credit of the general or special 
funds of subdistricts prior to and on July 1 of the year in which the 
provisions of this Act shall be accepted shall remain to credit of such 
general or special funds of subdistricts and shall serve to reduce the 
levies of such subdistricts the first year as many mills as would be 
required to procure by special levy on the subdistrict the amount of 
money on hand to the credit of the subdistrict, unless such funds are 
required for meeting contracts already entered into when the rural school 
district began to operate. 

"All of the existing indebtedness of the various third class districts 
in any county prior to and on July 1 of such year, whether for main- 
tenance or bonded indebtedness, or otherwise, shall remain the indebted 



114 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

ness of and be paid by the subdistricts, such payments being made from 
a subdistrict special levy for that purpose." As amended by Chapter 178, 
Laws of 1925. 

Section 1046. Second-class districts may be created from the terri- 
tory embraced in any rural school district, within the discretion of the 
Board of Trustees of such rural school district; provided, that such pro- 
posed district has an assessed valuation of not less than Six Hundred 
Thousand Dollars. Such district shall be created only upon the petition 
of one hundred qualified electors residing in the proposed district, set- 
ting forth in the petition the assessed valuation and the boundaries of 
the proposed district. In the event of the creation of such district, the 
County Superintendent of Schools shall, upon notice received from the 
Board of Trustees of the rural school district, appoint five Trustees for 
the newly created district, who shall serve until the next regular election. 

All school property situated in the new district shall become the prop- 
erty of the new district, and the remainder of the property of the rural 
school district shall continue to be the property of the rural school dis- 
trict. 

If, at the time such new district is created, there is any indebtedness 
against the rural school district, then the Board of County Commission- 
ers of the county in which such districts are located shall, at its first 
regular meeting after the order creating said new district is made, 
apportion such indebtedness between said districts, by first deducting 
from said indebtedness the amount of all moneys in the treasury belong- 
ing to the sinking fund of said rural school district, and then appoi'tion- 
ing the remainder of the indebtedness between the respective districts 
in proportion to the value of the school property remaining in the rural 
school district to the value of the school property in the new district. 
Upon the adjustment of such indebtedness, it shall be the duty of the 
Board of Trustees of such new district to cause to be made out, issued, 
and delivered to the Trustees of such rural school district, warrants 
equal to the amount of such indebtedness apportioned to such new dis- 
trict, which warrants, upon presentation, shall be indorsed by the 
treasurer of the county, "Not paid for want of funds," and shall there- 
after draw interest at the rate of six per cent per annum until such 
time as funds may be available for their payment. 

Until said warrants are paid, it shall be the duty of the Board of 
County Commissioners of said county to levy annually a tax upon the 
taxable property of such new school district, sufficient to pay the interest 
on said warrants, and the money realized from the levy of such taxes 
shall be, by the County Treasurer, kept in a special fund to be used 
solely for the purpose of paying the interest and principal of said 
warrants. 

The School Trustees of such new district shall have, and are hereby 
given the power and authority to issue, on the credit of their district, 
coupon bonds and to sell and dispose of the same for the purpose of pro- 
viding the necessary funds to pay such warrants. Such bonds shall be 
issued and disposed of upon condition and in the manner provided in 
Section 1235 of this Code, except that said bonds shall recite in the body 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 115 

of such bond that "This bond is issued for the purpose of providing 
funds to pay outstanding warrants." 

Section 1047. "The regular annual meeting of the Board of Trustees 
of the rural school district shall be held on the first Thursday in July. 
At this meeting new members elected shall take office; a president shall 
be elected for the ensuing year by the board, from among its own mem- 
bership; and the executive officers of the board shall make their annual 
reports. Another regular meeting shall be held on the second Thursday 
in December and special meetings may be called by the president, or by 
three other members of the board. Each member of the Boai-d of Trus- 
tees of the rural school district shall be paid from the general fund of 
the county his necessary traveling expenses in attending regular meet- 
ings, but not to exceed four special meetings, and an honorarium of 
seventy-five dollars per year. Failure to attend two regular meetings 
in succession, unless excused on account of sickness, shall work a forfeit- 
ure of the office." As amended by Chapter 68, Laws of 1923. 

"Section 1048. A rural school district organized under the provisions 
of this Act may be dissolved after the expiration of four years from the 
date of its organization, in the following manner, to-wit: 

"Whenever, between the first day of January and the first day of 
March in any year after four full school years have expired twenty per 
cent of the registered electors in a rural school district shall petition 
the Board of Trustees of the rural school district requesting the dissolu- 
tion of such school district, the Board of Trustees of the rural school 
district shall submit such petition to the County Clerk, and the County 
Commissioners shall call an election which shall be held in all third 
class districts of the county and conducted in the manner prescribed for 
the adoption of the rural school district as set forth in Section 1 of this 
Act. If a majority of votes cast at such election shall be in favor of the 
dissolution of the rural school district, the Board of County Commis- 
sioners shall make an order to that effect and on and after July first 
the rural school district shall be dissolved and the several subdistricts 
shall thereupon become school districts of the third class. 

"If the election for the dissolution of such school district should fail 
to carry, another election upon the question of dissolution of such school 
district may not be held until after the expiration of two years. 

"The Board of County Commissioners shall distribute funds of the 
rural school district and apportion the indebtedness of the rural school 
district in the following manner. Each school district (formerly a sub- 
district) shall thereupon become the owner of all the property of the 
rural school district located within its boundaries. The County Commis- 
sioners shall apportion to each school district that portion of the funds 
of the rural school district other than sinking funds, which is in propor- 
tion to the number of school census children within the school district. 
Provided that in the counties where the rural school district was organ- 
ized prior to the passage of this Act the County Commissioners of the 
county shall continue to levy the taxes upon all th property located 
within the territory which formerly constituted the rural school district, 
until the interest and the principal of all bonds issued by the rural school 



116 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

district shall have been paid in full." As amended by Chapter 178, Laws 
• of 1925. 

Section 1173. Whenever, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees 
of any school district of the third class, it is desirable to select, purchase, 
exchange, or sell a school house site, or whenever petitioned so to do by 
one-third of the voters of such district, the District Board shall without 
delay call a meeting at some convenient time and place fixed by the 
board to vote upon such question of selection, purchase, exchange, or 
sale of school house site. Such election shall be conducted and votes can- 
vassed in the same manner as at the annual election of school officei'S. 
Three notices giving the time, place, and purpose of such meeting shall 
be posted in three public places in the district by the clerk at least ten 
days prior to such meeting. If a majority of the electors of the district 
voting at such meeting or election shall be in favor of selecting, pur- 
chasing, exchanging, or selling the school house site, the board shall 
carry out the will of the voters thus expressed; provided, that all sites 
so chosen must be approved by the County Superintendent of Schools 
and the County Health Officer; and also provided that any sites so 
changed cannot again be changed within three years from the date of 
such action, except upon the advice of the County Superintendent of 
Schools and County Health Officer. 

The school site shall be selected in a place that is convenient, acces- 
sible, suitable, and well drained; provided, that in districts of the first 
and second class, the site shall be not less than one-half of an average 
city block, and in districts of the third class shall contain not less than 
one acre. The State Board of Land Commissioners shall have authority 
to sell to any school district at the appraised value, or to lease for any 
period of time less than ninety-nine years, at a rental of one dollar per 
year, any tract of state land not exceeding ten acres, to be used for 
school house site. 

Section 1210. Said fund (Building and Furnishing Fund) may be 
used for general school purposes, if a majority of the qualified electors 
of such district shall so elect, upon such question being duly submitted 
to them at any regular or special election therefor. 

EXTRA TAXATION FOR SCHOOL PURPOSES 

"Section 1219. Whenever the Board of Trustees of any school dis- 
trict shall deem it necessary to raise money by taxation in excess of the 
ten-mill levy now allowed by law for the purpose of maintaining the 
schools of said district, or building, altering, repairing, or enlarging any 
schoolhouse or houses of said district, for furnishing additional school 
facilities for said district, for building and equipping heating or other 
plants for said district, or for any other purposes necessary for the 
proper operation and maintenance of the schools in said district, it shall 
submit the question of such additional levy to the legal voters of said 
district, who are taxpaying freeholders therein, either at the regular 
annual election held in said district, or at a special election called for 
that purpose by the Board of Trustees of said district, provided, that in 
all school districts of the third class such question may be submitted to 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 117 

the legal voters of said district, who are taxpayers therein." As amended 
by Chapter 120, Laws of 1925. 

Section 1220. Where the question of mai\ing such additional levy is 
so submitted, notice thereof shall be given by posting the same at each 
schoolhouse in said district, at least ten days before such election, or by 
publication thereof for a like period before such election in each news- 
paper published in said district, or by both such notice and publication. 

Section 1221. The submission of said question shall expressly pro- 
vide for what purpose such additional levy is to be made, and if author- 
ized, the money raised by such additional levy shall be used for that 
specified purpose only; provided, that if any balance remain on hand 
after the purpose for which said levy was made has been accomplished, 
such balance may, by vote of the Trustees of the said district, be trans- 
ferred to any other fund of said district. 

Section 1222. The ballot furnished electors at such election shall 
have printed thereon the following: 

"Shall the Board of Trustees of this district be authorized to make 
a levy of (here insert the number) mills taxes in addition to the regular 
ten-mill levy authorized by law for the purpose of (here insert the pur- 
pose for which the additional levy is to be made) ?" 
I I For additional levy. 
Q Against additional levy. 

The voters shall mark the ballot in the same manner as other ballots 
are marked under the election laws of Uiis state. The election shall be 
held and the votes canvassed and returned as in other school elections. 
If the majority voting on the question are in favor of such additional 
levy, the Board of Trustees of said school district shall so certify to the 
Board of County Commissioners of the county in which said school dis- 
trict is situated, and said additional levy shall be made in the same man- 
ner that the levy for special taxes in said district is made. 

"Section 1223. Any person offering to vote may be challenged by 
any elector of the district, and the judges must thereupon administer to 
the person challenged an oath or affirmation, in substance as follows: 

"You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you are a citizen of the 
United States; that you are twenty-one years of age; that you have 
i-esided in this state one year and in this school district thirty days next 
preceding this election; that you are a taxpaying freeholder on the last 
assessment roll from this school district; and that you have not voted 
this day. So help you God." 

In all districts of the third class, in administering said oath or affirm- 
ation, the judges must substitute the word 'taxpayer' for the words 
'taxpaying freeholder.' Said oath shall be reduced to writing and signed 
by the person challenged and sworn to before one of the judges of elec- 
tion. Said oath or affirmation shall be returned with the ballots cast 
at such election. If the voter takes oath or affirmation, his vote must 
be received; otherwise, it will be rejected. Any person who shall swear 
falsely before any such judge of election shall be guilty of perjury, and 
shall be punished accordingly." As amended by Chapter 120, Laws of 
1925. 



i 



118 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

SCHOOL DISTRICT BONDS 

CHAPTER 147 

(Laws of 1927) 
An Act Relating to School District Bonds; Granting Boards of Trustees 
of School Districts of all Classes the Power to Issue, Negotiate and 
Sell or Exchange Bonds for Certain Purposes under Certain Limita- 
tions and Restrictions; Providing the manner of Holding Bond Elec- 
tions and Prescribing the Qualifications of Electors; Prescribing the 
Procedure Governing the Issuing, Sale, or Exchange of Such Bonds; 
Providing for Payment of the Principal and Interest of Such Bonds; 
Prescribing the Duties of Boards of School Trustees, Boards of 
County Commissioners, and County Treasurers in Connection with 
the Levying and Collection of Taxes for the Payment of Principal 
and Interest on Such Bonds; and Repealing Sections 1032, 1230, 1232, 
and Sections 1244 to 1251 Inclusive, of the Revised Codes of Montana 
of 1921; Repealing Sections 1224, 1225, 1226, 1228 and 1229 of the 
Revised Codes of Montana of 1921, as Amended by Chapter 153 of the 
Laws of the Eighteenth Legislative Assembly; Repealing the said 
Chapter 153, and all Other Acts and Parts of Acts in Conflict with 
the Provisions of this Act. 

Section 6. CERTAIN BONDS MAY BE ISSUED WITHOUT HOLD- 
ING AN ELECTION. Bonds issued for the purpose of providing the 
necessary funds to pay indebtedness to another district, or districts, and 
bonds issued for the purpose of providing necessary funds to pay and 
redeem outstanding bonds which were issued prior to March 1st, 1924, 
as authorized in subdivisions "f" and "g" of Section One of this Act, 
may be issued without submitting the question of so doing at an election. 
In order to issue bonds for such purposes it shall only be necessary 
for the Board of School Trustees, at a regular or duly called special 
meeting of the board, to pass and adopt a resolution setting forth the 
facts in regard to the indebtedness to be paid or the bonds to be refunded, 
showing the reasons for issuing new bonds and fixing and determining 
the details of such new bonds, and then to give notice of the sale of such 
new bonds in the same manner that notice is required to be given of 
the sale of bonds authorized at a school election. 

Section 8. PETITION AND ELECTION REQUIRED FOR BOND 
ISSUES FOR OTHER PURPOSES. School district bonds for any other 
purpose than those stated in Sections Six and Seven of this Act, shall 
not be issued unless authorized at a duly called election at which the 
question of issuing such bonds was submitted to the electors of the school 
district; and no such election shall be called unless there has been 
presented to the Board of Trustees a petition asking that such election 
be held and such question be submitted, signed by not less than twenty 
per centum (20%) of the qualified registered electors residing within 
the school district, who are taxpayers upon property therein and whose 
names appear on the last completed assessment roll for state, county 
and school district taxes. 

Section 9. FORM, CONTENTS AND PROOF OF PETITION. The 
petition for the calling of an election to vote upon the question of issu- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 119 

ing school district bonds shall plainly state the purpose of the proposed 
bond issue and shall estimate the amount of bonds necessary to be issued 
for such purpose or purposes. When the bonds sought to be issued are 
for two or more purposes, the amount to be issued for each single pur- 
pose shall be separately estimated in the petition. It may be in the 
form of one single petition or consist of more than one petition, all being 
identical in form and fastened together, after being circulated and sign'^d, 
so as to form one petition before being delivered to the County Clerk as 
hereinafter provided. The school district clerk or any one or more quali- 
fied electors of the school district may circulate the petition or petitions, 
and the clerk or each elector circulating such petition shall subscribe or 
attach to each of the petitions, circulated by him, an affidavit to the 
effect that the signatures are genuine and that the signers knew the 
contents thereof at the time of signing the same. The completed peti- 
tion, before being presented to the Board of School Trustees, shall be 
delivered to the County Clerk and Recorder of the county in which the 
school district is situated, who shall examine the same and shall endorse 
thereon or attach thereto his certificate, which certificate shall set forth: 

(a) The total number of persons who are registered electors and 
taxpayers upon property within the school district whose names appear 
on the last completed assessment roll for state, county and school district 
taxes. 

(b) Which and how many of the persons whose names are sub- 
scribed to the petition are possessed of all of these qualifications. 

(c) Whether such qualified signers constitute more or less than twen- 
ty per centum (209c) of such registered electors and taxpayers within 
the district. 

The County Clerk and Recorder shall promptly deliver or transmit 
such petition, with his certificate endorsed thereon or attached thereto, 
to the Clerk of the Board of School Trustees of such district. 

Section 10. MEETING OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO CONSIDER 
PETITION AND CALLING OF ELECTIONS. Upon such petition being 
received by the clerk of the school district, a meeting of the Board of 
Trustees shall be called to consider the same. The Board of Trustees 
shall be the judges of the sufficiency of the petition and the findings of 
such board shall be conclusive against the school district and in favor 
of the innocent holder of bonds issued pursuant to the election called and 
held by reason of the presentation of such petition. If it is found that 
the petition is in proper form and bears the requisite number of signa- 
tures, the board shall pass and adopt a resolution which shall recite the 
essential facts in regard to the petition and its presentation, fix the 
exact amount of bonds proposed to be issued, which may be more or less 
than the amount estimated in the petition, determine the number of 
years through which the bonds are to be paid, not to exceed twenty 
(20) years, fix the date of election, which shall not be less than twenty 
(20) days, nor more than thirty (30) days after the date of the passage 
and adoption of such resolution, appoint three electors of the district 
who are qualified to vote at such election to act as judges of election, 
and direct the clerk to give notice of such election. The notice of election 



120 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

shall designate some certain school house in said school district and be 
in substantially the following form: 

"NOTICE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT BOND ELECTION. 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the undersigned clerk of School 

District No of County, State of Montana, that 

pursuant to a certain resolution duly adopted at a meeting of the Board 

of Trustees of the said school district held on the day of 

A. D., 19 , an election of the registered qualified electors 

of School District No of County, State of Montana, 

who are taxpayers therein and whose names appear on the last completed 
assessment roll for state, county and school district taxes prior to the 
holding of such election, will be held on the day of , 

A. D., 19 , at for the purpose of voting upon the question of 

whether or not the Board of School Trustees shall be authorized to issue 

and sell bonds of said school district in the amount of 

Dollars, ($ ), bearing interest at a rate not to exceed six per 

centum (6%) per annum, payable semi-annually, for the purpose of 

(Here state purpose) The bonds to be issued 

will be either amortization or serial bonds, and amortization bonds will 
be the first choice of the Board of Trustees. The bonds to be issued, 
whether amortization or serial bonds, will be payable in installments 

over a period of (State number) years, and redeemable 

in full five (5) years from the date of issue. 

The polls will be open from o'clock M. and until 

o'clock M. of the said day. 

Dated and posted this day of A. D., 19 

Clerk of School District No 

County, State of Montana." 

If the bonds proposed to be issued are for more than one purpose, 
then each purpose shall be separately stated in the notice together with 
the proposed amount of bonds therefor. 

The school district clerk shall, not less than fifteen (15) days before 
the day specified for such election, post notice of such election in not 
less than three (3) public places within the district, and in incorporated 
cities and towns at least one (1) notice must be posted at each voting 
place designated for such election. 

In school districts of the first class the Board of Trustees must also 
cause the notice to be published once a week for two (2) successive 
weeks in some newspaper of general circulation in the district, if one 
be published therein, in addition to such posting. 

Section 11. PREPARATION OF BALLOTS. The school district clerk 
shall cause ballots to be prepared for all such bond elections, and when- 
ever bonds for more than one purpose are to be voted upon at the same 
election, separate ballots shall be prepared for each purpose. All such 
ballots shall be substantially in the following form: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 121 

OFFICIAL BALLOT 

SCHOOL DISTRICT BOND ELECTION 

INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS: Make an X or similar mark in the 
vacant square before the words "BONDS — YES" if you wish to vote 
for the bond issue; if you are opposed to the bond issue make an X or 
similar mark in the square before the words "BONDS — NO". 

Shall the Board of Trustees be authorized to issue and sell bonds of 

this school district in the amount of.... Dollars ($ ) 

bearing interest at a rate not exceeding six per centum (6%) per annum, 

payable, semi-annually, during a period not exceeding years, 

redeemable at any time after five years, for the purpose of (Here 

state the purpose the same way as in the notice of election). 

□ BONDS— YES. 

□ BONDS— NO. 

Section 12. WHO ENTITLED TO VOTE. LIST OF ELECTORS 
AND POLL BOOKS. In all school district bond elections hereafter held 
only qualified registered electors residing within the distinct who are 
taxpayers upon property therein and whose names appear upon the last 
completed assessment roll for state, county and school district taxes, 
shall have the right to vote. Upon the adoption of the resolution calling 
for the election, the clerk of the school district shall notify the County 
Clerk of the date on which the election is to be held, and qualified per- 
sons shall be allowed to register for such election up till noon of the 
fifteenth (15th) day prior to the date, thereof. At that time the resig- 
tration books shall be closed for such election, but it shall not be neces- 
sary to give any notice of such closing of the registration books. 

After the closing of the registration books for such election the 
County Clerk shall promptly prepare lists of the registered electors of 
such district who are taxpayers upon property therein and whose names 
appear on the last completed assessment roll for state, county and school 
district taxes, and who are entitled to vote at such election, and shall 
prepare poll books for such election, as provided in Section 568 of the 
Revised Codes of Montana of 1921, and deliver the same to the school 
district clerk who shall deliver the same to the judges prior to the open- 
ing of the polls. In school districts of the first class it shall be the duty 
of the school district clerk to post such lists in five (5) public and con- 
spicuous places within the district at least ten (10) days prior to the 
date of election. It shall not be necessary to post such lists in districts 
of the second and third class. A charge of five cents per name for the 
use and benefit of the county shall be made by the County Clerk for 
preparing such lists and poll books. 

Section 13. CONDUCT OF ELECTION. The bond election shall be 
conducted in the manner prescribed for the election of school trustees 
and returns shall be made and canvassed in a similar manner. 

Section 14. PERCENTAGE OF ELECTORS REQUIRED TO AU- 
THORIZE BOND ISSUE. In all school district bond elections a majority 
of the votes cast shall be sufficient to approve and adopt the bond propo- 
sition and authorize the issuance of the bonds. 



122 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 15. MEETING OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO CANVASS 
ELECTION RETURNS; RESOLUTION FOR BOND ISSUE. If such 
election shall authorize the issuance of such bonds, the Board of Trustees 
shall within sixty (60) days from the date of such election pass and 
adopt a resolution providing for the issue of the bonds; provided that 
such bonds may be issued in one or more series or installments as the 
board may in such resolution direct. This resolution shall recite the 
amount of bonds to be issued, the maximum rate of interest, the purpose 
of the issue, the date they shall bear, and the period of time through 
which they shall be paid, and providing the manner of execution of same. 
It shall provide for giving preference to amortization bonds, but shall 
fix the denomination of serial bonds in case it shall be found necessary 
to issue bonds in that form, and shall direct the clerk to give notice of 
the sale of the bonds. 

Section 1252. No election for the issuance of bonds of any school 
district, or of any town, or city, or county shall be called except upon 
presentation of a petition therefor to the Board of School Trustees, or to 
the Town or City Council, or to the Board of County Commissioners, 
as the case may be, signed by at least twenty per cent, of the qualified 
registered electors who are taxpayers upon property within said school 
district, town, city or county, and whose names appear on the assess- 
ment-roll for the year next preceding such election, praying for the 
calling of said election; provided that the Board of County Commission- 
ers, Board of School Trustees, Town or City Council, as the case may 
be, shall determine as to the sufficiency of such petition, and the findings 
of such governing body shall be conclusive against the municipality in 
favor of any innocent holder of the bonds issued under and by virtue of 
authority conferred by election provided by this Act. 

Section 1253. In all elections hereafter held for the issuance of bonds 
of any school district, town or city, only qualified registered electors 
who are taxpayers upon property therein, and whose names appear on 
the assessment-roll for the year next preceding such election, shall be 
entitled to vote thereat. 

Section 1277. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to amend or 
repeal any of the provisions of an Act entitled: "An Act requiring a 
petition of 20 per cent, of the qualified electors who are taxpayers to 
authorize the voting upon the issuance of any school, town, city or county 
bonds, and providing who are entitled to vote thereon," enacted by the 
17th Legislative Assembly of Montana (Sec. 1253 of this Code), and that 
all other Acts and parts of Acts in conflict herewith are hereby repealed. 

HIGH SCHOOL CODE 

(Chapter 148, Laws 1931) 

CHAPTER 3 
BOND ISSUES 

Section 12. Bond Issues, Submission to Electors of Question. If in 

any county maintaining a county high school in which no district high 
school is maintained, not less than twenty per centum (20%) of the 
registered voters who on the last completed assessment roll of the 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 123 

county were assessed in theii' own names on real or personal property 
in the county shall present to the Board of Trustees of the county high 
school a petition asking: that there be submitted the question whether 
bonds of the county shall be issued for the purchase or erection of a 
high school building or buildings and/or for the repairing, remodeling, 
or enlarging thereof, and/or for the purchase of equipment thereof 
and/or for the purchase, erection and/or equipment of a high school 
dormitory or dormitories, or gymnasium, and/or for the purchase of a 
suitable site or sites for such buildings, or any of them, and/or to retire 
or refund any outstanding bonds issued for any of the purposes forego- 
ing, and if such petition shall specify therein the amount of the bonds 
to be issued, and if the Board of Trustees of the county high school shall 
upon the presentation to it of the said petition, approve the same, and 
the issuance of bonds of the county to the amount therein mentioned and 
for the purpose or purposes therein specified, the secretary of the said 
board shall forthwith in the nafme of the Board of Trustees request the 
Board of County Commissioners of the county to submit without delay 
to the registered voters of such county the question whether bonds of 
the county shall be issued and sold to the amount and for the purpose or 
purposes in the petition set forth. 

Section 13. Duty of Board of County Commissioners. Immediately 
upon the receipt of any such request it shall be the duty of the Board of 
County Commissioners to submit such question to the registered and 
qualified electors of the county in the manner otherwise provided by law 
for the submission of the question of the issuance of other county bonds. 
If a majority of the registered and qualified electors of the county, 
voting upon the question so submitted, shall approve such issue, then 
the Board of County Commissioners shall forthwith issue and market the 
bonds authorized as in the case of other county bonds. 

Section 14. Bond Limit — Term — Rate of Interest — Form. In any 

county of the first, second, third or fourth class the amount of all bonds 
requested or authorized under the provisions of this chapter shall not 
exceed, in any one county in the aggregate as outstanding obligations 
and in all other counties, in any one county the sum of Three Hundred 
Thousand Dollars ($300,000.00). Such bonds shall mature in twenty (20) 
years or less, and shall bear interest and the general form of the bonds 
shall be fixed by the Board of County Commissioners. 

Section 15. County Bond Issue for County and District High Schools. 

In any county where a county high school and also one or more accred- 
ited district high schools are maintained bonds of the county may like- 
wise be issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and for 
any of the purposes aforesaid, the proceeds of such issue to be divided 
among the county high school and accredited district high school, or 
schools of the county. The question submitted to the electors of the 
county shall definitely state the amount which is to be allotted to the 
county high school and the amount which is to apportioned to or among 
the accredited district high school, or schools; and in all such cases the 
amount alloted to the county high school annd the amount to be appor- 
tioned among the accredited district high school or schools shall be com- 



124 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

puted upon the basis of the average daily attendance in the county high 
school, and in all the accredited district high schools of the county during 
the year preceding the submission of the question of the bond issue. 

CHAPTER 5 

ABOLISHMENT OF COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS 

Section 19. Authority to Abolish. Any county in which a county 
high school has been established may abolish such county high school 
and dispose of all pi-operty belonging thereto in the manner provided 
in this chapter. 

Section 20. Petition to be Filed. Between the first day of July and 
the first day of September in any year in which a general election is 
held in the state of Montana twenty per centum (20%) or more of the 
qualified electors of any county maintaining a county high school who 
are also assessed in their own names on the assessment books of the 
county for that year upon real or personal property may file their 
written petition with the county clerk of the county praying that the 
county high school be abolished. 

Section 21. Commissioners to Submit Question. At the first regular 
monthly meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of the county 
immediately following such filing the petition shall be called to the 
attention of the board by the county clerk; and the board shall imme- 
diately direct the submission to the registered voters of the county at the 
ensuing general election for that year of the question whether the county 
high school of the county shall be abolished. 

Section 22. Publication of Notice. The County Clerk of the county 
shall publish a notice of the filing and purpose of the said petition and 
that the question of abolishing the county high school in the county will 
be submitted at the ensuing general election, at least once a week for 
four successive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation pub- 
lished in the county, and, if there be none, in such newspaper as the 
Board of County Commissioners may designate, the first publication of 
such notice to be made between September 1 and September 15 of the 
said year. 

Section 23. Further Notice Required — Manner of Holding Election. 
Further notice of the submission of the question shall be given, and such 
question shall be submitted to the i-egistered voters of the county at the 
ensuing general election in November, and the votes cast thereon can- 
vassed and returns thereof made, in the manner provided by law for 
the election of county officers at that election, subject, however, to the 
following special requirements: 

The votes for or against the abolishment of the county high school 
shall be cast by ballot which shall be in substantially the following form: 
I I For the abolishment of the county high school. 
Q Against the abolishment of the county high school. 

An elector may vote for abolishing the county high school by placing 
an "X" in the square immediately before the words "For the abolish- 
ment of the county high school"; and a ballot so marked and cast shall 
be counted in favor of abolishing the county high school. An elector 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 125 

may vote against the abolishment of the county high school by placing 
an "X" in the square immediately preceding the words "Against the 
abolishment of the county high school"; and a ballot so marked and 
cast shall be counted against abolishing the county high school. 

Section 24. Action by Roard of County Commissioners when Election 
Favors Abolishing High School. If a majority of all the votes cast at such 
general election upon the question of the abolishment of the county high 
school shall be in favor of abolishing the same the Board of County 
Commissioners of the county at its first regular meeting in December 
following shall make and enter at large upon its minutes an abstract of 
the votes so cast and a resolution that in accordance therewith on and 
after July 1st of the year immediately following the county high school 
of the county shall be, and is thereby, abolished. 

Section 25. Same — When Election Favors Retaining High School. But 

if a majority of all the votes cast at such election shall be against the 
abolishment of the county high school a similar abstract of the votes 
shall in like manner be entered by the Board of County Commissioners 
at large upon their minutes at its December meeting aforesaid; and no 
further submission of the question of abolishing the county high school 
shall be had in that county for at least four years thereafter, provided 
that if an election against the abolishment of the county high school 
has been had within any county within two years prior to the enactment 
of this statute, that the question shall not again be re-submitted for 
at least four years after the date that this act becomes effective. 

CHAPTER 6 

VALIDATION OF CERTAIN ACTS AND PROCEEDINGS 

Section 34. School Bonds Validated. All bonds which have been here- 
tofore issued by the Board of Trustees of any county high school, or 
the issuance of which any such board has assumed to authorize, are 
hereby ratified and confirmed and declared to be valid and subsisting 
legal obligations of full force and effect, provided that the question of 
the issuance of such bonds was first submitted to the voters of the county 
and a majority of all the votes cast by such voters was in favor of such 
bond issue as declared by the minutes of the said Board of Trustees, or 
as otherwise made to appear with certainty. 

Section 35. Validation of the Establishment and Location of County 
High Schools. All acts and things of any nature whatsoever heretofore 
done, and all proceedings heretofore had, by any Board of County Com- 
missioners of any county in the state relative to the submission to the 
electors of the county of the question of establishing and locating a 
county high school, and to the establishment and location of any such 
high school, where such question was in fact submitted to the voters of 
the county and a majority of all votes cast by the voters was in favor 
of the establishment and location of a county high school as declared by 
the minutes of the Board of County Commissioners, or as otherwise made 
to appear with certainty, are hereby ratified and confirmed and declared 
to be valid and of full force and effect. 

Section 36. Validation of Prior Acts. All acts and things of any kind 



126 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

whatsoever done, or proceedings had, by any Board of Trustees of any 
county high school, or by any Board of County Commissioners of any 
county, prior hereto and under the provisions of the Acts of March 3, 
1899, for the establishment of county free high schools, or under the 
further Acts of March 14, 1901, amending certain sections of the Act 
aforesaid of March 3, 1899, or under any other Act of the Legislative 
Assembly relating to the establishment of county free high schools or 
for their maintenance, support or administration are hereby ratified 
and confirmed and declared to be valid and of full force and effect. 

JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL 

Section 45. Junior High Schools — authority to establish in district 
having no accredited high school. The Board of Trustees of any school 
district where no accredited high school is already established and main- 
tained may establish one or more junior high schools in the district at 
any time in accordance with the sections immediately following and 
provide therefor quarters, buildings, building sites, equipment and a 
teaching force. 

Section 46. Petition — Resolution of Board — Approval of Superintend- 
ent of Public Instruction. Whenever the Board of Trustees of any school 
district which has no accredited high school already established, shall 
receive a petition in writing from twenty per centum (209^), or more, 
of the registered voters of the district requesting that a junior high 
school or junior high schools be established, or shall itself resolve by 
resolution spread upon the minutes of the board that the establishment 
of a junior high school or junior high schools is in the best interests of 
the district, an application shall forthwith be made by the said Board of 
Trustees to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, setting forth therein 
such facts and information as it may require and requesting its approval 
of the establishment of the junior high school or junior high schools in 
question. 

Section 47. Submission of Question. If the establishment of a junior 
high school or junior high schools is approved by the Superintendent 
of Public Instruction, the Board of Trustees of the school district shall 
immediately submit to the registered voters of the district the question 
whether a junior high school, or if the establishment of more than one 
such junior high school be contemplated, whether junior high schools 
shall be established in such district. 

Section 48. Application and Submission of Question when Bonds are 
to be Issued. If it is necessary for the district to issue bonds to provide 
quarters, buildings, building sites, and/or equipment for the proposed 
junior high school or junior high schools the application for the approval 
of the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall set forth the facts 
pertinent to such issue and the amount of bonds required for the pur- 
poses mentioned, or any of them. And in any such case if the establish- 
ment of the junior high school or junior high schools be approved by the 
Superintendent of Public Instruction the question submitted by the Board 
of Trustees to the registered voters, of the district shall be whether a 
junior high school, or, if the establishment of more than one junior high 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 127 

school be contemplated, whether junior hip:h schools shall be established 
in the district and bonds in a specified amount issued to provide quarters, 
buildingrs, building sites and equipment, or for any one or more such 
purposes. 

Section 49. Election. The qualified electors of the district shall be 
entitled to vote upon any question submitted to them in accordance with 
this chapter at an election called, noticed, held, canvassed and returned 
in the manner provided by law for the submission in such district of the 
question of a bond issue for the purpose of building, enlarging, altering 
or acquiring by purchase a school house, of furnishing and equipping 
the same, and of purchasing the necessary lands therefor. 

Section 50. Duty of Board if Establishment of Junior High School 
be Approved. If a majority of the votes cast at any such election be in 
favor of the establishment of a junior high school or junior high schools 
the Board of Trustees of the district shall immediately establish and 
open the school or schools so authorized. 

Section 51. Issuance of Bonds. If the issuance of bonds as specified 
in any question submitted be approved the Board of Trustees shall there- 
after issue and market the bonds of the district within the limits of the 
amount specified in the question and in the same manner and pursuant 
to the provisions and limitations of law otherwise applicable in the case 
of the issuance of district bonds for the purpose of building, enlarging, 
repairing or acquiring by purchase a school house, in the said district, 
or furnishing and equipping the same, and of purchasing the necessary 
lands therefor. 

Section 52. Junior High Schools — How Established Where District 
High School is Already Established. The Board of Trustees of any 
school district wherein an accredited high school is already established 
may, by resolution and in compliance with the rules and regulations of 
the Superintendent of Public Instruction reorganize the school system 
of the district to provide for a junior high school or junior high schools 
as a part of such system, without submitting the question to the qualified 
electors of the district. But nothing herein contained shall be construed 
to authorize any such Board of Trustees to issue bonds of the district 
or to incur indebtedness or to proceed in the establishment of a junior 
high school or junior high schools other than in accordance with its 
general powers elsewhere defined. 

BUDGET SYSTEM— SCHOOL DISTRICTS 

(Chapter 146, Laws of 1931) 

Section 7. If, after the Board of School Trustees of any district has 
adopted the preliminary budget for such district for the ensuing school 
year, it appears to such board that the amount which will be received 
from a district ten (10) mill tax levy and from all other sources during 
such ensuing school year, for the general fund of such district, as shown 
by the County Superintendent's estimate of revenues, will not be suffi- 
cient to meet and take care of the expenditures proposed to be made dur- 
ing the ensuing school year from such general fund, as contained in such 
preliminary budget, the board must determine and make an estimate 



128 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

of the amount of such deficiency and the number of mills of additional 
levy required to be made to meet and take care of such deficiency, and 
must call an election, in the manner prescribed by law, for the purpose 
of obtaining the approval of the qualified electors of the district to the 
making of such additionl levy, and such election must be held before 
the 1st day of July; provided, however, that if it appears to the Board 
of School Trustees of any district at any meeting thereof held prior to 
the general school election on the first Saturday in April, that a levy in 
excess of ten (10) mills will be required to maintain the schools in such 
district during the next ensuing school year, such Board of Trustees may 
determine the number of mills so required in excess of ten (10) mills, 
and may submit the question of such additional levy at the next ensuing 
general school election. 

SPECIAL ROAD DISTRICTS 

Section 1664. The regular election for the electing of members of 
the Board of Directors shall be held in such district at the same time as 
regular general elections. The secretary of such boai'd shall cause writ- 
ten or printed notice to be posted at six different and public places in 
said special road district, specifying the date and place of such election 
and the time during which the ballot-box or boxes shall be opened, 
not less than four hours, however, at each election. Said notices shall be 
posted in at least three conspicuous and public places as aforesaid in such 
district and whenever a newspaper published within ten miles of such 
road district, it shall be the duty of the president and secretary of said 
board to cause a notice to be published therein at least once, ten days 
previous to said election, giving notice of such election, and if the said 
officers of said district fail to give such notice required by this Act, 
then any two legal voters in and being freeholders there, may give such 
notice over their names and signatures, whereupon said election may be 
held at the date fixed by this Act for said election. 

Section 1665. Every elector, a taxpayer, who is legally qualified to 
vote at any general election, who is a bona fide resident and taxpayer, 
as aforesaid, of the road district for thirty days preceding the day of 
election, shall be entitled to vote. Any person offering to vote may be 
challenged by any legal and qualified elector of the district, or by any 
judge of election, and any judge of such election shall, to determine the 
qualification of a voter, administer to the person challenged, an oath 
as follows: 

"You do swear (or affirm) that you are a citizen of the United 
States; that you have resided in this state for the period of one year, or 
over, preceding this election; that you are over the age of twenty-one 
years; that you have resided in this county thirty days, and that you are 
a taxpayer and resided in this road district thirty days next preceding 
this election; that you have not voted at this election, so help you God 
(or under the pains and penalties of perjury)." 

Section 1666. If any person challenged shall refuse to take said oath, 
his vote shall be rejected; and if any person shall be guilty of voting 
illegally, he shall be punished as provided in the general election laws' 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 129 

of this state. The three members of the Board of Directors of the road 
district shall act as judges of election, but should any of them be absent 
for any cause, at the time of opening of the polls, the electors present 
thereat shall appoint a legal voter to fill such vacancy. 

If more than one polling-place be provided in said road district, the 
directors shall appoint three judges of election who shall perform the 
duties required by law. 

Section 1667. Immediately after the closing of the polls the said 
judges shall proceed to count the ballots, and the person or persons 
qualified to be elected under this Act, who shall receive the largest num- 
ber of votes, shall be declared elected, and the report of said election, 
signed by said judges, shall forthwith be transmitted to the County 
Clerk and Recorder of the county where such election is held, to be pre- 
sented to the Board of County Commissioners for action and hearing 
as to the regularity of the election so held, and to be confirmed by said 
County Commissioners. If upon counting the votes there shall be a tie 
vote, the two persons having received such tie vote shall meet within 
twenty-four hours before the Board of Directors of such road district, 
and one of such persons shall be elected by lot. All ballots shall be care- 
fully preserved, and after said count shall be placed in the ballot boxes, 
and said ballots shall be preserved by the secretary of the road district 
for ninety days, at the end of which time, if there is no contest, all such 
ballots shall be destroyed. 

PUBLIC BRIDGES— BONDS 

Section 1711. Before the construction of any bridge referred to in 
the preceding section, the cost of which shall exceed ten thousand dollars, 
shall be undertaken, the Board of County Commissioners shall submit to 
the qualified electors of a county, at a genei-al or special election, the 
question of whether such bridge shall be constructed, and the cost thereof 
paid by the county; and if the electors at such election shall vote in favor 
of the construction of such bridge, the Board of County Commissioners 
may, if they deem it necessary and advisable to do so, issue and sell the 
bonds of said county to the amount authorized for the purpose of con- 
sti'ucting such bridge, under such regulations as other bonds of the 
county are issued and sold, and with such funds construct said bridge; 
or, if the cost of such bridge shall not exceed the amount authorized 
to be raised by a special levy, a special levy may be made for the purpose 
of raising the moneys necessary to defray the cost of constructing such 
bridge, as provided in the preceding section. 

REMOVAL OF COUNTY SEAT 

(Constitutional Provision Art. XVI, Section 2, Page 14) 
Section 4369. Whenever the inhabitants of any county of this state 
desire to remove the county seat of a county from the place where it is 
fixed by law, or otherwise, to another place, they may present a petition 
to the Board of County Commissioners of their county praying such 
removal, such place to be named in the petition, and that an election be 
held to determine whether or not such removal must be made. The 
petition to remove the county seat of the county from the place where it 



130 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

is fixed by law to another place must be presented to the Board of County 
Commissioners at least sixty days prior to any action thereon being 
taken by the Board of County Commissioners, and action on said petition 
by the Board of County Commissioners must be had at a regular meet- 
ing of said Boaj'd of County Commissioners. Such petition must be filed 
with the County Clerk, and the County Clerk, immediately upon the 
filing of said petition, must cause to be printed in every newspaper 
published within said county a notice to the effect that a petition pray- 
ing for the removal of said county seat has been filed with the County 
Clerk, and that said petition is open to the inspection of any and all 
persons interested therein, and that said petition will be presented to 
the Board of County Commissioners at its next regular session for action 
thereon. No other or additional petition than the one originally filed shall 
be considered by the Board of County Commissioners, except that at 
any time on or before the date fixed for the hearing, any person having 
signed the original petition for the removal of the county seat may file 
a statement in writing with the County Clerk that he desires to have 
his name withdrawn from such petition; provided, that not more than 
one withdrawal shall be permitted by the same person. 

Section 4370. If the petition is signed by sixty-five per cent, of the 
taxpayers of such county, the Board of County Commissioners must at 
the next general election submit the question of removal to the electors 
of the county; provided, that the term "taxpayer" used in this section 
shall be deemed to mean "ad valorem taxpayers," and that for the pur- 
pose of testing the sufficiency of any petition which may be presented 
to the County Commissioners as provided in this section, the County 
Commissioners shall compare such petition with the poll-books in the 
County Clerk's office constituting the returns of the last general election 
held in their county, for the purpose of ascei'taining whether such peti- 
tion bears the names of sixty-five per cent, of the taxpaying voters 
listed therein; and they shall make a similar comparison of the names 
signed to the petition with those appearing upon the listed assessment- 
roll of the county for the purpose of ascertaining whether the petition 
bears the names of sixty-five per cent, of the ad valoi'em taxpayers as 
listed in said assessment-roll; and if such petition then shows that it 
has not been signed by sixty-five per cent, of the voters of the county 
who are ad valorem taxpayers thereof, after deducting from the said 
original petition the names of all persons who may have signed such 
original petition, and who may have filed, or caused to be filed, with the 
County Clerk of said county or the Board of County Commissioners, 
on or before the date fixed for the hearing, their statement in writing 
of the withdrawal of their names from the original petition, it shall be 
deemed insufficient, and the question of the removal of the county seat 
shall not be submitted. 

