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Full text of "Election laws of the state of Montana, 1936 : arranged and compiled from Revised codes of Montana of 1921, as amended by laws of 1923-1935 inclusive"

U196 — 6M — 9-40 



LIBRARY 








ELEASLBEHJRN 



Helena, Montana 59601 



Montana Slate Library 



3 0864 1004 2456 6 




STATE_DOCyMENTS 



.Cection 






tAWS 



OF THE 



STATE OF MONTANA 



1936 



93946 



Arranged and Compiled from Revised 

Codes of Montana of 1921, as 

Amended by Laws of 

1923-1935 Inclusive 



Published by 

Sam W. Mitchell, Secretary of State 

Helena, Montana 

May, 1936 



NAEGELE PRINTING CO., HELENA, MONT. 



A 



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, and that contained in Section 10778, 
I have caused to be prepared what is believed to be a complete com- 
pilation of all laws dealing with State, County, City and School Dis- 
trict elections found in the Revised Codes of 1921, as amended. 

SAM W. MITCHELL, 

Secretary of State. 




ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 



Contents 

Page 

Abatement of Smoke Nuisance 180-181 

Apportionment and Representation 18-20 

Ballots, Preparation and Form 67-70 

Bond Issue and Tax Levy for Bridge Construction 156 

Bonding Fire Districts in Unincorporated Towns 17:5-17-") 

Bond Issue, Restrained 214 

Bond Issues 156-159 

Borrowing Money 159-161 

Bridges, Bonds 137 

(ilies and Towns — Officers and Elections 165-168 

Classification and Organization of Cities and Towns 16)5-165 

Commission Form of Government for Cities 182-193 

Commission-Manager Form of Government for 

Cities and Towns 193-210 

Conduct of Elections 70-75 

Constitutional Provisions 7-17 

( lontesting Elections 108 

Corrupt Practices Act 220-2:56 

Counties, ( 'real ion of New 144-155 

County Seals, Location of 139-144 

County Seat, Removal 137-139 

Crimes Against Elective Franchise 214-220 

Delegates to National Convention 102-1015 

Disqualification and Restrictions upon Residence 

of Officers 25 

District Judges, Election of 213 

Duties of County Commissioners Relative to Elections 155-156 

Elction — 

Precincts 27 

Proclamations 25 

Returns 90-96 

Supplies 4:5-46 

Failure of Elections 96-97 

Fees for Candidates for Mayor and Couneilmen 193 

Floating Indebtedness of Counties 159 

Free Public Librairies 168 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 5 

Page 

Government of Counties 161-162 

Indebtedness of Cities or Towns — Bonds 175-180 

Initiative and Referendum 20-25 

Initiative and Referendum in Cities and Towns 169-172 

Judges and Clerks of Election 42-43 

Judicial Districts 212-213 

Judicial Officers 211-212 

Justices of Peace 213 

Managerial Form of County Government 162 

Members of Congress — Elections and Vacancies 104 

Municipal Contracts and Franchises 172-173 

Municipal Courts 173 

Nomination of Candidates by Convention and Petition.... 46-50 

Nomination of Candidates — Direct Primary 51-67 

Non-partisan Election of Judges 97-100 

Presidential Electors 101-103 

Publication of Measures Submitted to Popular Vote 26 

Qualifications and Disabilities of Electors 26 

Qualification of Electors to Vote on Increase 

of Municipal Indebtedness 211 

Recount of Votes 104-108 

Registration of Electors 28-42 

Road Districts 136-137 

School Budget System 135 

School District Bonds 125-130 

School Districts, Consolidation 113-123 

School, High, Code 130-131 

School Matters 108-113 

Schools, Abolishment of High 131-135 

School Taxation 123-124 

Time of Holding Elections 25 

Voting by Absent Electors 75-82 

Voting by Machines 82-90 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 7 

CONSTITUTION 

ARTICLE III 

A Declaration of Rights of the People of the State of Montana 

Section *_'. The people of the state have the solo 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. 
provided such change he not repugnant to the constitution of the 
United States. 

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

ARTICLE V 

Legislative Department 

Section 1. The legislative authority of the state shall he vested in 
a legislative assembly, consisting of a senate and house of representa- 
tives; 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 
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, 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 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. The first power reserved 
by the people is the initiative and eight per cent, of the legal Alters 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 



8 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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. 

All elections in measures referred to the people of the state shall he 
had at the biennial regular general election, except when the legislative 
assmbly, by a majority vote, shall order a special election. Any meas- 
ure referred to the people shall still be in full force and effect unless 
such petition he 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 he 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 initia- 
tive or referendum shall he the basis on which the number of the legal 
petitions and orders for the initiative and for the referendum shall 1*' 
filed with the secretary of state; and in submitting the same to the 
people, he, and all other officers, shall he guided by the general laws 
and the act submitting this amendment, until legislation shall be especi- 
ally 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 tin- 
legislative assembly of the right to introduce any measure. 

Section 2. Senators shall he elected for the term of four years, and 
repi-esentatives for the term of two years, except as otherwise provided 
in this constitution. 