Section 4371. Notice of such election, clearly stating the object, must 
be given, and the election must be held and conducted, and the returns 
made, in all respects in the manner prescribed by law in regard to the 
submitting of questions to the electors of a locality under the general 
election law. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 131 

Section 4372. In voting on the question, each electoi' must vote for 
the place in the county which he prefers, by placing opposite the name 
of the place the mark X. 

Section 4373. When the returns have been received and compared, 
and the results ascertained by the board, if a majority of the qualified 
electors of the county have voted in favor of any particular place, the 
board must give notice of the results by posting notices thereof in all 
the election precincts of the county, and by publishing a like notice in a 
newspaper printed in the county at least once a week for four weeks. 

Section 4374. In the notice provided for in the next preceding section, 
the place selected to be the county seat of the county must be so declared 
from a day specified in the notice not more than ninety days after the 
election. After the day named in the notice, the place chosen is the 
county seat of the county. 

Section 4375. Whenever any election has been held, as provided for 
in the preceding sections of this chapter, the statement made by the 
Board of County Commissioners, showing the result thereof, must be 
deposited in the office of the County Clerk, and Avhenever the board 
gives the notice prescribed by Section 4374 of this Code, they must 
transmit a certified copy thereof to the Secretary of State. 

Section 4376. When an election has been held and a majority of the 
votes are not cast for some other place than that fixed by law as the 
former county seat, no second election for the removal thereof must be 
held within four years thereafter. 

Section 4377. When the county seat of a county has been once re- 
moved by a popular vote of the people of the county, it may be again 
removed from time to time in the manner provided by this chapter. 

LOCATION OF COUNTY SEATS 

Section 4378. Whenever a county is created hereafter in this state 
by legislative enactment, it shall be the duty of the persons appointed 
to the office of County Commissioners of such county by the Act creating 
it, to meet at some place in the county, to be agreed upon by a majority 
of said County Commissioners, within fifteen days after the passage 
of the Act creating the county, and then and there organize as a Board 
of County Commissioners by electing one of their number fhairman. 

The person appointed to the office of County Clerk in the bill creat- 
ing the county shall be notified in writing by the County Commissioners, 
or some one of them, of the time and place of said meeting, and he must 
attend the meeting and act as the clerk thereof and keep a record of 
the proceedings. If no person is appointed to the office of County Clerk 
by the Act creating the county, the Commissioners shall at such meeting 
select some person qualified to hold office of County Clerk to act as 
clerk of such meeting. 

Section 4379. Immediately after the organization of the Board of 
County Commissioners, as provided in the preceding section, said board 
shall, by a resolution spread upon the minutes of its proceedings, desig- 
nate some place within said county as and to be the temporary county 
seat until the permanent county seat shall be located as hereinafter in 
this Act provided. The place so designated shall be the temporary county 



132 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

seat of said county until the permanent county seat is located by the 
electors of said county at the general election to be held on the first 
Tuesday after the first Monday of November of the next even-numbered 
year after the creation of the county, or at a special election as herein- 
after provided. 

In the event of a majority of the County Commissioners failing to 
Agree upon the location of the temporary county seat, then each County 
Commissioner shall write the name of the place he favors as the tem- 
porary county seat on a slip of paper and said slips be inclosed in envel- 
opes of the same size, color, and texture, and shall be deposited in a box 
or other suitable receptacle, and the County Clerk, in the presence of said 
Commissioners, shall draw out one of the said slips. Thereupon the 
County Commissioners shall, by resolution spread upon the minutes, 
declare the place named on the slip so drawn by the County Clerk to be 
the temporary county seat of said county. 

At said first general election after the creation of the county, it 
shall be the duty of the Board of County Commissioners and County 
Clerk to have separate official ballots printed and distributed for the 
use of the electors at said election; which ballots shall be in the form 
and contain the same matter as the ballots provided for in Section 4385 
of this Code, and the provisions of Section 4386 of this Code shall apply 
to and govern the manner of voting and of canvassing said ballots, and 
the Board of County Commissioners shall declare the result of such elec- 
tion and the location of the permanent county seat, and said county seat 
shall be located in the manner and according to the provisions of said 
Section 4386. 

Provided, however, that at any time within six months after the 
passage of an Act creating a new county, a petition or petitions may 
be filed with the County Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners 
of such county asking the board to submit the question of the location 
of the permanent county seat to the electors of the county at a special 
election to be called and held in the manner hereinafter in this Act pro- 
vided. Said petition or petitions must contain in the aggregate the 
names of at least one hundred taxpayers, whose names appear upon 
the assessment-books containing the last assessment of the property 
situated in such new county, and whose names also appear as registered 
electors in some registration district established and existing in the 
territory embraced in the new county at the last general election held 
therein. 

The petition or petitions when filed with the board must also have 
certificates attached thereto from the County Clerk of the county in 
which the person or persons signing the petition resided before the 
creation of the new county, certifying that the names of the persons 
signing said petition or petitions appear in the last assessment-books 
of his county, and also in the registration-books of his county containing 
the names of the electors registered in the last general election in the 
districts now embraced in the new county. 

Section 4380. Upon filing said petition or petitions, duly certified 
to as provided in the preceding section, with the County Clerk of the 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 133 

new county, he must immediately notify the chairman of the Board of 
County Commissioners who. upon receipt of such notice, must call a 
meeting of the board to be held within ten days after the filing of 
said petition, for the purpose of considering the same. If the board at 
such meeting finds that said petition conforms to the requirements of 
and is in accordance with the provisions of the preceding section, it shall 
at said meeting, by a resolution spread upon its minutes, call a special 
election of the qualified electors of said county for the purpose of voting 
upon the question of the location of the permanent county seat. 

Said election shall be held on Tuesday and not less than forty nor 
more than sixty days after the date of calling the same. The board 
must issue an election proclamation containing a statement of the time 
of the election and the question to be submitted. A copy of this procla- 
mation must be published in some newspaper printed in the county, if 
any, and posted at each place of election at least ten days before the 
election. 

Section 4381. At the meeting of the board at which the special elec- 
tion is called for the purpose of locating the permanent county seat, the 
board shall, by resolution spread upon its minutes, divide the county 
into registration districts and establish polling precincts in the manner 
provided by law. It must also, at such meeting, make an order desig- 
nating the house or place within each precinct where the election shall 
be held. It must also at the same session of the board appoint registry 
agents for the several registration districts established by it, who must 
possess the qualifications required by law for registry agents. The 
County Clerk must furnish the said registry agents with books, blanks, 
and other stationery required for the proper performance of their duties. 

Section 4382. The period for the registration of electors shall be 
between the hours of nine a. m. and nine p. m. on all legal days from 
nine a. m. of the fourth Monday prior to the date of said election to nine 
p. m. of the second following Saturday. It shall be the duty of each 
registry agent to publish and post notices of the time and places of 
registration in the manner provided by law for the publication of notices 
of registration for general elections. No person shall be entitled to regis- 
ter and vote at such special election unless he is a qualified voter of the 
State of Montana of the age of twenty-one years, and will have been a 
resident of Montana one year and of the territory embi'aced within the 
boundaries of the new county for a period of one hundred and eighty 
days on the day next preceding the day of such election, and also takes 
and subscribes to the oath provided in Section 479, Revised Codes of 
Montana. 

The general election laws of this state governing the registration of 
electors and defining the duties of the registry agents, shall apply to 
and govern the registration of electors in elections held under this Act 
in so far as the same do not conflict herewith. 

Section 4383. At the same meeting of the Board of County Commis- 
sioners at which the special election for the location of the permanent 
county seat is called, the board shall appoint three judges of election 
for each precinct in the county who shall act as the judges at said elec- 



134 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

tion. It shall be the duty of the County Clerk to have printed and dis- 
tributed to the judges of election the necessary ballots, the form of which 
shall be as provided in Sections 4379, 4385, and 4387 of this Code, and 
also supply the judges with the necessary books, records, stationeiy and 
ballot-boxes required to hold such election in the manner provided by law. 
Section 4384. The judges appointed for said special election must 
qualify as required by the general election law, and the polls must be 
opened and closed, the voting done, the ballots counted, returns made 
to the Board of County Commissioners, and all other matters connected 
with said election carried on and conducted in accordance with and as 
provided by the general election laws of this state. 

Section 4385. The form of the ballot used at such elections shall be 
as follows: There shall be a stub across the top of each ballot, and 
separated therefrom by a perfoi-ated line. The part above the perforated 
line, designated as the stub, shall extend the entire width of the ballot, 
and shall have a depth of not less than two inches. Upon the face of the 
stub there shall be printed in what is known as brevier capitals the 
following instructions. 

"To vote this ballot the elector will write in the blank space on the 
ballot the name of the town or place at which he desires the permanent 
county seat to be located." 

The ballot below the perforated line shall be in the following form: 

"For the permanent county seat of county my 

choice is "; (here insert name of county) 

Provided, that any person who, fi'om any cause, is unable to write, may 
have one of the judges in the presence of another judge write his choice 
on the ballot. 

Section 4386. When the name of a town or place in a county shall 
be so inserted in the blank space on such ballot by an elector, and the 
ballot has been cast as provided by law, the same shall be deemed a vote 
for the designated town or place as the location of the permanent county 
seat of said county. The Board of County Commissioners of said county 
shall canvass the returns of said election in the manner provided by law 
for the canvassing of election returns, and upon such canvassing of 
returns the town or place found to have received a majority of all votes 
cast on such questions shall be declared by the board the permanent 
county seat of the county. The order declaring the result of such elec- 
tion shall be entered of record in the minutes of the proceedings of the 
Board of County Commissioners by the County Clerk, and from the date 
of the declaration of the results of the election the town or place selected 
shall be and remain, until lawfully changed in the manner provided by 
law, the permanent county seat of such county. Within ten days after 
the declaration of the result of such election, all records and county 
offices of the county, if elsewhere located, must be moved to and remain 
at the place declared the permanent county seat. 

Section 4387. If no town or place receives a majority of all votes 
cast on such question, then the town or place receiving the highest num- 
ber of votes shall be declared by the board and immediately become the 
temporary county seat of the county, and at the next general election 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 135 

the two towns or places i-eceivin^ the greatest number of votes at said 
first election shall be the candidates for the permanent county scat. 
At said next general election, the County Clerk shall have separate 
ballots in the form provided for in Section 4385 of this Code printed and 
distributed as provided by law containing the names of said candidates 
for the permanent county seat. On the stub of such ballots shall be 
printed the following instructions: 

"To vote this ballot the elector will place an X in the square before 
the name of the town he intends to vote for." 

The form of such ballots below the perforated line shall be as follows: 

n for the permanent county seat. 

Q for the permanent county seat. 

Of said towns or places the one receiving a majority of all the votes 
cast on such question shall be declared the permanent county seat, and 
the Board of County Commissioners must canvass the returns and de- 
clare the result, and the county seat must be located in accordance with 
the provisions of this Act. 

Section 4388. All laws of general nature applicable to the sevei'al 
counties of the State of Montana and to the officers thereof, and to their 
powers and duties, shall be applicable to a new county and the officers 
thereof from and after the creation of the county, except as otherwise 
provided in this Act, or the Act creating the county. 

Section 4389. Any county heretofore created, in which the permanent 
county seat has not been located by valid election held for the purpose 
of locating the permanent county seat of said county, may have a special 
election for the purpose of voting on such question, called and held un- 
der the provisions of this Act, or if no special election is held for such 
purpose, then said question shall be submitted by the County Commis- 
sioners at the next general election after the passage of this Act and 
in the manner provided herein for the submission of such questions at 
sreneral elections; provided, however, that no special election shall be 
called for the purpose of submitting such question unless a petition or 
petitions containing in the aggregate the names of one hundred tax- 
paying electors of such county, whose names appear upon the last assess- 
ment book, and also on the last registration-books of said county, are 
filed with the clerk of the Board of County Commissioners within six 
months after the passage and approval of this Act. 

Upon the filing of such petition or petitions within said time, con- 
taining the requisite number of taxpaying electors, which must be ascer- 
tained by the board from the records of said county, said board must 
immediately call such special election as herein provided. 

If registration districts and polling precincts have already been estab- 
lished in said county, they shall remain the same for such special elec- 
tion, but a new registration shall be had and said special election con- 
ducted and the result determined as in this Act provided. 

The provisions of this section shall not apply in any case where there 
has been a permanent county seat located and maintained for a period 
of three years from the date immediately subsequent to the date of the 
approval of this Act, whether the same was located by legal election or 
otherwise. 



136 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

CREATION OF NEW COUNTIES BY PETITION AND ELECTION 

Section 4390. Creation of New Counties — Debts and Assets Prorated 
and Minimum Area Fixed. New counties may from time to time be 
formed and created in this state from portions of one or more counties, 
which shall have been created and in existence for a period of more than 
two years, in the manner set forth and provided in this Act; provided, 
however, that no new county shall be established which shall reduce 
any county to an assessed valuation of less than Twelve Million Dollars 
($12,000,000.00), inclusive of all assessed valuation as shown by the last 
preceding assessment; nor shall any new county be established which 
shall reduce the area of any existing county from which territory is taken 
to form such new county, to less than twelve hundred square miles of 
surveyed land, exclusive of all forest reserve and Indian reservations 
within old counties nor shall any new county be formed which contains an 
assessed valuation of property less than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,- 
000.), inclusive of all assessed valuation as shown by the last preceding 
assessment, of the county or counties from which such new county is 
to be established, nor shall any new county be formed which contains 
less than one thousand square miles of sui'veyed land exclusive of all 
forest land or Indian reservations, not open for settlement, nor shall any 
line thereof pass within fifteen miles of the court house situate at the 
county seat of the county sought to be divided; provided, that such 
county line may be run within a distance of ten miles of a county seat 
in cases where the natural contour of the county, by reason of moun- 
tain ranges or other topogi'aphical conditions, is such as to make it 
difficult to reach the county seat, and in such cases a petition, signed 
by at least fifty-eight per centum (58%) of the voters in the proposed 
new county, shall be presented to the Judge of the District Court in 
which the county affected is located, asking for the appointment of a 
commission of five (5) disinterested persons, who shall determine if the 
topographical conditions are such as to warrant the fixing of the county 
division lines closer than at fifteen miles from the county seat, as such 
boundaries are legally fixed and determined at the date of the filing 
of the petition or petitions referred to in Section 4393 of the Revised 
Codes of 1921. 

Every county which shall be enlarged or created from the territory 
taken from any other county or counties shall be liable for a prorata 
proportion of the existing debts and liabilities of the county or counties 
from which such territory shall be taken, and shall be entitled to a pro- 
rata proportion of the assets of the county or counties from which such 
territory is taken, to be determined as provided by Sections 4391, 4392 
and 4398 of the Revised Codes of Montana, 1921. 

As amended by Chapter 106, Laws of 1929. 

Section 4391. For the purposes of this Act the assessed valuation 
of all property, whether included within the boundaries of a proposed 
new county, or remaining within the boundaries of any existing county 
or counties from which territory is taken, shall be fixed and determined 
on the same basis as is used for the imposition of taxes in the State of 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 137 

Montana, to-wit: By taking that percentage of the true and full value 
of all taxable property in any county specified by Section 2000 of this 
Code. 

Whenever in this Act the term "assessed valuation" or "valuation 
based on the last assessment roll" is used, said term shall be construed 
as meaning taxable valuation determined as herein provided, not the 
full and true valuation of property. 

Section 4392. No city, town, or village shall become the temporary 
or permanent county seat of any county organization under the pro- 
visions of Sections 4390 to 4407 of this Code, or created by an Act of the 
Legislative Assembly, unless such city or town shall have been incor- 
porated in the manner provided by law, or unless such village shall 
have been regularly platted and a plat thereof filed in the office of the 
County Clerk and Recorder, and there be fifty qualified electors residing 
within the boundaries of such platted village, and the temporary county 
seat selected upon the organization of such county shall remain as such 
county seat until the permanent county seat shall be established as 
provided by law. 

Section 4393. Whenever it is desired to divide any county or coun- 
ties and form a new county out of a portion of the territory of such 
then existing county or counties, a petition shall be presented to the 
Board of County Commissioners of the county from which the new county 
is to be formed, in case said proposed new county is to be formed from 
but one county, or to the Board of County Commissioners of the county 
from which the largest area of territory is proposed to be taken for the 
formation of such new county, in case said new county is to be formed 
from portions of two or more existing counties; and such Board of 
County Commissioners shall be empowered and have jurisdiction to do 
and perform all acts provided for to be done or performed in this Act, 
for each of the several counties from which any proposed territory is to 
be taken, and shall direct that a certified copy of all orders and proceed- 
ings had before such Board of County Commissioners shall be certified 
by the County Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners of each of 
the several counties from which any territory is taken by the proposed 
new county; and all officers of any such county shall comply with the 
orders of the Board of County Commissioners, in the same manner as 
if said order had been duly made by the Board of County Commission- 
ers of each respective county from which territory is proposed to be 
taken. Such petition shall be signed by at least fifty-eight per cent, of 
the qualified electors of the proposed new county, whose names appear 
on the official registration books and who are shown thereon to have 
voted at the last general election preceding the presentation of said 
petition to the Board of County Commissioners as herein provided; pro- 
vided, that in cases where the proposed new county is to be formed from 
portions of two or more counties, separate petition shall be presented 
fi'om the territory taken from each county; and each of said separate 
petitions shall be signed by at least fifty-eight per cent, of the qualified 
electors of each of said proposed portions. Such signatures need not all 
be appended to one paper, but may be signed to several petitions which 



138 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

must be similar in form, and when so signed the several petitions may 
be fastened together and shall be treated and presented as one petition. 

Such petition or petitions shall contain: 

1. A particular description of the boundaries of the proposed new 
county. 

2. A statement that no line thereof passes within fifteen miles of 
the courthouse situated at the county seat of any county proposed to 
be divided, except as hereinafter in this Act provided. 

3. A statement of the assessed valuation of such proposed county 
as shown by the last preceding assessment, inclusive of all assessed 
valuation. 

4. A statement of the surveyed area in square miles which w-ill re- 
main in the county or counties from which territory is taken to form 
such new county, after such county is formed, and a statement of the 
surveyed area in square miles which will be in the new county after 
formed. 

5. The name of the proposed new county. 

6. A prayer that such proposed new county be organized into a new 
county under the provisions of this Act. 

There shall be attached and filed with said petition or petitions an 
affidavit of five qualified electors and taxpayers residing within each 
county sought to be divided, to the effect that they have read said peti- 
tion and examined the signatures affixed thereto, and they believe 
that the statements therein are true, and that it is signed by at least 
fifty-eight per cent, of the qualified electors as herein provided, of the 
proposed new county, or of the proposed portion thereof, taken from 
each existing county, where the proposed new county is to be formed 
from portions of two or more existing counties; that the signatui'es 
affixed thereto are genuine; and that each of such persons so signing 
was a qualified elector of such county therein sought to be divided, at 
the date of such signing. Such petition or petitions so verified, and 
the verification thereof, shall be accepted in all proceedings permitted 
or provided for in this Act, as prima facie evidence of the truth of the 
matters and facts therein set forth. Upon the filing of such petition or 
petitions and affidavits with the Clerk of the said Board of County 
Commissioners, said clerk shall forthwith fix a date to hear the proof 
of the said petitions and of any opponents thereto, which date must be 
not later than thirty days after the filing of such petition with the clerk 
of said board. The County Clerk shall also, at the same time, desig- 
nate a newspaper of general circulation published in the old counties, 
but not within the proposed new county, and also a newspaper of gen- 
eral circulation published within the boundaries of the proposed new 
county, if there be such, in which the said County Clerk shall order and 
cause to be published, at least once a week for two weeks next preceding 
the date fixed for such hearing, a notice in substantially the following 
form: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 139 

NOTICE. 

Notice is hereby given that a petition has been presented to the 

Board of County Commissioners of county 

(naming the county represented by the Board of County Commissioners 
with which said petition was filed), praying for the formation of a new 

county out of a portion of the said county and 

county (naming the county or counties of 

which it is proposed to form the new county), and that said petition will 
be heard by the said Board of County Commissioners at its place of 
meetings (designating the city or town and the day and hour of the 
meeting so to be held), and when and where all persons interested may 
appear and oppose the granting of said petition, and make any objec- 
tions thereto. 

Dated at , Montana. 

, County Clerk. 

Said petitioners shall, on or before the date fixed for said hearing 
file with the said Board of County Commissioners a bond to be approved 
by said board, in an amount of Five Thousand Dollars, payable to the 
county in which said petition is filed, conditioned that the obligators 
named in said bond will pay to said county all expenses incurred in the 
election provided for in this Act, not exceeding the amount specified in 
said bond, in the event that at the election herein provided for more than 
forty-two per cent, of the votes cast at said election are "for the new 

county of (naming the proposed new county)," "No." 

At the time so fixed for said hearing, the Board of County Com- 
missioners shall proceed to hear the petitioners and any opponents and 
protestants upon the petition or protests filed on or before the time 
fixed for the hearing. No petition or protest or petition for the exclu- 
sion of territory shall be considered unless the same is filed at least 
one day before the time fixed for the hearing, and such petition for 
the exclusion of territory shall contain the names of not less than fifty 
per cent, of the qualified electors who are resident property taxpayers 
of any territory to be excluded. All such territory being excluded must 
be in one block, and contain an area of not less than thirty-six square 
miles, and be totally within one county, and contiguous thereto, and 
the Board of County Commissioners may adjourn such hearing from 
time to time, but not for more than ten days after the time fixed for 
the hearing, and shall receive the proof to establish or controvert the 
facts set forth in said petition. No withdrawals of signatures to the 
original petition for the creation of a proposed county shall be filed or 
considered which have not been filed with the County Clerk on or before 
the date fixed for the hearing. No withdrawals of any signature from 
the petition for the exclusion of territory shall be received or considered 
which is not filed within five days after the filing of the petition for 
such exclusion of territory. 



140 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

The Board of County Commissioners, on the final hearing of such 
petition or petitions, shall, by a resolution entered on its minutes de- 
termine: 

1. The boundaries of the proposed new county, and the boundaries 
so determined by said Board of County Commissioners shall be the 
boundaries of such proposed new county, if it be created as herein 
provided. 

2. Whether the said petition contains the genuine signatures of at 
least fifty-eight per cent of the qualified electors of the proposed new 
county as herein required, or in cases where separate petitions are 
presented from portions of two or more existing counties as herein 
required, whether each petition is signed by at least fifty-eight per cent 
of the qualified electors of that portion of each of such existing counties 
which it is pi'oposed to take into the proposed new county. 

3. Whether any line of the proposed new county passes within fifteen 
miles of the court-house situate at the county seat of any county pro- 
posed to be divided, except as hereinbefore provided. 

4. Whether the proposed new county will contain property, accord- 
ing to the last preceding assessment, which will equal in amount at 
least Four Million Dollars, inclusive of all assessed valuation. 

5. Whether the area of any existing county from which territory 
ir, taken to form such new county will be reduced to less than twelve 
hundred square miles of surveyed land, by taking the territory proposed 
to be taken therefrom to form such new county. 

6. Whether the area of the proposed new county will contain at least 
one thousand square miles of surveyed land to form such new county. 

7. The class to which said proposed new county after its creation 
will belong, and the name of said proposed new county, as stated in such 
petition. 

8. Whether the area embraced within the proposed new county will 
be reasonably compact. 

On final hearing the Board of Commissioners, upon petition of not 
less than fifty per cent, of the qualified electors (as shown by the official 
registration books on the day of the filing of any such petition) of any 
territory lying within said proposed new county contiguous to the 
boundary line of the said proposed new county and of the old county 
from which such territory is proposed to be taken, and lying entirely 
within a single old county and described in said petition, asking that 
said territory be not included within the proposed new county, must 
make such changes in the proposed boundaries as will exclude such 
territory from such new county, and shall establish and define such 
boundaries. On final hearing the Board of Commissioners, upon peti- 
tion of not less than fifty per cent, of the qualified electors who are 
resident property taxpayers of any territory lying outside said proposed 
new county, and contiguous to the boundary line of said proposed new 
county, and of the old county or counties from which such territory is 
proposed to be included, asking that said territory be included within 
the proposed new county, must make such changes in the proposed 
boundaries as will include such territory in such new county, and shall 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 141 

establish and define such boundaries; provided, however, that the segre- 
gation of such territory from any old county or counties shall not leave 
such county or counties with less than Eight Million Dollars of assessed 
valuation, based upon the last assessment-roll; provided, that no change 
or changes so made shall result in reducing the valuation of the proposed 
new county to less than an assessed valuation of P'our Million Dollars, 
inclusive of all. assessed valuation; and provided, further, that no change 
shall be made which shall leave the territory so excluded separate and 
apart from and without the county of which it was formerly a part. 
Petitions for exclusion shall be disposed of in the order in point of time 
in which they are filed with the Clerk of the Board of County Com- 
missioners, and on final determination of boundaries no changes in the 
boundaries originally proposed shall be made except as prayed for in 
said petition or petitions, or to correct clerical errors or uncertainties. 

Section 4394. If the said Board of County Commissioners determine 
that the formation of said proposed new county will not reduce any 
county from which any territory is taken to an assessed valuation of 
less than Eight Million Dollars, inclusive of the assessed valuation, nor 
the area thereof to less than twelve hundred square miles of surveyed 
land, and that the proposed new county contains property of an assessed 
valuation of at least Four Million Dollars, inclusive of all assessed valu- 
ation, and that the proposed new county has an area of at least one 
thousand square miles of land, and that no line of said proposed new 
county passes within fifteen miles of the court-house situate at the 
county seat of any county proposed to be divided, except as hereinbefore 
provided, and that said petition contains the genuine signatures of at 
least fifty-eight per cent, of the qualified electors of the proposed new 
county, or in cases where separate petitions are presented from portions 
of two or more existing counties (as herein required), that each of said 
petitions contain the genuine signatures of at least fifty-eight per cent, 
of the qualified electors of that portion of the proposed new county from 
which it is taken, then the said Board of County Commissioners shall 
divide the proposed new county into a convenient number of township, 
road, and school districts, and define their boundaries and designate the 
names of such districts. Said Board of County Commissioners shall 
also, if necessary for the purpose of the election hereinafter provided 
for, change the boundaries of the election precincts in said old county 
or counties to make the same conform to the boundaries of the proposed 
new county; provided, that the boundary lines of no such precinct shall 
extend beyond the boundary lines of the then existing county in which 
it is located, and from which the territory is proposed to be taken; 
and said board shall appoint election officers to act at said election 
and to be paid by said board. Within two weeks after its determination 
of the truth of the allegations of said petition as aforesaid, the said 
Board of County Commissioners shall order and give proclamat'on and 
notice of aft election to be held on a specified day in the territory which 
is proposed to be taken for the new county, not less than ninety days 
nor more than one hundred and twenty days thereafter, for the purpose 
of determining whether such territory shall be established and organized 
into a new county; and for the election of officers and location of a 



142 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

county seat therefor, in case the vote at such election shall be in favor 
of the establishment and organization of such new county. All qualified 
electors residing within the proposed new county who are qualified 
electors of the county or counties from which territory is taken to form 
such proposed new county, and who have resided within the limits of 
the proposed county for a period of more than six months next preceding 
the day of election, and who are registered under the provisions of the 
registration laws of the State, shall be entitled to vote at said election. 
Registration and transfers of registration shall be made and shall close 
in the manner and at a time provided by law for registration and trans- 
fers of registration for a general election in the State of Montana. Such 
proclamation and notice of election shall be published at least once a 
week for three weeks before the holding of such election, in some news- 
paper of general circulation published in the territory which is proposed 
to be taken for the new county, and a copy thereof shall be mailed im- 
mediately by the County Clerk of the county in which the petition is 
filed to the County Clerk of each county from which territory is taken 
for the proposed new county. Such proclamation and notice shall require 
the voters to cast ballots which shall contain the words, "For the new 

county of (giving the name of the proposed new county)" 

"Yes," and "For the new county of (giving the name of 

the proposed new county)" "No," and each voter desiring to vote for 
the establishment and organization of said new county shall mark a 

cross (X) opposite the words, "For the new county of ," 

"Yes," in the manner now required by law in other elections, and each 
voter desiring to vote against the establishment and organization of 
said new county shall mark a cross (X) opposite the words, "For the 

new county of ," "No," in the manner now required 

by law in other elections; and shall also contain the names of persons 
to be voted for to fill the various elective offices designated in said 
proclamation for counties of the class to which said proposed county 
v/ill belong, as determined by the Board of County Commissioners as 
herein otherwise provided. There shall also be printed upon said ballot 
the words, "For the county seat," and the names of all cities or towns 
which may have filed with the County Clerk a petition signed by at 
least twenty-five qualified electors, nominating any city or town within 
the proposed new county for the county seat, and the voter shall desig- 
nate his choice for county seat by marking a cross (X) opposite the name 
of the city or town for which he desires to cast his ballot. At the special 
election to be held, as provided in this Act, the question of the election 
of the county seat is hereby provided to be submitted to the qualified 
electors of the proposed new county, and the majority of all the votes 
cast therefor shall determine the election thereon. In case any city or 
town fails to receive a majority of all the votes cast, then .the city or 
town receiving the highest number of all votes cast shall be designated 
as the temporary county scat, and in case any city or town is not the 
choice of the election for the county seat by a majority of all the votes 
cast, the question of choice between the two cities or towns for which the 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 143 

highest number of votes shall have been cast shall be submitted in like 
mannei" to the qualified electors at the next general election thereafter. 
When the county seat shall have been selected as herein provided, it 
shall not thereafter be changed except in the manner provided by law. 

The proclamation calling the election and the notice thereof provided 
for in this Act shall be made and given exclusively by the Board of 
County Commissioners with which is filed the said petition for the 
formation and establishment of such new county, and such board shall 
cause the clerk of said county to furnish to the officers of each precinct 
in such proposed new county all ballots, poll lists, tally lists, registers 
for voters' signatures, ballot boxes, and other election supplies and 
equipment necessary to conduct such election, and which are not here- 
inafter specifically directed to be furnished by the clerk of another 
county or counties. Such election shall be governed and controlled by 
the general election laws of the State, so far as the same shall be ap- 
plicable, except as herein otherwise provided. The returns of all elections 
for the creation of the county, and for officers and for location of the 
county seat as provided for in this Act, shall be made to and canvassed 
by the Board of County Commissioners of the county from which the 
largest area is taken by the proposed county. 

The County Clerk of each county from which territory is taken for 
the proposed new county shall, not less than five days before the date 
of such election, furnish to each board of election within said proposed 
new county, a copy of the official register for the precincts of such 
proposed new county as are within their respective counties, and the 
copies of indexes thereof required by law containing the names of all 
persons \vho were qualified electors at the last general election before 
the date of such election. 

All returns of election herein provided for shall be made to the Board 
of County Commissioners calling such election. 

All nominations of candidates for the office required to be filled at 
said election shall be made in the manner provided by law for the nomi- 
nation of candidates by petition. 

The provisions of the election laws relating to preparation, printing, 
and distribution of sample ballots, except the provisions of said laws 
relating to primary elections in this state, shall have application to any 
election provided for in this Act. 

Section 4395. If, upon the canvass of the votes cast at such election, 
it appears that fifty-eight per cent, of the votes cast are "For the new 

county of ," "Yes," the Board of County Commis- 
sioners shall, by a resolution entered upon its minutes, declare such 
territory duly formed and created as a county of this State, of the class 

to which the same shall belong, under the name of 

county, and that the city or town receiving the highest number of votes 
cast at said election for county seat shall be the county seat of said 
county until removed in the manner provided by law. and designating 
and declaring the person receiving respectively the highest number of 



144 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

votes for the several offices to be filled at said election, to be duly 
elected to such offices. Said board shall forthwith cause a copy of its 
said resolution, duly certified, to be filed in the office of the Secretary 
of State, and ninety days from and after the date of such filing said 
new county shall be deemed to be "fully created, and the organization 
thereof shall be deemed completed, and such officers shall be entitled 
to enter immediately upon the duties of their respective offices upon 
qualifying in accordance with law and giving bonds for the faithful per- 
formance of their duties, as required by the laws of the state. The Clerk 
of the Board of County Commissioners with which said petition was filed, 
as herein provided, must immediately make out and deliver to each of 
said persons so declared and designated to be elected, a certificate of 
election authenticated by his signature and the seal of said county. The 
persons elected members of the Board of County Commissioners and 
the County Clerk shall immediately, upon receiving their certificates of 
election, assume the duties of their respective offices. 

The Board of County Commissioners shall have authority to provide 
a suitable place for the county officers, and to purchase such supplies as 
may be deemed necessary for the proper conduct of the county govern- 
ment. All other officers take office ninety days after the filing of the res- 
olution herein provided for with the Secretary of State. All the officers 
elected at said election, or appointed under this Act, shall hold their 
offices until the time provided by general law for the election and 
qualification of such officers in this State, and until their successors 
are elected and qualified, and for the purpose of determining the term 
of office of such officers, the years said officers are to hold office are 
to be computed respectively from and including the first Monday after 
the first day of January following the last preceding general election. 
If, however, upon such canvass it appears that more than forty-two per 
■cent, of the votes cast at said election are "For the new county of 

," "No," the Board of County Commissioners can- 
vassing said vote as provided herein shall pass a resolution in accordance 
therewith, and thereupon the proceedings relating to division of such 
county or counties shall cease; and no other proceedings in relation to 
any other division of said old county or counties shall be instituted for 
at least two years after such determination. 

Section 4396. At the election provided for in Section 4394 of this 
Code, there shall be chosen such county, township, and district officers 
as are now or may hereafter by general law be provided for in counties 
of the class to which the said new county is determined to belong, as 
herein provided; provided, that all duly elected, qualified and acting 
officers of the county or counties, who may reside within the proposed 
new county, shall be deemed to be officers of said new county if they 
file with the Board of County Commissioners, whose duty it shall be to 
call the election, within five days after the final heai-ing and determin- 
ation of said petition for such proposed new county, their intention 
to become officers of said proposed new county and the Board of County 
Commissioners issuing the proclamation of any election, as in this Act 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 145 

provided, shall omit providing for the election of any such officers as 
may have filed their declaration as herein provided; and provided, also, 
that all duly elected, qualified, and acting Justices of the Peace and 
Constables residing within the proposed new county at the time of the 
division of such county into townships, as hereinbefore in Section 4394 
provided, shall hold office as such Justices of the Peace or Constables 
in said county for the remainder of the term for which they were elected 
on qualifying as Justices of the Peace or Constables for the respective 
townships in which they reside, when said townships are organized as 
provided in this Act; provided, further, that all duly elected, qualified, 
and acting School Trustees residing within the proposed new county at 
the time of the division of such county into school districts, as herein- 
before in .Section 4394 provided, shall hold office as School Trustees in 
said new county for the remainder of the term for which they were 
elected on qualifying as School Trustees for the respective districts 
in which they reside, as said districts are organized as provided by this 
Act. Each person elected or appointed to fill an office of such new county 
under the provisions of this Act shall qualify in the manner provided 
by law for such officers, except as herein otherwise provided, and shall 
enter upon the discharge of the duties of his office within such time 
as herein provided, after the receipt of the certificate of his election. 
Each of such officers may take the oath of office before any officers 
authorized by the laws of the State of Montana to administer oaths, 
and the bond of any officer from which a bond is required shall be 
approved by any Judge of the District Court of the district to which 
such new county is attached for judicial purposes. The officers elected 
or appointed under the provisions of this Act shall each perform the 
duties and receive the compensation now provided by general law for 
the office to which he has been appointed or elected in the counties of 
the class to which such new county shall have been determined to belong, 
as herein provided under the general classification of counties in this 
state. 

Said new county, when created and organized in pursuance of the 
provisions of this Act, shall be attached to such judicial district as may 
be designated by the Governor of the State of Montana, in a proclama- 
tion to be issued by him, designating such new county as attached to 
the particular judicial district for judicial purposes. 

Section 4397. It shall be the duty of the persons elected to or con- 
tinuing to hold the office of County Commissioners of said new county 
to meet at the county seat thereof within five days after all of them 
shall have qualified, and upon organization of said Board of County 
Commissioners it shall notify the Governor of the state of the organiza- 
tion of said county, and thereupon it shall be the duty of the Governor 
to appoint three persons, one of whom shall be a resident and a tax- 
payer within the new county, and no two of whom shall be from any 
one county; the three persons so appointed shall form and be a Board 
of Commissioners. Such Commissioners shall, within ten days after the 
notice of the appointment, meet at the county seat of the new county and 
organize by electing from their number a chairman, and also elect a 



146 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

secretary who must not be a member of said Commission. Thereafter 
such Commission may meet at such place or places as it may select. A 
majority of such Commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the trans- 
action of business. Said Commission shall have power to compel by 
citation or subpoena, signed by their pi-esident and secretary, the at- 
tendance of such persons and the production of such books and papers 
before said Commission as may be required in the performance of the 
duties imposed by this Act, except that the official i-ecords of any county 
or counties from which said new county was formed shall in no case be 
taken away from the county seat of said county. It shall be the duty of 
the sheriff of any county to execute in his county all lawful orders 
and citations of the said Commission; and for any services so performed 
the Sheriff shall be allowed the same fees as are allowed to him for 
services in civil actions; and all witnesses attending before said Com- 
mission shall be entitled to the same compensation and mileage as is 
allowed to witnesses in courts of record; provided, that no witness 
shall be excused from attendance at the time and place mentioned in 
said order or citation by reason of the failure of the officer making such 
service to tender to such witness his fees and mileage in advance. 

Section 4398. Said Board of Commissioners shall immediately after 
its organization ascertain the costs of the election held hereunder, and 
apportion the same pro rata among each of the counties from which 
territory was taken to form such new county *********. 

Section 4404. Whenever in this Act publication of any notice is pro- 
vided for, and no newspaper of general circulation is published within 
the territory in which said notice is required to be published, notice shall 
be given by posting copies of such notices in at least ten public places 
in such territories for the same length of time said notice was required 
to be published. ^ 

Section 4405. The territory within the limits of any new county, 
until otherwise provided by law, shall be entitled to representation in 
the State Senate by one State Senator; and to representation in the 
House of Representatives by one member of the House of Representa- 
tives. 

Section 4406. Any member of the Board of County Commissioners, 
or any other officer who unlawfully and knowingly violates any of the 
provisions of this Act, or fails or refuses to perform any duty imposed 
upon him hereunder, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and of malfeas- 
ance in office, and shall be deprived of his office by a decree of a court 
of competent jurisdiction, after trial and conviction. 

Section 4407. All Acts and parts of Acts in conflict herewith are 
hereby repealed, with the exception: This Act shall not apply in any cases 
whereby the election has been held under the Act passed by the Fifteenth 
Legislative Session for the creation of counties and a ma city vote has 
been cast in favor thereof, but the provisions of this Act shall be 
deemed in full force and effect so far as they may affect any proposed 
new county now in process of creation, unless said new county can 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 147 

comply with the requirements of this Act; and it is hereby made the 
duty of the Board of County Commissioners which may have ordered 
any election in pursuance of existing laws to immediately make an order 
annulling and setting aside all further proceedings in relation to such 
proposed new county, including an order to nullify and set aside any 
election oi'der theretofore made; provided, if any order is made nullifying 
and setting aside any election as provided in this section, any bond 
which may have been given in pursuance with the provisions of law 
relating to the costs of election for the creation of any proposed new 
county shall be deemed void, and no liability shall be incurred there- 
under. 

DUTIES OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS RELATIVE TO 

ELECTIONS 

Section 4465. The Board of County Commissioners has jurisdiction 
and power under such limitations and restrictions as are prescribed 
by law: 

3. To establish, abolish, and change election precincts, and to appoint 
judges of election, canvass all election returns, declare the result, and 
issue certificates thereof. 

Section 4515. The Board of County Commissioners must provide all 
poll -lists, poll-books, blank returns and certificates, proclamations of 
elections, and other appropriate and necessary appliances for holding 
all elections in the county, and allow reasonable charges therefor, and 
for the transmission and return of the same to the proper officers. 

Section 4516. Whenever, as canvassers, the Board of County Com- 
missioners declares the result of any election held in the county, cer- 
tificates must be by the clerk of the board issued to all persons elected 
to a county office or to a township or district office therein, and such 
other certificates must be made out and transmitted as required by the 
title relative to Elections. 

SEED GRAIN LAW — MANNER OF VOTING BONDS 

Section 4640. Whenever there has been a total or partial failure of 
crops by reason of drouth, hail, or other misfortune, in any county of 
the State, it shall be lawful for the Board of County Commissioners of 
such county, upon being petitioned so to do, to purchase seed-grain of 
such kinds as may be necessary and to furnish and supply such seed- 
grain to the inhabitants of such county who are engaged in the occupa- 
tion of farming, and who are financially unable to procure seed-grain, 
and who require such seed-grain in order to enable them to plant and 
sow crops at the next ensuing planting season. Such petition must be 
in writing and signed by not less than one hundred freeholders residing 
in such county, and must be filed with the County Clerk of such county; 
provided, however, that the signature need not be appended to one paper, 
but each signer shall add to his signature, his postoffice address and 
the number of his voting precinct, and all such papers when bound or 



148 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

fastened together and filed shall constitute and be considered as one 
petition. 

Section 4641. Upon the filing of such petition with the County 
Clerk, such officer must forthwith call a special meeting of the Board 
of County Commissioners of such county to consider such petition, and 
the date fixed for such meeting shall be not more than five days after 
the filing of such petition. Written notice of the calling of such special 
meeting shall be given each member of the board by the County Clerk 
by delivering such notices personally or by registered mail; provided, 
however, that if any one member shall fail to attend such meeting by 
reason of not receiving such notice, or for any other reason, the other 
two members of said board may hold such meeting; and provided fur- 
ther, that notice of such meeting may be dispensed with by the unani- 
mous consent of all of the members of such board, which consent must 
be entered on the minutes of such meeting. 

Section 4644. If the estimate of the Board of County Commissioners 
of the amount of indebtedness which the county will be required to 
incur in order to supply and furnish such seed-grain exceeds the sum 
of Ten Thousand Dollars, the board must forthwith call a special elec- 
tion for the purpose of submitting to the electors of such county the 
question of whether or not such county shall incur an indebtedness to 
the amount of such estimate, or if the amount of such estimate, together 
with the then existing indebtedness of such county, will exceed the 
constitutional limit of indebtedness, then in any amount less than the 
amount of such estimate, and which will not, together with the then 
existing indebtedness of such county, exceed the constitutional limit of 
indebtedness, for the purpose of furnishing and supplying seed-grain 
to the inhabitants of such county who are engaged in the occupation of 
farming, and who are financially unable to procure seed-grain for 
planting and sowing crops at the next ensuing planting season; pro- 
vided, however, that such election may be held at the same time as any 
other special election called for any purpose. 

Section 4645." Said special election shall be called for a day not less 
than fifteen days nor more than thirty days after the day on which the 
order is made by such board for the holding of such special election, 
and the board shall give notice of the calling of such election by issuing 
an election proclamation, which proclamation shall be published two 
successive times in the newspaper published in such county having the 
conti'act for publishing official notices of such county, if such newspaper 
be published weekly, but if it be published daily, then eight successive 
insertions thereof; and copies of such pi-oclamation shall be posted in 
three public places in each voting precinct in such county at least ten 
days before the day on which such election is to be held. Said proclama- 
tion shall clearly state the amount of indebtedness to be incurred, the 
purpose for which said indebtedness is to be incurred, the day on which 
such election is to be held, and the hours when the polls will be open, 
and no other notice shall be given of the calling or holding of such 
election. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 149 

Section 4646. Said election, except as herein othenvise provided, 
shall be held and conducted, and the returns thereof made and canvassed, 
in all respects in the manner prescribed by law in regard to the sub- 
mission of questions to the electors of the county under the general 
election law. 

Section 4647. None of the provisions of Sections 566 and 567 of 
this Code shall apply to said election, but the County Clerk shall close 
registration for such election at five o'clock p. m. on the eleventh day 
before the day on which said election is to be held, and all electors 
whose names shall appear on the registration books of such county at 
the time the same are closed for such election shall be entitled to vote 
at such special election; provided, however, that if any person whose 
name does not appear on the register of voters for the precinct in which 
such person resides shall request the judges of election for such precinct 
to permit him to vote at such election, such judges shall enter the name 
of such person upon the register of voters for such precinct upon such 
person taking the oath, answering the questions, and complying with 
such other provisions of Section 554 of this Code as are required for 
registration, and thereupon such person shall be permitted to vote at 
such election. The judges of election for each election precinct are 
hereby designated and appointed Deputy Registrars, within their re- 
spective election precincts, for the purpose of carrying out the pro- 
visions of this section, and shall have all the powers and perform all of 
the duties of the Registrar authorized and required by Chapter one hun- 
dred twenty-two, Acts of the Fourteenth Legislative Assembly. The 
judges of election shall, at the same time and in the same manner the 
election retui-ns of such election are delivered or mailed to the County 
Clerk, deliver or mail to the County Clerk all affidavits and registry 
cards made and filed out before them at such election. The County Clerk 
shall provide such election judges with a suitable number of blank 
affidavits and registry cards for use in their respective precincts duiing 
such election. 

Section 4648. The ballots for such special election shall conform as 
near as possible with the ballots used at general elections, and shall 
have printed thereon in fair sized legible type and black ink, in one or 
more lines as required, the words, "For incuri-ing an indebtedness not 
exceeding the sum of (stating such sum), for the purpose of purchasing 
seed-grain to be furnished and supplied by the county to the inhabitants 
of the county who are engaged in the occupation of farming, and who 
are financially unable to procure such seed-grain and who require such 
seed-grain in order to enable them to plant and sow crops at the next 
ensuing planting season," and thereunder in one or more lines, as re- 
quired, the words "against incurring an indebtedness not exceeding the 
sum of (stating such sum), for the purpose of purchasing seed-grain 
to be furnished and supplied by the county to the inhabitants of the 
county who are engaged in the occupation of farming, and who are 
financially unable to procure such seed-grain and who require such 
seed-grain in order to enable them to plant and sow crops at the next 
ensuing planting season." And there shall be before the word "For" 



150 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

and before the word "Against," each, a square space of sufficient size 
to place a cross or X therein. 

Section 4676. This Act and all of its provisions shall be liberally 
construed so as to effectuate its purpose, and a failure to give any of 
the notices herein provided for, or to perform any of the acts herein 
required, within the exact time prescribed, shall not invalidate any elec- 
tion held hereunder, or any warrants or bonds issued; provided, there 
has been a substantial compliance with the provisions of this Act except 
as to time. 

BONDS TO COVER DROUGHT RELIEF 

Section 4680. To enable the several counties of the State of Montana 
to provide relief for their inhabitants, who by reason of misfortune 
are entitled to the aid of society, the Boards of County Commissioners 
of all counties in this state, upon petition as hereinafter provided for, 
are hereby authorized to purchase and provide seed-grain, feed, pro- 
visions, and other necessary supplies, and to furnish the same to the 
inhabitants of their several counties who, by reason of drouth, hail, 
or other unfavorable climatic conditions, have been rendered financially 
unable to procure the same. 

Section 4681. Petitions for such relief must be in writing and signed 
by not less than one hundred freeholders residing in a county, and must 
be filed with the County Clerk of such county; provided, however, that 
the signatures need not be appended to one paper, but each signer shall 
add to his signature his postoffice address and the number of his 
voting precinct, and all such papers when bound or fastened together 
and filed shall constitute and be considered as one petition. 

Section 4682. Upon the filing of such petition with the County Clerk, 
such officer must forthwith call a special meeting of the Board of 
County Commissioners of such county to consider such petition, and the 
date fixed for such meeting shall be not more than five days after the 
filing of such petition. Written notice of the calling of such special 
meeting shall be given each member of the board by the County Clerk, 
by delivering such notices personally or by registered mail; provided, 
however, that if any one member shall fail to attend such meeting by 
reason of not receiving such notice, or for any other reason, the other 
two members of said board may hold such meeting; and provided, fur- 
ther, that notice of such meeting may be dispensed with by the unani- 
mous consent of all of the members of such board, which consent must 
be entered on the minutes of such meeting. 

Section 4683. At such meeting the board shall examine such peti- 
tions and make or cause to be made such investigation as may be neces- 
sary for the board to ascertain and determine whether or not it is neces- 
sary that such county supply and furnish any of its inhabitants with 
seed grain, feed, provisions, or other supplies. If a majority of the board 
shall find and determine from such investigation that it is necessary 
for such county to do so, the board shall make an order granting such 
petition, and shall make an estimate of the quantity of seed-grain, feed. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 161 

provisions, or other supplies required for such purpose, and also of the 
amount of indebtedness the county will be required to incur in order to 
supply the same. The finding:s and determination of the board, together 
with its estimates, and the order granting the petition, shall be entered 
on the minutes of the board. 

Section 4684. If the said estimate of the amount of indebtedness 
required to be incurred does not exceed the sum of Ten Thousand Dol- 
lars, and, together with the then existing indebtedness of such county, 
does not exceed the constitutional limit of indebtedness, the Board of 
County Commissioners shall proceed to purchase the seed-grain, feed, 
provisions, or other supplies, and to furnish and supply the same in the 
manner hereinafter provided. Said relief shall be furnished to appli- 
cants therefor of the class specified in this Act, who are inhabitants 
of such county, and who have filed the application and statement here- 
inafter specified; provided, however, that such county shall not incur 
an indebtedness for such purpose in excess of Ten Thousand Dollars, 
except as hereinafter provided. 

Section 4685. If the estimate of the Board of County Commissioners 
of the amount of indebtedness which the county will be required to incur 
in order to supply and furnish the relief herein provided for exceeds 
the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars, the board must forthwith call a special 
election for the purpose of submitting to the electors of such county 
the question of whether or not such county shall incur an indebtedness 
to the amount of such estimate, or if the amount of such estimate, to- 
gether with the then existing indebtedness of such county, will exceed 
the constitutional limit of indebtedness, then in any amount less than 
the amount of such estimate, and which will not, together with the then 
existing indebtedness of such county, exceed the constitutional limit of 
indebtedness, for the purpose of furnishing and supplying the relief 
herein provided for to the inhabitants of such county, and who are finan- 
cially unable to procure the same; provided,however, that such election 
may be held at the same time as any other special election called for 
any purpose. 

Section 4686. Said special election shall be called for a day not less 
than fifteen days nor more than thirty days after the day on which the 
order is made by such board for the holding of such special election, 
and the board shall give notice of the calling of such election by issuing 
an election proclamation, which proclamation shall be published two 
successive times in the newspaper published in such county having the 
contract for publishing official notices of such county, if such news- 
paper be published weekly, but if it be published daily, then eight suc- 
cessive insertions thereof, and copies of such proclamation shall be posted 
in three public places in each voting precinct in such county at least ten 
days before the day on which such election is to be held. Said procla- 
mation shall clearly state the amount of indebtedness to be incurred, 
the purpose for which said indebtedness is to be incurred, the day on 
which such election is to be held, and the hours when the polls will be 
open, and no other notice shall be given of the calling or holding of 
such election. 



152 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 4687. Said election, except as herein otherwise provided, shall 
be held and conducted, and the returns thereof made and canvassed in 
all respects in the manner prescribed by law in regard to the submission 
of questions to the electoi-s of a county under the general election law. 

Section 4688. None of the provisions of Sections 566 and 567 of this 
Code shall apply to said election, but the County Clerk shall close reg- 
istration for such election at five o'clock p. m. on the eleventh day before 
the day on which said election is to be held, and all electors whose 
names shall appear on the registration books of such county at the time the 
same are closed for such election shall be entitled to vote at such special 
election; provided, however, that if any person whose name does not 
appear on the register of voters for the precinct in which such person 
resides, shall request the judges of election for such precinct to permit 
him to vote at such election, such judges shall enter the name of such 
person upon the register of voters for such precinct upon such person 
taking the oath, answering the questions, and complying with such other 
provisions of Section 554 of this Code as are required for registration, 
and thereupon such person shall be permitted to vote at such election. 
The judges of election for each election precinct are hereby designated 
and appointed Deputy Registrars, within their respective election pre- 
cincts, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section, 
and shall have all the powers and perform all of the duties of the Reg- 
istrar authorized and required by Chapter One hundred twenty-two, 
Acts of the Fourteenth Legislative Assembly. The judges of election 
shall, at the same time and in the same manner the election returns of 
such election are delivered or mailed to the County Clerk, deliver or mail 
to the County Clerk all affidavits and registry cards made and filled 
out before them at such election. The County Clerk shall provide such 
election judges with a suitable number of blank affidavits and registry 
cards for use in their respective precincts during such election. 

Section 4689. The ballots for such special election shall confoi'm as 
near as possible with the ballots used at general elections, and shall 
have printed thereon in fair sized legible type and black ink, in one or 
more lines as required, the words "For incurring an indebtedness not 
exceeding the sum of (stating the amount) for the purpose of purchas- 
ing seed-grain, feed, provisions, and other necessary supplies to be fur- 
nished and supplied by the county to its inhabitants who are financially 
unable to procure the same, and who have been reduced to such condition 
by reason of drouth, hail, or other unfavorable climatic conditions." 
And thei'eunder, in one or more lines as required, the words "Against 
incurring an indebtedness not exceeding the sum of (stating the amount) 
for the purpose of purchasing seed-grain, feed, provisions, and other 
necessary supplies to be furnished and supplied by the county to its 
inhabitants who are financially unable to procure the same, and who 
have been reduced to such condition by reason of drouth, hail, or other 
unfavorable climatic conditions." There shall be placed before the word 
"for" and before the word "against," each, a square space of sufficient 
size to place a cross or "X" therein. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 153 

Section 4690. If a majority of the votes cast at such special election 
are in favor of such indebtedness being incurred, then the Board of 
County Commissioners shall proceed to purchase and procure the seed- 
grain, feed, provisions, or other supplies, and to furnish and supply the 
same in the manner hereinafter provided to applicants therefor who are 
inhabitants of the county, who are in need of such relief, who have made 
application therefor as hereinafter provided, who are financially urable 
to procure such relief, and who have been reduced to such condition by 
reason of drouth, hail, or other unfavorable climatic conditions; provided, 
however, that no indebtedness shall be incurred for such purpose in 
excess of the amount authorized by such special election. 

Section 4710. This Act, and all of its provisions, shall be liberally 
construed so as to effectuate its purpose, and a failure to give any of 
the notices herein provided for, or to perform any of the acts herein 
required within the exact time prescribed, shall not invalidate any elec- 
tion held hereunder, or any warrants or bonds issued, provided there 
has been a substantial compliance with the provisions of this Act except 
as to time. 

BOND ISSUE AND TAX LEVY FOR BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION 

Section 4713. The Board of County Commissioners may, in their dis- 
cretion, for the purpose of constructing roads and bridges, make an 
increased levy upon the taxable property of the county of ten mills or 
less; provided, that -such proportion of the funds derived under the pro- 
visions of this Act as are expended on State and main highways shall 
be expended under plans approved by the State Highway Commission. 

Section 4714. Before such increased levy shall be made, the question 
shall be submitted to a vote of the people at some general or special 
election, and shall be submitted in the following form, inserting the num- 
ber of mills proposed to be levied: 

"Shall there be an increased levy of mills upon the taxable 

property of the County of , State of Montana, for 

the purpose of constructing roads and bridges ? 

□ Yes. 

□ No." 

Section 4715. A majority of the votes cast shall be necessary to 
adopt such measure. 

Section 4716. Such levy shall be collected in the same manner as 
other road taxes are collected. 



154 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

CHAPTER 188— LAWS 1931 

Section 7. PETITION AND ELECTION REQUIRED FOR BONDS 
ISSUED FOR OTHER PURPOSES. County bonds for any other pur- 
pose than those enumerated in Section 6 of this Act shall not be issued 
unless authorized at a duly called special or general election at which 
the question of issuing such bonds was submitted to the qualified elec- 
tors of the county and approved as provided in Section 13 of this Act; 
and no such bond election shall be called unless there has been pre- 
sented to the Board of County Commissioners a petition, asking that 
such election be held and such question be submitted, signed by not 
less than twenty per centum (20%) of the qualified electors of the 
county, who are taxpayers upon property within the county and whose 
names appear on the last completed assessment roll for state and 
county taxes. 

Section 8. FORM, CONTENTS AND PROOF OF PETITION. Every 
petition for the calling of an election to vote upon the question of 
issuing county bonds shall plainly and clearly state the purpose or pur- 
poses for which the proposed bonds are to be issued, and shall contain an 
estimate of the amount necessary to be issued for such purpose or pur- 
poses. There may be a separate petition for each purpose, or two (2) 
or more purposes may be combined in one (1) petition if each purpose, 
with an estimate of the amount of bonds necessary to be issued therefor, 
is separately stated in such petition. Such petition may consist of one 
(1) sheet, or of several sheets identical in form arid fastened together 
after being circulated and signed so as to form a single complete peti- 
tion before being delivered to the County Clerk as hereinafter provided. 
The petition shall give the postoffice address and voting precinct of 
each person signing the same. 

Only persons who are qualified to sign such petition shall be quali- 
fied to circulate the same, and there shall be attached to the completed 
petition the affidavit of some person who circulated, or assisted in circu- 
lating such petition, that he believes the signatures thereon are genuine 
and that the signers knew the contents thereof before signing the same. 
The completed petition shall be filed with the County Clerk who shall, 
within fifteen (15) days thereafter, carefully examine the same and the 
county records showing the qualifications of the petitioners, and attach 
thereto a certificate under his official signature and the seal of his of- 
fice, which certificate shall set forth: 

(1) The total number of persons who are registered electors and 
whose names appear upon the last completed assessment roll for state 
and county taxes. 

(2) Which and how many of the persons whose names are subscribed 
to such petition are possessed of all of the qualifications required of 
signers to such petition. 

(3) Whether such qualified signers constitute more or less than 
twenty per centum (209r) of the registered electors whose names appear 
upon the last completed assessment roll for state and county taxes. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 165 

Section 9. CONSIDERATION OF PETITION— CALLING ELEC- 
TION. When such petition has been filed with the County Clerk and he 
has found that it has a sufficient number of signers, qualified to sign 
the same, he shall place the same before the Board of County Commis- 
sioners at its first meeting held after he has attached his certificate 
thereto. The boai-d shall thereupon carefully examine the petition and 
make such other investigation as it may deem necessary. 

If it is found that the petition is in proper form, bears the requisite 
number of signers of qualified petitioners, and is in all other respects 
sufficient, the board shall pass and adopt a resolution which shall recite 
the essential facts in regard to the petition and its filing and presenta- 
tion, the purpose, or purposes, for which the bonds are proposed to be 
issued, and fix the exact amount of bonds proposed to be issued for each 
purpose, which amount may be less than but must not exceed the amount 
set forth in the petition, determine the number of years through which 
such bonds are to be paid, not exceeding the limitations fixed in Section 
4 hereof, and making provision for having such question submitted to 
the qualified electors of the county at the next general election, or at 
a special election which the board may call for such purpose. 

Section 10. NOTICE OF ELECTION— ELECTION HOURS— ELEC- 
TION OFFICERS. Whether such election is held at the general election, 
or at a special election, separate notice shall be given thereof. Such 
notice shall state the date when such election will be held, the hours be- 
tween which the polls will be open, the amount of bonds proposed to be 
issued, the purpose of the issue, the tei-m of years through which the 
bonds are to be paid, and such other information regarding the holding 
of the election and the bonds proposed to be issued as the board may 
deem proper. If bonds are to be issued for two (2) or more purposes, 
each purpose and the amount therefor must be separately stated. Such 
notice shall be posted in each voting precinct throughout the county in 
the same manner as notices for a general election are required to be 
posted. Such notice must also be published once each week for four (4) 
consecutive weeks preceding the election in the official newspaper of 
the county. 

If the question of issuing bonds is submitted at a special election 
called for such purpose the Board of County Commissioners shall fix 
the hours through which the polls are to be kept open, which shall be 
not less than eight (8), and which must be stated in the notice of elec- 
tion, and may appoint a smaller number of election judges than is re- 
quired for a general election, but in no case shall there be less than 
three (3) judges in the precinct, and such judges shall act as their own 
clerks. 

If the question of issuing bonds is submitted at a general election, 
the polls shall be kept open during the same hours as are fixed for such 
general election and the judges and clerks for such general election 
shall act as the judges and clerks for such bond election. 

Section 11. FORM OF BALLOTS AND CONDUCT OF ELECTION. 
The form of ballots shall be as prescribed by Section 4722 of the Revised 



156 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Codes of Montana of 1921; but if bonds are sought to be issued for two 
(2) or more separate purposes, then separate ballots must be provided 
for each pui-pose. The election shall be conducted in the manner pre- 
scribed by said Section 4722 of the 1921 Codes, and the general election 
laws of the State shall govern insofar as they are applicable; but if such 
question be Submitted at a general election the votes thereon must be 
counted separately and separate returns must be made by the judges 
and clerks at such election. , 

Section 12. WHO ARE ENTITLED TO VOTE. All qualified electors 
of the county, whose names appear upon the registration list of the 
county and upon the poll books of the precinct in which they seek to 
vote, shall be qualified to vote at all county bonding elections, and no 
property assessment or taxpaying qualification shall be required. 

Section 13. PERCENTAGE OF ELECTORS REQUIRED TO AU- 
THORIZE BOND ISSUE. Whenever the question of issuing county 
bonds for any purpose is submitted to the qualified electors of a county, 
at either a general or special election, not less than forty per centum 
(40%) of the qualified electors entitled to vote on such question must 
vote thereon, otherwise such proposition shall be deemed to have been 
rejected; provided, however, that if forty per centum (40%) or more 
of such qualified electors do vote on such question, at such election, and 
a majority of such votes shall be cast in favor of such proposition, then 
such proposition shall be deemed to have been approved and adopted. 

Section 14. CANVASS OF ELECTION RETURNS— RESOLUTION 
FOR BOND ISSUE. If the bonding election be held at the same time 
as a general election, then the returns shall be canvassed at the same 
time as the returns from such general election; but if the bonding elec- 
tion is a special election, then the Board of County Commissioners shall 
meet within ten (10) days after the date of holding such special election 
and canvass the returns. If it is found that at such election forty per 
centum (40%) or more, of the qualified electors entitled to vote at such 
election voted on such question, and that a majority of such votes were 
cast in favor of the issuing of such bonds, the Board of County Commis- 
sioners shall, at a regular or special meeting held within thirty (30) 
days thereafter, pass and adopt a resolution providing for the issuance 
of such bonds. Such resolution shall recite the purpose for which such 
bonds are to be issued, the amount thereof, the maximum rate of interest 
the bonds may. bear, the date they shall bear, the period of time through 
which they shall be payable, the optional provisions, if any; and provide 
for the manner of the execution of the same. It shall pi-ovide that prefer- 
ence shall be given amortization bonds but shall fix the denomination 
of serial bonds in case it shall be found advantageous to issue bonds in 
that form, and shall adopt a form of notice of the sale of the bonds. 

The board may, in its discretion, provide that such bonds may be 
issued and sold in two or more series or installments. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 167 

FLOATING INDEBTEDNESS OF COUNTIES— FUNDING OF THE 

SAME 

(Chapter 159, Laws of 19:51) 

Section i. * * * (a) * * * Funding: the same by issuing funding bonds 
and selling such bonds in the manner provided by law; provided, how- 
ever, that such bonds may be issued and sold without the Board of 
County Commissioners being required to submit the question of issuing 
such bonds at an election. * * * . 

QUESTION OF RAISING MONEY TO BE SUBMITTED TO A VOTE 

(Constitutional Provisions, Art. XIII, Sec. 5, Page 14) 

Section 4717. The Board of County Commissioners must not borrow 
money for any of the purposes mentioned in this title, or for any single 
purpose to an amount exceeding Ten Thousand Dollars without the ap- 
proval of a majority of the electors of the county, and without first 
having submitted the question of a loan to a vote of such electors; pro- 
vided, that it shall not be necessary to submit to the electors the ques- 
tion of borrowing money to refund outstanding bonds, or for the purpose 
of enabling any county to liquidate its indebtedness to another county 
incident to the creation of a new county or the change of any county 
boundary lines. 

Section 4718. Whenever it is necessary to submit to a vote of the 
electors of the county the question of making a loan, the board must 
first determine the amount necessary to be raised. 

Section 4719. Notice of the election, clearly stating the amount to 
be raised and the object of the loan, must be given, and the election held 
and conducted, and the returns made in all respects in the manner pre- 
scribed by law in regard to the submission of questions to the electors 
of a locality under the general election law. 

Section 4720. There must be written or printed on the ballots the 
words "For the loan" and "Against the loan," and in voting the elector 
must vote for the proposition he prefers by making an X opposite the 
proposition. 

Section 4721. If a majority of the votes cast are in favor of the loan, 
then the board may make the loan, issuing bonds, or otherwise, as may 
seem best for the interests of the county. 

Section 4722. Hereafter, whenever, in due course of law, in the man- 
ner and form required by law and according to the provisions and re- 
quirements of law, any question or proposition of or relating to bonded 
indebtedness, or of issuing bonds or of refunding, increasing, or creating 
a bonded indebtedness is submitted, ordered submitted or to be submit- 
ted, to the electors of any county, at a general or other election, when, 
at the same time candidates for national, state, or county office or 
offices are to be voted upon or for by the qualified electors of such 
county, such question or proposition relating to bonds or bonded indebt- 
edness shall not be placed or printed upon the official ballots furnished 



158 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

electors at such election for the purpose of voting for candidates for 
any office or offices, and containing the names of candidates for office 
or offices to be voted for at such election, but the County Commission- 
ers shall authorize, and the County Clerk shall have printed and fur- 
nished to election judges and officials in each voting precinct of such 
county, separate ballots therefor, equal in number to the official ballots 
so furnished, and containing the names of such candidates for office. 
Said separate ballots shall be white in color and of convenient size, being 
only large enough to contain the printing herein required to be done 
and placed thereon, and shall have printed thereon in fair-sized, legible 
type and black ink, in one line or more, as required, the words "For" 
said bonding proposition (stating it and the terms thereof explicitly and 
at length), and thereunder the words "Against" said bonding proposi- 
tion (stating it and the terms thereof explicitly and at length in like 
manner as above) ; and there shall be before the word "For" and before 
the word "Against," each, a square space of sufficient size to place a 
plain cross or X therein, and such arrangement shall be in this manner: 

Q For (stating propositions.) 

f~| Against (stating propositions.) 
Such separate ballots shall be kept, stamped, given out, received, 
counted, retuiTied, and disposed of by election judges in like manner as 
other official ballots herein referred to. Each qualified elector offering 
to vote and permitted to vote shall, at the time he is offered by the 
election judges an official ballot bearing the names of candidates for 
office, be handed one of the separate ballots above described, and he 
may then and there, in a booth as provided by law and not otherwise, 
vote on such separate ballot for or against said proposition by placing 
a cross or X before the word "For" or the word "Against," in the vacant 
square provided therefor; and such separate ballot shall be returned to 
the election judges by the voter, with said other official ballot if the 
voter chooses to vote for candidates for office and is entitled to do so. 
The election judges shall deposit said separate ballot on the bonding 
proposition, separate from the voter's other official ballot, in the ballot 
box. 

GOVERNMENT OF COUNTIES 

(Constitutional Provisions, Art. XVI, Sec. 4-6. See Page 14) 

Section 4723. No person is eligible to a county office who at the 
time of his election is not of the age of twenty-one years, a citizen of the 
state, and an elector of the county in which the duties of the office are 
to be exercised, or for which he is elected. 

Section 4724. No person is eligible to a district or township office 
who is not of the age of twentyone years, a citizen of the state and an 
elector of the district or township in which the duties of the office are 
to be exercised, or for which he is elected. 

Section 4725. The officers of a county are: 

A Treasurer; 

A County Clerk; 

A Clerk of the District Court; 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 159 

A Sheriff; 

A County Auditor, except in the sixth, seventh, and cifrhlh class 
counties; 

A County Attorney; 

A Surveyor; 

A Coroner; 

A Public Administrator; 

An Assessor; 

A County Superintendent of Common Schools; 

A Board of County Commissioners. 

Section 4726. The officers of townships are Two Justices of the 
Peace, two Constables, and such other inferior and subordinate officers 
as are provided for elsewhere in this Code, or by the Board of County 
Commissioners. 

Section 4728. All elective county and township officers, except County 
Commissioners, must b6 elected at the general election to be held in the 
year 1894, and at the general election to be held every second year 
thereafter, and must take office on the first Monday of January next 
succeeding their election, except County Treasurer, whose term begins 
on the first Monday of March next succeeding his election, and hold 
office for two years. 

Section 4729. The election and terms of office of County Commis- 
sioners are provided for in the constitution. 

Section 4730. The election and terms of office of District Judges and 
Justices of the Peace are provided for in the Code of Civil Procedure. 

MANAGERIAL FORM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT 

(Chapter 109— Laws of 1931) 
An Act Providing for the Adoption of the Managerial Form of Coun- 
ty Government. 

Section 1. Any county in the state is hereby authorized to adopt a 
county manager form of government as herein defined, and in accord- 
ance with the procedure herein specified. 

Section 2. (a) Upon a petition filed with the Board of County Com- 
missioners signed by not less than 20 per cent of the whole number of 
voters who voted at the last general election asking that a referendum 
be held on the question of adopting the county manager form of gov- 
ernment, it shall be the duty of the Board of County Commissioners to 
submit the question at the next regular election or call a special election 
for the purpose. If a special election is called it shall be held not more 
than sixty days nor less than thirty days from the filing of the petition, 
but not within thirty days of any general election. The question sub- 
mitted shall be worded: "Shall the county manager form of government 
be adopted in County?" 

(b) It shall be the duty of the Board of County Commissioners to 
publish a notice of the referendum in a daily paper twice a week for a 
period of three consecutive weeks, or in case there is no daily paper of 
wide circulation in the county, then in a weekly paper for four consecu- 
tive weeks. 



160 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

(c) If a majority of the votes cast on the question at the election 
shall be in favor of the county manager form of government it shall go 
into effect at a date designated in the petition or resolution. Provided: 
that no elected official then in office, whose position will no longer be 
filled by popular election, shall be retired prior to the expiration of his 
term of office. 

CLASSIFICATION AND ORGANIZATION OF CITIES AND TOWNS 

Section 4961. Whenever the inhabitants of any part of a county de- 
sire to be organized into a city or town, they may apply by petition in 
writing, signed by not less than fifty qualified electors, residents of the 
state, and residing within the limits of the proposed incorporation, to 
the Board of County Commissioners of the county in which the territory 
is situated, which petition must describe the limits of the proposed city 
or town, and of the several wards thereof, which must not exceed one 
square mile for each five hundred inhabitants resident therein. The 
petitioners must annex to the petition a map of the proposed territory 
to be incorporated, and state the name of the city or town. The petition 
and map must be filed in the office of the County Clerk. Upon filing 
the petition, the Board of County Commissioners, at its next regular or 
special meeting, must appoint some suitable person to take a census of 
the residents of the territory to be incorporated. After taking the cen- 
sus, the person appointed to take the same must return the list to the 
Board of County Commissioners, and the same must be filed by it in 
the County Clerk's office. No municipal corporation must be formed 
unless the number of inhabitants is three hundred or upwards. 

Section 4962. After filing the petition and census, if there be the 
requisite number of inhabitants for the formation of a municipal cor- 
poration, as required in the preceding section, the County Commissioners 
must call an election of all the qualified electors residing in the terri- 
tory, described in the petition. Said election must be held at a conven- 
ient place within the territory described in the petition, to be designated 
by the board, notice of which election must be given by publication in 
some newspaper published within the limits of the territory to be incor- 
porated, or, if none be published therein, by posting notice in three pub- 
lic places within said limits. The notice must be published thirty days 
prior to the election, and must specify the time and place when and 
where the same is held, and contain a description of the boundaries of 
the city or town. The board must appoint judges and clerks of election, 
who must qualify as required by law, and after the election they must 
report the result to the board, together with the ballots cast at said 
election. The ballots used at the election must be "For incorporation" 
or "Against incorporation," and all elections must be conducted as pro- 
vided in Sections 531 to 828 of this Code. 

Section 4963. When the incorporation of a city or town is completed, 
the Board of County Commissioners must give notice for thirty days 
in a newspaper published within the limits of the city or town, or if 
none be published therein, by posting notices in six public places within 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 161 

the limits of the corporation, of the time and place or places of holding 
the first election for offices of the corporation. At such election all the 
electors qualified by the general election laws of the state, and who have 
resided within the limits of the city or town for six months, and within 
the limits of the ward for thirty days preceding the election, are quali- 
fied electors and may choose officers for the city or town, to hold office 
as prescribed in the next succeeding section. 

Section 4964. At such election there must be elected, in a city of the 
first class, a Mayor, a Police Judge, a City Attorney, a City Treasurer, 
a City Marshall, and two Aldermen from each ward into which the city 
may be divided; in a city of the second class, a Mayor, a Police Judge, 
a City Treasurer, a City Marshal, and two Aldermen from each ward; 
in a town, a Mayor, and two Aldermen from each ward, who hold office 
until the first Monday of May after the first annual election, and until 
their successors are elected and qualified. The persons so elected must 
qualify in the manner prescribed by law for county officers. The Board 
of County Commissioners must appoint judges and clerks of election, and 
canvass and declare the result thereof. The election must be conducted 
in the manner required by law for the election of county officers. 

Section 4967. All officers of such city or town holding office at the 
time of the adoption of this Code remain in office until the next annual 
election and the first Monday of May next ensuing thereafter, and until 
their successors are elected and qualified. The duties and compensation 
of such officers and the liabilities of sureties on official bonds remain 
the same. All elections must be held under the provisions of this Code 
relative to the government of cities and towns. 

Section 4971. The first election of officers of the new municipal cor- 
poration organized under the provisions of this chapter must be at the 
first annual municipal election after such proceedings and the old offi- 
cers remain in office until the new officers are elected and qualified. 

Section 4979. When a city or town desix*es to be annexed to another 
and contiguous city or town, the council of each thereof must appoint 
three commissioners to arrange and report to the municipal authorities 
respectively, the terms and conditions on which the annexation can be 
made, and if the City or Town Council of the municipal corporation to 
be annexed approves of the terms thereof, it must by ordinance so de- 
clare, and thereupon submit the question of annexation to the electors 
of the respective cities or towns. If a majority of the electors vote in 
favor of annexation, the Council must so declare, and a certified copy 
of the proceedings for annexation and of the ordinances must be filed 
with the clerk of the county in which the cities or towns so annexed 
are situated, and when so filed the annexation is complete, and the city 
or town to which the annexation is made has power, in addition to other 
powers conferred by this title, to pass all necessary ordinances to carry 
into effect the terms of the annexation. Such annexations do not affect 
or impair any rights, obligations, or liabilities then existing, for or 
against either of such cities or towns. 



162 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

CITIES AND TOWNS— OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS 

Section 4995. The officers of a city of the first class consist of one 
Mayor, two Aldermen from each ward, one Police Judge, one City Treas- 
urer, who may be ex-officio Tax Collector, who must be elected by the 
qualified electors of the city as hereinafter provided. There may also 
be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, 
one City Attorney, one City Clerk, one Chief of Police, one Assessor, 
one Street Commissioner, one City Jailer, one City Surveyor, and when- 
ever a paid fire department is established in such city, a Chief Engineer 
and one or more assistant engineers, and any other officers necessary 
to carry out the provisions of this title. The City Council may, by ordi- 
nance, prescribe the duties of all city officers and fix their compensa- 
tion, subject to the limitations contained in this title. 

Section 4996. The officers of a city of the second and third classes 
consist of one Mayor, two Aldermen from each ward, one Police Judge, 
one City Treasurer, who may be ex-officio Tax Collector, who must be 
elected by the qualified electors of the city as hereinafter provided. 
There may also be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent 
of the Council, one City Clerk, who is ex-officio City Assessor, one 
Chief of Police, one City Attorney, and any other officer necessary to 
carry out the provisions of this title. The City Council may prescribe 
the duties of all city officers, and fix their compensation, subject to the 
limitations contained in this title. 

Section 4997. The officers of a town consist of one Mayor and two 
Aldermen from each ward, who must be elected by the qualified electors 
of the town as hereinafter provided. There may be appointed by the 
Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, one Clerk, who may 
be ex-officio Assessor and a member of the Council, and one Treasurer, 
who may be ex-officio Tax Collector, and one Marshal, who may be ex- 
officio Street Commissioner, and any other officers necessary to carry 
out the provisions of this title. The Town Council may prescribe the 
duties of all toMTi officers, and fix their compensation, subject to the 
limitations contained in this title. 

Section 5001. The first City or Town Council elected under the pro- 
visions of this title must divide the city or town into wards for election 
and other purposes, having regard to population so as to make them as 
nearly equal as possible. 

Section 5002. Cities of the first class must be divided into not less 
than four nor more than ten wards; cities of the second class into not 
less than three nor more than six; and cities of the thii'd class into not 
less than two nor more than four wards; and towns into not less than 
two nor more than thi-ee wards. All changes in the number and bound- 
aries of wards must be made by ordinance, and no new ward must be 
created unless there shall be within its boundaries one hundred and fifty 
electors, or more. 

Section 5003. On the first Monday of April of each year a municipal 
election must be held, at which the qualified electors of each town or 
city must elect a Mayor, and one Alderman from each ward, to be voted 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 163 

for by the wards they respectively represent; the Mayor to hold office 
for two years, and until the qualification of his successor; and each 
Alderman so elected to hold office for a term of two years, and until the 
qualification of his successor; and also in cities of the first, second, 
and third class, a Police Judge and a City Treasurer, who hold office for 
a term of two years, and until the qualification of their successors. 

Section 5004. No person shall be eligible to the office of Mayor un- 
less he shall be at least twenty-five years old and a taxpaying free- 
holder within the limits of the city, and a resident of the state for at 
least three years, and a resident of the city for which he may be elected 
Mayor two years next preceding his election to said office, and shall 
reside in the city or town for which he shall be elected Mayor during 
his term of office. 

Section 5005. At the first annual election held after the organiza- 
tion of a city or town under this title, the electors of such city or town 
must elect two Aldermen from each ward, who must, at the first meet- 
ing of the Council, decide by lot their terms of office, one from each 
ward to hold for a term of two years, and one for the term of one year, 
and until the qualification of their successors. 

Section 5006. The terms of all officers elected at a municipal election 
are to commence on the first Monday in May after such election. 

Section 5007. No person is eligible to any municipal office, elective 
or appointive, who is not a citizen of the United States, and who has 
not resided in the town or city for at least two years immediately pre- 
ceding his election or appointment, and is not a qualified elector thereof. 

Section 5008. No person shall be eligible to the office of Alderman 
unless he shall be a taxpaying freeholder within the limits of a city, 
and a resident of the ward so electing him for at least one year preced- 
ing such election. 

Section 5009. The Council must provide by ordinance for the regis- 
tration of electors in any city or town, and may prohibit any person 
from voting at any election unless he has been registered; but such ordi- 
nance must not be in conflict with the general law providing for the 
registration of electors, and must not change the qualifications of elec- 
tors except as in this title provided. 

Section 5010. All qualified electors of the state who have resided in 
the city or town for six months and in the ward for thirty days next 
preceding the election are entitled to vote at any municipal election. 

Section 5011. The Council must appoint judges and clerks of elec- 
tion, and places of voting. There must be at least one place of voting 
in each ward, and there may be as many more as the Council by ordi- 
nance shall fix, and the elector must vote in the ward in which he re- 
sides. The election precincts in a city or town must correspond with 
wards, but a ward may be subdivided into several voting precincts, and 
when so divided the elector shall vote in the precinct in which he resides, 
and all elections must be conducted according to the general laws of the 
state. In all cities where voting-machines are used, the City Council 



164 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

must subdivide the wards into such number of voting precincts that 
there will be no more than six hundred votes in each precinct. 

Section 5012. On the Monday following any election, the Council 
must convene and publicly canvass the result, and issue certificates of 
election to each person elected by a plurality of votes. When two or 
more persons have received an equal and highest number of votes for 
any one of the offices voted for, the Council must thereafter, at its first 
regular meeting, decide by vote between the parties which elected. If 
the Council from any cause fails to meet on the day named, the Mayor 
must call a special meeting of the Council within five days thereafter, 
and, in addition to the notice provided for calling special meetings, must 
publish the same on two successive days in some newspaper published 
in such city or town. If the Mayor fails to call said meeting within said 
five days, any three Councilmen may call it. At such special meeting all 
elections, appointments, or other business may be transacted that could 
have been on the day first herein named. 

Section 5013. Each officer of a city or town must take the oath of 
office, and such as may be required to give bonds, file the same, duly 
approved, within ten days after receiving notice of his election or ap- 
pointment; or, if no notice be received, then on or before the date fixed 
for the assumption by him of the duties of the office to which he may 
have been elected or appointed; but if any one, either elected or ap- 
pointed to office, fails for ten days to qualify as required by law, or enter 
upon his duties at the time fixed by law, then such office becomes vacant; 
or if any officer absents himself from the city or town continuously for 
ten days without the consent of the Council, or openly neglects or re- 
fuses to discharge his duties, such office may be by the Council declared 
vacant; or if any officer removes from the city or town, or any Alderman 
from his ward, such office must be by the Council declared vacant. 

Section 5014. The officers elected enter upon their duties the first 
Monday of May succeeding their election, and officers appointed by the 
Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, within ten days after 
receiving notice of their appointment. 

Section 5015. When any vacancy occurs in any elective office, the 
Council, by a majority vote of the members, may fill the same for the 
unexpired term and until the qualification of the successor. A vacancy 
in the office of Alderman must be filled from the ward in which the 
vacancy exists, but if the Council shall fail to fill such vacancy before 
the time for the next election, the qualified electors of such city or 
ward may nominate and elect a successor to such office. The Council, 
upon written charges to be entered upon their journal, after notice to 
the party and after trial by the Council, by vote of two-thirds of all the 
members elect, may remove any officer. 

FREE PUBLIC LIBRARIES 

Section 5049. The Council has power to establish and maintain a 
free public library, and for that purpose may provide by ordinance for 
a tax as follows: In a city or town having assessed valuation of seven 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 163 

hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more, a tax not exceeding two 
and one-half mills on the dollar on the property may be levied. In a city 
or town having an assessed valuation of less than seven hundred fifty 
thousand dollars, a tax not exceeding three mills on the dollar on the 
property may be levied. The tax so levied and collected constitutes a 
fund known as the "library fund," and must be expended only for the 
purchase of books and other things necessary for a library, and the sup- 
port and maintenance thereof; provided, that no increase over the pres- 
ent authorized levy shall be made until the question of such increase 
has first been submitted to a vote of the taxpayers affected thei'eby. 
As amended by Chapter 32, Laws of 1931. 

Section 5050. Before any such ordinance is passed the Council must 
submit to the qualified electors of the city or town at an election the 
question. At such election the ballot must have printed or written there- 
on the words, "Public Library — Yes," "Public Library — No," and in 
voting the elector must make a cross thus, "X," opposite the answer for 
which he intends to vote. 

Section 5051. If the majority of the votes cast at such election is in 
favor of the establishment of a public library, then such library must 
be establish as above provided. Such question may be submitted at the 
annual or at any special election held in such city or town, and must 
be submitted at any such election on the petition of one hundred or more 
inhabitants of such city or town. 

INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM IN CITIES AND TOWNS 

Section 5058. Ordinances may be proposed by the legal voters of any 
city or town in this state, in the manner provided in this Act. Eight 
per cent, of the legal voters of any city or town may propose to the City 
or Town Council an ordinance on the subject within the legislative juris- 
diction and powers of such City or Town Council, or an ordinance amend- 
ing or repealing any prior ordinance or ordinances. Such petition shall 
be filed with the City or Town Clerk. It shall be the duty of the City 
or Town Clerk to present the same to the Council at its first meeting 
next following the filing of the petition. The Council may, within sixty 
days after the presentation of the petition to the Council, pass an ordi- 
nance similar to that proposed in the petition, either in exact terms or 
with such changes, amendments, or modifications as the Council may 
decide upon. If the ordinance proposed by the petition be passed without 
change, it shall not be submitted to the people, unless a petition for 
referendum demanding such submission shall be filed under the provis- 
ions of this Act. If the Council shall have made any change in the pro- 
posed ordinance, a suit may be brought in the district court in and for 
the county in which the city or town is situated, to determine whether 
or not the change is material. Such suit may be brought in the name of 
any one or more of the petitioners. 

The city shall be made the party defendant. Any elector of the city 
or town may appear in such suit in person or by counsel on the hearing 
thereof, but the court shall have the power to limit the number of counsel 



166 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

who shall be heard on either side, and the time to be allowed for argu- 
ment. It shall only be necessary to state in the complaint that a petition 
for an ordinance was filed in pursuance of this Act; that the City Coun- 
cil passed an ordinance on the subject different from that proposed in 
the petition; and that the plaintiff desires a construction of the ordi- 
nance so passed to determine whether or not it differ materially from 
that proposed. The petition and the ordinance proposed thereby, and 
the ordinance actually passed, may be set out in the complaint, or copies 
thereof annexed to the complaint. The names to the petition need not 
be set out. Such cases shall be advanced and brought to hearing as 
speedily as possible, and have precedence over other cases, except crim- 
inal and taxation cases. The court shall have jurisdiction in such cases to 
determine whether or not the change made by the City Council is material, 
and also whether the petition was regular in form or substance, and shall 
also have power to decide, if the fact be put in issue by the defendant, 
whether or not the petition was signed by a sufficient number of voters 
and was regular in form. If the court shall decide that the change was 
material and that the petition was regular in form and signed by a suf- 
ficient number of legal voters, then the ordinance proposed by the peti- 
tion shall be submitted to the people as provided in this Act. If the court 
shall decide that the ordinance passed by the Council was not materially 
different from that proposed in the petition, or the petition was not 
regular in form, or not signed by a sufficient number of legal voters, 
the ordinance shall not be submitted to the people. If the court shall 
decide that the changes made by the Council were material, but that 
the petition was irregular for some reason, or not properly or suffi- 
ciently signed, a new petition, regular in form may be presented by the 
required number of legal voters, asking the Council to submit such ordi- 
nance to the people, and thereupon the same shall be so submitted as 
provided in this Act. If the Council shall not, within sixty days, pass ah 
ordinance on the subject of the ordinance proposed in the petition, then 
the ordinance proposed by the petition shall be submitted to the people. 
Before submitting such ordinance to the people, the Mayor or City or 
Town Council may direct that a suit be brought in the district cornet in 
and for the county, in the name of the city or town, to determine 
whether the petition and ordinance are regular in form, and whether 
the ordinance so proposed would be valid and constitutional. The com- 
plaint shall name as defendants not less than ten nor more than twenty 
of the petitioners. In addition to the names of such defendants, in the 
caption of the complaint, there shall be added the words, "and all peti- 
tioners whose names appear on the petition for an ordinance filed on 

the day of , in the year ," 

stating the date of the filing. The summons shall be similarly directed 
and shall be served on the defendants named therein, and in addition 
thereto shall be published at least once, at the expense of the city, in at 
"least one newspaper published in the city or town. In all suits brought 
under this section the decision of the district court shall be final except 
in cases where it shall decide that the proposed ordinance would be un- 
constitutional or invalid as being beyond the powers of the City or Town 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 167 

Council, and in such excepted cases the petioners, or any of them, may 
appeal to the Supreme Court as in other cases, but shall not be required 
to give any bond for costs. The decision of the district court holding 
such ordinance valid or constitutional shall not, however, prevent the 
question being raised subsequently, if the ordinance shall be passed and 
go into effect, by any one affected by the ordinance. No costs shall be 
allowed to either side in suits or appeals under this section. 

Section 5059. Any ordinance proposed by petition as aforesaid, which 
shall be entitled to be submitted to the people, shall be voted on at the 
next regular election to be held in the city or town, unless the petition 
therefor shall ask that the same be submitted at a special election and 
such petition be signed by not less than fifteen per cent, of the electors 
qualified to vote at the last preceding municipal election. 

Section 5060. No ordinance or resolution passed by the Council of 
any city or town shall become effective until thirty days after its pass- 
age, except general appropriation ordinances providing for the ordinary 
and current expenses of the city or town, excepting also emergency 
measures, and in the case of emergency measures the emergency 
must be expressed in the preamble or in the body of the measure, and 
the measure must receive a two-thirds vote of all the members elected. 

In emergency oi'dinances the resolutions shall include only such meas- 
ures as are immediately necessary for the preservation of peace, health, 
and safety, and shall not include a franchise or license to a corporation 
or individual, nor any provisions for the sale of real estate, nor any 
lease or letting of any property for a period exceeding one year, nor the 
purchase or sale of personal property exceeding five thousand dollars 
in value. 

Section 5061. During the thirty days following the passage of any 
ordinance or resolution, five per cent, of the qualified electors of the 
city or town may, by petition addressed to the Council and filed with 
the clerk of the city or town, demand that such ordinance or resolution, 
or any part or parts thereof, shall be submitted to the electors of the 
city or town. 

Section 5062. Any measure on which a referendum is demanded under 
the provisions of this Act shall be submitted to the electors of the city or 
town at the next municipal election; provided, the petition or petitions 
shall have been filed with the City Clerk at least thirty days before 
such election. If such petition or petitions be signed by not less than 
fifteen per cent, of the qualified electors of the city or town, the meas- 
ures shall be submitted at a special election to be held for the purpose. 

Section 5063. The City or Town Council may in any case order a 
special election on a measure proposed by the initiative, or when a 
referendum is demanded, or upon any ordinance passed by the City or 
Town Council, and may likewise submit to the electors, at a general 
election any ordinance passed by the City of Town Council. 

Section 5064. Whenever a measure is ready for submission to the 



168 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

electors, the clerk of the city or town shall, in writing, notify the Mayor 
thereof, who, forthwith, shall issue a proclamation setting forth the 
measure and the date of the election or vote to be had thereon. Said 
proclamation shall be published four days in four consecutive weeks in 
each daily paper in the municipality, if there be such, otherwise in the 
weekly newspapers published in the city or town. In case there is no 
weekly newspaper published, the proclamation and the measure shall 
be posted conspicuously throughout the city or town. 

Section 5065. The question to be balloted upon by the electors shall 
be printed on the initiative or referendum ballot, and the form shall be 
that prescribed by law for questions submitted at state elections. The 
referendum or initiative ballots shall be counted, canvassed, and returned 
by the regular board of judges, clerks and officers, as votes for candi- 
dates for office are counted, canvassed, and returned. The returns for 
the question submitted by the voters of the municipality shall be on 
separate sheets, and returned to the clerk of the municipality. The re- 
turn shall be canvassed in the same manner as the returns of regular 
elections for municipal officers. The Mayor of the municipality shall 
issue his proclamation, as soon as the result of the final canvass is 
known, giving the whole number of votes cast in the municipality for and 
against such measure, and it shall be published in like manner as other 
proclamations herein provided for. A measure accepted by the electors 
shall take effect five days after the vote is officially announced. 

Section 5066. The qualifications for voting on questions submitted to 
the electors, under the provisions hereof, shall be the same as those 
required for voting at municipal elections in the city or town at elections 
for Mayor or Aldermen thereof. And where, by the laws of the state, 
or by ordinance of the city or town made in pursuance thereof, electors 
are required to register in order to be qualified to vote at municipal 
elections, the registration book or books shall be prima facie evidence 
of the right to sign any petition herein provided for. 

Section 5067. The form of petitions and the proceedings under this 
Act shall conform as nearly as possible, with the necessary changes as 
to details, to the provisions of the laws of the state relating to the initi- 
ative and referendum, and be regulated by such laws, except as other- 
wise provided in this Act. The City Clerk shall perform the duties 
which, under the state laws, devolve upon the County Clerk and Secre- 
tary of State, insofar as the provisions relating thereto may be made to 
apply to the case of the City or Town Clerk; but it shall not be neces- 
sary to mail or distribute copies of the petitions or measures to the elec- 
tors of the city or town. 

Section 5068. The provisions of this Act regarding the referendum 
shall not apply to ordinances which are required by any other law of the 
state to be submitted to the voters or the electors or taxpayers of any 
city or town. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 169 

MUNICIPAL CONTRACTS AND FRANCHISES 

Section 5074. The Council must not grant a franchise or special 
privilege to any person save and except in the manner specified in the 
next section. The powers of the Council are those only expressly pre- 
scribed by law and those necessarily incident thereto. 

Section 5075. No franchise for any purpose whatsoever shall be 
granted by any city or town, or by the Mayor or City Council thereof, to 
any person or persons, association, or corporation, without first sub- 
mitting the application therefor to the resident freeholders whose names 
shall appear on the city or county tax-roll preceding such election. 

Section 5076. A notice of such election must be published at least in 
one daily newspaper, if there be one published in the city or town, and 
if not, in some weekly newspaper of general circulation, at least once a 
week for three successive weeks, and such notice must be posted in three 
public places in the city or town. The notice must state the time and 
place of holding the election, and the character of any such franchise 
applied for, and the valuable consideration, if any there be, to be derived 
by the city. At such election the ballots must contain the words, "For 
granting franchise," "Against granting franchise," and in voting, the 
elector must make a cross thus, "X," opposite the answer he intends to 
vote for. Such election must be conducted and canvassed and the return 
made in the same manner as other city or town elections. 

Section 5077. If the majority of votes cast at the election be "For 
granting franchise," the Mayor and City Council must thereupon grant 
the same by the passage and approval of a proper ordinance. 

BONDING FIRE DISTRICTS IN UNINCORPORATED TOWNS 

"Section 5149. Whenever the Board of County Commissioners shall 
have established a fire district in any unincorporated town or village, 
said Board of County Commissioners shall be and is hereby constituted 
ex-officio a Board of Directors of such fire district. The Board of Direc- 
tors of any duly established fire district in unincorporated towns or 
villages within this state shall, whenever a majority of the directors so 
decide, submit to the electors of the district the question of whether 
the board shall be authorized to issue bonds to a certain amount, not 
to exceed three per cent, of the percentum of the assessed value of the 
taxable property in such district, and bearing a rate of interest not 
exceeding six per cent, for the purpose of purchasing fire equipment, 
necessary lands, erecting buildings for fire purposes, acquiring a water 
supply, purchasing or otherwise acquiring or constructing a water sys- 
tem and establishing pipe lines. No such bonds shall be issued unless 
a majority of all the votes cast at any such election shall be cast in 
favor of such issue. Such bonds may be either amortization or serial 
bonds, but shall not extend over a longer term than ten years." As 
amended by Chapter 130, Laws of 1925. 

"Section 5150. The time fixed for holding such election must be at 
least thirty days after the date of the order calling such election. Notice 



170 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

of such election must be given by the Board of Directors by posting 
notices thereof, at least ten days before the day of election, in three 
public places within such district, one of which must be at the polling 
place. The Board of Directors must designate a polling place within 
such district and name three persons residing therein, and who are quali- 
fied to vote at such election, as judges and clerks of such election, and 
a copy of the order fixing the day of election must be delivered to the 
County Clerk and Recorder of the county in which such district is 
located immediately after the same is made. Upon receipt of the copy 
of such order the County Clerk and Recorder must, at least twenty 
days before the day fixed for holding such election, cause a notice to be 
posted in at least three public places in such fire district, stating that 
the register of voters for the precinct in which such district is located 
will be closed on a day to be specified therein, and which must be the 
tenth day before the day for hilding such election, and on the day speci- 
fied therein the register of voters for such precinct must be closed and 
remain closed until after the holding of such election. The County 
Clerk and Recorder shall, immediately after the closing of registration 
for such precinct, make a copy of the register of voters for such precinct 
and deliver the same to the County Treasurer who shall compare the 
same with the assessment books for the last assessment for state and 
county taxes, and note after the name of each person contained in such 
register whether such person's name appears on such assessment books, 
and make out and sign a certificate giving the names of all such per- 
sons whose names do appear on such assessment books and attach the 
same to such register, and the Treasurer must then return such register 
to the County Clerk and Recorder who must deliver the same to the 
persons named as judges and clerks of such election. At such election 
no person whose name does not appear in such Treasurer's certificate 
as a taxpayer whose name appears on the last assessment books shall 
be permitted to vote, and no person whose name does so appear in such 
certificate shall be permitted to vote unless he shall reside within the 
limits of the fire district, and every person offering to vote at such 
election, and otherwise qualified to do so, must make and subscribe an 
affidavit, before one of such judges of election, stating that he actually 
resides within the limits of such fire district, and all such affidavits 
shall be preserved and delivered to the Board of Directors of the district 
at the same time the returns are delivered to such board. The polls 
for such election shall be opened at 1 o'clock in the afternoon and 
remain open until 6 o'clock in the afternoon. The judges and clerks 
shall count the votes cast at such election and shall make a return thereof 
to the directors of the district, who shall canvass and declare the result 
of such election. The Board of Directors shall cause the affidavits 
herein provided for and the ballots to be prepared for such election in 
a number equal to the total number of registered electors in the pi'ecinct 
in which the district is located, which ballots shall be substantially in 
the following form: 

"Shall bonds be issued and sold to the an.ount of 

dollars and bearing not to exceed 6% interest per annum and for a 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 171 

period not exceeding years for the purpose of (state 

purpose.)" 

□ BONDS— YES. 

□ BONDS— NO. 

The elector shall prepare his ballot by marking an X in the squai-e 
before the proposition for which he desires to vote. If a majority of the 
votes cast at such election is in favor of issuing bonds the Board of 
Directors shall issue such bonds; such bonds shall be issued in substan- 
tially the same manner and form as bonds of school districts of the 
third class, shall bear the signature of the Chairman of the Board of 
Directors, and of the County Recorder, as exofficio secretary of the 
fire district; if coupons are attached to the bonds they shall also be 
signed by such chairman and secretary, provided that a lithographic, 
printed or engraved facsimile signatui'e of the president and secretary 
may be affixed to the coupons if so recited in the bonds, and the seal of 
the fire district shall be affixed to each bond. Each bond shall be regis- 
tered in the office of the County Treasurer in a book provided for that 
purpose, which shall show the number and amount of each bond and the 
person to whom the same is issued or sold; and the said bond shall be 
sold by the Board of Directors as hereinafter provided." As amended 
by Chapter 130, Laws of 1925. 

INDEBTEDNESS OF CITIES OR TOWNS— BONDS 

Constitutional Provisions, Art. XIII, Sec. 6, Page 14) 

Section 5195. Whenever the Council of any city or town shall deem 
it necessary to raise money by taxation, in excess of the levy now allowed 
by law, for any purpose for which said city or town is authorized to 
expend moneys raised by taxation in said city or town, it shall submit 
the question of such additional levy to the legal voters of such city or 
town who are taxpaying freeholders thei-ein, either at the regular an- 
nual election held in said city or town, or at a special election called for 
that purpose by the Council of such city or town; provided, however, 
that such additional levy shall not exceed five mills. 

Section 5196. Where the question of making such additional levy is 
so submitted, notice thereof shall be given by publication for at least 
thirty days prior to such election in every newspaper published in said 
city or town, and by posting a like notice for the same period of time 
in a public place in each ward of said city or town. 

Section 5197. The submission of said question shall expressly pro- 
vide for what purpose such additional levy is to be made, and, if author- 
ized, the money raised for such additional levy shall be used for that 
specific purpose only; provided, that if any balance remain on hand after 
the purpose for which said levy was made has been accomplished, such 
balance may, by vote of the Council, be transferred to any other fund of 
said city or town. 

Section 5198. If at any time it is desired to submit the question of 
additional levies for more than one purpose, such proposition shall be 



172 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

submitted on separate ballots, each of which ballots shall be in sub- 
stantially the following form: Shall the City (or Town) Council be au- 
thorized to make a levy of (here insert the number) mills taxes in addi- 
tion to the regular levy now authorized by law for the purpose of (here 
insert the purpose for which the additional levy is to be made). 

Q Against additional levy. 

Q For additional levy. 

The voters shall mark the ballot or ballots in the same manner as 
other ballots are marked under the election laws of this state. The elec- 
tion shall be held and the votes canvassed and returned as in other city 
or town elections. If the majority voting on the question are in favor 
of such additional levy or levies, the City or Town Council shall so certify, 
and such additional levy or levies of taxes shall be made by the City or 
Town Council for that year. 

Section 5199. The Council may provide by ordinance for the regis- 
tration of qualified electors who are taxpaying freeholders in such city 
or town, and no person shall be entitled to register or vote at such elec- 
tion who is not such taxpaying freeholder and qualified elector. 

CHAPTER 160, LAWS OF 1931 

Section 1. CREATION OF INDEBTEDNESS— SUBMISSION TO 
TAXPAYERS. Whenever the Council of any city or town having a cor- 
porate existence in this state, or hereafter organized under any of the 
laws thereof, shall deem it necessary to issue bonds for any purpose 
whatever, under its powers as set forth in subdivision 64 of Section 5039 
of the Revised Codes of Montana, 1921, or amendments thereto, the 
question of issuing such bonds shall first be submitted to the qualified 
electors of such city or town in the manner hereinafter set forth; pro- 
vided, however, that it shall not be necessary to submit to such electors 
the question of issuing funding or refunding bonds to fund or refund 
warrants or bonds issued prior to and outstanding on the first day of 
July, 1931. In order to issue bonds to fund or refund warrants or bonds 
issued prior to and outstanding on July 1, 1931, it shall only be neces- 
sary for the Council, at a regular or duly called special meeting, to pass 
and adopt a resolution setting forth the facts in regard to the indebted- 
ness to be funded or refunded, showing the reason for issuing such 
bonds and fixing and determining the details thereof, giving notice of 
the sale thereof in the same manner that notice is required to be given 
of the sale of bonds authorized at an election, and then following the 
procedure prescribed in this Act for the sale and issuance of such bonds. 

.Section 6. PETITION FOR ELECTION— FORM— PROOF. No bonds 
shall be issued by a city or town for any purpose except to fund or re- 
fund warrants or bonds issued prior to and outstanding on July 1, 1931, 
as authorized in Section 1 of this Act, unless authorized at a duly called 
special or general election at which the question of issuing such bonds 
was submitted to the qualified electors of the city or town, and approved, 
as hereinafter provided, and no such election shall be called unless there 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 173 

has been presented to the city or town Council a petition, asking that 
such election be held and question submitted, signed by not less than 
twenty per centum {20'/c) of the qualified electors of the city or town 
who are taxpayers upon property within such city or town and whose 
names appear on the last completed assessment roll for state and county 
taxes, as taxpayers within such city or town. Every petition for the 
calling of an election to vote upon the question of issuing bonds shall 
plainly and clearly state the purpose or purposes for which it is pro- 
posed to issue such bonds, and shall contain an estimate of the amount 
necessary to be issued for such purpose or purposes. There may be a 
separate petition for each purpose, or two (2) or more purposes may be 
combined in one (1) petition, if each purpose with an estimate of the 
amount of bonds to be issued therefor is separately stated in such peti- 
tion. Such petition may consist of one (1) sheet, or of several sheets 
identical in form and fastened together, after being circulated and 
signed, so as to form a single complete petition before being delivered 
to the city or town clerk, as hereinafter provided. The petition shall 
give the street and house number, if any, and the voting precinct of 
each person signing the same. 

Only persons who are qualified to sign such petition shall be quali- 
fied to circulate the same, and there shall be attached to the completed 
petition the affidavit of some person who circulated, or assisted in cir- 
culating, such petition, that he believes the signatures thereon are genu- 
ine and that the signers knew the contents thereof before signing the 
same. The completed petition shall be filed with the city or town clerk 
who shall, within fifteen (15) days thereafter, carefully examine the 
same and the county records showing the qualifications of the petition- 
ers, and attach thereto a certificate under his official signature, which 
shall set forth: 

(1) The total number of persons who are registered electors and 
whose names appear upon the last completed assessment roll for state 
and county taxes, as taxpayers within such city or town. 

(2) Which, and how many of the persons whose names are sub- 
scribed to such petition, are possessed of all of the qualifications required 
of signers to such petition. 

(3) Whether such qualified signers constitute more or less than twen- 
ty per centum (20%) of the registered electors whose names appear upon 
the last completed assessment roll for state and county taxes, as tax- 
payers within such city or town. 

Section 7. CONSIDERATION OF PETITION— CALLING ELEC- 
TION. When such petition has been filed with the city or town clerk 
and he has found it has a sufficient number of signers qualified to sign 
the same, he shall place the same before the city or town Council at its 
first meeting held after he has attached his certificate thereto. The 
Council shall thereupon examine such petition and make such other inves- 
tigation as it may deem necessary. 

If it is found the petition is in proper form, bears the requisite num- 
ber of signatures of qualified petitioners, and is in all other respects 



174 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

sufficient, the Council shall pass and adopt a resolution which shall 
recite the essential facts in regard to the petition and its filing and 
presentation, the purpose or pui-poses for which the bonds are proposed 
to be issued, and fix the exact amount of bonds to be issued for each 
purpose, which amount may be less than but must not exceed the amount 
set forth in the petition, determine the number of years through which 
such bonds are to be paid, not exceeding the limitations fixed in Section 
3 of this Act, and making provision for having such question submitted 
to the qualified electors of the city or town at the next general city or 
town election, or at a special election which the council may call for 
such purpose. 

Section 8. NOTICE OF ELECTION— ELECTION HOURS— ELEC- 
TION OFFICERS. Whether such election is held at the general city or 
town election, or at a special election, separate notice shall be given 
thereof. Such notice shall state the date when such election will be held, 
the hours between which the polls will be open, the amount of bonds 
proposed to be issued, the purpose thereof, the term of years through 
which the bonds will be paid, and such other information regarding the 
election and the proposed bonds as the board may deem proper. If the 
bonds proposed to be issued are for two (2) or more purposes, each pur- 
pose and the amount thereof must be separately stated. Such notice 
shall be posted in each voting precinct in the city or town at least ten 
(10) days prior to the date for holding such election, and must also be 
published once a week for a period of not less than two (2) consecutive 
weeks immediately preceding the date for holding such election in some 
newspaper published in the city or town, if there be one, and if not then 
in a newspaper published in the state at a point in the state nearest to 
the city or town, and designated by the City or Town Council. 

If the question of issuing bonds is submitted at a special election 
called for such purpose, the City or Town Council shall fix the hours 
through which the polls are to be kept open, which shall be not less than 
eight (8), and which must be stated in the notice of election, and may 
appoint a smaller number of judges than is required at a general city 
or town election, but in no case shall there be less than three (3) judges 
in a precinct and such judges shall act as their own clerks. 

If the question of issuing bonds is submitted at a general city or 
town election, the polls shall be kept open during the same hours as 
are fixed for the general election and the judges and clerks for such 
general election shall act as the judges and clerks thereof. 

Section 9. FORM OF BALLOTS AND CONDUCT OF ELECTION. 
Whenever the question of issuing bonds is submitted at either a general 
city or town election, or at a special election, separate ballots shall be 
provided therefor. Such ballots shall be white in color and of convenient 
size, being only large enough to contain the printing herein required 
to be done and placed thereon, and shall have printed thereon in fair- 
sized, legible type and black ink, in one (1) line or more, as required, 
the word "FOR" (stating the proposition and the terms thereof explicitly 
and at length), and thereunder the word "AGAINST" (stating the prop- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 175 

osition and terms in like manner as above); and there shall be before 
the word "FOR" and before the word "AGAINST," each, a square space 
of sufficient size to place a plain cross or X therein, and such arrange- 
ment shall be in the following manner: 

Q FOR (stating the proposition). 

Q AGAINST (stating the proposition). 

If the bonds are sought to be issued for two (2) or more separate 
purposes, then separate ballots must be provided for each purpose or 
proposition. 

The election shall be conducted, and the returns made, in the same 
manner as other city or town elections; and all election laws governing 
city and town elections shall govern, in so far as they are applicable, but 
if such question be submitted at a general city or town election the 
votes thereon must be counted separately and separate returns must be 
made by the judges and clerks at such election. Returns must be made 
separately for each proposition or question submitted at such election. 

Section 10. WHO ARE ENTITLED TO VOTE— REGISTRATION 
OF ELECTORS. Only such registered electors of the city or town 
w^hose names appear upon the last preceding assessment roll for state 
and county taxes, as taxpayers upon property within the city or town, 
shall be entitled to vote upon any proposition of issuing bonds by the 
city or town. Such registered and qualified electors may be determined 
from the registration books and assessment rolls of the county, and lists 
thereof and poll-books for such election prepared and furnished in the 
manner provided by Section 2 of Chapter 98 Session Laws, 1923, as 
amended by Chapter 47 Session Laws, 1929; provided, however, that the 
City or Town Council, in lieu thereof, may provide by ordinance for the 
registration of the electors of the city or town entitled to vote at any 
such election, but no person shall be entitled to register or vote at such 
election w^ho is not a qualified elector and taxpayer as hereinbefore set 
forth. 

Section 11. PERCENTAGE OF VOTERS REQUIRED TO AUTHOR- 
IZE THE ISSUING OF BONDS. Wherever the question of issuing bonds 
for any purpose is submitted to the qualified electors of a city or town, 
at either a general or special election, not less than forty per centum 
(40%) of the qualified electors entitled to vote on such proposition or 
question must vote thereon, otherwise such proposition shall be deemed 
to have been rejected; provided, however, that if forty per centum (40%) 
or more of such qualified electors do vote on such proposition or ques- 
tion at such election, and a majority of such votes shall be cast in favor 
of such question or proposition, then such proposition or question shall 
be deemed to have been adopted and approved. 

Section 12. CANVASS OF ELECTION RETURNS— RESOLUTION 
FOR BOND ISSUE. If the bonding election is held at the same time 
as a general city or town election, then the returns shall be canvassed 
by the City or Town Council at the same time as the returns from such 
general election; but if the question of issuing bonds is submitted at a 



176 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

special election then the City or Town Council shall meet within ten (10) 
days after the date of holding such special election and canvass the 
returns. If it is found that at such election forty per centum (407o) or 
more of the qualified electors of the city or town entitled to vote on such 
question or proposition voted thereon, and that a majority of such votes 
were cast in favor of the issuing of such bonds, the City or Town Council 
shall, at a regular or special meeting held within thirty (30) days there- 
after, pass and adopt a resolution providing for the issuance of such 
bonds. Such resolution shall recite the purpose for which such bonds 
are to be issued, the amount thereof, the maximum rate of interest the 
bonds may bear, the date they shall bear, the period of time through 
which they shall be payable, and that any thereof may be redeemed in 
full, at the option of the city or town, on any interest payment date from 
and after ten (10) years from the date of issue; and provide for the 
manner of the execution of the same. It shall provide that preference 
shall be given amortization bonds but shall fix the denomination of 
serial bonds in case it shall be found advantageous to issue bonds in 
that form, and shall adopt a form of notice of the sale of the bonds. 

The board may, in its discretion, provide that such bonds may be 
issued and sold in two (2) or more series or installments. 

ABATEMENT OF SMOKE NUISANCE 

Section 5292. For the purpose of raising moneys to meet the pay- 
ments under the terms and conditions of said contract, and other nec- 
essary and proper expenses in and about the same, and the approval 
or disapproval thereof, it shall be the duty of the Board of County 
Commissioners, if the petition be presented to it within thirty days 
thereafter, to ascertain the existing indebtedness of the county in the 
aggregate, and within sixty days after ascertaining the same to sub- 
mit to the electors of such county the proposition to approve or dis- 
approve the said conti'act and the issuance of bonds necessary to carry 
out the same, which shall not exceed five per centum of the value of the 
taxable property therein, inclusive of the existing indebtedness thereof, 
to be ascertained by the last assessment for state and county taxes pre- 
vious to the issuance of said bonds and incurring said indebtedness; and 
if said petition be presented to the Council of any incorporated city 
or town, then within thirty days thereafter they shall ascertain the 
aggregate indebtedness of such city or town, and, within sixty days 
after ascertaining the same, submit to the electors of such city or town 
the proposition to approve or disapprove said contract, and the issuance 
of bonds necessary to carry out the same, which shall not exceed three 
per centum of the value of the taxable pi'operty therein, inclusive of the 
existing indebtedness thereof, to be ascertained in the manner herein- 
before provided, and if disapproved, the expenses of such election shall 
be paid out of the genei'al fund of such county, city, or town, as the 
case may be. 

Section 5293. The vote upon such proposition shall be had at an 
election for that purpose to be held, conducted, counted, and results 
ascertained and determined in the manner and by the same officers 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 177 

provided by law for general elections, except as otherwise herein pro- 
vided, and the proposition to be submitted shall be upon printed tickets 
or ballots, upon each of which shall be printed the following: "For the 
contract and bonds," "Against the contract and bonds," the former 
above the latter, and the elector shall indicate his vote by a cross oppo- 
site the one or the other for which he votes; and if it appears from the 
result of such election that a majority of the votes cast were "For the 
contract and bonds," then said contract shall be in full force and effect, 
and the said bonds shall be issued and disposed of in the manner herein- 
after provided. If it shall appear from the result of such election that 
there was a tie, or a majority of said votes were cast "Against the con- 
tract and bonds," then the said contract and bond given for its fulfill- 
ment shall be null and void and of no effect, and said bonds and none 
thereof shall be issued. 

Section 5294. The Board of County Commissioners of the county in 
which such election is to be held, or the Council of the incorporated city 
or town, as the case may be, shall give notice of such election, stating 
the objects thereof, the time and place of holding the same, such condi- 
tions of the contract as in their judgment are proper and necessary to 
enable the electors to vote intelligently upon the proposition submitted 
to them, the amount of bonds proposed to be issued, when payable, and 
the interest they are to bear, with a description of the tickets or ballots 
to be used, in some newspaper printed and published and circulated in 
the county, or city, or town, as the case may be, in which such election 
shall be held, at least three times a week for at least six consecutive 
weeks next preceding such election, and if no newspaper be printed, 
published, and circulated therein, then in some newspaper printed and 
published in some county nearest thereto. 

Section 5299. No registration under the election laws of this state 
shall be required for the purposes of the election herein provided for, and 
the registration had at the last election preceding the same shall govern 
and control as if especially had and done for the purposes of the elec- 
tion to be held under this Act. 

COMMISSION FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR CITIES 

Section 5366. Any city may abandon its organization and reorganize 
under the provisions of this Act, by proceeding as hereinafter provided. 

Section 5367. Upon a petition being filed with the City Council signed 
by not less than twenty-five per cent, of the qualified electors of such 
city registered for the last preceding general city election, praying that 
the question of reorganization under this Act be submitted to the qualified 
electors of such city, said City Council shall thereupon, and within thirty 
days thereafter, order a special election to be held, at which election the 
question of reorganization of such city, under the provisions of this Act, 
shall be submitted to the qualified electors of such city. 

Such order of the City Council shall specify therein the time when 
such election shall be held, which must be within ninety days from the 
date of the filing of such petition. 



178 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 5368. Upon the City Council ordering such special election 
to be held, the Mayor of such city shall issue a proclamation setting 
forth the purpose for which such special election is called, and the date 
of holding such special election, which proclamation shall be published 
for ten consecutive days in each daily newspaper published in said city, 
if there be such, otherwise, once a week for two consecutive weeks in 
each weekly newspaper published therein, and such proclamation shall 
also be posted in at least five public places within such city. 

Section 5369. At such election the ballots to be used shall be printed 
upon plain, white paper, and shall be headed "Special election for the 

purpose of submitting to the qualified electors of the City of 

the question of reorganization of the City of under Chapter 

(name of chapter containing this Act) of the Acts of the Twelfth Legis- 
lative Assembly," and shall be substantially in the following form: 

For reorganization of the City of under Chapter 

(name of chapter containing this Act) of the Acts of the Twelfth Legis- 
lative Assembly. 

Against reorganization of the City of under Chapter 

(name of chapter containing this Act) of the Acts of the Twelfth Legis- 
lative Assembly. 

Such election shall be conducted and vote canvassed and result de- 
clared in the same manner as provided by law in respect to other city 
elections. 

Section 5370. If such propositon is adopted, the Mayor shall trans- 
mit to the Governor, to the Secretary of State, and to the County Clerk 
and Recorder, each, a certificate stating that such proposition was 
adopted. 

If such proposition shall not be adopted at such special election, 
such proposition shall not again be submitted to the electors of such 
city within a period of two years thereafter. 

Section 5371. If a majority of the votes cast at such election shall 
be in favor of such proposition, the City Council must, at its first regular 
meeting held thereafter, order a special election to be held for the pur- 
pose of electing a Mayor and the number of Councilmen to which such 
city shall be entitled, which order shall specify the time of holding such 
election, which must be within ninety days after the making of said order, 
and the Mayor shall thereupon issue a proclamation setting forth the 
purposes for which such special election is called and the day of holding 
the same, which proclamation shall be published for ten successive days 
in each daily newspaper published in such city, if there be such, othei-- 
wise once a week for two consecutive weeks in each weekly newspaper 
published therein, and a copy thereof shall also be posted at each voting 
place within said city, and also in at least ten of the most public places 
in said city. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 179 

Section 5372. Such election shall be conducted, the vote canvassed, 
and result declared in the same manner as provided by law in respect 
to other city elections. 

Section 5378. All laws pfoverninp: cities of the first, second and third 
classes, and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, shall apply 
to and govern cities organized under this Act. All by-laws, ordinances, 
and resolutions lawfully passed and in force in any such city under its 
former organization shall remain in force until altered or repealed by 
the Council elected under the provisions of this Act. The territorial limits 
of such city shall remain the same as under the former organization, 
and all rights and property of every description, which were vested in 
any such city under its former organization, shall vest in the same under 
the organization herein contemplated, and no right or liability either 
in favor of or against it, existing at the time, and no suit or prosecution 
of any kind shall be affected by such change, unless otherwise provided 
for in this Act. 

Section 5374. In every city of the third class, there shall be a Mayor 
and two Councilmen; in evei-y city of the second class, a Mayor and two 
Councilmen; in every city of the first class having a population of less 
than twenty-five thousand, a Mayor and two Councilmen, and in every 
city of the first class having a population of twenty-five thousand or 
more, a Mayor and four Councilmen, and the Mayor and all Councilmen 
shall be elected at large. 

If any vacancy shall occur in the office of Mayor or Councilman, the 
remaining members of the Council shall by a majority vote, elect a per- 
son to fill such vacancy until the next general city election, and if, in 
filling such vacancy, a tie vote should occur, then the person to fill said 
vacancy shall be determined by lot in such manner as said Council may 
provide. 

Section 5375. The Mayor and Councilmen elected at such special 
election shall qualify, and their terms of office shall begin on the first 
Monday after their election, and the terms of office of the Mayor and 
Councilmen or Aldermen in such city in office at the beginning of the 
term of office of the Councilmen first elected under the pi'ovisions of 
this Act shall then cease and determine, and the terms of office of all 
their appointed officers in force in such city, except as hereinafter pro- 
vided, shall cease and determine as soon as the Council shall by resolu- 
tion declai-e. 

Section 5376. The terms of office of the Mayor and all Councilmen 
elected at such special election shall expire on the first Monday in May 
of the year following their election. At the first regular city election 
held in the year in which the terms of office of the Mayor and Council- 
men elected at such special election shall expire, a Mayor and two Coun- 
cilmen shall be elected in cities having a population of less than twenty- 
five thousand. The Mayor elected at such first general city election shall 
hold office for two years; one of the Councilmen elected at such first 
city election shall hold office for one year; and the other of such Coun- 



180 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

cilmen elected at such first general city election shall hold office for 
two years, beginning with the first Monday in May of that year; a Mayor 
and four Councilmen shall be elected in cities having a population of 
twenty-five thousand or more; and the Mayor elected at such first gen- 
eral city election shall hold office for two years. Two of the Councilmen 
elected at such first general city election shall hold office for one year, 
and the other two of the Councilmen elected at such first general city 
election shall hold office for two years, beginning with the first Monday 
in May of that year; and the terms of office of the Mayor and all Coun- 
cilmen thereafter elected shall be two years. 

The Councilmen elected at the first general city election shall decide 
by lot, in such manner as they may select, which thereof shall hold the 
office of Councilman the term of which expires one year thereafter, and 
which thereof shall hold the office of Councilman the term of which 
expires two years thereafter. 

Section 5377. Candidates to be voted for at all general municipal 
elections at which a Mayor or Councilman are to be elected under the 
provisions of this Act shall be nominated by a primary election, and no 
other names shall be placed upon the general ballot except those selected 
in the manner hereinafter prescribed. The primary election for such 
nominations shall be held on the second Monday preceding the municipal 
election. The judges of election appointed for the municipal election 
shall be the judges of the primary election, and it shall be held at the 
same place as far as possible, and the polls shall be opened and closed 
at the same hours, with the same clerks as are required for said general 
municipal election. Any qualified elector of said city who is the owner 
of any real estate situated therein, desiring to become a candidate for 
Mayor or Councilman, shall, at least ten days prior to said primary 
election, file with the City Clerk a statement of such candidacy in sub- 
stantially the following form: 

State of Montana, County of ss. 

I, , being first duly sworn, 

say that I reside at street, 

City of , County of , State 

of Montana; that I am a qualified voter therein; that I am a candidate 
for nomination to the office of (Mayor or Councilman) to be voted upon 

at the primary election to be held on the Monday of 

, 19 , and I hereby request that my name be 

printed upon the official primary ballot for nomination by such primary 
election for such office. 

(Signed) 



Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me by 

on this day of , 19. 

(Signed) 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 181 

And shall at the same time file therewith the petition of at least twenty- 
five qualified voters requesting such candidacy. Each petition shall be 
verified by one or more persons as to qualifications and residence, with 
street number, of each of the persons so signing the said petition, and the 
said petition shall be in substantially the following form: 

Petition Accompanying Nominating Statement. 

The undersigned, duly qualified electors of the City of , 

and residing at the places set opposite our respective names hereto, do 
hereby request that the name of (name of candidate) be placed on the 
ballot as a candidate for nomination for (name of office) at the primary 

election to be held in such city on the Monday of 

, 19 We further state that we know him to 

be a qualified elector of said city and a man of good moral character, 
and qualified, in our judgment, for the duties of such office. 

Names of Qualifying Electors. Number Street. 



Each signer of a nomination paper shall sign but one such nomina- 
tion paper for the same office, except where more than one officer is to 
be elected to the same office, in which case he may sign as many nomi- 
nation papers as there are officers to be elected, and only one candidate 
shall be petitioned for or nominated in the same nomination papers. 

Immediately upon the expiration of the time of filing the statements 
and petitions for candidates, the said City Clerk shall cause to be pub- 
lished for three consecutive days in all the daily newspapers published 
in the city, in proper form, the names of the persons as they are to 
appear upon the primary ballots, and if there be no daily newspaper, 
then in two issues of any other newspapers that may be published in 
said city; and the said clerk shall thereupon cause the primary ballots 
to be printed, authenticated with a facsimile of his signature. Upon the 
said ballot the names of the candidates for Mayor, arranged alphabeti- 
cally, shall first be placed, with a square at the left of each name, and 
immediately below the words, "Vote for one." Following these names, 
likewise arranged in alphabetical order, shall appear the names of the 
candidates for Councilmen, with a square at the left of each name and 
below the names of such candidates shall appear the words, "Vote for 
(giving the number of persons to be voted for)." The ballots shall be 
printed upon plain, substantial, white paper, and shall be headed: 

Candidates for Nomination for Mayor and Councilmen 

of the City of at the 

Primary Election; 
but shall have no party designation or mark whatever. The ballots shall 
be in substantially the following form: 



182 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

(Place a cross in the square preceding the names of the parties you 
favor as candidates for the respective positions). 

Official Primary Ballot. 
Candidates for Nomination for Mayor and Councilmen 

of the City of at the 

Primary Election; 

For Mayor. 

(Name of Candidate.) 

(Vote for one.) 

For Councilman. 

(Name of Candidate.) 

(Vote for ) (giving number to be voted for.) 

Official Ballot Attest: 

(Signature) 

City Clerk. 

Having caused said ballots to be printed, the said City Clerk shall 
cause to be delivered at each polling place a number of said ballots 
equal to twice the number of such voters registered in such polling 
place at the last general municipal election. The persons who are quali- 
fied to vote at the general election shall be qualified to vote at such 
primary election and any person offering to vote may be orally chal- 
lenged by any elector of the city upon any or all of the grounds set forth 
and specified in Section 706 of this Code, and the provisions of Sections 
707 to 714, inclusive, of this Code, and shall apply to all challenges made 
at such election. Judges of election shall immediately upon the closing 
of the polls count the ballots and ascertain the number of votes cast in 
such precinct for each of the candidates for Mayor and Councilmen 
and make return thereof to the City Clerk upon the proper blanks to 
be furnished by the City Clerk within six hours of the closing of 
the polls. On the day following the primary election the City Clerk 
shall canvass said returns so received from all the polling precincts, and 
shall make and publish in all the newspapers in said city, at least once, 
the result thereof. Said canvass by the City Clerk shall be publicly 
made. If a Mayor is to be elected at such municipal election, the two 
persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be the candidates 
for Mayor. If one Councilman is to be elected at such municipal election, 
the two persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be the candi- 
dates for Councilmen. If two Councilmen are to be elected at such gen- 
eral municipal election, the four persons receiving the highest number 
of votes shall be the candidates for Councilmen, and if three Councilmen 
are to be elected at such municipal election, the six persons receiving the 
highest number of votes shall be the candidates for Councilmen, and if 
four Councilmen are to be elected at such general municipal election, 
the eight persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be can- 
didates for Councilmen at such general election, and these shall be the 
only candidates for Mayor and Councilmen at such general election. 

All electors of cities under this Act, who, by ordinances governing 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 183 

cities incorporated under the general municipal incorporation law, or by 
charter, would be entitled to vote for the election of officers at any gen- 
eral municipal election in such cities, shall be qualified to vote at all 
elections under this Act; and the ballots to be used at such general mu- 
nicipal election shall be in the same general form as for such primary 
elections so far as applicable, and in all elections in such cities the elec- 
tion precincts, voting' places, method of conducting the elections, can- 
vassing of votes and announcing the results shall be the same as by law 
provided for the election of officers in such cities so far as the same are 
applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act. 

Every person who has been declared elected Mayor or Councilman, 
shall, within ten days thereafter, take and file with the City Clerk his oath 
of office in the form and manner provided by law, and shall execute and 
give sufficient bond to the municipal corporation in the sum of Ten 
Thousand Dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties 
of his office, which bond shall be approved by the Judge of the District 
Court of the county in which such city is situated, and filed with the 
Clerk and Recorder of the county in which such city is situated. 

Section 5378. Any person who shall agree to perform any services 
in the interest of any candidate for any office provided in this Act, in 
consideration of any money or other valuable thing for such services 
performed in the interest of any candidate, shall be punished by a fine 
not exceeding Three Hundred Dollars or be imprisoned in the county 
jail not exceeding thirty days. 

Section 5379. Any person offering to give a bribe either in money 
or other consideration, to any elector, for the purpose of influencing his 
vote at any election provided in this Act, or any elector entitled to vote at 
any such election receiving and accepting such bribe or other considera- 
tion; any person who agrees, by promise or written statement that he 
will do, or will not do, any particular act or acts, for the purpose of influ- 
encing the vote of any elector or electors at any election provided in 
this Act; any person making false answer to any of the provisions of 
this Act relative to his qualifications to vote at such election; any person 
wilfully voting or offering to vote at such election who has not been a 
resident of this state for one year next preceding said election, or who 
is not twenty-one years of age, or is not a citizen of the United States, 
or knowing himself not to be a qualified elector of such precinct where 
he offers to vote; any person knowingly procuring, aiding, or abetting 
any violation hereof; shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, 
upon conviction shall be fined in a sum not less than One Hundred Dol- 
lars nor more than Five Hundred Dollars; and be imprisoned in the 
county jail not less than ten nor more than ninety days. 

(Sections 5380-5387, inclusive, bearing on Powers and Duties of 
Council, omitted.) 

Section 5388. Every ordinance or resolution appropriating money or 
ordering any street improvement or sewer, or making or authorizing 
the making of any contract, or granting any franchise or right to occupy 



184 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

or use the streets, highways, bridges, or public places in the city for 
any purpose, shall be complete in the form in which it is finally passed, 
and remain on file with the City Clerk for public inspection at least one 
week before the final passage or adoption thereof. No franchise or right 
to occupy or use the streets, highways, bridges, or public places in any 
such city shall be granted, renewed, or extended, except by ordinance, 
and every franchise or grant for interurban or street railways, gas, or 
water-works, electric light, or power plant, heating plant, telegraph or 
telephone systems, or other public service utilities, or renewal or exten- 
sion of any such franchise or grant within such city, must be authorized 
or approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon at a general 
or special election, as provided in Sections 5075, 5076, and 5077 of this 
Code. 

(Sections 5389-5393, inclusive, relating to Powers and Duties of 
Council, omitted.) 

Section 5394. The holder of any elective office may be removed at 
any time by the electors qualified to vote for a successor of such incum- 
bent. The procedure to effect the removal of an incumbent of an elective 
office shall be as follows: A petition signed by twenty-five per cent, of 
all qualified electors registered for the last preceding general municipal 
election, demanding an election of a successor of the person sought to 
be removed, shall be filed with the City Clerk, which petition shall con- 
tain a general statement of the grounds for which the removal is sought. 
The signatures to the petition need not be appended to one paper, but each 
signer shall add to his, signature his place of residence, giving the street 
and number. One of the signers of such paper shall make oath before 
an officer competent to administer oaths that the statements therein 
are true as he believes, and that each signature to the paper appended is 
the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. With- 
in ten days from the date of filing such petition the City Clerk shall 
examine, and from the voters' register ascertain whether or not said 
petition is signed by the requisite number of qualified electors, and, if 
necessary, the Council shall allow him extra help for that purpose; and 
he shall attach to said petition his certificate, showing the result of said 
examination. If, by the clerk's certificate, the petition is shown to be 
insufficient, it may be amended within ten days from the date of said 
certificate. The clerk shall, within ten days after such amendment, make 
like examination of the amended petition, and if his certificate shall 
show the same to be insufficient, it shall be returned to the person filing 
the same; without prejudice, however, to the filing of a new petition to 
the same effect. If the petition shall be deemed to be sufficient, the 
clerk shall submit the same to the Council without delay. If the petition 
shall be found to be sufficient, the Council shall order and fix a date 
for holdinng said election, not less than seventy days nor more than 
eighty days from the date of the Clerk's certificate to the Council that 
a sufficient petition is filed. 

The Council shall make, or cause to be made, publication of notice 
and all arrangements for holding such election, and the same shall be 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 185 

conducted, returned, and the result thereof declaimed, in all respects as 
are other elections. 

As far as applicable, except as otherwise herein provided, nomina- 
tions hereunder shall be made without the intervention of a primary 
election by filing with the clerk, at least ten days prior to said special 
election, a statement of candidacy accompanied by a petition signed by 
electors entitled to a vote at said special election, equal in number to at 
least ten per cent, of the entire number of persons, registered to vote 
at the last preceding general municipal election, which said statement 
of candidacy and petition shall be substantially in the form set out in 
Section 5377 of this Code, so far as the same is applicable, substituting 
the word "special" for the word "primary" in such statement and peti- 
tion, and stating therein that such person is a candidate for election 
instead of nomination. The ballot for such special election shall be in 
substantially the following form: 

Official Ballot. 

Special election for the balance of the unexpired term of 

as for 

(Vote for one only.) 

(Name of candidate.) 

Name of present incumbent. 

Official ballot attest. 

(Signature) , 

City Clerk. 

The successor of any officer so removed shall hold office during the 
unexpired term of his predecessor. Any person sought to be removed 
may be a candidate to succeed himself, and unless he requests otherwise 
in writing, the clerk shall place his name on the official ballot without 
nomination. In any such removal election, the candidate receiving the 
highest number of votes shall be declared elected. At such election, if 
some other person than the incumbent receives the highest number of 
votes, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed from the office 
upon the qualification of his successor. In case the party who receives 
the highest number of votes should fail to qualify within ten days after 
receiving notification of the election, the office shall be deemed vacant. 
If the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, he shall continue 
in office. The said method of removal shall be cumulative, and addi- 
tional to the methods heretofore provided by law. 

Section 5395. Any proposed ordinance may be submitted to the Coun- 
cil by petition signed by electors of the city equal in number to the per- 
centage hereinafter required. The signature, verification, inspection, 
certification, amendment, and submission of such petition shall be the 
same as provided for petition under the preceding section. If the petition 
accompanying the proposed ordinance be signed by electors equal in 
number to twenty-five per centum of the entire number of persons reg- 
istered to vote at the last preceding general election, and contains a 



186 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

request that the said ordinance be submitted to a vote of the people, if 
not passed by the Council, such Council shall either: 

(a) Pass each ordinance without alteration within twenty days after 
the attachment of the clerk's certificate to the accompanying petition; 
or, 

(b) Forthwith, after the clerk shall attach to the petition accom- 
panying such ordinance his certificate of sufficiency, the Council shall 
call a special election, unless a general municipal election is fixed by 
law within thirty days thereafter, and at such special or general munici- 
pal election, if one is so fixed, such ordinance shall be submitted to the 
vote of the electors of such city. 

But if the petition is signed by not less than ten nor more than 
twenty-five per centum of the electors, as above defined, then the Council 
shall, within twenty days, pass said ordinance without change, or submit 
the same at the next general city election occurring after the clerk's 
certificate of sufficiency is attached to said petition. 

The ballots used when voting upon said ordinance shall contain these 
words: "For the ordinance" (stating the nature of the proposed ordi- 
nance), and "Against the ordinance" (stating the nature of the proposed 
ordinance). If a majority of the qualified electors voting on the proposed 
ordinance shall vote in favor thereof, such ordinance shall thereupon 
become a valid and binding ordinance of the city; and any ordinance 
proposed by the petition of which shall be adopted by a vote of the peo- 
ple cannot be repealed or amended except by a vote of the people. 

Any number of proposed ordinances may be voted upon at the same 
election, in accordance with the provisions of this section; but there shall 
not be more than one special election in any period of six months for 
such purposes. 

The Council may submit a proposition for the repeal of any such 
ordinance, or for amendments thereto, to be voted upon at any succeed- 
ing general city election; and should such proposition so submitted re- 
ceive a majority of the votes cast thereon at such election, such ordi- 
nance shall thereby be repealed or amended accordingly. Whenever any 
ordinance or proposition is required by this Act to be submitted to the 
voters of the city at any election, the City Clerk shall cause such ordi- 
nance or proposition to be published once in each of the daily newspapers 
published in such city, and if there be none, then one time in each weekly 
newspaper published therein; such publication to be not more than 
twenty nor less than five days before the submission of such proposition 
or ordinance to be voted on. 

Section 5396. No ordinance passed by the Council, except when other- 
wise required by the general laws of this state or the provisions of this 
Act, except an ordinance for the immediate preservation of the public 
peace, health, or safety, which contains a statement of its urgency, and 
is passed by a two-thirds vote of the Council, shall go into effect before 
ten days from the time of its final passage; and if, during said ten days, 
a petition signed by electors of the city equal in number to at least 
twenty-five per centum of the entire number of persons registered to 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 187 

vote at the last preceding general municipal election, protesting against 
the passage of such ordinance, be presented to the Council, the same 
shall thereupon be suspended from going into operation, and it shall be 
the duty of the Council to reconsider such ordinance; and if the same is 
not entirely repealed, the Council shall submit the ordinance, as is pro- 
vided by Subdivision (b) of the preceding section, to the vote of the 
electors of the city either at a general election or at a special municipal 
election to be called for that purpose; and such ordinance shall not go 
into effect or become operative unless a majority of the qualified electors 
voting on the same shall vote in favor thereof. Said petition shall be in 
all respects in accordance with the provisions of the preceding section, 
except as to the percentage of signers, and be examined and certified to 
by the clerk in all i-espects as therein provided. 

Section 5397. Any city which shall have operated for more than one 
year under the provisions of this Act may abandon such organization 
hereunder and accept the provisions of the general law of the state then 
applicable to cities of its population. 

Upon the petition of not less than twenty-five per cent, of the electors 
of such city registered for the last preceding general election a special 
election shall be called, at which the following proposition only shall be 
submitted : 

"Shall the city of (name the city) abandon its organization under 
Chapter 57 of the Acts of the Twelfth Legislative Assembly and become 
a city under the general law governing cities of like population; or if 
formerly organized under special charter shall resume said special char- 
ter?" 

If the majority of the votes cast at such special election be in favor 
of such proposition, the officers elected at the next succeeding biennial 
election shall be those then prescribed by the general law of the state 
for cities of like population, and upon the qualification of such officers 
such city shall become a city under such general law of the state, but 
such change shall not in any manner or degree affect the property, 
rights, or liabilities of any nature of such city, but shall merely extend 
to each change in its form of government. 

The sufficiency of such petition shall be determined, the election 
ordered and conducted, and the results declared, generally as provided 
for by Section 5394 of this Code, insofar as the provisions thereof are 
applicable; or if now organized under special chai'ter, may resume said 
special charter. Whenever the form of government of any city is deter- 
mined by a vote of the people under the provisions of this section, the 
same question shall not be submitted again for a period of two years, 
and any ordinance adopted by a vote of the people shall not be repealed 
or the same question submitted for a period of two years. 

Section 5398. Petition provided for in this Act shall be signed by 
none but legal voters of the city. Each petition shall contain, in addi- 
tion to the names of the petitioners, the street and house number in 
which the petitioner resides, his age, and length of residence in the city. 



188 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

It shall also be accompanied by the affidavit of one or more legal voters 
of the city, stating that the signers thereof were, at the time of signing, 
legal voters of said city, and the number of signers at the time the affi- 
davit was made. 

Section 5399. All Acts and parts of Acts, and all laws, not incon- 
sistent with any of the provisions of this Act, now in force or hei-eafter 
enacted relative to municipal corporations, are hereby continued in full 
force and effect, and shall be considered and construed as not repealed 
by this Act, except insofar as the same may be in conflict or inconsistent 
with the provisions of this Act. 

COMMISSION-MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR CITIES 

AND TOWNS 

Section 5400. Any municipality may abandon its organization and 
reorganize under the provisions of this Act, by proceeding as hereinafter 
provided. 

Section 5401. Upon a petition being filed with the City or Town 
Council, signed by not less than twenty-five per cent, of the qualified 
electors of such municipality registered for the last preceding general 
municipal election, praying that the question of reorganization under 
this Act be submitted to the qualified electors of such municipality, said 
City or Town Council shall thereupon, and within thirty days thereafter, 
order a special election to be held, at which election the question of 
reorganization of such municipality under the provisions of this Act 
shall be submitted to the qualified electors of such municipality. 

Such order of the City or Town Council shall specify therein the time 
when such election shall be held, which must be within ninety days from 
the date of filing such petition. 

Section 5402. Upon the City or Town Council ordering such special 
election to be held, the Mayor of such municipality shall issue a procla- 
mation setting forth the purpose for which such special election is held, 
and the date of holding such special election, which proclamation shall 
be published for ten consecutive days in each daily newspaper published 
in said municipality, if there be such, otherwise once a week for two 
consecutive weeks in each weekly newspaper published therein, and such 
proclamation shall also be posted in at least five public places within 
such municipality. 

Section 5403. At such election, the ballots to be used shall be printed 
on plain white paper, and shall be headed "Special election for the pur- 
pose of submitting to the qualified electors of (city, town) of (name of 
city or town) under Chapter (name of chapter containing this Act) of 
the Acts of the Fifteenth Legislative Assembly," and shall be substan- 
tially in the following form: 

For reorganization of the (city, town) of (name of city or town) un- 
der Chapter (name of chapter containing this Act) of the Acts of the 
Fifteenth Legislative Assembly. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 189 

Against reorganization of the (city, town) of (name of city or town) 
under Chapter (name of chapter containing this Act) of the Acts of the 
Fifteenth Legislative Assembly. 

Such election shall be conducted and vote canvassed and result de- 
clared in the same manner as provided by law in respect to other munici- 
pal elections. 

"Section 5404. If such proposition is adopted, the Mayor shall trans- 
mit to the Governor, to the Secretary of State and to the County Clerk 
and Recorder, each a certificate stating that such proposition was 
adopted. 

"If such proposition shall not be adopted at such special election, 
such proposition shall not again be submitted to the electors of such 
municipality within a period of two years from the date of the last sub- 
mission." As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

"Section 5405. If the majority of the votes cast at such election shall 
be in favor of such proposition, the City or Town Council must hold a 
meeting within one week thereafter and at such meeting order a special 
election to be held for the purpose of electing the number of Commis- 
sioners to which such municipality shall be entitled, which order shall 
specify the time of holding such election, which must be within ninety 
days after the making of such order, and the Mayor shall thereupon 
issue a proclamation setting forth the purpose for which such special 
election is held and the day of holding the same, which proclamation 
shall be published for ten successive days in each daily newspaper pub- 
lished in such municipality if there be such, otherwise for two successive 
weeks in each weekly newspaper published therein, and a copy thereof 
shall also be posted at each voting place within said municipality and 
also in five of the most public places in said municipality." As amended 
by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

Section 5406. Such election shall be conducted, the vote canvassed, 
and the result declared in the same manner as provided by law in respect 
to other municipal elections. 

Section 5407. All laws governing municipalities of like population, 
and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, shall apply to and 
govern municipalities organized under this Act. All by-laws, ordinances, 
and resolutions lawfully passed and in force in any such municipality 
under its organization, not in conflict herewith, shall remain in force 
until altered or i-epealed by the Commission under the provisions of this 
Act. The territorial limits of such municipality shall remain the same 
as under the former organization, and all rights and property of every 
description which were vested in any such municipality under its former 
organization shall vest in the same under the organization herein con- 
templated, and no right or liability either in favor of or against it, exist- 
ing at the time, and no suit or prosecution of any kind, shall be affected 
by such change, unless otherwise provided for in this Act. 

Section 5408. Whenever the inhabitants of any community or group 



190 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

of communities in any county, whether separately incorporated in whole 
or in part, or unincorporated, which are situated in such proximity or 
location with reference to each other as to make single municipal con- 
trol necessary or desirable, shall desire to be organized into or annexed 
to an incorporated city or town under the provisions of this Act, the 
Board of County Commissioners of such county may, or upon the pres- 
entation of a petition signed by not less than twenty-five per cent, of 
the qualified electors in such community or group of communities, must 
issue a proclamation ordering a special election to be held, at which 
election the question of the organization of such community or group of 
communities as a municipality under the provisions of this Act shall be 
submitted to the qualified electors within the proposed municipal dis- 
trict. Said proclamation shall specify the time when and the places 
where such election shall be held, which must be within ninety days from 
the date of filing such petition, and shall define the boundaries of said 
proposed municipal district, which shall include all such communities 
and cities, and such additional adjacent territory as shall, in the judg- 
ment of the Board of County Commissioners, provide for future urban 
growth. 

If a majority of the legal voters at said election vote in favor of the 
organization of such municipal district, or in favor of annexation to an 
incorporated city or town, then the Board of County Commissioners 
shall declare the result of said elections, and immediately thereafter shall 
give notice for thirty days in a newspaper published within the proposed 
municipal district, or if none be published therein, by posting notices in 
six public places within the limits of said district of the time and place 
or places of holding the first election for Commissioners of such munici- 
pal district under this law. At such election all electors qualified by the 
general election laws of the state who have resided within the limits of 
the municipal district for six months are qualified electors. The Board 
of County Commissioners must appoint judges and clerks of election, 
and canvass and declare the result thereof. The election must be con- 
ducted in the manner prescribed by law for the election of county offi- 
cers, and the Commissioners so elected must qualify in the manner pre- 
scribed by law for county officers. 

Section 5409. The inhabitants of any municipality, coming under the 
provisions of this Act, as its limits now are, or may hereafter be, shall 
be a body politic and corporate and have a corporate name, and as such 
shall have perpetual succession, and may use a corporate seal. Through 
its duly elected officers, it may sue and be sued; may acquire property 
in fee simple or lesser interest, or estate by purchase, gift, devise, appro- 
priation, lease, or lease with the privilege to purchase for any municipal 
purpose; may sell, lease, hold, manage, and control such property, and 
make any and all rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution which 
may be required to carry out fully all provisions of any conveyance, 
deed, or will, in relation to any gift or bequest, or the provisions of any 
lease by which it may acquire property; may acquire, construct, own, 
lease, and operate and regulate public utilities; may assess, levy, and 
collect taxes for general and special purposes on all the subjects or 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 191 

objects which the municipality may lawfully tax; may iionow money on 
the faith and credit of the municipality by the issue or sale of bonds or 
notes of the municipality; may appropriate money of the municipality 
for all lawful purposes, may create, provide for, construct, regulate and 
maintain all things of nature of public works and improvements; may 
levy and collect assessments for improvement districts and other local 
improvements; may license and regulate persons, corporations, and asso- 
ciations engaged in any business, occupation, profession, or trade; may 
define, prohibit, abate, suppress and prevent all things detrimental to 
the health, morals, comfort, safety, convenience, and welfare of the 
inhabitants of the municipality, and all nuisances and the causes thereof; 
may regulate the construction, height, and the material used in all 
buildings, and the maintenance and occupancy thereof; may regulate 
and control the use, for whatever purpose, of the streets and other pub- 
lic places; may create, establish, abolish, and organize offices, and fix 
the salai'ies and compensations of all officers and employees; may make 
and enforce local sanitary and police and other regulations; and may 
pass such oi'dinances as may be expedient for maintaining and promot- 
ing peace, good government, and welfare of the municipality, and for 
the performance of the functions thereof. The municipality shall have 
all powers that now are or hereafter may be granted to municipalities 
by the constitution or laws of Montana; and all such powers, whether 
expressed or implied, shall be exercised and enforced in the manner pre- 
scribed by this Act, or when not prescribed therein, in such manner as 
shall be prescribed by the ordinances or resolutions of the Commission. 

Section 5410. The form of government provided for in this Act shall 
be known as the "Commission-Manager Plan," and shall consist of a 
Commission of citizens, who shall be elected at large in the manner here- 
inafter provided. The Commission shall consist of three Commissioners 
for all municipalities having a population less than twenty-five thousand 
and five Commissioners for all cities having a population of twenty-five 
thousand or more. The Commission shall constitute the governing body, 
with powers as hereinafter provided, to pass ordinances, adopt regula- 
tions, and appoint a chief administrative officer to be known as the "City 
Manager," and exercise all powers as hereinafter provided. 

"Section 5411. The Commissioners elected at the first election shall 
qualify and their terms of office shall begin on the first Monday after 
their election, and the terms of office of the Mayor and Councilmen or 
Aldermen in such city or town in office at the beginning of the term 
of office of the Commissioners first elected under the provisions of this 
Act shall cease and terminate, and the terms of office of all their ap- 
pointed officers, and of all of the employees of such city or town, shall 
cease and terminate as soon as the Commissioners shall by resolution 
declare. 

"All Commissioners shall serve for a term of four years and until 
their successors are elected and have qualified; except that at the first 
election the two candidates having the highest number of votes shall 
hold office for a period of four years, less the time elapsed since the 31st 



192 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

day of December of the odd numbered year last preceding. The terms 
of office of all other candidates shall expire on the 31st day of December 
in any odd numbered year following the special election provided for in 
this Act, at which the first Commissioners are elected. 

"If any city or town, having adopted the plan of government pro- 
vided for by this Act in the year 1921, shall have held no election to fill 
the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of the Commissioner 
whose term of office expired on the first day of January, 1922, then at 
the election held in such city or town in November, 1923, there shall be 
elected three Commissioners. The term of office of the Commissioner 
elected by the smallest number of votes at such election shall expire on 
the 31st day of December, 1925, and the terms of the other two shall 
expire on the 31st day of December, 1927." As amended by Chapter 31, 
Laws of 1923. 

Section 5412. Vacancies in the Commission shall be filled by the Com- 
mission for the remainder of the unexpired term, but any vacancy result- 
ing from a recall shall be filled in the manner provided in such case. 

"Section 5413. Members of the Commission shall be residents of the 
city or town and have the qualifications of electors, and own real estate 
situated therein to the assessed value of not less than one thousand dol- 
lars. Commissioners and other officers and employees shall not hold 
any other public office or employment, except in the State Militia, as 
School Trustees, or Notary Publics, and shall not be interested in the 
profits or emoluments of any contract, job, work, or service for the mu- 
nicipality. Any Commissioner who shall cease to possess any of the 
qualifications herein required, shall forthwith forfeit his office, and any 
such contract in which any member is or may be interested, may be 
declared void by the Commission. 

"No Commissioner or other officer or employee of said city or town 
shall accept any frank, free ticket, pass or service directly or indirectly, 
from any person, firm or corporation upon terms more favorable than 
are granted to the public generally. Any violation of the provisions of 
this section shall be a misdemeanor and shall also be sufficient cause 
for the summary removal or discharge of the offender. Such provisions 
for free service shall not apply to policemen or firemen in uniform or 
wearing their official badges, where the same is provided by ordinance, 
nor any Commissioner, nor to the City Manager, nor to the City Attor- 
ney, upon official business, nor to any other employee or official of said 
city on official business who exhibits written authority signed by the 
City Manager." As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

Section 5414. Candidates to be voted for at all general municipal 
elections at which Commissioners are to be elected under the provisions 
of this Act shall be nominated by a primax-y election, and no other names 
shall be placed upon the general ballot except those selected in the 
manner hereinafter prescribed. The pi'imary election for such nomina- 
tions shall be held on the last Tuesday of August of the odd-numbered 
years. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 193 

Any qualified elector of the niunitipality, who is the owner of real 
estate situated therein to the value of not less than one thousand dollars, 
desiring to become a candidate for Commissioner, shall, at least ten days 
prior to said primary election, file with the Clerk of the Commission a 
statement of such candidacy in substantially the following form: 

State of Montana, County of ss. 

I, , being first duly sworn, say that I reside 

at street (city, town) of 

County of , State of Montana; that I am a qualified 

voter therein; that I am a candidate for nomination to the office of 
Commissioner to be voted upon at the primary election to be held on the 

last Tuesday of August, 19 , and I hereby request that my name be 

printed upon the official primary ballot for nomination by such primary 
election for such office. 

(Signed) 

Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me by 

on this day of , 19 

(Signed) 



And shall at the same time file therewith the petition of at least twenty- 
five qualified voters requesting such candidacy. Each petition shall be 
verified by one or more persons as to qualifications and residence, with 
street number, of each of the persons so signing the said petition, and 
the said petition shall be in substantially the following form: 

Petition Accompanying Nominating Statement. 
The undersigned duly qualified electors of the (city, town) of 



, and residing at the places set opposite our respective 

names hereto, do hereby request that the name of (name of candidate) 
be placed on the ballot as a candidate for nomination to the office of 
Commissioner at the primary election to be held on the last Tuesday of 

August, 19 We further state that we know him to be a qualified 

elector of said (city, town), and a man of good moral character, and 
qualified, in our judgment, for the duties of such office, and we individ- 
ually certify that we have not signed similar petitions greater in num- 
ber than the number of Commissioners to be chosen dt the next general 
municipal election. 

Names of Qualifying Electors. Number. Street. 

(Space for signatures.) 

State of Montana, County of ss. 

, being duly sworn, deposes and says, 

that he knows the qualifications and residence of each of the persons 



•i94 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

jigning the appended petition, and that such signatui-es are genuine, and 
the signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be. 

(Signed) 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this day of 

, 19 



Notary Public. 
This petition, if found insufficient, shall be returned to 



at No. Street, , Montana. 

Immediately upon the expiration of the time of filing the statements 
and petition for candidates, the Clerk of the Commission shall cause to 
be published for three consecutive days in all the daily newspapers pub- 
lished in the municipality in proper form, the names of the persons that 
are to appear upon the primary ballots, and if there be no daily news- 
paper, then in two issues of any other newspaper that may be published 
in said municipality, and the said clerk shall thereupon cause the pri- 
mary ballots to be printed, and authenticated with a facsimile of his 
signature. 

"Section 5415. All ballots used in all elections held under authority 
of this Act shall be without party mark or designation. The ballots shall 
be printed on plain, substantial white paper. 

"Except that the crosses here shown shall be omitted, and that in 
place of the names of persons here shown, there shall appear the names 
of the persons who are candidates for nomination, the primary ballots 
shall be substantially as hereinafter designated. Primary, regular and 
special election ballots provided under authority of this Act for the 
nomination or election of Commissioners shall not bear the name of any 
person or persons or any issue other than those of candidates for the 
nomination or election to the office of Commissioner. 

Official Primary Ballot. 
Vote for (here insert a number equal to the number of persons to be 
elected to the office of Commissioner at the next regular municipal 
election). 

If you wrongly mark, tear or deface this ballot, return it and obtain 
another. 

Candidates for nomination to the office of Commissioner at the pri- 
mary election. 
John Doe 
Heni-y Smith 
George Jones 
James Richards 
Richard Doe 
Official Ballot Attest: 

(Signature) 

Clerk of the Commission. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 1»5 

Having: caused said ballots to be printed, the CMerk of the Commission 
shall cause to be delivered at each polling place a number of said ballots 
ten per cent in excess of the number of such voters registered in such 
polling place at the last g:eneral municipal election. The persons who are 
qualified to vote at the general election shall be qualified to vote at such 
primary election, and any person offering to vote may be orally chal- 
lenged by any elector of the municipality upon any or all grounds set 
forth and specified in Section 706 of the Revised Codes of Montana of 
1921, and the provisions of Sections 707, 708, 709, 710, 711, 712, 713, and 
714 of the Revised Codes of Montana, 1921, shall apply at all challenges 
made at such election. Judges of election shall immediately upon the 
closing of the polls count the ballots and ascertain the number of such 
votes cast in such precinct for each of the candidates, and make return 
thereof to the Clerk of the Commission upon proper blanks to be fur- 
nished by the Clerk of the Commission within twelve hours of the closing 
of the polls. Not later than the first legal day after he shall have re- 
ceived such returns, the Clerk of the Commission shall canvass said 
returns so received from all the polling precincts and shall make and 
publish in all the newspapers in said municipality, at least once, the 
result thereof. Said canvass by the Clerk of the Commission shall be 
made publicly. 

The candidates for nomination to the office of Commissioner who 
shall have received the greatest vote in such primary election shall be 
placed on the ballot at the next regular municipal election, in number 
not to exceed double the number of vacancies in the Commission to be 
filled. 

Except as otherwise in this Act provided, all electors of municipali- 
ties under this Act, W'ho, by ordinances governing cities and towns incor- 
porated under the general municipal incorporation law, or by charter, 
would be entitled to vote for the election of officers at any general mu- 
nicipal election in such cities or towns, shall be qualified to vote at all 
elections under this Act; and the ballots to be used at such general 
municipal elections shall be in the same general form as for such primary 
election so far as applicable, and in all elections in such municipalities, 
the election precincts, voting places, method of conducting the elections, 
canvassing of votes and announcing the results, shall be the same as by 
law provided for the election of officers in such cities or towns so far 
as the same are applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions of 
this Act." As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

Section 5416. The names of candidates on all ballots used in any 
election held under the authority of this Act shall be printed in rotation, 
as follows: 

The ballot shall be printed in as many series as there are candidates 
for the office of Commissioner. The whole number of ballots to be 
printed shall be divided by the number of series, and the quotient so 
obtained shall be the number of ballots in each series. In printing the 
first sei-ies of ballots, the names of candidates shall be arranged in 
alphabetical order. After printing the first series, the first name shall 



196 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

be placed last and the next series printed, and the process shall be 
repeated until each name in the list shall have been printed first an 
equal number of times. The ballots so printed shall then be combined 
in tablets, so as to have the fewest possible ballots having: the same 
order of names printed thereon together in the same tablet. 

Section 5417. A regular election for the choice of Commissioners, 
provided for in this Act, shall be held on the first Tuesday after the 
first Monday in November of any odd-numbered year, and on the first 
Tuesday after the first Monday in November in each second year there- 
after. Elections so held shall be known as regular municipal elections. 
All other elections held under the provisions of this Act, excepting those 
for the nomination of candidates for the office of Commissioner, shall 
be known as special municipal elections. 

"Section 5418. Every candidate for Commissioner shall, within thirty 
(30) days after the election, file with the Clerk of the Commission his 
sworn statement of all his election and campaign expenses, and by whom 
such funds were contributed. 

Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor, 
and if committed by a successful candidate, give ground for the removal 
from office." As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

Section 5419. Any or all of the Commissioners provided for in this 
Act may be removed from office by the electors. The procedure to effect 
such removal, shall be as follows: 

A petition demanding that the question of removing such officers 
be submitted to the electors shall be filed with the Clerk of the Commis- 
sion. 

Such petition for the recall of any or all of the Commissioners shall 
be signed by at least twenty-five per cent, of the total number of regis- 
tered voters in the municipality. 

The signatures to such petition need not be appended to any one 
paper. 

Section 5420. Petition papers shall be procured only from the Clerk 
of the Commission, who shall keep a sufficient number of such blank 
petitions on file for distribution as herein provided. Prior to the issu- 
ance of such petition papers, an affidavit shall be made by one or more 
qualified electors and filed with the Clerk of the Commission, stating the 
name and the office of the officer or officers sought to be removed. The 
Clerk of the Commission upon issuing any such petition papers to an 
elector, shall enter in a record, to be kept in his office, the name of the 
elector to whom issued, the date of such issuance, and the number of 
papers issued, and shall certify on such papers the name of the elector 
to whom issued, and the date issued. No petition papers so issued shall 
be accepted as part of the petition unless it bears such cei'tificate of the 
Clerk of the Commission, and unless it be filed as provided herein. 

Section 5421. Each signer of a recall petition shall sign his name in 
ink or indelible pencil, and shall place thereon, after his name his place 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 197 

of residence by street and number. To each such petition paper there 
shallbe attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof, statinj? the num- 
ber of signers to such part of the petition, and that each signature 
appended to the paper was made in his presence and is the genuine sig- 
nature of the person whose name it purports to be. 

Section 5422. All papers comprising a recall petition shall be assam- 
bled and filed with the Clerk of the Commission as one instrument within 
thirty days after the filing with the Clerk of the Commission of the 
affidavit stating the name and the office of the officer sought to be 
removed. 

Section 5423. The Clerk of the Commission shall at once submit the 
recall petition to the Commission, and shall notify the officer sought to 
be recalled of such action. If the official whose removal is sought does 
not resign within fiye days after such notice, the Commission shall 
thereupon order and fix a day for holding a recall election. Any such 
election shall be held not less than seventy nor more than eighty days 
after the petition has been presented to the Commission, at the same 
time as any other general or special election held within such period; 
but if no such election be held within such period, the Commission 
shall call a special recall election to be held within the time aforesaid. 

Section 5424. The ballots at such recall election shall conform to the 
following requirements: 

With respect to each person whose removal is sought, the question 
shall be submitted, "Shall (name of person) be removed from the office 
of (name of office) by recall?" 

Immediately following each such question, there shall be printed on 
the ballots the two propositions, in the order set forth: 
"For the recall (name of person). 
"Against the recall (name of person)." 

Immediately to the left of the proposition shall be placed a square 
in which the electors, by making a cross mark (X), may vote for either 
of such propositions. Under said questions shall be placed the names 
of candidates to fill the vacancy or vacancies. The name of the officer 
or officers whose removal is sought shall not appear on the ballot as 
a candidate or candidates to succeed himself or themselves. 

Before any such recall election for the removal of Commissioners 
shall be had, there shall be nominated candidates to fill the vacancy 
or vacancies, the nominations therefor to be made by petition, which 
petition for each candidate shall be signed by at least twenty-five regis- 
tered electors, and shall be filed at least thirty days prior to the date 
fixed for holding such recall election; and the form and requirements 
for said petition shall be the same as hereinbefore provided in the case 
of primary nominations. 

Section 5425. Should a majority of the votes cast at a recall election 
be against the recall of the officer named on the ballot, such officer 
shall continue in the office for the remainder of his unexpired term. 



198 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

subject to recall as before. If a majority of the votes cast at a recall 
election shall be for the recall of the officer named on the ballot, he 
shall, regardless of any technical defects in the recall petition, be 
deemed removed from office. 

Section 5426. No recall petition shall be filed against a Commissioner 
within six months after he takes his office, nor, in case of an officer 
reelected in a recall election, until six months after that election. 

Section 5427. Any person who shall agree to perform any services 
in the interest of any candidate for any office provided in this Act, in 
consideration of any money or other valuable thing for such services 
performed in the interest of any candidate, shall be punished by a fine 
not exceeding Three Hundred Dollars, or be imprisoned in the county 
jail not exceeding thirty days, or both such fine and imprisonment. 

Section 5428. Any person offering to give a bribe, either in money 
or other consideration, to any elector for the purpose of influencing his 
vote at any election provided in this Act, or any elector entitled to vote 
at any such election receiving and accepting such bribe or other consid- 
eration; any person who agrees, by promise or written statement, that 
he will do, or will not do, any pai'ticular act or acts, for the purpose of 
influencing the vote of any elector or electors at any election provided 
in this Act; any person making false answer to any of the provisions 
of this Act relative to his qualifications to vote at such election; any 
person wilfully voting or offering to vote at such election, who has not 
been a resident of this state for one year next preceding said election, 
or who is not twenty-one years' of age, or is not a citizen of the United 
States, or knowing himself not to be a qualified elector of such precinct 
where he offers to vote; any person knowingly procuring, aiding, or 
abetting any violation hereof, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, 
and, upon conviction, shall be fined a sum of not less than One Hundred 
Dollars nor more than Five Hundred Dollai-s, or be imprisoned in the 
county jail not less than ten nor more than ninety days, or both such 
fine and imprisonment. 

Section 5429. Any proposed ordinance may be submitted to the Com- 
mission by petition signed by at least ten per cent, of the total number of 
registered voters in the municipality. All petition papers circulated with 
respect to any proposed ordinance shall be uniform in character and 
shall contain the proposed ordinance in full, and have printed or written 
thei'eon the names and addresses of at least five electors who shall be 
officially regarded as filing the petition, and shall constitute a committee 
of the petitioners for the purposes hereinafter named. 

Section 5430. Each signer of a petition shall sign his name in ink or 
indelible pencil, and shall place on the petition papers, after his name, 
his place of residence by street and number. The signatures of any such 
petition papei's need not all be appended to one paper, but to each such 
paper there shall be attached an affidavit by the circulator thereof, stat- 
ing the number of signers to such part of the petition, and that each sig- 
nature appended to the paper is the genuine signature of the person whose 
name it purports to be, and was made in the presence of the affiant. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 199 

Section 5431. All papers comprising a petition shall be assembled 
and filed with the Clerk of the Commission as one instrument, and when 
so filed, the Clerk of the Commission shall submit the proposed ordinance 
to the Commission at its next regular meeting. Provision shall be made 
for public hearings upon the proposed ordinances. 

The Commission shall at once proceed to consider it, and shall take 
final action thereon within thirty days from the date of submission. If 
the Commission rejects the proposed ordinance, or passes it in a differ- 
ent form from that set forth in the petition, the committee of the peti- 
tioners may require it to be submitted to a vote of the electors in its 
original form, or that it be submitted to a vote of the electors with any 
proposed change, addition, or amendment, if a petition for such election 
is presented bearing additional signatures of fifteen per cent, of the 
electors of the city or town. 

Section 5432. When an ordinance proposed by petition is to be sub- 
mitted to a vote of the electors, the committee of the petitioners shall 
certify that fact and the proposed ordinance to the Clerk of the Com- 
mission within twenty days after the final action on such proposed ordi- 
nance by the Commission. 

Section 5433. Upon receipt of the certificate and certified copy of 
the proposed ordinance, the clerk shall certify the fact to the Commis- 
sion at its next regular meeting. If an election is to be held not more 
than six months nor less than thirty days after the receipt of the clerk's 
certificate by the Commission, such proposed ordinance shall then be 
submitted to a vote of the electors. If no such election is to be held 
within the time aforesaid, the Commission shall provide for submitting 
the proposed ordinance to the electors at a special election. 

Section 5434. The ballots used when voting upon any such pi-oposed 
ordinance shall state the title of the ordinance to be voted on, and below 
it the two propositions, "For the ordinance," and "Against the ordi- 
nance." Immediately at the left of each proposition there shall be a 
square, in which, by making a cross (X), the voter may vote for or 
against the proposed ordinance. If a majority of the electors voting 
on any such proposed ordinance shall vote in favor thereof, it shall there- 
upon become an ordinance of the municipality. 

Section 5435. Proposed ordinances for repealing any existing ordi- 
nance or ordinances, in whole or in part, may be submitted to the Com- 
mission as provided in the preceding section for initiating ordinances. 
Initiated ordinances adopted by the electors shall be published and may 
be amended or repealed by the Commission as in the case of other oi'di- 
nances. 

Section 5436. No ordinance passed by the Commission, unless it be 
an emergency measure, shall go into effect until thirty days after its 
final passage by the Commission. If at any time within the said thirty 
days, a petition signed by twenty-five per cent, of the total number of 
registered voters in the municipality be filed with the Clerk of the Com- 
mission, requesting that any such ordinance be repealed or submitted 



200 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

to a vote of the electors, it shall not become operative until the steps 
taken herein shall have been taken. 

Section 5437. The Clerk of the Commission shall deliver the petition 
to the Commission, which shall proceed to reconsider the ordinance. If, 
upon such reconsideration, the ordinance be not entirely repealed, the 
Commission shall provide for submitting to a vote of the electors, and 
in so doing, the Commission shall be governed by the provisions herein 
contained, respecting the time of submission and manner of voting on 
ordinances proposed to the Commission by petition. If, when submitted 
to a vote of the electors, any such ordinance be not approved by a ma- 
jority of those voting thereon, it shall be deemed repealed. 

Section 5438. Referendum petitions need not contain the text of the 
ordinance, the repeal of which is sought, but shall be subject in all other 
respects to the requirements for petitions submitting proposed ordinances 
to the Commission. Ballots used in referendum elections shall conform 
in all respects to those provided for in Section 5434 of this Code. 

Section 5439. Ordinances submitted to the Commission by initiative 
petition and passed by the Commission without change, or passed in an 
amended form and not required to be submitted to a vote of the electors 
by the committee of the petitioners, shall be subject to a referendum in 
the same manner as other ordinances. 

Section 5440. If the provisions of two or more ordinances adopted or 
approved at the same election conflict, the ordinance receiving the high- 
est affirmative vote shall prevail. 

Section 5441. Ordinances passed as emergency measures shall be 
subject to a referendum in like manner as other ordinances, except that 
they shall go into effect at the time indicated in such ordinances. If, 
when submitted to a vote of the electors, an emei-gency measure be not 
approved by a majority of those voting thereon, it shall be considered 
repealed as regards any further action thereunder; but such measure 
so repealed shall be deemed sufficient authority for payment, in accord- 
ance with the ordinance, of any expense incurred previous to the refer- 
endum vote thereon. 

"Section 5442. In case a petition be filed requiring that a measure 
passed by the Commission providing for an expenditure of money, a 
bond issue, or a public improvement be submitted to a vote of the elec- 
tors, all steps preliminary to such expenditure, actual issuance of the 
bonds, or actual execution of the contract for such improvement, may 
be taken prior to the election; and at such election only resident tax- 
payers of such city or town whose names as such appear upon the assess- 
ment roll and who are also qualified electors of said city or town, shall 
be entitled to vote at such election. And at any and all elections in such 
city or town at which questions relating to bond issues, tax levies, or 
the expenditure of money shall be submitted, no person shall be entitled 
to vote unless qualified as in this section provided." As amended by 
Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 201 

"Section 5443. Every person who has been declared elected Commis- 
sioner, shall within ten (10) days thereafter take and file with the Clerk 
of the Commission his oath of office in the form and manner provided 
by law, and shall execute and give sufficient bond to the municipal cor- 
poration in such sum as the Judge of the District Court of the county in 
which such municipality is situated, not, however, exceeding $5000.00 for 
Commissioners in cities of the first class and $3000.00 for Commission- 
ers in all other cities ajid towns, conditioned for the faithful perform- 
ance of the duties of his office, which bond shall be filed with the Clerk 
and Recorder of the county in which such municipality is situated. The 
premium on such bond as may be required, shall be paid by the munici- 
pality." As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

"Section 5444. The Mayor shall be that member of the Commission 
who, at the regular municipal election at which the Commissioners were 
elected, received the highest number of votes. In case two candidates 
receive the same number of votes, one of them shall be chosen Mayor 
by the remaining members of the Commission. In event of a vacancy 
in the office of the Mayor, by the expiration of his term of office, the 
holdover Commissioner having received the highest number of votes 
shall be the Mayor. In the event there is a vacancy in the office of the 
Mayor for any other cause, the remaining members of the Commission 
shall choose his successor for the unexpired term from their own num- 
ber by lot. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer, except that in his 
absence, a president pro tempore may be chosen. The Mayor shall exer- 
cise such powers conferred, and perform all duties imposed upon him 
by this Act, the ordinances of the municipality and the laws of the state, 
except that he shall have no power to veto any measure. He shall be 
recognized as the official head of the municipality by the courts for the 
purpose of serving civil processes, by the governor for the purposes of 
the military law, and for all ceremonial purposes." As amended by 
Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

Section 5445. In the event that the Commissioner who is acting as 
Mayor shall be recalled, the remaining members of the Commission shall 
select one of their number to serve as Mayor for the unexpired term. 
In the event of the recall of all the Commissioners, the person receiving 
the highest number of votes at the election held to determine their suc- 
cessor shall serve as the Mayor. 

Section 5446. In municipalities having three Commissioners, two 
Commissioners shall constitute a quorum; and the affirmative vote of 
two Commissioners shall be necessary to adopt or reject any motion, 
resolution, or ordinance, or pass any measure unless a greater number 
is provided for in this Act. In municipalities having five Commissioners, 
three Commissioners shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote 
of three Commissioners shall be necessary to adopt or reject any motion, 
resolution, or ordinance, or pass any measure unless a greater number 
is provided for in this Act. Upon every vote, the ayes and nays shall be 
called and recoi'ded, and every motion, resolution, or ordinance shall be 
reduced to writing and read before the vote is taken thereon. 



202 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 5447. The salary of each Commissioner shall be as follows: 
for each meeting attended, cities or towns with less than twenty-five 
thousand inhabitants, Five Dollars; cities with more than twenty-five 
thousand inhabitants, not to exceed Ten Dollars; provided, that not more 
than one fee shall be paid for any one day. The salary of the Commis- 
sioner acting as Mayor shall be one and one-half times that of the other 
Commissioners. 

"Section 5448. At ten o'clock A. M. on the first Monday after the 
first day of January, following a regular municipal election, the Commis- 
sion shall meet at the usual place for holding the meetings of the legis- 
lative body of the municipality, at which time the newly elected Com- 
missioners shall assume the duties of their office. Thereafter, the Com- 
missioners shall meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance 
or resolution, except that in municipalities having less than five thousand 
inhabitants, they shall meet regularly at least once and not more than 
four times per month, and in municipalities having more than five thou- 
sand inhabitants, they shall meet not less than once every two weeks. 
Absence from five (5) consecutive regular meetings shall operate to 
vacate the seat of a member, unless such absence be authorized by the 
Commission. 

"The Commissioner acting as Mayor, any two members of the Com- 
mission or the City Manager, may call special meetings of the Commis- 
sion upon at least twelve (12) hours' written notice to each member of 
the Commission, served personally on each member or left at his usual 
place of residence. All meetings of the Commission shall be public and 
any citizen shall have access to the minutes and records thereof at all 
reasonable times. The Commission shall determine its own rules and 
order of business and shall keep a journal of its proceedings." As amend- 
ed by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

(Sections 5449-5495, inclusive, bearing on Powers and Duties of Com- 
mission, omitted.) 

Section 5496. The Commission shall have all powers to grant rights 
to occupy or use the streets, highways, bridges, or public places in the mu- 
nicipality that now are, or hereafter may be granted to municipalities 
by the constitution or laws of Montana. Every ordinance or resolution 
passed by the Commission granting the right to occupy or use streets, 
highways, or public places of municipalities shall be complete in the 
form in which it is finally passed, and remain on file with the Commis- 
sion for inspection by the public for at least one week before the final 
adoption or passage thereof. 

Section 5497. The Commission may, by ordinance, renew any grant 
for the construction or operation of any utility, at its expiration, subject 
to petition and referendum as hereinbefore provided. 

Section 5498. No exclusive grant or renewal shall ever be granted, 
and no grant shall be renewed before two years prior to its expiration. 

Section 5499. The Commission shall, in any ordinance granting or 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 203 

renewing any grant to construct and operate a public utility, prescribe 
the manner in which the streets and public grounds shall be used and 
occupied. 

Section 5500. The Commission may, by ordinance, grant to any indi- 
vidual, company, or corporation operating a public utility, the right to 
extend the appliances and service of such utility outside of the territory 
as designated by the franchise, subject to petition and referendum as 
hereinbefore stated. All such extensions shall become part of the aggre- 
gate property of the utility, and shall be subject to all the obligations 
and reserved rights in favor of the municipality applicable to the prop- 
erty of the utility by virtue of the ordinance providing for its construc- 
tion and operation. The right to use and maintain any such extensions 
shall expire with the original grant of the utility to which the extension 
was made, or any renewal thereof. 

(Sections 5501-5513, inclusive, bearing on Powers and Duties of Com- 
mission, omitted.) 

Section 5514. Any municipality which shall have operated for more 
than two years under the provisions of this Act, may abandon such 
organization hereunder, and accept the provisions of the general law of 
the state applicable to municipalities of its population. 

Upon the petition of not less than twenty-five per cent, of the elec- 
tors of such municipality registered for the last preceding general elec- 
tion, a special election shall be called, at which the following proposition 
only shall be submitted: 

"Shall the (city or town) of (name of city or town) abandon its 
organization under the (name of this Act) and become a (city or town) 
under the general law governing (cities or towns) of like population; 
or if formerly organized under special charter, shall resume said special 
charter?" 

If the majority of the votes cast at such special election be in favor 
of such proposition, the officers elected at the next succeeding biennial 
election shall be those then prescribed by the general laws of the state 
for municipalities of like population, and upon the qualification of such 
officers, such municipality shall become a municipality under such gen- 
eral law of the state, but such change shall not in any manner or degree 
affect the property rights, or liabilities of any nature of such munici- 
pality, but shall merely extend to each change in its form of govern- 
ment. 

The sufficiency of such petition shall be determined, the election 
ordered and conducted, and the results declared, as provided for by the 
provisions of this Act, insofar as the provisions thereof are applicable. 
Whenever the form of government of a municipality is determined by a 
vote of the people under the provisions of this section, the same question 
shall not be submitted again for a period of two years, and any ordinance 
adopted by the vote of the people shall not be repealed or the same ques- 
tion submitted for a period of two years. 



204 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

"Section 5515. Except as otherwise in this Act provided, all Acts 
and parts of Acts and all laws now in force or hereafter ehacted rela- 
tive to municipal corporations, are hereby continued in full force and 
effect and shall be considered and construed as not repealed by this Act, 
except insofar as the same may be in conflict or inconsistent with the 
provisions of this Act." As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

"Section 5516. All laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are 
hereby repealed; provided, however, that this Act shall not repeal or 
modify any of the provisions of an Act approved March 4, 1913, entitled, 
An Act making the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of 
Montana ex-officio a Public Service Commission for the regulation and 
control of certain public utilities, etc., or any amendment or amend- 
ments of said Act, or Section 6645 of the Revised Codes of Montana of 
1921, and neither shall this Act in any manner curtail or impair the 
power or authority of said Public Service Commission and any order 
made, action taken, or regulation provided, by said Commission shall 
supersede and nullify any order, regulation, ordinance or other action 
authorized by this Act in conflict with any such order, regulation, or 
action, of said Public Service Commission; provided, that the annual 
report relating to the operation of any public utility owned by any mu- 
nicipality operating under the provisions of this Act, to be made to said 
Public Service Commission, shall conform to the fiscal year of such city 
or town as established by this Act." As amended by Chapter 31, Laws 
of 1923. 

Section 5517. Whenever any group of communities shall become a 
single municipal district under the provisions of this law, the Commis- 
sioners elected at the first election shall have the same functions and 
authority, and municipal procedure in all respects shall be the same as 
is provided in this law where single communities, cities, or towns adopt 
the Commission-Manager form of government, and the terms of all 
municipal officers in any prior city or town which may be included in 
such new municipal district shall in like manner cease and terminate as 
soon as the Commissioners shall by resolution so declare, and the cor- 
porate functions and existence of any such prior municipal corporation 
may in like manner be terminated by said Commissioners when the need 
for the further existence of such prior corporation shall be at an end. 

Section 5518. Whenever any group of communities, including one or 
more incorporated cities or towns, shall become a single municipal dis- 
trict under this law, such municipal district shall bear the same name 
as the principal incorporated city or town in such district. 

Section 5519. Whenever any group of communities, including one or 
more incorporated cities or towns, shall become a single municipal dis- 
trict under this law, the corporate property of each such city or town 
shall become the property of the new municipality, but improvements 
paid for in whole or in part by special assessments upon abutting prop- 
erty within special improvement districts shall not be deemed municipal 
property within the meaning of this law, to the extent of payments so 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 205 

made. If such prior city or town shall have an unpaid indebtedness, the 
Commissioners of said new municipality elected at the first municipal 
election shall inventory and appraise or cause to be inventoried and 
appraised, all such property, and if the amount of the indebtedness of 
such prior city or town shall exceed the inventory value of the property 
surrendered to the new municipality by such prior city or town, then 
the excess of such indebtedness over the inventory value of said property 
shall be a charge only against the taxable property within the limits of 
such prior city or town, and shall be paid by levy upon such property 
alone. 

Section 5520. Whenever any city organized under this Act includes 
the county seat of the county in which it is situated, any unused space 
in the county buildings in such city may be rented to the City Commis- 
sioners for municipal use by the Board of County Commissioners for 
such rent as shall represent an income of not more than six per cent, 
upon the investment in such buildings proportionate to the space rented. 
Such Commissioners may also contract with the Board of County Com- 
missioners for the pei'formance by county officials or employees of any 
kind of municipal work which can be feasibly performed by them. The 
compensation for such work shall be based upon additional cost to the 
county of its performance, and such compensation shall be paid into the 
general fund of such county unless otherwise provided by law. 

CHAPTER 47, LAWS OF 1929 

An Act to Amend Chapter 98 of the Session Laws of the Eighteenth 
Legislative Assembly Relating to the Qualifications of Electors En- 
titled to Vote Upon Proposals to Create or Increase Indebtedness of 
the City, Town, School District or Other Municipal Corporations and 
Relating to Official Duties Concerned Therewith. 

Be It Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana: 

Section 'l. That Chapter 98 of the Session Laws of the Eighteenth 
Legislative Assembly be, and the same is hereby amended to read as 
follows: 

Section 1. That from and after the passage and approval of this Act, 
only such registered electors of the city, town, school district, or other 
municipal corporation whose names appear upon the last preceding 
assessment roll shall be entitled to vote upon any proposal to create or 
increase any indebtedness of city, town, school district or other munici- 
pal corporation, required by law to be submitted to a vote of the electors 
thereof. 

Section 2. The County Clerk shall, immediately after the closing of 
the registration books of his county preceding such election, as provided 
by law, prepare lists of the registered electors of the city, town, school 
district, or other municipal corporation whose names appear upon the 
last preceding assessment roll, and shall prepare poll books therefor as 
provided by Section 568, Revised Codes of Montana of 1921, and furnish 
copies thereof to the city, town, school district or municipal corporation 



206 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

in which such election is to be held for which he shall receive compen- 
sation as provided in Section 571, Revised Codes of Montana of 1921. 
When the election is upon a proposal to create or increase the indebted- 
ness of a city, town, school district or other municipal corporation, the 
County Clerk shall deliver such lists to the clerk of the city, town, school 
district or other municipal corporation, holding such election, and it shall 
be his duty to post such lists in the manner provided in said Section 567. 

Section 2. All Acts and parts of Acts in conflict herewith are hereby 
repealed. 

Section 3. This Act shall be in full force and effect from and after 
its passage. 

Approved March 1, 1929. 

JUDICIAL OFFICERS 

Justices of the Supreme Court. 
(Constitutional Provisions, Article VIII, Section 12, Page 11) 

Section 8790. On and after September 1, 1919, the Supreme Court 
shall consist of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices, who shall 
be elected by the qualified electors of the state at lai-ge at the general 
state elections next preceding the expiration of the terms of office of 
their predecessors, respectively, and shall hold their offices for the term 
of six years from and after the first Monday of January next succeeding 
their election. 

Section 8791. The first term of office of one of the additional Justices 
of the Supreme Court hereby provided for shall extend from the first 
day of September, 1919, to the first Monday of January, 1921; and John 
Hurley of Valley county, Montana, is hereby named as said Justice of 
the Supreme Court, and he shall hold said office for said term. 

• 

Section 8792. The first term of office of the other said additional Jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court hereby provided for shall extend from the first 
day of September, 1919, to the first Monday of January, 192o; and 
George Y. Patten of Gallatin county, Montana, is hereby named as said 
additional Justice of the Supreme Court, and he shall hold office for 
said term. 

Section 8797. The years during which a Justice of the Supreme Court 
is to hold office are to be computed respectively from and including the 
first Monday of January of any one year to and excluding the first Mon- 
day of January of the next succeeding year. 

Section 8798. If a vacancy occur in the office of a Justice of the 
Supreme Court, the Governor must appoint an eligible person to hold 
the office until the election and qualification of a Justice to fill the 
vacancy, which election must take place at the next succeeding general 
election; and the Justice so elected holds the office for the remainder of 
the unexpired term of his predecessor. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 207 

JUDICIAL DISTRICTS 

Section 8812. Judicial Districts Defined. In this state there are sev- 
enteen judicial districts, distributed as follows: 

First District, Lewis and Clark and Broadwater counties. 

Second District, Silver Bow county. 

Third District, Deer Lodge, Granite, and Powell counties. 

Fourth District, Missoula, Mineral, Lake, Ravalli, and Sanders coun- 
ties. 

Fifth District, Beaverhead, Jefferson, and Madison counties. 
Sixth District, Gallatin, Park, and Sweet Grass counties. 
Seventh District, Dawson, McCone, Richland, and Wibaux counties. 
Eighth District, Cascade and Chouteau counties. » 

Ninth District, Teton, Pondera, Toole, and Glacier counties. 
Tenth Disti'ict, Fergus, Judith Basin, and Petroleum counties. 
Eleventh District, Flathead and Lincoln counties. 
Twelfth District, Liberty, Hill, and Blaine counties. 
Thirteenth District, Yellowstone, Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, and 
Treasure counties. 

Fourteenth District, Meagher, Wheatland, Golden Valley, and Mus- 
selshell counties. 

Fifteenth District, Roosevelt, Daniels, and Sheridan counties. 
Sixteenth District, Custer, Carter, Fallon, Prairie, Powder River, 
Garfield, and Rosebud counties. 

Seventeenth District, Phillips and Valley counties. 
(As amended by Chapter 91, Laws of 1929.) 

Section 8813. Number of Judges. In each Judicial District there 
must be the following number of Judges of the District Court, who must 
be elected by the qualified voters of the district, and whose term of office 
must be four years, to-wit: In the First, Second, Fourth, Eighth, Thir- 
teenth and Sixteenth, two judges each, in all other districts one judge 
each. (As amended by Chapter 91, Laws of 1929.) 

CHAPTER 91, LAWS OF 1929 

Section 3. For the purpose of electing district judges at the general 
election to be held during the year 1932, and at the primary election 
preceding same, this Act shall be in full force and effect from and after 
its passage and approval, and at such general election district judges in 
this state shall be elected in accordance and in compliance with the pi'o- 
visions of this Act and not otherwise. 

Section 4. For all purposes other than those specified in the next 
preceding section, this Act shall be in full force and effect on and after 
the first Monday in January, 1933, and until said first Monday in Jan- 
uary, 1983, the judicial districts and district judges in this state shall be 
and remain as heretofore provided in Section 3 of this Act. 



208 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 8820. If a vacancy occur in the office of judge of a district 
court, the governor must appoint an eligible person to hold the office 
until the election and qualification of a judge to fill the vacancy, which 
election must take place at the next succeeding general election, and 
the judge so elected holds office for the remainder of the unexpired 
term. 

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE 

(Constitutional Provision, Article VIII, Section 20. See Page 12) 

li; >|; ;(: j|; :?; tj: 

Section 8833. There must be at least two Justices' Courts in each of 
the organized townships of the state, for which two justices of the peace 
must be elected by the qualified electors of the township at the general 
state election next preceding the expiration of the term of office of his 
predecessor. 

■-;: --'f * :ic * * 

Section 8837. The term of office of justices of peace is two years 
from the first Monday in January next succeeding their election. 

Section 8838. If a vacancy occurs in the office of a justice of the 
peace, the County Commissioners of the county must appoint an eligible 
person to hold the office for the remainder of the unexpired term. 

BOND ISSUE, RESTRAINED 

Section 9040. No action can be brought for the puipose of restraining 
the issuance and sale of bonds by any school district, county, city or 
town in the State of Montana, or for the purpose of restraining the levy 
and collection of taxes for the payment of such bonds, after the expira- 
tion of sixty days from the date of the order authorizing the issuance 
and sale of such bonds, on account of any defect, irregularity, or infor- 
mality in giving notice, or in holding the election upon the question of 
such bond issue. 

CRIMES AGAINST ELECTIVE FRANCHISE 

Section 10747. Every person charged with the performance of any 
duty, under the provisions of any law of this state relating to elections, 
or the registration of the names of electors, or the canvassing of the 
returns of election, who wilfully neglects or refuses to perform such duty, 
or who, in his official capacity, knowingly and fraudulently acts in con- 
travention or violation of any of the provisions of such laws, is, unless 
a different punishment for such acts or omissions is prescribed by this 
Code, punishable by fine not exceeding One Thonsand Dollars, or by 
imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding five years, or both. 

Section 10748. Every person who wilfully causes, procures, or allows 
himself to be registered in the official register of any election district 
of any county, knowing himself not to be entitled to such registration, 
is punishable by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars, or by im- 
prisonment in the county jail or state prison not exceeding one year. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 209 

or both. In all cases where, on the trial of the person charged with any 
offense under the provisions of this section, it appears in evidence that 
the accused stands registered in such register of any county, without 
being qualified for such registration, the court must order such regis- 
tration to be cancelled. 

Section 10749. Every person not entitled to vote who fraudulently 
votes, and every person who votes more than once at any one election, 
or changes any ballot after the same has been deposited in the ballot-box, 
or adds, or attempts to add, any ballot to those legally polled at any 
election, either by fraudulently introducing the same into the ballot-box 
before or after the ballots therein have been counted; or adds to, or 
mixes with, or attempts to add to or mix with, the ballots lawfully 
polled, other ballots, while the same are being counted or canvassed, or 
at any other time, with intent to change the result of such election; or 
carries away or destroys, or attempts to carry away or destroy, any poll- 
lists, check-lists, or ballots, or ballot-box, for the purpose of breaking 
up or invalidating such election, or wilfully detains, mutilates, or de- 
stroys any election returns, or in any manner so interferes with the 
officers holding such election or conducting such canvass, or with the 
voters lawfully exercising their rights of voting at such election, as to 
prevent such election or canvass from being fairly held and lawfully 
conducted, is guilty of a felony. 

Section 10750. Every person not entitled to vote, who fraudulently 
attempts to vote or register, or who, being entitled to vote, attempts to 
vote or register more than once at any election, is guilty of a misde- 
meanor. 

Section 10751. Every person who procures, aids, assists, counsels, or 
advises another to register or give or offer his vote at any election, 
knowing that the person is not entitled to vote or register, is guilty of 
a misdemeanor. 

Section 10752. Every officer or clerk of election who aids in chang- 
ing or destroying any poll-list or check-list, or in placing any ballots 
in the ballot-box, or taking any therefrom, or adds, or attempts to add, 
any ballots to those legally polled at such election, either by fraudu- 
lently introducing the same into the ballot-box before or after the ballots 
therein have been counted, or adds to or mixes with, or attempts to add 
to or mix with, the ballots polled, any other ballots, while the same are 
being counted or canvassed, or at any other time, with intent to change 
the result of such election, or allows another to do so, when in his power 
to prevent it, or carries away or destroys, or knowingly allows another 
to carry away or destroy, any poll-list, check-list, ballot-box, or ballots 
lawfully polled, is guilty of a felony. 

Section 10753. Every judge or clerk of an election who, previous to 
putting the ballot of an elector in the ballot-box, attempts to find out 
any name on such ballot, or who opens or suffers the folded ballot of 
any elector which has been handed in, to be opened or examined previous 



210 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

to putting the same into the ballot-box, or who makes or places any 
mark or device on any folded ballot, with the view to ascertain the name 
of any person for whom the elector has voted, is punishable by impris- 
onment in the county jail for a period of six months, or in the state 
prison not exceeding two years, or by fine, not exceeding Five Hundred 
Dollars, or by both. 

Section 10754. Every person who forges or counterfeits retuiTis of 
an election purporting to have been held at a precinct, town, or ward 
where no election was in fact held, or wilfully substitutes forged or 
counterfeit returns of election in the place of the true returns for a 
precinct, town, or ward where an election was actually held, is punisha- 
ble by imprisonment in the state prison for a term not less than two nor 
more than ten years. 

Section 10755. Every person who wilfully adds to or substracts from 
the votes actually cast at an election, in any returns, or who alters such 
returns, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not less 
than one nor more than five years. 

Section 10756. Every person who aids or abets in 'the commission of 
any of the offenses mentioned in the four preceding sections is punish- 
able by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of six months, or 
in the state prison not exceeding two years. 

Section 10757. Every person who, by force, threats, menaces, bribery, 
or any corrupt means, either directly or indirectly, attempts to influ- 
ence any elector in giving his vote, or to deter him from giving the same, 
or attempts by any means whatever to awe, restrain, hinder, or disturb 
any elector in the free exercise of the right of suffrage, or defrauds any 
elector at any such election, by deceiving and causing such elector to 
vote for a different person for any office than he intended or desired to 
vote for; or who, being judge or clerk of any election, while acting as 
such, induces, or attempts to induce, any elector, either by menaces or 
reward, or promise thereof, to vote differently from what such elector 
intended or desired to vote, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is punish- 
able by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars, or imprisonment not 
to exceed one year, or both. 

Section 10758. Every person who falsely makes, or fraudulently de- 
faces or destroys, the certificates of nomination of candidates for office, 
to be filled by the electors at any election, or any part thereof, or files 
or receives for filing any certificate of nomination, knowing the same, 
or any part thereof, to be falsely made, or suppresses any certificate 
of nomination, which has been duly filed, or any part thereof, or forges 
or falsely makes the official endorsement on any ballot, is guilty of a 
felony, and upon conviction thereof is punishable by imprisonment in 
the state prison not less than one nor more than five years. 

Section 10759. Every officer or clerk of election who deposits in a 
ballot-box a ballot on which the official stamp, as provided by law, does 
not appear, or does any electioneering on election day, is guilty of a 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 211 

misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by imprisonment not 
to exceed six months, or by a fine not less than Fifty nor more than 
Five Hundred Dollars, or both. 

Section 10760. Every person who, during an election, removes or 
destroys any of the supplies or other conveniences placed in the booths 
or compartments for the purpose of enabling a voter to prepare his bal- 
lot, or prior to or on the day of election wilfully defaces or destroys any 
list of candidates posted in accordance with the provisions of law, or 
during an election tears down or defaces the cards printed for the in- 
struction of voters, or does any electioneering on election day within 
any polling-place or any building in which an election is being held, or 
within twenty-five feet thereof, or obstructs the doors or entries thereof, 
or removes any ballot from the polling-place before the closing of the 
polls, or shows his ballot to any person after it is marked so as to reveal 
the contents thereof, or solicits an elector to show his ballot after it is 
marked, or places a mark on his ballot by which it may afterwards be 
identified, or receives a ballot from any other person than one of the 
judges of the election having charge of the ballots, or votes or offers to 
vote any ballot except such as he has received from the judges of elec- 
tion having charge of the ballots, or does not return the ballot before 
leaving the polling-place, delivered to him by such judges, and which he 
has not voted, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine 
not exceeding One Hundred Dollars. 

Section 10761. Every person who, with the intention to promote the 
election of himself or any other person, either: 

1. Furnishes entertainments, at his expense, to any meeting of elec- 
tors previous to or during an election; 

2. Pays for, procures, or engages to pay for any such entertain- 
ment; 

3. Furnishes or engages to pay any money or property for the pur- 
pose of procuring the attendance of voters at the polls, or for the pur- 
pose of compensating any person for procuring the attendance of voters 
at the polls, except for the conveyance of voters who are sick or infirm; 

4. Furnishes or engages to pay or deliver any money or property 
for any purpose intended to promote the election of any candidate, ex- 
cept for the expenses of holding and conducting public meetings for the 
discussion of public questions, and of printing and circulating ballots, 
hand bills, and other papers, previous to such election; is guilty of a 
misdemeanor. 

Section 10762. Every person who, being a candidate at any election, 
offers, or agrees to appoint or procure, the appointment of any particu- 
lar person to office, as an inducement or consideration to any person to 
vote for, or to procure or aid in procuring the election of such candidate, 
is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

Section 10763. Every person, not being a candidate, who communi- 
cates any offer, made in violation of the last section, to any person, with 



212 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

intent to induce him to vote for, or to procure or to aid in procuring the 
election of the candidate making the offer, is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

Section 10764. Every person who gives or offers a bribe to any offi- 
cer or member of any legislative caucus, political convention, or political 
gathering of any kind, held for the purpose of nominating candidates 
for offices of honor, tinast, or profit, in this state, with intent to influ- 
ence the person to whom such bribe is given or offered to be more favor- 
able to one candidate than another, and every person, member of either 
of the bodies in this section mentioned, who receives or offers to receive 
any such bribe, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not 
less than one nor more than fourteen years. 

Section 10765. Every person who, by threats, intimidations, or vio- 
lence, wilfully hinders or prevents electors from assembling in public 
meeting for the consideration of public questions, is guilty of a misde- 
meanor. 

Section 10766. Every person who wilfully disturbs or breaks up any 
public meeting of electors or others, lawfully being held for the purpose 
of considering public questions, or any public school or public school meet- 
ing, is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

Section 10767. Every person who makes, offers, or accepts any bet 
or wager upon the result of any election, or upon the success or failure 
of any person or candidate, or upon the number of votes to be cast, 
either in the aggregate or for any particular candidate, or upon the 
vote to be cast by any person, is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

Section 10768. Every person who wilfully violates any of the provi- 
sions of the laws of this state relating to elections is, unless a different 
punishment for such violation is prescribed by this Code, punishable by 
fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars, or by imprisonment in the 
state prison not exceeding five years, or both. 

Section 10769. The following persons shall be deemed guilty of brib- 
ery, and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars, 
and imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding one year: 

1. Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any 
other person on his behalf, gives, lends, or agrees to give or lend, or 
offers or promises, any money or valuable consideration, or promise to 
procure, or endeavors to procure any money or valuable consideration 
to or for any election, or to do for any person on behalf of any elector, 
or to or for any person, in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain 
from voting, or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid; 

2. Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any 
other person on his behalf, gives, or procures, or agrees to give or pro- 
cure, or offers or promises, any office, place, or employment, to oi- for 
any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce such elector to 
vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid, 
on account of any elector having voted or refrained from voting at any 
election; 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 213 

3. Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any 
other persons on his behalf, makes any gift, loan, offer, promise, pro- 
curement, or agreement as aforesaid, to or for any person, in order to 
induce such person to procure or endeavor to procure the return of any 
person to serve in the Legislative Assembly, or the vote of any elector 
at any election: 

4. Every person who, upon or in consequence of any such gift, loan, 
offer, promise, procurement, or agreement, procures or promises, or 
endeavors to procure, the election of any candidate to the Legislative 
Assembly, or the vote of any elector at any election; 

5. Every person who advances or pays, or causes to he paid, any 
money to, or to the use of any other person, with the intent that such 
money or any part thereof, shall be expended in bribery, or in corrupt 
practices, at any election, or who knowingly pays, or causes to he paid, 
any money to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly 
or in part expended in bribery or corrupt practices at any election; 

6. Every elector who, before or during any election, directly or indi- 
rectly, by himself or any other person on his behalf, receives, agrees, or 
contracts for any money, gift, loan, valuable consideration, office, place, 
or employment, for himself or any other person, for voting or agreeing 
to vote, or for refusing or agreeing to refrain from voting at any elec- 
tion; 

7. Every person who, after any election, directly or indirectly, by 
himself or by any other person in his behalf, receives any money, gift, 
loan, valuable consideration, office, place, or employment, for having 
voted or refrained from voting, or having induced any other person to 
vote or refrain from voting at any election; 

8. Every person, whether an elector or otherwise, who, before or 
during any election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other 
person on his behalf, makes approaches to any candidate or agent, or 
any person representing or acting on behalf of any candidate at such 
election, and asks for, or offers to agree or contract for, any money, 
gift, loan, valuable consideAtion, office, place, or employment for him- 
self or any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refrain- 
ing or agreeing to refrain from voting at such election; 

&. Every person, whether an elector or otherwise, who, after an 
election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his 
behalf, makes approaches to any candidate, or any agent or person rep- 
resenting or acting on behalf of any candidate, and asks for or offers to 
receive any money, gift, loan, valuable consideration, office, place, or 
employment, for himself or any other person, for having voted or re- 
frained from voting, or having induced any other person to vote or 
refrain from voting at such election; 

10. Every person who, in order to induce a person to allow himself 
to be nominated as a candidate, or to refrain from becoming a candidate, 
or to withdraw if he has so become, gives or lends any money or valuable 
consideration whatever, or agrees to give or lend, or offers or promises 
any such money or valuable consideration, or promises to procure or try 



214 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

to procure, or tries to procure, for such person, or for any other person, 
any money or valuable consideration; 

11. Every person vi^ho, for the purpose and with the intent in the 
last preceding subsection mentioned, gives or procures any office, place, 
or employment, or agrees to give, or procure or offers or promises, such 
office, place, or employment, or endeavors to procure, or promises to 
procure or to endeavor to procure, such office, place, or employment, to 
or for such person or any other person; 

12. Every person w^ho, in consideration of any gift, loan, offer, prom- 
ise, or agreement, as mentioned in the two last preceding subsections, 
allows himself to be nominated, or refuses to allow himself to be nomi- 
nated, as a candidate at an election, or withdraws if he has been so 
nominated; 

13. Every elector, candidate for nomination, nominee, or political 
committee who shall pay, or offer to pay, the fee for any person who 
is about to, or has made his declaration of intention, or has taken out, 
or is about to take out, his final papers as a citizen of the United States; 
and every person who receives any money or other valuable thing to pay 
such fee, or permits the same to be paid for him. 

Section 10770. It shall be unlawful for any employer, in paying his 
employees the salary or wages due them, to enclose their pay in "pay 
envelopes" upon which there is written or printed the name of any can- 
didate or political mottoes, devices, or arguments containing threats or 
promise, express or implied, calculated or intended to influence the polit- 
ical opinions or actions of such employees. Nor shall it be lavrful for an 
employer, within ninety days of an election, to put up or otherwise ex- 
hibit in his factory, workshop, or other establishment or place where 
his workmen or employees may be working, any hand bill or placard 
containing any threat or promise, notice, or information, that in case 
any particular ticket or political party, or organization, or candidate, 
shall be elected, work in his place or establishment will cease, in whole 
or in part, or shall be continued or increased, or his place or establish- 
ment be closed up, or the salaries or wages of his woi-kmen or employees 
be i-educed or increased, or other threats, or promises, express or implied, 
intended or calculated to influence the political opinions or actions of 
his workmen or employees. This section shall apply to corporations as 
well as individuals, and any person violating the provisions of this 
section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of 
not less than Twenty-five Dollars nor more than Five Hundred Dollars, 
and imprisonment not exceeding six months in the county jail, and any 
corporation violating this section shall be punished by a fine not to 
exceed Five Thousand Dollars, or forfeit its charter, or both such fine 
and forfeiture. 

Section 10771. All fines imposed and collected under the preceding 
sections shall be paid into the county treasury for the benefit of the 
common schools of the county in which the offense was committed. 

Section 10772, If it be proved before any court for the trial of elec- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 215 

tion contests or petitions that any corrupt practice has been committed, 
by or with the actual knowledge and consent of any candidate at an 
election, if he has been elected, such election shall be void, and shall be 
so adjudged. 

CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT 

Section 10773. No sums of money shall be paid, and no expenses 
authorized or incurred, by or on behalf of any candidate to be paid by 
him, except such as he may pay to the state for printing, as herein pro- 
vided, in his campaign for nomination to any public office or position 
in this state, in excess of fifteen per cent, of one year's compensation 
or salary of the office for which he is a candidate; provided, that no 
candidate shall be restricted to less than one hundred dollars in his cam- 
paign for such nomination. No sums of money shall be paid, and no 
expenses authorized or incurred, contrary to the provisions of this Act, 
for or on behalf of any candidate for nomination. For the purposes of 
this law, the contribution, expenditure, or liability of a descendant, 
ascendant, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, wife partner, em- 
ployer, employee, or fellow official or fellow employee of a corporation, 
shall be deemed to be that of the candidate himself. 

Section 10774. No sums of money shall be paid and no expenses 
authorized or incurred by or on behalf of any candidate who has received 
the nomination to any public office or position in this state, except such 
as he may contribute towards payment for his political party's or inde- 
pendent statement in the pamphlet herein provided for, to be paid by 
him in his campaign for election, in excess of ten per cent, of one year's 
salary or compensation of the office for which he is nominated; pro- 
vided, that no candidate shall be restricted to less than one ' hundred 
dollars. No sum of money shall be paid and no expenses authorized or 
incurred by or on behalf of any political party or organization to pro- 
mote the success of the principles or candidates of such party or organ- 
ization, contrary to the provisions of this Act. For the purposes of this 
Act, the contribution, expenditure, or liability of a descendant, ascend- 
ant, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, wife, partner, employer, 
employee, or fellow official or fellow employee of a corporation, shall 
be deem.ed to be that of the candidate himself. 

Section 10775. Terms used in this Act shall be construed as follows, 
unless other meaning is clearly apparent from the language or context, 
or unless such construction is inconsistent with the manifest intent of 
the law: 

"Persons" shall apply to any individual, male or female, and, where 
consistent with collective capacity, to any committee, firm, partnership, 
club, organization, association, corporation, or other combination of indi- 
viduals. 

"Candidate" shall apply to any person whose name is printed on an 
official ballot for public office, or whose name is expected to be or has 
been presented for public office, with his consent, for nomination or 
election. 



216 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

"Political agent" shall apply to any person who, upon request or 
under agreement, receives or disburses money in behalf of a candidate. 

"Political committee" shall apply to every combination of two or 
more persons who shall aid or promote the success or defeat of a candi- 
date, or a political party or principle, and the provisions of law relating 
thereto shall apply to any firm or partnership, to any corporation, and 
to any club, organization, association, or other combination of persons, 
whether incorporated or not, with similar purposes, whether primary 
or incidental. 

"Public office" shall apply to any national, state, county, or city 
office to which a salary attaches and which is filled by the voters, as 
well as to the office of presidential elector. United States senator, or 
presiding officer of either branch of the legislature. 

"Give," "provide," "expend," "contribute," "receive," "ask," "solicit," 
and like terms, with their corresponding nouns, shall apply to money, 
its equivalent, or any other valuable thing; shall include the promise, 
advance deposit, borrowing, or loan thereof, and shall cover all or any 
part of a transaction, whether it be made directly or indirectly. 

None of the provisions of this Act shall be construed as relating to 
the rendering of services by speakers, writers, publishers, or others, for 
which no compensation is asked or given; nor to prohibit expenditure 
by committees of political parties or organizations for public speakers, 
music, halls, lights, literature, advertising, office rent, printing, postage, 
clerk hire, challengers or watchers at the polls, traveling expenses, 
telegraphing or telephoning, or making of poll-lists. 

Section 10776. Every candidate for nomination or election to public 
office, including candidates for the office of senator of the United States, 
shall, within fifteen days after the election at which he was a candidate, 
file with the Secretary of State if a candidate for senator of the United 
States, representative in congress, or for any state or district office in 
a district composed of one or more counties, or for members of the legis- 
lative assembly from a district composed of more than one county, but 
with the County Clerk for legislative districts composed of not more than 
one county, and for county and precinct offices, and with the City Clerk, 
Auditor, or Recorder of the town or city in which he resides, if he was 
a candidate for a town, city, or ward office, an itemized sworn state- 
ment setting forth in detail all the moneys contributed, expended, or 
promised by him to aid and promote his nomination or election, or both, 
as the case may be, and for the election of his party candidates, and all 
existing unfulfilled promises of every character, and all liabilities re^ 
maining uncancelled and in force at the time such statement is made, 
whether such expenditures, promises, and liabilities were made or incur- 
red before, during, or after such election. If no money or other valuable 
thing was given, paid, expended, contributed, or promised, and no un- 
fulfilled liabilities were incurred by a candidate for public office to aid 
or promote his nomination or election, or the election of his party candi- 
dates, he shall file a statement to that effect within fifteen days after 
the election at which he was a candidate. Any candidate who shall fail 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 217 

to file such a statement shall be lined twenty-five dollars for every day 
on which he was in default, unless he shall be excused by the court. 
Fiftten days after any such election the Secretary of State, or County 
Clerk, City Clerk, Auditor, or Recorder, as the case may be, shall notify 
the County Attorney of any failure to file such a statement on the part of 
any candidate, and within ten days thereafter such prosecuting officer 
shall proceed to prosecute said candidate for such offense. 

Section 10777. Every political committee shall have a treasurer, who 
is a voter, and shall cause him to keep detailed accounts of all its receipts, 
payments, and liabilities. Similar accounts shall be kept by every per- 
son, who in the aggregate receives or expends money or incurs liabilities 
to the amount of more than fifty dollars for political purposes, and by 
every political agent and candidate. Such accounts shall cover all trans- 
actions in any way affecting or connected with the political canvass, 
campaign, nomination, or election concerned. Every person receiving 
or expending money or incurring liability by authority or in behalf of 
or to promote the success or defeat of such committee, agent, candidate, 
or other person or political party or organization, shall, on demand, and 
in any event within fourteen days after such receipt, expenditure, or 
incuri'ence of liability, give such treasurer, agent, candidate, or other 
person on whose behalf such expense or liability was incurred detailed 
account thereof, with proper vouchers. Every payment, except payments 
less in the aggregate than five dollars to any person, shall be vouched 
for by a receipted bill stating the particulars of expense. Every voucher, 
receipt, and account hereby required shall be a part of the accounts and 
files of such treaswer, agent, candidate, or other person, and shall be 
preserved by the public officer with whom it shall be filed for six 
months after the election to which it refers. Any person not a candidate 
for any office or nomination who expends money or value to an amount 
greater than fifty dollars in any campaign for nomination or election, 
to aid in the election or defeat of any candidate or candidates, or party 
ticket, or measure before the people, shall, within ten days after the 
election in which said money or value was expended, file with the Sec- 
retary of State in the case of a measure voted upon by the people, or 
of state or district offices for districts composed of one or more coun- 
ties, or with the County Clerk for county offices, and with the City 
Clerk, Auditor, or Recorder for municipal offices, an itemized statement 
of such receipts and expenditures and vouchers for every sum paid in 
excess of five dollars, and shall at the same time deliver to the candi- 
date or treasurer of the political organization whose success or defeat 
he has sought to promote, a duplicate of such statement and a copy of 
such vouchers. The books of account of every treasurer of any political 
party, committee, or organization, during an election campaign, shall 
be open at all reasonable office hours to the inspection of the treasurer 
and chairman of any opposing political party or organization for the 
same electoral district; and his right of inspection may be enforced by 
writ of mandamus by any court of competent jurisdiction. 



218 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 10778. The Secretary of State shall, at the expense of the 
state, furnish to the County Clerk, and to the City and Town Clerks, 
Auditors, and Recorders, copies of this Act as a part of the election laws. 
In the filing of a nomination petition or certificate of nomination, the 
Secretary of State, in the case of state and district offices for districts 
composed of one or more counties, and County Clerks for county offices, 
and the City and Town Clerks, Auditors, or Recorders for municipal 
offices, shall transmit to the several candidates, and to the treasurers 
of political committees, and to political agents, as far as they may be 
known to such officer, copies of this Act, and also to any other person 
required to file a statement; such copies shall be furnished upon applica- 
tion therefor. Upon his own information, or at the written request of 
any voter, said Secretary of State shall transmit to any other person 
believed by him or averred to be a candidate, or who may otherwise be 
required to make a statement, a copy of this Act. 

Section 10779. The several officers with whom statements are re- 
quired to be filed shall inspect all statements of accounts and expenses 
relating to nominations and elections filed with them within ten days 
after the same are filed; and if, upon examination of the official ballot, 
it appears that any person has failed to file a statement as required by 
law, or if it appears to any such officer that the statement filed with 
him does not conform to law, or upon complaint in writing by a candi- 
date or by a voter that a statement filed does not conform to law or to 
the truth, or that any person has failed to file a statement which he is by 
law required to file said officer shall foi-thwith in writing notify the de- 
linquent person. Every such complaint filed by a citizen or candidate shall 
state in detail the grounds of objection, shall be sworn to by the complain- 
ant, and shall be filed with the officer within sixty days after the filing of 
the statement or amended statement. Upon the written request of a 
candidate or any voter, filed within sixteen days after any convention, 
primary, or nominating election, said Secretary of State, County Clerk, 
City or Town Clerk, Auditor, or Recorder, as the case may be, shall 
demand from any specified person or candidate a statement of all his 
receipts, and from whom received, disbursements and liabilities in con- 
nection with or in any way relating to the nomination or election con- 
cemed, whether it is an office to which a salary or compensation is 
attached or not, and said person shall thereupon be required to file such 
statement and to comply with all the provisions relating to statements 
herein contained. Whoever makes a statement required by this Act shall 
make oath attached thereto that it is in all respects correct, complete, 
and true, to the best of his knowledge and belief, and said verification 
shall be substantially the form herein provided. 

Section 10780. Upon the failure of any person to file a statement 
within ten days after receiving notice, under the preceding section, or 
if any statement filed as above discloses any violation of any provision 
of this Act relating to corrupt practices in elections, or in any other 
provision of the election laws, the Secretary of State, the County Clerk, 
or the City Clerk, Auditor, or Recorder, as the case may be, shall forth- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA _ 219 

with notify the County Attorney of the county where said violation 
occurred, and shall furnish him with copies of all papers relating there- 
to, and said County Attorney shall, within sixty days thereafter, exam- 
ine every such case, and if the evidence seems to him to be sufficient 
under the provisions of this Act, he shall, in the name of the state, 
forthwith institute such civil or criminal proceedings as may be appro- 
priate to the facts. 

Section 10781. The district court of the county in which any state- 
ment of accounts and expenses relating to nominations and elections 
should be filed, unless herein otherwise provided, shall have exclusive 
original jurisdiction of all violations of this Act, and may compel any 
person who fails to file such a statement as required by this Act, or who 
files a statement which does not conform to the provisions of this Act 
in respect to its truth, sufficiency in detail, or otherwise, to file a suffi- 
cient statement, upon the application of the Attorney-General or of the 
County Attorney, or the petition of a candidate or of any voter. Such 
petition shall be filed in the district court vdthin sixty days after such 
election if the statement was filed within the fifteen days required, but 
such a petition may be filed within thirty days after any payment not 
included in the statement so filed. 

Section 10782. All statements shall be preserved for six months after 
the election to which they relate, shall be public records subject to public 
inspection, and it shall be the duty of the officers having custody of the 
same to give certified copies thereof in like manner as of other public 
records. The totals of each statement, filed with him, with the name of 
the person or candidate filing it, shall be published in the next annual 
report of the Secretary of State, the County Clerk, or the City Clerk, 
Auditor, or Recorder, as the case may be. 

Section 10783. No person shall make a payment of his own money 
or of another person's money to any other person in connection with 
a nomination or election in any other name than that of the person who 
in truth supplies such money; nor shall any person knowingly receive 
such payment, or enter, or cause the same to be entered, in his accounts 
or records in another name than that of the person by whom it was 
actually furnished; provided, if the money be received from the treasurer 
of any political organization, it shall be sufficient to enter the same as 
received from said treasurer. 

Section 10784. No person shall, in order to aid or promote his nomi- 
nation or election, directly or indirectly, himself or through any other 
person, promise to appoint another person, or promise to secure or aid 
in securing the appointment, nomination, or election of another person 
to any public or private position or employment, or to any position of 
honor, trust, or emolument, except that he may publicly announce or 
define what is his choice or purpose in relation to any election in which 
he may be called to take part, if elected, and if he is a candidate for 
nomination or election as a member of the legislative assembly, he may 
pledge himself to vote for the people's choice for United States senator, 
or state what his action will be on such vote. 



220 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 10785. No holder of a public position or office, other than an 
office filled by the voters, shall pay or contribute to aid or promote the 
nomination or election of any other person to public office. No person 
shall invite, demand, or accept payment or contribution from such holder 
of a public position or office for campaign purposes. 

Section 10786. No holder of a public position, other than an office 
filled by the voters, shall be a delegate to a convention for the election 
district that elects the officer or board under whom he directly or indi- 
rectly holds such position, nor shall he be a member of a political com- 
mittee for such district. 

Section 10787. No person shall invite, offer, or effect the transfer 
of any convention credentials in return for any payment of money or 
other valuable thing. 

Section 10788. No person shall pay, or promise to reward another, 
in any manner or form, for the purpose of inducing him to be or refrain 
from or cease being a candidate, and no person shall solicit any pay- 
ment, promise, or reward from another for such purpose. 

Section 10789. No person shall demand, solicit, ask, or invite any 
payment or contribution for any religious, political, charitable, or other 
cause or organization supposed to be primarily or principally for the 
public good from a person who seeks to be or has been nominated or 
elected to any office; and no such candidate or elected person shall 
make any such payment or contribution if it shall be demanded or asked 
during the time he is a candidate for nomination or election to or an 
incumbent of any office. No payment or contribution for any purpose 
shall be made a condition precedent to the putting of a name on any 
caucus or convention ballot or nomination paper or petition, or to the 
performance of any duty imposed by law on a political committee. No 
person shall demand, solicit, ask, or invite any candidate to subscribe to 
the support of any club or organization, to buy tickets to any entertain- 
ment or ball, or to subscribe for or pay for space in any book, program, 
periodical, or other publication; if any candidate shall make any such 
payment or contribution with apparent hope or intent to influence the 
result of the election, he shall be guilty of a corrupt practice; but this 
section shall not apply to the soliciting of any business advertisement 
for insertion in a periodical in which such candidate was regularly 
advertising prior to his candidacy, nor to ordinary business advertising, 
nor to his regular payment to any organization, religious, charitable, 
or otherwise, of which he may have been a member, or to which he may 
have been a contributor, for more than six months before his candidacy, 
nor to ordinary contributions at church sei'vices. 

Section 10790. No corporation, and no person, trustee, or trustees 
owning or holding the majority of the stock of a corporation carrying 
on the business of a bank, savings bank, co-operative bank, trust, trustee, 
surety, indemnity, safe deposit, insurance, railroad, street railway, tele- 
graph, telephone, gas, electric light, heat, power, canal, aqueduct, water, 
cemetery, or crematory company, or any company having the right to 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 221 

take or condemn land, or to exercise franchise in public ways granted 
by the state or by any county, city, or town, shall pay or contribute in 
order to aid, pi-omote, or prevent the nomination or election of any per- 
son, or in order to aid or promote the interests, success, or defeat of any 
political party or organization. No person shall solicit or receive such 
payment or contribution from such corporation or such holders of a 
. majority of such stock. 

Section 10791. Any person or candidate who shall, either by himself 
or by any other person, either before or after an election, or while such 
person or candidate is seeking a nomination or election, dii-ectly or indi- 
rectly, give or provide, or pay, wholly or in part, the expenses of giving 
or providing any meat or drink, or other entertainment or provision, 
clothing, liquor, cigars, or tobacco, to or for any person for the purpose 
of or with intent or hope to influence that person or any other person, 
to give or refrain from giving his vote at such election to or for any 
candidate or political party ticket, or measure before the people, or on 
account of such persons, or any other person, having voted or refrained 
from voting for any candidate or the candidates of any political party 
or organization or measure before the people, or being about to vote or 
refrain from voting at such election, shall be guilty of treating. Every 
elector who accepts or takes any such meat, drink, entertainment, pro- 
vision, clothing, liquors, cigars, or tobacco, shall also be guilty of treat- 
ing; and such acceptance shall be a ground of challenge to his vote and 
of rejecting his vote on a contest. 

Section 10792. Whenever any person's right to vote shall be chal- 
lenged, and he has taken the oath prescribed by the statutes, and if it 
is at a nominating election, then it shall be the duty of the clerks of 
election to write in the poll-books at the end of such person's name the 
words "challenged and sworn," with the name of the challenger. There- 
upon the chairman of the board of judges shall write upon the back of 
the ballot offered by such challenged voter the number of his ballot, in 
order that the same may be identified in any future contest of the results 
of the election, and be cast out if it shall appear to the court to have 
been for any reason wrongfully or illegally voted for any candidate or 
on any question. And such marking of the name of such challenged 
voter, nor the testimony nor the testimony of any judge or clerk of 
election in reference thereto, or in reference to the manner in which 
said challenged person voted, if said testimony shall be given in the 
course of any contest, investigation, or trial wherein the legality of the 
vote of such person is questioned for any reason, shall not be deemed 
a violation of Section 10753 of this Code. 

Section 10793. Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by 
himself or any other person in his behalf, make use of or threaten to 
make use of any force, coercion, violence, restraint, or undue influence, 
or inflict or threaten to inflict, by himself or any other person, any 
temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm, or loss upon or against any 
person in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrain from 
voting- for any candidate, or the ticket of any political party, or any 



222 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

measure before the people, or any person who, being a minister, preacher, 
or priest, or any officer of any church, religious or other corporation 
or organization, otherwise than by public speech or print, shall urge, 
persuade, or command any voter to vote or refrain from voting for or 
against any candidate or political party ticket or measure submitted to 
the people, for or on account of his religious duty, or the interest of any 
corporation, church, or other organization, or who shall by abduction, 
duress, or any fraudulent contrivance, impede or prevent the free exer- 
cise of the franchise by any voter at any election, or shall thereby com- 
pel, induce, or prevail upon any elector to give or to refrain from giving 
his vote at any election, shall be guilty of undue influence, and shall 
be punished as for a corrupt practice. 

Section 10794. Any candidate who, before or during any election 
campaign, makes any bet or wager of anything of pecuniary value, or 
in any manner becomes a party to any such bet or wager on the result 
of the election in his electoral district, or in any part thereof, or on any 
event or contingency relating to any pending election, or who provides 
money or other valuables to be used by any person in betting or wager- 
ing upon the results of any impending election, shall be guilty of a cor- 
rupt practice. Any person who, for the purpose of influencing the result 
of any election, makes any bet or wager of anything of pecuniary value 
on the result of such election in his electoral district, or any part thereof, 
or any pending election, or on any event or contingeny relating thereto, 
shall be guilty of a corrupt practice, and in addition thereto any such 
act shall be ground of challenge against his right to vote. 

Section 10795. Any person shall be deemed guilty of the offense of 
personation who, at any election, applies for a ballot in the name of 
some other person, whether it be that of a person living or dead, or of 
a fictitious person, or, who having voted once at an election, applies at 
the same election for a ballot in his own name; and on conviction thereof 
such person shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary at 
hard labor for not less than one nor more than three years. 

Section 10796. Any person shall be guilty of a corrupt practice, 
within the meaning of this Act, if he expends any money for election 
purposes contrary to the provisions of any statute of this state, or if 
he is guilty of treating, undue influence, personation, the giving or 
promising to give, or offer of any money or valuable thing to any elector, 
with intent to induce such elector to vote for or to refrain from voting 
for any candidate for public office, or the ticket of any political party 
or organization, or any mieasure submitted to the people, at any election, 
or to register or refrain from registering as a voter at any state, dis- 
trict, county, city, town, village, or school district election for public 
offices or on public measures. Such corrupt practice shall be deemed 
to be prevalent when instances thereof occur in different election dis- 
tricts similar in character and sufficient in number to convince the court 
before which any case involving the same may be tried that they were 
general and common, or were pursuant to a general scheme or plan. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 223 

Section 10797. It shall be unlawful for any person to pay another 
for any loss or damage due to attendance at the polls, or in registering, 
or for the expense of transportation to or from the polls. No person 
shall pay for personal service to be performed on the day of a caucus, 
primary, convention, or any election, for any purpose connected there- 
with, tending in any way. directly or indirectly, to affect the result 
thereof, except for the hiring of persons whose sole duty is to act as 
challengers and watch the count of official ballots. No person shall buy, 
sell, give, or provide any political badge, button, or other insignia to be 
worn at or about the polls on the day of any election, and no such polit- 
ical badge, button, or other insignia shall be worn at or about the polls 
on any election day. 

Section 10798. No publisher of a newspaper or other periodical shall 
insert, either in its advertising or reading columns, any paid matter 
which is designed or tends to aid, injure, or defeat any candidate or any 
political party or organization, or measure before the people, unless it 
is stated therein that it is a paid advertisement, the name of the chair- 
man or secretary, or the names of the other officers of the political or 
other organization inserting the same, or the name of some voter who 
is responsible therefor, with his residence and the street number thereof, 
if any, appear in such advertisement in the nature of a signature. No 
person shall pay the owner, editor, publisher, or agent of any newspaper 
or other periodical to induce him to editorially advocate or oppose any 
candidate for nomination or election, and no such owner, editor, pub- 
lisher, or agent shall accept such payment. Any person who shall violate 
any of the provisions of this section shall be punished as for a corrupt 
practice. 

Section 10799. It shall be unlawful for any person at any place on 
the day of any election to ask, solicit, or in any manner try to induce 
or persuade any voter on such election day to vote for or refrain from 
voting for any candidate, or the candidates or ticket of any political 
party or organization, or any measure submitted to the people, and upon 
conviction thereof he shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five 
Dollars nor more than One Hundred Dollars for the first offense, and 
for the second and each subsequent offense occurring on the same or 
different election days, he shall be punished by a fine as aforesaid, or 
by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five nor more than 
thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

Section 10800. It shall be unlawful to write, print, or circulate through 
the mails or otherwise any letter, circular, bill, placard, or poster relating 
to any election or to any candidate at any election, unless the same shall 
bear on its face the name and address of the author, and of the printer 
and publisher thereof; and any person writing, printing, publishing, cir- 
culating, posting, or causing to be written, printed, circulated, posted, 
or published any such letter, bill, placard, circular, or poster as afore- 
said, which fails to bear on its face the name and address of the author 
and of the printer or publisher, shall be guilty of an illegal practice, and 
shall on conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not less than Ten 



224 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Dollars nor more than One Thousand Dollars. If any letter, circular, 
poster, bill, publication, or placard shall contain any false statement or 
charges reflecting on any candidate's character, morality, or integrity, 
the author thereof, and every person printing or knowingly assisting 
in the circulation, shall be guilty of political criminal libel, and upon 
conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary 
for not less than one year nor more than three years. If the person 
charged with such crime shall prove on his trial that he had reasonable 
ground to believe such charge was true, and did believe it was true, and 
that he was not actuated by malice in making such publication, it shall 
be a sufficient defense to such charge. But in that event, and as a part 
of such defense, the author and the pi'inter or publisher or other person 
charged with such crime, shall also prove that at least fifteen days 
before such letter, circular, poster, bill, or placard containing such false 
statement or statements was printed or circulated, he or they caused 
to be served personally and in person upon the candidate to whom it 
relates a copy thereof in writing, and calling his attention particularly 
to the charges contained therein, and that, before printing, publishing, 
or circulating such charges, he received and read any denial, defense, 
or explanation, if any, made or offered to him in writing by the accused 
candidate within ten days after the service of such charge upon the 
accused person. 

Section 10801. The name of a candidate chosen at a primary nomi- 
nating election, or otherwise, shall not be printed on the official ballot 
for the ensuing election, unless there has been filed by or on behalf of 
said candidate the statements of accounts and expenses relating to nomi- 
nations required by this Act, as well as a statement by his political 
agent and by his political committee or committees in his behalf, if his 
statement discloses the existence of such agent, committee or com- 
mittees. The officer or board entrusted by law with the preparation of 
the official ballots for any election shall, as far as practicable, warn 
candidates of the danger of the omission of their names by reason of 
this provision, but delay in making any such statement beyond the time 
prescribed shall not preclude its acceptance or prevent the insertion of 
the name on the ballot, if there is reasonable time therefor after the 
receipt of such statements. Any such vacancy on the ballot shall be 
filled by the proper committee of his political party in the manner au- 
thorized by law, but not by the use of the name of the candidate who 
failed to file such statements. No person shall receive a certificate of 
election until he shall have filed the statements required by this Act. 

Section 10802. It shall be unlawful for any person to accept, receive, 
or pay money or any valuable consideration for becoming or for refrain- 
ing from becoming a candidate for nomination or election, or by himself 
or in combination with any other person or persons to become a candi- 
date for the purpose of defeating the nomination or election of any other 
person, and not with a bona fide intent to obtain the office. Upon com- 
plaint made to any district court, if the judge shall be convinced that 
any person has sought the nomination, or seeks to have his name pre- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 225 

sented to the voters as a candidate for nomination by any political party, 
for any mercenary or venal consideration or motive, and that his candi- 
dacy for the nomination is not in good faith, the judge shall forthwith 
issue his writ of injunction restraining the officer or officers whose 
duty it is to prepare the official ballots for such nominating election 
from placing the name of such person thereon as a candidate for nomi- 
nation to any office. In addition thereto, the court shall direct the 
County Attorney to institute criminal proceedings against such person 
or persons for corrupt practice, and upon conviction thereof he and any 
person or persons combining with him shall be punished by a fine of not 
more than One Thousand Dollars, or imprisonment in the county jail 
for not more than one year. 

Section 10803. Where, upon the trial of any action or proceeding 
under the provisions of this Act for the contest of the right of any per- 
son declared nominated or elected to any office, or to annul or set aside 
such nomination or election, or to remove a person from his office, it 
appears from the evidence that the offense complained of was not com- 
mitted by the candidate, or with his knowledge or consent, or was com- 
mitted without his sanction or connivance, and that all reasonable means 
for preventing the commission of such offense at such election were 
taken by and on behalf of the candidate, or that the offense or offenses 
complained of were trivial, unimportant, and limited in character, and 
that in all other respects his participation in the election was free from 
such offenses or illegal acts, or that any act or omission of the candi- 
date arose from inadvertence or from accidental discalculation, or fi'om 
some other reasonable cause of a like nature, and in any case did not 
arise from any want of good faith, and under the circumstances it 
seem.s to the court to be unjust that the said candidate shall forfeit his 
nomination or office, or be deprived of any office of which he is the 
incumbent, then the nomination or election of such candidate shall not 
by reason of such offense or omission complained of be void, nor shall 
the candidate be removed from or deprived of his office. 

Section 10804. If, upon the trial of any action or proceeding under 
the provisions of this Act, for the contesting of the right of any person 
declared to be nominated to an office, or elected to an office, or to 
annul and set aside such election, or to remove any person from his 
office, it shall appear that such person was guilty of any corrupt prac- 
tice, illegal act, or undue influence, in or about such nomination or 
election, he shall be punished by being deprived of the nomination or 
office, as the case may be, and the vacancy therein shall be filled in the 
manner provided by law. The only exception to this judgment shall be 
that provided in the preceding section of this Act. Such judgment shall 
not prevent the candidate or officer from being proceeded against by 
indictment or criminal information for any such act or acts. 

Section 10805. Any action to contest the right of any person declared 
elected to an office, or to annul and set aside such election, or to remove 
from or deprive any person of an office of which he is the incumbent, 
for any offense mentioned in this Act, must, unless a different time 



226 ELECTION LAWS OF MOMTANA 

be stated, be commenced within forty days after the return day of the 
•election at which such offense was committed, unless the ground of the 
action or proceeding is for the illegal payment of money or other valua- 
ble thing subsequent to the filing of the statements prescribed by this 
Act, in which case the action or proceeding may be commenced within 
forty days after the discovery by the complaint of such illegal payment. 
A contest of the nomination or office of governor or representative or 
senator in congress must be commenced within twenty days after the 
declaration of the result of the election, but this shall not be construed 
to apply to any contest before the legislative assembly. 

Section 10806. An application for filing a statement, payment of a 
claim, or correction of an error or false recital in a statement filed, or 
an action or proceeding to annul and set aside the election of any person 
declared elected to an office, or to remove or deprive any person of his 
office for an offense mentioned in this Act, or any petition to excuse 
any person or candidate in accordance with the power of the court to 
excuse as provided in Section 10803 of this Code, must be made or filed 
in the district court of the county in which the certificate of his nomi- 
nation as a candidate for the office to which he is declared nominated 
or elected is filed, or in which the incumbent resides. 

Section 10807. A candidate nominated or elected to an office, and 
whose nomination or election thereto has been annulled and set aside 
for any offense mentioned in this Act, shall not, during the period fixed 
by law as the term of such office, be elected, or appointed to fill any 
office or vacancy in any office or position of trust, honor, or emolument 
under the laws of the State of Montana, or of any municipality therein. 
Any appointment or election to any office or position of trust, honor, 
or emolument, made in violation of or contrary to the provisions of this 
Act shall be void. 

Section 10808. If any County Attorney shall be notified by any offi- 
cer or other person of any violation of any of the provisions of this Act 
within his jurisdiction, it shall be his duty forthw^ith to diligently inquire 
into the facts of such violation, and if there is reasonable ground for in- 
stituting a prosecution, it shall be the duty of such County Attorney to 
file a complaint or information in writing, before a court of competent 
jurisdiction, charging the accused person with such offense; if any County 
Attorney shall fail or refuse to faithfully perform any duty imposed upon 
him by this Act, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon 
conviction thereof shall forfeit his office. It shall be the duty of the Coun- 
ty Attorney under penalty of forfeiture of his office, to prosecute any and 
all persons guilty of any violation of the provisions of this Act, the pen- 
alty of which is fine or imprisonment, or both, or removal from office. 

Section 10809. If, in any case of a contest on the ground of illegal 
votes, it appears that another person than the one returned has the 
highest number of legal votes, after the illegal votes have been elimi- 
nated, the court must declare such person nominated or elected, as the 
case may be. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 227 

Section 10810. Any elector of the state, or of any political or munici- 
pal division thereof, may contest the right of any person to any nomi- 
nation or office for which such elector has the right to vote, for any of 
the following causes: 

1. On the ground of deliberate, serious, and material violation of 
any of the provisions of this Act, or of any other provision of the law 
relating to nominations or elections. 

2. When the person whose right was contested was not, at the time 
of the election, eligible to such office. 

3. On account of illegal votes or an erroneous or fraudulent count or 
canvass of votes. 

Section 10811. Nothing in the third ground of contest specified in 
the preceding section is to be so construed as to authorize a nomina- 
tion or election to be set aside on account of illegal votes, unless it 
appear, either that the candidate or nominee whose right is contested 
had knowledge of or connived at such illegal votes, or that the number of 
illegal votes given to the person whose right to the nomination or office 
is contested, if taken from him, would reduce the number of his legal 
votes below the number of votes given to some other person for the same 
nomination or office, after deducting therefrom the illegal votes which 
mky be shown to have been given to such other person. 

Section 10812. When the reception of illegal votes is alleged as a 
cause of contest, it shall be sufficient to state generally that in one or 
more specified voting precincts illegal votes were given to the person 
whose nomination or election is contested, which, if taken from him, 
will reduce the number of his legal votes below the number of legal votes 
given to some other person for the same office; but no testimony shall 
be received of any illegal votes, unless the party contesting such election 
deliver to the opposite party, at least three days before such trial, a 
written list of the number of illegal votes, and by whom given, which 
he intends to prove on such trial. The provision shall not prevent the 
ccntentant from offering evidence of illegal vote not included in such 
statement, if he did not know and by reasonable diligence was unable 
to learn of such additional illegal votes, and by whom they were given, 
before delivering such written list. 

Section 10813. Any petition contesting the right of any person to a 
nomination or election shall set forth the name of every person whose 
election is contested, and the grounds of the contest, and shall not 
thereafter be amended, except by leave of the court. Before any pro- 
ceeding thereon the petitioners shall give bond to the state in such sum 
as the court may order, not exceeding Two Thousand Dollars, with not 
less than two sureties, who shall justify in the manner required of sure- 
ties on bail-bonds, conditioned to pay all costs, disbursements, and attor- 
ney's fees that may be awarded against him if he shall not prevail. If 
the petitioner prevails, he may recover his costs, disbursements, and 
reasonable attorney's fees against the contestee. But costs, disburse- 
ments, and attorney's fees, in all such cases, shall be in the discretion 



228 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

of the court, and in case judgment is rendered against the petitioner, 
it shall also be rendered against the sureties on the bond. On the filing 
of any such petition, the clerk shall immemiately notify the judge of 
the court, and issue a citation to the person whose nomination or office 
is contested, citing them to appear and answer, not less than three nor 
more than seven days after the date of filing the petition, and the court 
shall hear said cause, and every such contest shall take precedence- over 
all other business on the court docket, and shall be tried and disposed of 
with all convenient dispatch. The court shall always be deemed in session 
for the trial of such cases. 

Section 10814. The petitioner (contestant) and the contestee may 
appear and produce evidence at the hearing, but no person, other than 
the petitioner and contestee, shall be made a party "to the proceedings 
on such petition; and no person, other than said parties and their attor- 
neys, shall be heard thereon, except by order of the court. If more than 
one petition is pending, or the election of more than one person is con- 
tested, the court may, in its discretion, order the cases to be heard to- 
gether, and may apportion the costs, disbursements, and attorney's fees 
between them, and shall finally determine all questions of law and fact, 
save only that the judge may, in his discretion, impanel a jury to decide 
on questions of fact. (In the case of a contested nomination or election 
for senator or representative in the legislative assembly, or for senator 
or representative in congress, the court shall forthwith certify its find- 
ings to the Secretary of State, to be by him transmitted to the presiding 
officer of the body in question.) In the case of other nominations or 
elections, the court shall forthwith certify its decision to the board or 
official issuing certificates of nomination or election, which board or 
official shall thereupon issue certificates of nomination or election to 
the person or persons entitled thereto by such decisions. If judgment of 
ouster against a defendant shall be rendered, said judgment shall award 
the nomination or office to the person receiving next the highest number 
of votes, unless it shall be further determined in the action, upon appro- 
priate pleading and proof by the defendant, that some act has been done 
or committed which would have been ground in a similar action against 
such person, had he received the highest number of votes for such nomi- 
nation or office, for a judgment of ouster against him; and if it shall 
be so determined at the trial, the nomination or office shall be by the 
judgment declared vacant, and shall thereupon be filled by a new elec- 
tion, or by appointment, as may be provided by law regarding vacancies 
in such nomination or office. — Note: So much of the above section as is 
enclosed in brackets was held unconstitutional in State ex rel Smith vs. 
District Court, 50 Mont. 134. 

Section 10815. In like manner as prescribed for the contesting of an 
election, any corporation organized under the laws of or doing business 
in the State of Montana may be brought into coui't on the ground of 
deliberate, serious, and material violation of the provisions of this Act. 
The petition shall be filed in the district court in the county where said 
corporation has its principal office, or where the violation of law is 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 229 

averred to have been committed. The court, upon conviction of such 
corporation, may impose a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars, 
or may declai'e a forfeiture of the charter and franchises of the corpora- 
tion, if organized under the laws of this state, or if it be a foreign cor- 
poration may enjoin said corporation from further transacting business 
in this state, or by both such fine and forfeitui'e, or by both such fine 
and injunction. 

Section 10816. Whoever violates any provision of this Act, the pun- 
ishment for which is not specifically provided by law, shall on conviction 
thereof be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more 
than one year, or by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars, 
or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

Section 10817. Proceedings under this Act shall be advanced on the 
docket upon request of either party for speedy trial, but the court may 
postpone or continue such trial if the ends of justice may be thereby 
more effectually secured, and in case of such continuance or postpone- 
ment, the court may impose costs in its discretion as a condition thereof. 
No petition shall be dismissed without the consent of the County Attor- 
ney, unless the same shall be dismissed by the court. No person shall 
be excused from testifying or producing papers or documents on the 
ground that his testimony or the production of papers or documents 
will tend to criminate him; but no admission, evidence or paper made 
or advanced or produced by such person shall be offered or used against 
him in any civil or criminal prosecution, or any evidence that is the direct 
result of such evidence or information that he may have so given, except 
in a prosecution for perjury committed in such testimony. 

Section 10818. A petition or complaint filed under the provisions of 
this Act shall be sufficient if it is substantially in the following form: 

In the District Court of the Judicial District, 

for the County of , State of Montana. 

A. B. (or A. B. and C. D.), Contestants, vs. E. F., Contestee. 

The petition of contestant (or contestants) above named alleges: 

That an election was held (in the State, District, County, or City of 

), on the .day of 



, A. D. 19 , for the (nomination of a candidate 

for) (or election of a) (state the office). 

That and were 

candidates at said election, and the Board of Canvassers has i-eturned 

the said as being duly nominated (or elected) 

at said election. 

That Contestant A. B. voted (or had a right to vote, as the case may 
be) at said election (or claims to have had a right to be returned as the 



230 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

nominee or officer elected or nominated at said election, or was a candi- 
date at said election, as the case may be), and said Contestant C. D. (here 
state in like manner the right of each contestant). 

And said contestant (or contestants) further allege (here state facts 
and grounds on which the contestants rely). 

Wherefore, your contestants pray that it may be determined by the 

court that said ..., was not duly 

nominated (or elected), and that said election was void (or that the said 
A. B. or C. D., as the case may be) was duly nominated (or elected), 
and for such other and further relief as to the court may seem just and 
legal in the premises. 

Said complaint shall be verified by the affidavit of one of the peti- 
tioners in the manner required by law for the verification of complaints 
in civil cases. 

Section 10819. The statement of expenses required from candidates 
and others by this Act shall be in substantially the following form: 

State of Montana, County of ss. 

I, , having been a candidate (or 

expended money) at the election for the (State) (District) (County) 

(City) of , on the day of , 

A. D. 19 , being first duly sworn, on oath do say: That I have care- 
fully examined and read the return of my election expenses and receipts 
hereto attached, and to the best of my knowledge and belief that return 
is full, correct, and ti'ue. 

And I further state on oath that, except as appears from this return, 
I have not, and to the best of my knowledge and belief no person, nor 
any club, society, or association has on my behalf, whether authorized 
by me or not, made any payment, or given, promised, or offered any 
reward, office, employment, or position, public or private, or valuable 
consideration, or incurred any liability on account of or in respect of 
the conduct or management of the said nomination or election. 

And I further state on oath that, except as specified in this return, 
I have not paid any money, security or equivalent for money, nor has 
any money or equivalent for money, to my knowledge or belief, been 
paid, advanced, given, or deposited by any one to or in the hands of my- 
self or any other person for my nomination or election, or for the pur- 
pose of paying any expenses incurred on my behalf on account or in 
respect of the conduct or management of the said election. 

And I further state on oath that I will not, except so far as I may 
be permitted by law, at any future time make or be a party to the mak- 
ing or giving of any payment, reward, office, position, or employment, 
or valuable consideration, for the purpose of defraying any such expenses 
or obligations as herein mentioned for or on account of my nomination 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 231 

or election, or provide or be a party to the providing: of any money, 
security, or equivalent for money for the purpose of defraying any such 
expense. 

(Signature of Affiant) 

Subscribed and sworn to before me by the above-named , 

on the day of , A. D. 19 

Attached to said affidavit shall be a full and complete account of the 
receipts, contributions, and expenses of said affiant, and of his support- 
ers of which he has knowledge, with numbered vouchers for all sums and 
payments for w-hich vouchers are required as to all moneys expended by 
affiant. The affidavit and account of the treasurer of any committee 
or any political party or organization shall be, as nearly as may be, in 
the same form, and so also shall be the affidavit of any person who has 
received or expended money in excess of the sum of Fifty Dollars to aid 
in securing the nomination or election or defeat of any candidate, or of 
any political party or organization, or of any measure before the people. 

Section 10820. Any person who shall knowingly make any false oath 
or affidavit where an oath or affidavit is required by this law shall be 
deemed guilty of perjury and punished accordingly. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 233 

INDEX 

Code 

No. Page 
ABSENT VOTER'S LAW— See sub-title, "Voting by Absent Electors" 

APPORTIONMENT AND REPRESENTATION: 

Constitutional Provisions "^9 

Statutory Provisions ^ 44-48 18-19 

BALLOT BOX, provided, description 604-606 44 

BALLOT: 

can not exhibit voted 693 69 

disposition after challenge |J13 72 

disposition of voted ''^^ ''^ 

elections shall be by 539 26 

form and contents 681-82 66 

judges must receive, disposition 701 70 

official ballot stamp, delivery of 603 44 

official only can be voted 693 69 

receiving from judge only 694 69 

should not remove from polling place 692 68 

spoiled 698 70 

voted, can not be exhibited 693 69 

voted, disposition of 696 69 

voted, entry on check list 703 70 

voting of 696 69 

BALLOTS : 

arrangement of candidates upon 681 6o 

color, printing, size 681 65 

county clerk to provide printed 678 65 

delivery to electors 695 69 

delivered when 603 43 

extra spaces provided 683 66 

for special measures 686 67 

how printed 684 67 

identification marks prohibited 693 69 

name, writing in on 678 65 

numbering of 684 67 

number for precinct 687 67 

pasters for 684 67 

printing and distribution 677 65 

record of number supplied precincts 687 67 

size and similarity , 685 6i 

stubs, instructions 684 67 

unofficial not counted 678 65 

unvoted, returned to judges 693 69 

BOND ISSUES: (See also Cities and Towns, County and School sub- 
divisions.) 

Restrained 90-tO 208 

BOOTHS : 

expense for providing -. 694 69 

occupied by one person only 697 70 

voter may remain how long 697 (0^ 

BRIDGES, PUBLIC: 

bonds for construction of ]'}l Jr^ 

4713 lo3 

^^-*^- rAt ]s> 

levy, how collected 4716 153 

tax levy, how made 4713-14 153 

CANVASS AND RETURN OF VOTES: 

ballots, stringing and enclosing in envelope 779 93 

canvass to be public and without adjournment 774 93 

clerk to file papers 789 95 

counting and tallying votes 778 93 

custody of returns '^84 94 

duty of commissioners ^tt^- ^^! 

excess ballots, destruction of 776 93 

filing ballots and stubs 786 94 

judges to keep certain papers and ballot-box 783 94 

mode of canvassing 775 93 

Poll-books, signature and certification 781 94 

rejected ballots 780 94 



234 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



returns : 

delivery to county clerk 

disposal of, prior to canvass.. 

how made 

keeping pending contest 

what ballots to be counted 



CANVASS OF RETURNS: 

board to declare persons elected 

certificates, issuance by clerk 

county canvassing board : 

absentees, supplies by, when 

board, duty of 

canvass to be public 

postponement, when 

recount, when had 

sending for returns 

to meet when 

defects in returns 

plurality to elect 

return for joint members of house, duty of clerk receiving.. 

returns 

how made 

how transmitted 

returns for state officers 

how made 

how transmitted 

state board of canvassers 

composition and meetings 

governor to issue commissions , 

sending for returns 

pay of messenger 

statement of result to be entered 

tie vote, proceedings on : 

judicial officers 

representative in congress 

state officers 

votes not to be rejected for informality 

who declared elected 



CERTIFICATES: 

issued by county canvassing board . 

of county officers 

of election, issuance by clerk 



CHALLENGES: 

elector 

grounds for 

conviction of felony 

how determined 

judges to test qualifications of persons challenged.. 

list of, contents 

oath 

trial and proceedings 

vote rejected when 



Code 




No. 


Page 


7S5 


94 


78S 


95 


782 


94 


787 ■ 


95 


777 


93 


796 


96 


797 


96 


791 


95 


4516 


147 


793 


96 


792 


95 


796 


96 


792 


87 


790 


95 


806 


98 


795 


96 


SCO 


97 


798 


96 


799 


97 


801 


97 


802 


97 


803 


97 


805 


97 


804 


97 


804 


97 


794 


96 


812 


98 


809 


98 


810-11 


98 


793 


96 


796 


96 


4515 


147 


4516 


147 


797 


101 


584 


40 


706 


71 


709 


71 


710 


72 


573 


37 


714 


72 


707 


71 72 


711 


72 


712 


72 


4979 


161 


4979 


161 



CITIES AND TOWNS: 

annexation of : 

commissioners, appointment of and duties 

election proceedings, filed where 

bond elections : 

canvass of returns chap. 160, sec. 12 175 

percentage of voters required to authorize issuing 

of bonds chap. 160, sec. 11 175 

registration of electors chap. 160, sec. 10 175 

resolution of board chap. 160, sec. 12 175 

voters, who are chap. 160. sec. 10 174 

BONDS: 

ballots, form of chap. 16(1, sec. 9 174 

certificate of city clerk on filing of petition chap. 160, sec. 6 173 

election, canvass of and returns chap. 160, sec. 9 175 

election, conduct of chap. IfiO, sec. 9 174 

election, hours of chap. 160, sec. 8 174 

notice of, contents, posting and publishing chap. 160, sec. 8 174 

(lection officers chap. 160, sec. 8 174 

incorporated cities and towns, providing for chap. 160 172 176 

no election necessary for what class of „ chap. 160, sec. 5 172 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 235 

Code 

No. Page 

petition, circulators' qualifications chap. 160, sec. 6 173 

petition, consideration and action chap. 160, sec. 7 173 

petition for election, contents chap. 160. sec. 6 172 

procedure to issue certain class of chap. 160, sec. 1 172 

submission of question chap. 160, sec. 1 172 

CLASSIFICATION AND ORGANIZATION 4961, 4979 160-161 

COMMISSION FORM OF GOVERNMENT: 

abandonment of plan, procedure 5397 187 

election on 5397 187 

petition for 5398 187 

adoption of plan 

ballots, form of 5369 178 

by whom 5366 177 

election, proclamation of 5368 178 

order for election 5367 177 

petition for submission to election 5367 177 

resubmission of question, when 5370 178 

result of election, certificate 5370 178 

special election of officers 

calling and notice 5371 178 

conduct of 5372 179 

council 

beginning of term 5375 179 

election and term 5376 179 

number of 5374 179 

vacancies in 5374 179 

effect of act on existing laws 5399 188 

elections 

primarj' nominating elections 5377 180 

regular election of officers 5376 179 

special 

of officers on organization 5371 178 

on questions of organization 5367-5370 177-8 

franchises, how granted 5388 183 

submission to electors, when 5388 183 

laws applicable to 5373 179 

mayor 

designation 5374 179 

election and term 5375 179 

5376 179 

nomination of 5377 180 

recall of 5394 184 

vacancy in office, how filled 5374 179 

oath of officers 5377 ISO 

ordinances and resolutions 

adoption of 5388 183 

applicable, when 5373 179 

appropriation ordinances 5388 183 

effective, when 5396 186 

granting franchises 5388 183 

submission 

by electors, procedure 5395 184 

to electors 5395 184 

5396 186 

suspension of, how 5396 186 

penalty for : 

election offenses 5379 183 

working for candidates 5378 183 

petitions, by whom signed 5398 187 

primary elections 5377 180 

public utilities, grant of rights to 5388 183 

recall of officers, procedure for 5394 184 

suits not affected by 5373 179 

territorial limits of cities 5373 179 

vacancies in elective offices 5374 179 

COMMISSION-MANAGER PLAN OF GOVERNMENT: 

abandonment of plan 

election on 5514 203 

petition for 5514 203 

procedure 5514 203 

adoption of plan 

ballots, form of 5403 188 

by whom 5400 188 

election, proclamation 5402 188 



236 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Code 
No. Page 

petition and order 5401 188 

resubmission of question, when 5404 189 

special election of commissioners 5406 189 

conduct of 5406 189 

submission of question to electors 5401 188 

bribery, penalty for 5428 198 

commissioners 

calling of special election of 5405 189 

conduct of special election of 5406 189 

contracts with county commissioners 5620 205 

election of 6411 191 

5417 196 

meetings 5448 202 

nomination of .'. 5414 192 

number of '. 5410 191 

oath and bond 5443 201 

passes, receiving forbidden 5413 192 

public utilities, extension of rights to 5501 203 

qualifications of 5413 192 

iiuorum 5446 201 

recall of 5419 196 

restrictions on 5413 192 

salaries 5447 202 

special meetings 5448 202 

statement of election expenses 5418 196 

streets, control of by 5496 202 

term of office 5411 191 

vacancies in office of 5412 191 

vacation of office, when 5448 202 

voting, ayes and noes 5446 201 

elections 

primary nominating 5414 192 

ballots and voting 5415 194 

candidates' names, arrangement of 5416 195 

recall 5423 197 

5425 197 

regular 5411 155 

5417 196 
special 

of commissioners 5405, 5406 189 

of communities as municipalities 5408 189 

on abandonment of plan 5514 203 

on organization 5401-5404 1S8 189 

franchises 

exclusive not to be granted 5498 202 

renewal of - 5497 202 

to public utilities 5499 202 

initiation of ordinance 5429 198 

5435 199 
laws 

applicable to 5407 189 

continued in force 5515 204 

mayor 

duties 5404,5444 189.201 

election of 5444 201 

salary 5447 207 

selection of successor on recall 5445 201 

vacancy in office of how filled 5444 201 

meetings of commissioners 5448 202 

municipalities, powers of 5409 190 

new municipalities 

name of 5518 204 

property rights and indebtedness 5519 204 

nomination of candidates 5414 203 

oath and bond of commissioners 5443 201 

ordinances and resolutions 

effective, when 5436 199 

emergency measures subject to referendum 5441 200 

initiation of 5429 5435 198-99 

proposals by petition, how 5429 198 

filing and consideration 5431 199 

signatures and affidavits 5430 198 

submission to clerk 5432 199 

electors 5431 199 

reconsideration of ordinances 5437 200 

referendum petitions, contents 5438 200 

Highest vote prevails in case of conflict 5440 200 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 237 

Code 

No. Page 

ordinances subject to 5439 200 

suspends action, when 5442 200 

submission of repealing' ordinances .-. 5435 199 

submission to electors, when 5433 199 

ballot 5435 199 

when deemed repealed 5437 200 

when effective 5434 199 

organization of municipalities 

effect of 5!>17 204 

election, of commissioners 5408 189 

on 5408 189 

name of new municipal district 5518 204 

penalty for election offenses 5428 198 

powers of municipalities 5409 190 

primary elections, ballots and voting 5415 194 

candidates, arrangement of names on ballot 5416 195 

bribery 5428 198 

election offenses, penalty for 5428 198 

how nominated 5414 192 

working for, forbidden 5427 198 

conduct of 5415 194 

nominating statement 5414 192 

publication of names 5414 192 

qualification of electors 5415 194 

primary nominating elections 5414 192 

public utilities, extension of service subject to referendum 5500 203 

regulation of use of streets by 5499 202 

renewal of franchise to 5497 202 

publication of election expenses 5418 196 

recall, election on 5423 197 

ballots and voting 5424 197 

majority vote, effect of 5425 197 

nomination to fill vacancies 5424 197 

notification of officer 5423 197 

of commissioners, petition for 5419 196 

petition papers 5420 196 

assembling and filing 5422 197 

limitation on filing 5426 198 

signatures to 5421 196 

referendum — see subtitle ordinances and resolutions 5429-5442 198-200 

rental of county buildings 5520 205 

repealing and saving clause 5516 204 

salaries, commissioners 5447 202 

mayor 5447 202 

streets and highways 5498 202 

ordinances to prescribe use by whom .' 5498 202 

right to use, how granted 5496 202 

ordinance, form and filing 5496 202 

suits, effect on 5407 189 

territorial limits 5407 189 

vacancies in commission, how filled 5412 191 

voting, how conducted 5446 201 

working for candidates forbidden 5427 198 

CONTRACTS, election on granting 5075 169 

notice of 5076 169 

franchise, election on granting 5076 169 

how granted 5074 169 

ordinance granting 5077 169 

COUNCIL, city and town, duties 5001 162 

Councilmen, duty to canvass 5012 164 

Election certificates 5012 164 

judges and clerks of 5011 163 

municipal, when held 5003 162 

returns, canvassed when 5012 164 

supplies, preparation of chap. 47 205 

FIRE DISTRICTS IN UNINCORPORATED TOWNS: 

board of directors, who constitute 5149 169 

bonds, election on issuance 5150 169 

form and registration _ 5150 169 

submission of questions of issuance 5149 169 

FREE PUBLIC LIBRARIES: 

election provided 5050 165 

election to increase levy 5049 165 

established how - , 5049 164 



238 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



library fund 

referendum for . 

tax levy, and how increased a 

indebtedness 

ballots, separate and contents 

creation of c 

election 

canvass of returns 

notice, posting and publication 

electors, list of, posting 

qualifications of 

registration 

levy, additional, certification if adopted 

question of, submission 

raising money by taxation 

tax levy, limit of 

INITIATIVE AND REFF:RENDUM (See "Ordinances") 5058-5068 

Office, declared vacant when 

OFFICERS: 

Aldermen, election of 

who eligible 

and elections 4995 

duties of 1st and 2nd class cities, prescribed 

enter on duty when 

oath and bond of 

mayor, who eligible 

removal of 

terms of 

vacancy, how filled 

who are eligible to office 

what officers are elected annually 

ORDINANCES, effective when ... 

initiative and referendum, action may be brought when 

initiative in cities 

petition, form of 

proclamation of election 

referendum petitions 

when had 

special election, when 

submission at regular election 

ballots and voting 

qualification of voters 

to what ordinances applicable 



Code 




No. 


Page 


5049 


165 


5051 


165 


5049 


164 


5198 


171 


hap. 160 


172 


5195 


171 


5198 


172 


5196 


171 


.chap. 47 


205 


chap. 47 


205 


5199 


172 


5198 


172 


5197 


171 


5195 


171 


5195 


171 


058-5068 


165-168 


5013 


164 


5005 


163 


5008 


163 


995-5015 


162-164 


4995- 


6 162 


5014 


164 


5013 


164 


5004 


163 


5015 


164 


5006 


163 


5015 


164 


5007 


163 


5003 


162 


5060 


167 


5058 


165 


5058 


165 


5068 


168 


5064 


167 


5061 


167 


5062 


167 


5063 


167 


5059 


167 


5065 


168 


5066 


168 


5068 


168 



ORGANIZATION: 

census requirements 

elections : 

ballot 

called and held 

clerks 

conduct of 4964 

held under what laws 

judges 

notice of 

officers, 1st election 

incorporation, notice of 

officers, duties 

officers, elected, term, qualification 

officers, hold over when 

officers, who hold over 

petition, signers and contents 

voters, qualifications of .-- 

PRECINCTS OF 

REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS 

RETURNS, mayor may call special meeting when 

TIE VOTE, duty of council 

TOWN COUNCIL, may prescribe duties of officers 

TOWN OFFICERS, consist of whom 

VOTES to precinct, limitation when 

VOTERS, who are 

VOTING MACHINES 

VOTING PLACES 



4961 



160 



4962 


160 


4962 


160 


4964 


161 


4967 


161 


4967 


161 


4962 


160 


4962 


160 


4971 


161 


4963 


160 


4967 


161 


4964 


161 


4967 


161 


4971 


161 


4961 


160 


4963 


161 


5011 


163 


5009 


163 


5012 


164 


5012 


164 


4997 


162 


4997 


162 


5011 


164 


5010 


163 


5011 


163 


5011 


163 



591 41 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 239. 

Code- 
No. Pape 
WARDS 5001 162 

certificate of 547 27 

chanKe of 5002 162 

map of 540 28 

number of 5002 162 

CIVIL OFFICE, who qualified to hold 410 25 

CLERKS OF ELECTION: 

compensation 

election of 593 41 

term of office 593 41 

vacancies 503 41 

COMMISSION, withholding 806 98 

COMPENSATION, election judges and clerks 591 41 

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS 48 19 

CONGRESS, MEMBERS OF: 

election ■.. 824 101 

of representatives in 826 101 

election, when held 824 101 

vacancies in office '. 825 101 

vote, canvass of 827 101 

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS: 

apportionment and representation Art. VI, sec. 1-4 9-10 

convention, constitutional Art. XIX 16-17 

county attorneys: election, qualification, term Art. VIII, sec. 19 12 

county commissioner districts Art. XVI 14-16 

county seat, removal of Art. XVI, sec. 2 14 

district court, clerk, election Art. VIII, sec. 18 12 

elections, free and open Art. Ill, sec. 5 7 

executive officers, qualifications, election and term Art. VII, sec. 1-3 10 

initiative and referendum Art. V, sec. 1 T 

judges of districts Art. VIII, sec. 12 11 

judicial districts Art. VIII, sec. 12 11 

justices of the peace, election, term, vacancies Art. VIII, sees. 20, 34 12 

members of congress, term Art. V, sec. 2 8 

qualifications Art. V, ssc. 3 8 

public indebtedness Art. XIII, sec. 5-6 14 

qualifications to hold office Art. IX, sec. 7 13 

referendum and initiative Art. V, sec. 1 7 

school district officers Art. XI, sec. 10 14 

senators and representatives, qualifications Art. V, s=c. 3 8 

term Art. V, sec. 2 8 

> suffrage, rights of Art. IX 12,13 

supreme court clerk, qualifications, election, term Art. VIII, sec. 9 11 

supreme court justices, qualifications, election, term Art. VIII, sec. 6-10 10-11 

writs of election Art. V, sec. 45 9 

CONTESTS, election sec. 829 102 

CONVENTIONS, county and state, expenses chapter 126 101 

CORRUPT PRACTICES: See also election frauds and offenses. 10747 208 

10772 214 

bets and wagers on elections forbidden 10794 222 

business advertising, solicitation, when permissible 10789 220 

buttons and badges, use forbidden, when 10797 223 

campaign expenditures for nomination by party organization, limit of 10774 215 

by relatives 10774 215 

limitation of 10773 215 

candidate construed 10775 215 

certain payments for attending election and for services forbidden 10797 223 

certain payments of money forbidden 10802 224 

challenging voters, procedure 10792 221 

coercion or undue influence of voters forbidden 10793 221 

complaint, form of 10818 229 

contributions for certain officers forbidden 10785 220 

from corporations and public utilities forbidden 10790 220 

soliciting forbidden, when 10785 220 

10789 220 

convention credentials, transfer, when forbidden 10787 220 

corporations, procedure against for violation of act 10815 228 

corrupt practices defined 10796 222 

criminal libel defined 10800 223 

definition of terms 10775 215 

election contests, advancement of case 10817 229 



240 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



bond 

certification of findings 

citation to contestee 

complaint, form of 

contests of petition 

corporations, proceedings against for violation of act 

costs, by whom recovered 

county attorney, duty to prosecute 

court to declare person elected, when 

dismissal, when 

disqualification of candidates 

electors may contest 

evidence 

grounds of contest 

illegal votes, allegations and evidence 

illegal votes, contests, account of, when authorized 

joinder of causes 

judgment to award costs 

lack of faith must be shown 

precedence of actions 

privilege of witnesses 

removal from office, when .-.. 

when commenced 

where filed 

election expenses — see subtitle statement of candidates' expenses. 

forfeiture of nomination for violation of law 

form of candidate's statement of expenses 

complaint in election contests 

"give" construed 

names of candidates not to be printed until statement of expense filed 
newspapers and publishers, printing of paid matter, how regulated .. 

paid political advertisements, how regulated 

payment for accepting or declining nomination forbidden 

credentials forbidden 

refraining from candidacy forbidden 

transportation to polls forbidden, when 

payments in name of undisclosed principal forbidden 

penalty for false oath or affidavit 

violations not otherwise provided for 

perjury, who deemed guilty of 

person construed 

personation forbidden, penalty 

political agent construed 

committee construed 

statement of expenditures by 

criminal libel defined, punishment 

promise of appointment to office forbidden 

public office construed 

officers, not to contribute to funds 

prohibited from acting as delegates or committees 

speakers, when exempt from act 

punishment for violation of act 

receiving money for becoming candidate forbidden 

criminal proceedings, how instituted 

solicitation of certain contributions from candidates forbidden 

from public officers forbidden 

of voters on election day forbidden 

statement of candidate's expenses by political committees 

filed when and where 

penalty for failure to file 

time for filing 

candidates must file when 

complaints, contents, oath and filing 

contents of statement 

copies of act to be furnished whom : 

copies to be furnished when 

court may compel filing of statement 

demand for statement, when made 

form of 

inspection of accounts 

jurisdiction of actions for violation 

names not to be printed on ballot until filed 

penalty for failing to file 

preservation of 

prosecution for failure to file 

tickets, sale to candidate, when forbidden 

transportation to polls, when forbidden 

treating by candidates forbidden 



Code 




No. 


Page 


10813 


227 


10814 


228 


10813 


227 


10818 


229 


10813 


227 


10815 


228 


10813 


227 


10808 


226 


10809 


226 


10817 


229 


10807 


226 


10810 


227 


10814 


228 


10810 


227 


10812 


227 


10811 


227 


10814 


227 


10814 


227 


10803 


225 


10813 


227 


10817 


229 


10804 


225 


10805 


225 


10806 


226 


10803 


225 


10819 


230 


10818 


229 


10775 


215 


10801 


224 


10798 


223 


10798 


223 


10802 


224 


10788 


220 


10789 


220 


10797 


223 


10783 


219 


10820 


231 


10816 


229 


10820 


231 


10775 


215 


10795 


222 


10775 


216 


10775 


216 


10777 


216 


10800 


223 


10784 


219 


10775 


215 


10785 


220 


10786 


220 


10775 


215 


10804 


225 


10802 


224 


10802 


224 


10789 


220 


10785 


220 


10799 


223 


10777 


217 


10776 


216 


10776 


216 


10776 


216 


10776 


216 


10779 


218 


10776 


216 


10778 


218 


10782 


219 


107S1 


219 


10779 


218 


10819 


230 


10779 


218 


10781 


219 


10801 


224 


10776 


216 


10782 


218 


10780 


218 


10789 


220 


10797 


223 


10791 


221 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 241 

Code 

No. Page 
COUNTIES, NEW: 

affidavit to petition 4393 138 

apportionment Sec. 46 19 

assessed valuation, determined how 4391 136 

assessed valuation, must be what 4390 136 

assessed valuation, term construed 4391 137 

assets, pro-rated to 4390 136 

ballot, contents 4394 142 

sample, Keneral laws apply 4394 143 

board of commissioners, appointed by governor 4397 145 

board of commissioners, duties, powers 4397 145 

bond of petitioners 4393 139 

boundaries, commissioners to establish on petition after hearing 4393 140 

boundary lines, fixed.. 4394 141 

can not be created out of old, when 4390 136 

certificate of election .' 4395 144 

clerk of board, duties 4393 138 

commission, appointment of to determine division lines 4390 136 

commissioners, board of county, duties 4394 141 

duties on receipt of petition 4393 137 

meeting and organization of, notifying governor 4397 145 

congressional district 48 19 

creation, by petition 4393 137 

creation by petition and election 4390-4407 136-147 

district, congressional and representative 47-8 19 

election costs, determination and appointment 4398 146 

election, general laws, apply 4394 143 

election, notice of 4394 141 

result, declaration of 4395 144 

unfavorable, proceeding 4395 144 

excluded territory 4393 139 

exclusion petitions, disposition of ' 4393 141 

governor, notification to, duty of 4397 145 

hearing, adjourning 4393 139 

resolution of commissioners after 4393 140 

upon petition 4393 139 

indebtedness, pro-rated to 4390 136 

judicial district of 4396 145 

limitation in reduction area of old county 4390 136 

limitation, reduction assessed valuation old counties 4390 136 

line, county, division, must not pass where 4390 136 

lines, division of, petition for appointment of commission to determine 4390 136 

new election can be held when 4395 144 

nomination of candidates, for office, how 4394 143 

notices, posting in lieu of publication 4404 146 

offices and supplies, furnished how 4395 144 

officers : 

bond, approval by 4396 145 

bond of 4395 144 

compensation and duties 4396 145 

declaration of, filed where 4396 144 

elected 4396 144 

oath, bond .-. 4396 145 

justice of peace, school trustees, and constables, hold over when 4396 144 

may enter on duty, when 4395 144 

must take office, when 4395 144 

no election for, when 4396 144 

nominated, how 4394 143 

term of new 4395 144 

penalties for violation of act 4406 146 

petitions : 

contents of 4393 138 

exclusion, disposition of .'. 4393 141 

hearing upon 4393 138 

may be in sections 4393 138 

presented to whom 4393 137 

qualifications of signers to 4393 137 

signers to 4393 137 

publication of notice and form of 4393 138 

precinct boundaries 4394 141 

proclamation and notice, contents and publication of 4394 142 

proclamation by commissioners 4394 141 

proclamation by what board board of commissioners 4394 143 

protest, filing of 4393 139 

protest, petition, number of signers to 4393 139 

qualified electors, list to be furnished to precincts, when 4394 143 

register to be furnished to precincts when 4394 143 



242 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



repeal of law, exception 

registration, close of , 

representation of , 

resolution of commissioners after hearing, contents... 

resolution of election, filed with secretary of state 

result of election, resolution regarding 

returns, canvassed and returned how 

seat : 

election for 

election result, declaration of 

must be incorporated town or platted village 

temporary 

segregation of territory, limitation assessed valuation.. 

sheriff, duties, fees 

signatures, affidavit of genuineness 

supplies, for election 

surveyed land, must contain how much 

valuation, assessed, determined how 

voters, qualifications of 

withdrawal signatures, limit of filing. 

witness fees 



COUNTY BONDS: 

ballots, form and separate when chap. 188, 

bond election, for what purpose chap. 188, 

canvass of returns chap. 188. 

certificate of county clerk as to petition chap. 188, 

conduct of election chap. 188, 

county clerk, duty on filing of petition chap. 188, 

county commissioners, action on petition chap. 188, 

election, calling of chap. 188, 

election, called on petition chap. 188, 

general laws apply when chap. 188, 

judges of election, number of and reduced when chap. 188, 

notice of election, contents, posting chap. 188. 

notice of election, publication of chap. 188, 

percentage of electors, required to authorize issue chap. 188, 

petition : 

certificate of county clerk, contents chap. 

consideration chap. 

contents and form of chap. 

filing of chap. 

signers required _■ chap. 

who authorized to circulate, affidavit of circulator chap. 

who may sign chap. 

qualification of voters chap. 

resolution for bond issue, contents chap. 

returns, how made chap. 

special election, hours of voting chap. 

vote, who may chap. 

COUNTY BORROWING: 

ballots, contents w 

contents and form of special 

special used when 

board of commissioners, duty 

election for borrowing money 

election, notice of, contents. 

loan may be voted when 

questions exclude<l from ballots for candidates 



Code 
No. 
4407 
4394 
4405 
4393 
4395 
4395 
4394 

4394 
4395 
4392 
4392 
4393 
4397 
4393 
4394 
4390 
4391 
4394 
4393 
4397 



sec. 11 
sec. 7 
sec. 14 
sec. 8 
sec. 11 

S3C. 8 
sec. 9 
sec. 9 
sec. 7 
sec. 11 
sec. 10 
sec. 10 
sec. 10 
sec. 13 



188, sec. 8 
188, sec. 9 
188, sec. 8 
188. sec. 8 
188, sec. 7 
188, sec. 8 
188, sec. 7 
188, sec. 7 
188. sec. 14 
188, sec. 11 
188, sec. 10 
188, sec. 12 



4720 
4722 
4722 
4718 
4717 
4719 
4721 
4722 



Page 
146 

142 
146 
140 
144 
143 
143 

142 
144 
137 
137 
141 
146 
138 
143 
136 
136 
142 
139 
146 



155 
154 
156 
154 
156 
154 
155 
155 
154 
156 
155 
155 
155 
156 

154 
155 
154 
154 
154 
154 
154 
154 
156 
156 
155 
156 



157 
158 
158 
157 
157 
157 
157 
157 



COUNTY CHAIRMAN, selection of chap. 126 99 

COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICTS f art. XVI 14-16 

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, duties of, relation to elections 



4465 
4515 16 



(See also canvass of returns I 



COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: 

election and term 4729 

may call special election when 532 

proclamations, publication of 536 

COUNTY CONVENTIONS: 

delegates and alternates, elected how chap. 126 

filling vacancy ■- chap. 126 

held when chap. 126 

notice, publication of call ; ; chap. 126 



147 



159 
25 

26 



100 
100 
100 
100 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 243 

Code 

No. Page 

orKanization of chap. 126 100 

precinct committeemen, admitted only chap. 126 100 

COUNTY GOVERNMENT: 

managerial form of chap. 109 159 

adoption of chap. 109 159 

election chap. 109 159 

petition chap. 109 159 

proclamation chap. 109 159 

referendum chap. 109 159 

COUNTY OFFICERS: 

attorneys, qualifications, election, term art. VIII, sec. 19 12 

elected when 4728 159 

named 4725 158 

take oath of office when 4728 159 

term of 4728 159 

who eligible to 4723 158 

COUNTY SEATS: 

general laws applicable 4388 135 

location of, county commissioners to meet and organize 4378 131 

designation temporary county seat 4379 131 

election on permanent location 4379 131 

canvass of returns 4386 134 

form of ballot 4385 134 

general laws applicable 4388 135 

general election laws applicable 4384 134 

judges, ballots and records 4383 133 

proceedings after petition 4380 132 

re-election on failure to select 4387 134 

registration and polling precincts 4381 133 

registration of voters 4382 133 

special elections 4379 131 

removal of county seats 

election, how held 4371 130 

on question 4370 130 

petition 4369 129 

place chosen to be county seat 4374 131 

prohibition of second election 4376 131 

publication of result 4373 131 

removal again 4377 131 

statement and notice of result 4375 131 

submission to taxpayers 4370 130 

voting for place of preference 4372 131 

submission to special electors of question of locating permanent 

county seat 4389 135 

election 4389 135 

petition for 4389 135 

registration and polling precincts 4389 135 

COUNTY SPECIAL ELECTIONS, commissioners may call when 532 25 

COUNTY SURVEYOR, to furnish map of precincts 548 27 

COURT. DISTRICT, clerk, election of art. VIII, sec. 18 12 

COURT: 

judges of district, election, qualifications, term art. VIII, sec. 12 11 

justices of the peace, election, term, vacancies art. VIII, sees. 20, 34 12 

DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES TO NATIONAL CONVENTIONS: 

election of chap. 126 100 

DIRECT PRIMARY 631-670 49-64 

abstract of votes 654 59 

abstract of votes, transmittal 655 60 

affidavit to court of error in ballot or count 656 61 

application of law to cities and towns... 634 50 

ballot, arrangement and rotation of names 651 57 

arrangement upon 648 56 

arrangement of and notice 649 56 

certification of 649 56 

counting and disposition of 636 51 

disposition of voted 638 53 

destruction of blanks 651 58 

how printed and voted 651 58 

number to be printed 652 58 

preserved how long 646 56 



244 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



rotation of names on 

sample, printing of 

samples, for political party 

writing name on 

written names, how counted 

bribery, penalty 

candidate, independent 

for nomination, misdemeanor of 

may not be nominated under sec. 612 

on tally sheets 

canvass, of vote, returns 

of returns, state board, time for 

certificate of nomination by clerk of court in contest cases 

certificate of nomination, issuance of 

certification of candidates 

cities and towns, application of law to 

city clerks, duties 

nominating petitions, filed where 

notice of election 

precincts 

primary, when held 

• city central committee, powers 

committeemen : 

county and city, elected how 

nomination of 

on ballot how 

organization of 

term 

vacancy 

compensation of judges, certificate for 

construction of law 

contest of nomination, procedure 659 

county central committee, powers 

death or removal of candidate, nomination of successor 

election, date of holding 

election notices, form and posting 

emergency law 

error, affidavit to court 

error, correction procedure 

fee for nominating petition 

forging of papers 

general laws, apply to elections, when 

general penal laws, applicable 

independent candidate 

independent candidate, can not use party name 

independent party may nominate how 

meeting of committee to form platform 

messenger for returns, when 

name, party, limitation in uss of 

names of candidates, arrangement on ballot 

names, rotation on ballot 

names, written on ticket, how counted 

national committeemen, selection, term 

nominating petitions : 

filed where and when 

filed where 

filing and fee 

form of . 

nominations : 

arrangement and certification 

by writing name on ballot .• 

on more than one ticket 

on other than party ticket - 

register of entries :.. 

notices of election, form and posting 

party name, limitation in use of 

penalty, neglect of duty 

petition for nomination, form and fee 

platform committee, meeting 

precinct committeemen, election of 

poll books and tally sheets, disposition of 

political parties which may participate in 

proclamation of nominations 

register and check list 

register of candidates 

register of nominations, entries 

returns by telegraph _ 



Code 




No. 


Page 


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650 


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645-6 


55 6 


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657 


61 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



245 



Code 

No. PaKe 
returns : 

how and when made 654 59 

how made for senator in congress 653 58 

messenKer for .■ 656 61 

rotation of names on ballot 651 57 

senator in congress, candidates for 653 58 

senator in congress, returns how made 653 58 

state central committee, duties of 663-4 63 

state central committee meeting 666 64 

supplies, e.xpenses incurred 650 57 

suppressing or not filing nominating papers, penalty 669 64 

tally sheets : 

disposition of 638 53 

form of 637 51 

method of keeping and posting ^. 637 52 

tie vote, procedure 654,655 59,60 

vacancy, by death or removal of candidate, how filled 647 56 

vacancy, how filled 647 56 

voter, bribing of 667 64 

votes, abstract of 654 59 

how transmitted , 655 60 

voting 651 58 

who nominated : 654 60 

DISTRICT JUDGES, election and term 4730 159 

DISTRICT OFFICE, who eligible to 4724 158 

DROUGHT RELIEF BONDS 4680 4710 150 153 

act. construed how 4710 153 

ballots, form and contents 4689 152 

board of commissioners, action on petition 4683 150 

canvass of election, general laws apply 4687 152 

conduct and canvass of election, general laws apply 4687 152 

county commissioners may purchase seed grain when 4680 150 

election : 

called for what day 4686 151 

proclamation, publication of 4686 151 

special, when called and held 4685 151 

indebtedness, not to exceed what sum 4G84 151 

notice of election, contents 4686 151 

petitions for 4681 150 

purchase of supplies, when 4684 151 

registrar, deputies, who are 4688 152 

registrations, exceptions, closing of 4688 152 

registration on election day, how 4688 152 

registry cards, delivery of 4688 152 

special meeting for consideration of petition 4682 150 

special meeting, notice by clerk to board •. 4682 150 

voters, who entitled to vote 4688 152 

voting, manner of 4689 152 

ELECTION CERTIFICATE 828 101 

duty of commissioners 4465 147 

withholding 806 98 

ELECTIONEERING at polling places 693 68 

ELECTIONEERING on election day by officers 693 68 

ELECTION FRAUDS AND OFFENSES: 

acts avoid elections, when 10772 214 

aiders and abettors, penalty 10756 210 

ballots : 

adding to or subtracting from 10755 210 

changing or altering by officers, penalty 10752 209 

destroying, penalty 10749 209 

exhibition of, penalty 10760 211 

marking for identification, penalty 10760 211 

unfolding or marking by judges, penalty 10753 209 

voting spurious ballots 10760 211 

betting on elections, penalty 10767 212 

bribery, what constitutes 10769 212 

bribing members legislative caucus 10764 212 

canvass of returns, interfering with, penalty 10749 209 

certificate of nomination, forging, altering or suppressing, penalty.... 10758 210 

conviction of violation voids election, when 10772 214 

crimes, against 10747 208 

destroying or defacing election supplies .^. 10760 211 

disturbance of public meetings 10766 212 

election laws, violation of, penalty 10747 208 



246 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



Code 

No. 

electioneering by officers of election 10759 

electors, intimidation and corruption of 10757 

employers, unlawful acts of 10770 

entertainments at personal expense, penalty 10701 

fines, disposal of 10771 

intimidating voters 10757 

marking- ballots for identification 10760 

money furnished to promote election, penalty 10761 

offer to appoint to office, communication of, penalty 10762 

10763 

officers not to electioneer, penalty 10759 

political convention, bribery members of, penalty 10764 

poll lists, changinf: or destroying 10749 

public meetings, disturbance of 10766 

preventing 10765 

registration, fraudulent, penalty 10748 

returns, altering or destroying by officers, penalty 10752 

10754 

destruction, penalty 10749 

forging or altering, penalty 10754 

supplies, removal or destruction, penalty 10760 

violation of laws, punishment when not prescribed by codes 1076H 

voters, intimidation of, penalty 10757 

votes, adding to or substractingr 10755 

fraudulent, penalty 10749-50 

procuring illegal voting 10751 

workmen, unlawful acts of employers toward 10770 

ELECTIONS: 

free and open „ art. Ill, see. 5 

general 531 

special 532 

notices, form and contents 594 

notices, posting 595 

time of holding 531 

ELECTORS, arrest, privileged from when 541 

GOVERNMENT OF COUNTIES 4723-30 

INDEBTEDNESS, public art. XIII, sec. 5, 6 

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES, nominated how 639 

INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM: 

ballot, certification of title for 103 

contents of 104 

constitutional provisions art. V, sec. 1 

county clerk, duty of 101 

102 
103 
105 

forms of petition, not mandatory 101 

measure, designation of » 103 

distribution of to voters 105 

effective when lOS 

mailing of 105 

number to be printed 105 

numbering of 103 

printing of 105 

notary certificates, form of 101 

petitions, filing of 100 

are prima facie evidence 101 

form of initiative 100 

form of not mandatory 101 

form of referendunrj 99 

who may sign, penalty , 107 

proclamation by governor 105 

publication 102 

secretary of state, duties of 101 

102 
103 
105 

signatures, counting of 101 

State purchasing agent, duties 105 

title, contents, certification and printing of 103 

votes, canvassed how - 105 

voting, manner of 104 

INSTRUCTION CARDS, printing and distribution 677 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ELECTORS, printing and delivery of, posting, 

contents „ 607 

JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ELECTION, compensation 591 



Page 
210 
210 
214 
211 
214 
210 
211 
211 
211 
211 
210 
212 
209 
212 
212 
208 
209 
210 
209 
210 
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212 
210 
210 
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25 
25 
41-2 
42 
25 
26 
158-159 
14 
53 

23 
23 
7 
21 
22 
23 
24 
22 
23 
24 
25 
24 
24 
23 
24 
22 
20 
22 
20 
22 
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25 
24 
22 
22 
22 
23 
24 
22 
24 
23 
24 
23 

65 



44 

41 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



247 



Code 
No. 
JUDGES. DISTRICT: 

elections of 1932 chap. 91 

vacancies, how filled 8820 

JUDGES, ELECTION: 

appointment of 487 9 

appointment, duty of commissioners 4465 

compensation 591 

duty affixing pasters 680 

letter of appointment 592 

oath, administered 699 

politics of 590 

term of office, vacancies 593 

JUDICIAL DISTRICTS: 

creation art VIII, sec. 12 

list of 8812 13 

JUDICIAL OFFICERS: 
justices, supreme court: 

additional justices 8791 

designation of 8792 

term of 8791-2 

chief justice 8790 

computation of years of office 8797 

justices of the peace : 

electad, when 8833 

term of office 8837 

vacancies, how filled 8838 

LAWS, ELECTION, printing of 807 

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: 

canvass of vote 827 

election, when held 824,826 

term and qualifications ai-t. V, sec. 2, 3 

vacancy in office 825 

MILITARY DUTY, on election day 542 

NATIONAL CONVENTIONS, delegates, nomination and election chap. 126 

NOMINATIONS BY CONVENTION OR PRIMARY MEETING: 

certification of candidates for ballot, time 619 

certificates of nomination, filed where 614 

certification of nominations for vacancies 621 

certification of primary meeting 613 

challenge, form of oath, perjury 627 

convention, defined 612 

counting of votes 625 

clerk of nominating meeting, duties 626 

declination of 620 

error in printing name, remedy 622 

fraudulent voting or counting 628 

judges, at primary convention, choosing of, powers 625 

individual petition 615 

influencing electors 629 

nomination certificate : 

contains only one candidate's name 616 

filed where 614 

preservation and inspection of 617 

time for filing 618 

nomination to fill vacancies 621 

officers of election, failure to perform duty 611 

penalty for violating statutes 630 

primary, defined . 612 

primary meeting, certification of 613 

returns, blanks for transmitting 608 

returns, copying of 609 

returns, posting and mailing 610 

unlawful interference 629 

vacancies, nomination to fill 621 

voting at, qualifications 623-4 

voting at, caucus, primary, qualifications 623-4 

NOMINATIONS for same office on more than one ticket 682 

OATH: 

judges and clerks, must take 596 

refusal to take challenge oath 712 



Page 

207 
208 



41 
147 
41 
65 
41 
70 
41 
41 



11 
207 



206 
206 
206 
206 
206 

208 
208 
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98 



101 

101 

8 

101 

27 

99 



47 
46 
47 
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48 
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48 
47 
47 
48-49 
48 
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49 

46 
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45 
45 
45 
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49 
47 
47-48 
47-48 

06 



42 
72 



248 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Code 

No. Page 

who may administer during election 597 42 

Office, civil, who qualified to hold 410 25 

Officers, county and township, qualifications, election, term 4723-4730 158-9 

OFFICERS, PUBLIC: 

qualification, election, term art. VII, sec. 1-3 10 

qualifications to hold art. IX, sec. 7 13 

supreme court, clerk, qualifications, election, term art. VIII. sec. 9 11 

supreme court justices, qualification, election, term art. VIII, sec. 6-10 10-11 

PASTERS FOR BALLOT 69'5 69 

for ballots, may be used 678 65 

for ballots, when 680 65 

POLITICAL PARTY, term, includes what chap. 126. sec. 1 99 

POLL BOOK: 

disposition 770 71 

clerk must forward 599 42 

form of 600 42-43 

or certificate, rejection of 601 43 

recording of voted ballot 701 70 

POLL LIST, clerk to keep 705 71 

POLL LISTS, entry of voted ballot 69r> 69 

POLLING PLACES: 

closing of, proclamation 691 68 

electioneering at 693 68 

equipment for 692 68 

guard rail, who may be within 693 68 

number of 692 68 

obstructing 693 68 

open when 633,689 50,68 

proclamation on opening 6V)(i 68 

PRECINCT COMMITTEEMEN, selection chap. 126 99 

PRECINCTS: 

defined, establishing, boundaries 545-6, 548 27 

establishing and changing, abolishing 4465 147 

map of 548 27 

notices, form and contents 594 41-2 

register, disposition of 770 71 

register book, entries by judges 704 70-71 

register, failure or refusal to sign 704 71 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS: 

ballots cast by 819 99 

canvass of votes for 814 99 

casting vote 818 99 

certificate of election 815 99 

compensation of 822 99 

expense accounts, how certified and paid 823 99 

how chosen 813-823 99-100 

lists of persons voted for by 820 99 

lists, transmitting of 821 99 

meeting of 816 99 

nominating chap. 126 99 

certificates chap. 126 99 

number chosen 813 98 

political party, defined chap. 126 99 

vacancy, how filled 817 99 

PROCLAMATIONS: 

election 533 25 

contents of election 534 25 

publication of 536 26 

QUESTIONS, publication of for vote ..' 538 26 

REFERENDUM AND INITIATIVE (see Initiative and Referendum) 

REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS 553-586 28-40 

REGISTRATION: 

act, violation of. penalty 585 40 

action, to compel 577 39 

applicant, not full time resident, or naturalized 559 31 

"cancelled file." withdrawal of cards from 564 34 

cards, cancellation 562 34 

cancellation of 570 36 

challenge, administration of oath 584 40 

of voter, contents of, disposition, duty of jiidgrea 573 36 

duty of judges 573 37 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 249 

Code 

No. Page 

closing of. publication and posting notice 566 34 

county clerk, deputy, authority of 580 40 

court actions to compel 577 39 

deputy registrars, who are, fees and duties 557 31 

election, defined 582 40 

elector, defined 581 40 

may register before deputy when, charge for 556 30 

failure to vote, card removal 562 33 

hours of 558 31 

index, card register 554 28 

index cards, size, form and contents 554 28-29 

list of electors, printing and posting 567 35 

military or naval officers 563 34 

name omitted from poll book 579 39 

naturalized citizen 575 38 

officers, penalty for failure to perform duty 583 40 

omissions from poll book 579 39 

poll book, fees from cities and towns, school districts 571 36 

poll books, preparation of 568 35 

precinct registers, charge for copy of 572 36 

precinct register, election returns, poll book, delivery of 576 39 

precinct register, signing of by voter, affidavit 576 38 

printing costs 586 40 

procedure, when register is closed 569 36 

register, form, arrangement and contents 554 28 

register, official, completion of 558 31 

removal of cards of non-voters 563 33 

registered voters, certificate of 566 34 

registrar, duties 553 28 

registry cards : 

classification and arrangement of 558 31 

numbering and marking of 558 31 

transfer to new precinct, form of 560 32 

re- registration 562 34 

residence, change of, procedure 561 32 

determined how 574 37 

supplies for election, duty of county commissioners 586 40 

violation of act, penalty 585 40 

voters, cancellation of 562 34 

voter, entitled to vote when 578 39 

voter, may cast vote on affidavit 565 34 

voter omitted from poll book, procedure 579 39 

voting : 

duty of judges,, precinct register 576 38 

entries, precinct register 576 38 

identity established 578 39 

only when name on register 578 39 

who may register 555 30 

REPRESENTATION (See Apportionment) 

RESIDENCE, rules for determining 574 37-38 

RESULT OF ELECTION, withholding 806 98 

ROAD DISTRICTS, Special: 

board of directors, election 1664 128 

ballots, preservation of 1667 128 

canvass of votes 1667 129 

general election 1664 128 

notices, calling election 1667 129 

polling places 1666 129 

voters, challenge of, oath 1665-6 128 

voters, who are 1665 128 

SCHOOL DISTRICT BONDS: 

ballots, preparation of chap. 147, sec. 11 120 

board of trustees, action on petition chap. 147, sec 9 119 

canvass of returns chap. 147, sec. 15 122 

election, conduct of chap. 147, sec. 13 121 

election, limitation code 1252 122 

election, notice of chap. 147, sec. 10 120 

electors, list of chap. 147, sec. 12 121 

electors, registration of chap. 147, sec. 12 121 

issue of without election, procedure chap. 147, sec. 7 118 

petition and election chap. 147, sec. 8 118 

form contents and proof of petition chap. 147, sec. 9 118 

percentage of electors required to authorize chap. 147, sec. 14 121 

poll books chap. 147. sec. 12 121 

resolution to issue, after voting chap. 147, sec. 15 I2a 



250 



ELZCTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



Code 
No. 

saving clause code 127" 

voters, qualifications chap. 147, sec. 12 

who may vote code 1253 

SCHOOL DISTRICT INDEBTEDNESS: 

election supplies chap. 47 

electors, list of, posting chap. 47 

electors, qualifications chap. 47 

SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICERS art. XI, sec. 10 

SCHOOL DISTRICTS: 

consolidation of districts, bonded debt 1031 

election of trvistees 1034 

method of consolidation 1034 

order of consolidation 1034 

petition and election 1034 

SCHOOL DISTRICTS, RURAL: 

bonds, authority to issue 1044 

county unit system, elections, registration and voting 1042 

limitation on second election 1042 

petition for adoption 1042 

trustees, appointment of 1042 

definition of terms 1040 

dissolution, procedure lO'l^ 

how formed 1041 

how subdivided 1041 

petition for transfer 1041 

second class districts, bonds of 1046 

creation of 1046 

indebtedness, apportionment of 1046 

tax to pay warrants...: 1046 

warrants for indebtedness 1046 

sinking fund for third class districts 1045 

third class districts sinking fund 1045 

assumption of indebtedness 1045 

trustees, annual meeting of 1047 

bonds, power to issue 1044 

submission of question to electors 1044 

budget, preparation of 1044 

compensation 1047 

elections, judges, canvassing of votes 1043 

failure to attend meetings 1047 

nomination of 1043 

oath and term of office 1043 

officers 1047 

other meetings 1047 

powers and duties of 1044 

qualifications 1043 

taxation, certification of 1044 

vacancies 1043 

unit for purpose of taxation 1041 

SCHOOLS: 

board, powers of 1015 

building and furnishing fund, used for what 1210 

county superintendent, election of 951 

HIGH SCHOOL CODE: 

bond issues, submission of question chap. 148, sec. 13 

election, petition for chap. 148, sec. 12 

form chap. 148, sec. 14 

limit .-. chap. 148, sec. 14 

of county, district and high schools chap. 148. sec. 15 

rate of interest chap. 148, sec. 14 

time <• chap. 148, sec. 14 

bonds, school, validated by statute chap. 6 

budget system, election for deficiency chap, 146, sec. 7 

COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS: 

abolishment of, procedure 19 

county commissioners' duty 24 

election, holding 23 

location and establishment, validated chap. 6 35 

petition ■'*' 

publication of notice 22 

(luestion, submission of ; 21 

validation of acts chap. 6 36 



Page 
122 
121 
122 



205 

205 

205 

14 



107 
107 
107 
1U7 
107 



111 
108 
108 
108 
108 
107 
115 
107 
107 
107 
114 
114 
114 
114 
114 
113 
113 
113 
115 
HI 
HI 
111 
115 
110 
115 
110 
110 
115 
115 
HI 
HO 
111 
HO 
107 

106 
116 
102 

123 
122 
123 
123 
123 
123 
123 
25 
127 



25 
25 
124 
125 
124 
124 
124 
125 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



251 



Code 
No. 



Page 



JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS: 

approval of superintendent of public instruction., 

bonds, application and submission of question 

issue and marketinK of 

establishment 

establishment where district high exists 

election 

Iietition 

question submitted 

resolution of board 7 

trustees, duty of 



SCHOOLS, PUBLIC: 
finance : 

election on taxation in excess of ten mills 

challenKe, oath of electors, false swearing 

conduct of election 

form and marking of ballot 

notice of election 

purpose of levy to be stated 

property, election for sale of 

superintendent of public instruction, qualifications and term. 

trustees, election, notice of 

trustees, special election, may call 



SCHOOL SITES: 

selection, purchase or exchange of, procedure 

election, notice and canvass of votes 

approval of 

location of 

not to be changed for three years 

state board of land commissioners to sell land for.. 



SCHOOL TRUSTEES: 

annual election held, when and where 

election of generally, challenges, oath of voter 

elections, board of trustees to call 

canvass of votes 

certificate of judges 

expenses, how paid... 

hours of holding 

in districts of first class : 

nominations 

procedure 

in districts of second and third class, procedure 

in first class districts : 

ballots and method of voting 

judges 

oath of voters 

poll and tally lists 

qualifications of electors 

expenses of election. 

nominations in districts of second and third class 

number in different districts 

oath of office 

qualifications of 

re-arrangement of term to prevent election of majority 

removal by court, procedure 

trustees in new counties 

vacancy in office, how filled 

term of appointee 

vacancy in office of clerk, power to fill 

what acts constitute forfeiture of office 

special bond elections, power to call when 

SEATS, COUNTY, removal of art. XVI. 

SEATS (see county seats) 

SEED GRAIN: 

act construed ■ 

ballots, form of and contents 

bonds, manner of voting 

conduct of election and returns, general laws apply 

indebtedness not to exceed what sum 

petition, filing of, action upon 

to county board, form and contents 

proclamation for election, contents and publication 

proclamation, posting of 

purchase of by board of county commissioners 



46 


126 


48 


126 


51 


127 


45 


126 


52 


127 


49 


127 


46 


126 


47 


126 


46 


126 


50 


127 


1219 


116 


1223 


117 


1222 


117 


1222 


117 


1220 


117 


1221 


117 


1014 


106 


931 


102 


992 


103 


1014 


106 


1173 


116 


1173 


116 


1173 


116 


1173 


116 


1173 


116 


1173 


116 


987 


102 


1003 


106 


991 


103 


996 


104 


996 


104 


1004 


106 


993 


103 


990 


103 


990 


103 


989 


102 


995 


104 


994 


104 


1003 


106 


996 


104 


1002 


106 


1004 


106 


988 


102 


986 


102 


997 


102 


985 


102 


1001 


105 


999 


105 


4396 


144 


998 


105 


998 


105 


1000 


105 


998 


105 


1014 


106 


sec. 2 


14 


4676 


150 


4648 


149 


4640 


147 


4646 


149 


4644 


148 


4641 


148 


4640 


147 


4645 


148 


4645 


148 


4640 


147 



252 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Code 

No. Page 

repistrars of election, deputies 4647 149 

registration cards, return of 4647 149 

registration, exceptions, and close of 4647 149 

registration on election day 4647 14y 

registration, supplies, furnishing _ 4647 149 

special election called when 4644 148 

held when 4645 148 

special meeting of board of commisisoners, called how 4641 148 

voters, qualifications ; 4647 149 

SMOKE NUISANCE: 

bonds, issue of 5292 176 

election, when 5292 176 

election, notice of 529 4 177 

registration not required 5299 177 

STATE CHAIRMAN, selection of chap. 126 99 

STATE CONVENTION, call, publication of chap. 126 100 

certificates of election, signing of chap. 126 100 

conducted how chap. 126 100 

delegates, selection of chap. 120 100 

nomination, certificates of, delivered where chap. 126 100 

time of holding chap. 126 100 

SUBSTITUTION OF NAME BY PASTER code 680 65 

SUFFRAGE, rights of art. IX 12.13 

SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT, duty of commissioners to furnish 1515 147 

SUPPLIES, furnished how 598,603 42,43 

TAX PAYER. what constitutes for election purposes 544 2'' 

TOWNSHIPS, officers, named .' 4726 159 

UNOFFICIAL SAMPLE BALLOT, excluded 696 69 

VOTER, assistance to. when given 699 70 

disposition of ballot 700 70 

may paste name of candidate on ballot 678 65 

may taite memo in voting booth 678 65 

qualification of 540 26 

VOTING, assistance to elector when 699 70 

VOTING BEGINS ,. 688 <i8 

VOTING BOOTH, expense for 694 69 

occupied by one person only 697 70 

occupied how long 697 70 

VOTING BY ABSENT VOTERS: 

may vote when 715 72 

affidavit, comparison by county clerk with index card 718 73 

on envelope 720 74 

application for ballot :.... 716 72 

form of 717 7a 

ballot: 

delivery to election judges 723 75 

record of 724 75 

to be sent by special delivery 728 77 

clerk to furnish blanks 719 73 

disposition of ballot by clerk 722 75 

envelopes, disposal of 727 76 

form of affidavit and return 720 74 

judges to note absent voters on poll-list 725 75 

mailing ballot 720 74 

marking and swearing to ballot 721 74 

numbering ballots 725 75 

opening envelopes after deposit 731 78 

penalty for : 

false swearing and official misconduct 782 78 

violation of act by persons outside of state 735 79 

change of venue 735 79 

procedure when elector present 734 7S 

must cast vote if present on election day 734 78 

rejection of ballots 725 727 75-77 

voting : 

before election day 726 76 

by elector in person 729 30 77 

machints, canvass of votes 733 78 

who may vote 715 72 

VOTING BY ABSENT ELECTORS IN MILITARY OR NAVAL 

SERVICE: 

adjutant-general, duties concerning act 738 79 

ballots : 

canvass of 747,748 83 

deposit with state treasurer, when 747 83 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 253 

Code 

No. Page 

ti-ansmission to electors 745 82 

voted ballots, transmission to clerk 746 82 

canvass of votes : 

by county commisisoners 749 84 

by state canvassinK board 748 83 

determination of number of votes cast 750 84 

returns received after certain dates not to be canvassed 751 84 

construction of act 756 8o 

county clerk, duties concerning 741 80 

disposal of envelopes received before certain date 748 83 

disposition of canvassed ballots 754 85 

duty of county clerk... 737,741 79,80 

envelopes and affidavit 742 81 

Keneral register to be prepared by secretary of state 738 80 

informalities not to invalidate act : 753 84 

information, duty of officers to furnish 738 80 

list of service men to be mailed 737 79 

markinp: and sealing: ballot 743 82 

official ballots, preparation and printing... 740 80 

penal laws applicable 753 84 

persons before whom ballots may be marked 752 84 

printing and distribution of act 755 85 

secretary of state, duties of 738,741 80 

time for casting ballot 744 82 

transmission by telegraph of candidates' names 739 80 

who may vote under act 736 79 

VOTING LIST, kept by clerk 705 7i 

VOTING MACHINES: 

assistance of elector, when 762 87 

ballot : 

and instructions to voter 

labels 

city and county clerk to set up machine for use 

counties and cities may use 

counting votes 

diagram of machines to be published 

duty of county clerk to demonstrate 

election returns : 

preparation of certificate of closing polls 

examination by public 

irregular ballots, marking of 

machine to be locked 

tally-sheets, return of 

election supplies to be furnished 

exhibition of 

experimental use of authorized 

irregular ballots 

judges to be appointed for 

laws applicable 

method of conducting 

no books for poll-lists 

nominations on two tickets, how regulated 

nominees, statements to be filed by 

party ballots, arrangement of 

payment for machines 

penalty for : 

deceiving electors 

fraudulent returns or certificates 

neglect of duty 

tampering with machines 

violation of duty to judge 

plates over keys not in use 

presidential electors, names on ballot 

procedure when machine unworkable 

purchase and use of machines 

repair of 

returns, how made 

samples of printed matter, preparation of 

specifications of machines required 

state board of voting machine commissioners : 

creation of 

duti;s 

unofficial ballots, use of 

voting, how conducted 

Voting of ballot 

Voting places, can not be at Indian agency or post 



763 


88 


763 


88 


764 


89 


759 


86 


766 


90 


763 


88 


763 


88 


767 


90 


767 


90 


767 


90 


767 


90 


767 


90 


763 


88 


763 


88 


773 


92 


765 


90 


761 


86 


768 


91 


761 


87 


763 


88 


763 


88 


763 


88 


764 


89 


760 


86 


762 


87 


772 


92 


769 


92 


770 


92 


771 


92 


764 


89 


763 


88 


773 


92 


759 


86 


773 


92 


767 


91 


763 


88 


758 


86 


757 


85 


757 


85 


773 


92 


761 


86 


696 


69 


552 


28 



254 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Code 

No. Page 

designation of 550-1 28 

VOTING PRECINCT REGISTER, signing 704 71 

VOTING, special ballot 696 69 

WRITS OF ELECTION art. V, 45 9 



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