Section 3. No person shall ho a representative who shall not have 
attained the age of twenty-one years, or a senator who shall not ha v.' 
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 he 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, hut 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 
provided 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 9 

Section 26. The legislative assembly shall no! pass local or special 
laws in any of the following enumerated cases, thai 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 scats: regulating county or township affairs: 
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 in- 
valid 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, increas- 
ing or decreasing fees, percentages or anoyances of public officers ; 
changing the law of descent; granting to any corporation, association or 
individual 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 ; refunding money paid into the state treasury ; relinquishing or 
extinguishing in whole or in part the indebtedness, liability or obligation 
of any corporation or person to this state, or to any municipal corpora- 
tion therein ; exempting property from taxation : restoring to citizenship 
persons convicted of infamous crimes; authorizing the creation, exten- 
sion or impairing of liens; creating offices, or prescribing the powers or 
duties of officers in counties, cities, township or school districts; or au- 
thorizing 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 governor shall issue writs 
of election to fill the same. 

ARTICLE VI 

Appointment 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 appointment shall be made 
by congress the legislative assembly shall divide the state into con- 
gressional districts accordingly. 

Section 2. The legislative assembly shall provide by law for an 
enumeration of the inhabitants of the state in the year 1S95, and every 



10 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

tenth year thereafter; and al 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 appor- 
tionment for representatives on the hasis of such enumeration accord- 
ing to ratios to Ik' fixed by law. 

Section 3. Representative districts may he altered from time to 
time as public convenience may require. When a representative district 
shall he composed of two or more counties, they shall be Contiguous, 
and the districts as compact as may he. No county shall he divided in 
the formation of representative districts. 

Section 4. Whenever new counties are created, each of said coun- 
ties shall be entitled to one senator, hut in no case shall a senatorial 
district consist id' 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 succeed- 
ing his election, except that the terms of office of those who are 
elected at the first election, shall begin when the state shall he ad- 
mitted into the Union, and shall end on the first Monday id' January, 
A. D. 1893. 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, hooks and 
papers. They shall perform such duties as are prescribed in this con- 
stitution and by the laws of the state. The state treasurer shall not 
he (digible 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 assemhly, and tlie persons 
respectively, having the highest number of votes for the office voted 
for shall he elected: hut 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 Legislative 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 he made in such manner 
as may he prescribed by law, and all contested elections of the same. 
other than provided for in this section, shall he determined as may he 

prescribed by law. 

Section '■'>. No person shall he eligible to the office of governor, 
lieutenant-governor, or superintendent of puhlic 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 I lie age of 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 11 

thirty years, and have been admitted to practice in the supreme court 
Of the stale, or territory of Montana, and lie in good Standing at the 
lime 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 resided within the state or territory two years next preceding 
his election. 

ARTICUC VIII 

Judicial Departments 

Section (5. The justices of the supreme court shall he elected by 
the electors of the state at large, as hereinafter provided. 

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 he elected at the first general election, pro- 
vided for by this constitution, one chief justice and two associate jus- 
tices 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 
thousand 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 subseqent 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, commencing 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 ahsence, the asso- 
ciate justice having the shortest term to serve shall preside in his stead. 

Section 9. There shall he 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 thousand 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 



12 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

of the district court, whose term of office shall he 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 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 he 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. Leaver- 
head. Jefferson and Madison counties; Sixth district, Gallatin. Park 
and Meagher counties; seventh district, Yellowstone, Custer and Daw- 
son counties; Eighth district. Choteau, Cascade and Fergus counties. 

Section 18. There shall t>e a clerk of the district court in each 
county, who shall he elected by the electors of his county. The clerk- 
shall he elected at the same time and for the same term as the district 
judge. The duties and compensation of the said clerk shall he as pro- 
vided by law. 

County Attorneys 

Section 1!>. There shall be elected at the general election in each 
county of the state one county attorney, whose qualifications shall he 
the same as are required for a judge of the district court, except that 
he must be over twenty-one years of age, hut need not be twenty-five 
years of age, and whose tenn of office shall he 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 he fixed by law, one-half of which shall he 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 he 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 he filled by appointment, by the board of county 
commissioners of the county where such vacancy occurs. A person ap- 
pointed to fill any such vacancy shall hold his office until the next 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 13 

general election and until his successor is elected and qualified. A per- 
son elected to till ;i 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 
he, elective by the people and upon all questions which may be sub- 
mitted 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 preceding the election at which he offers to vote, and in 
the town, county or precinct such time as may he prescribed by law : 
Provided, First, that no person convicted of felony shall have the right 
to vote imloss he has been pardoned: 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 constitu- 
tion; Provided, That after the expiration of five years from the time of 
the adoption of this constitution, 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 confined 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 clays 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 he deemed a resident of this state in conse- 
quence 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 S. No idiot or insane person shall he 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. 



14 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

section 10. All persons possessing the qualifications for suffrage 
prescribed by section 2 of this article as amended and such other quali- 
fications as the Legislative assembly may by law prescribe, shall he 
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 thei'ein 
except as otherwise provided in this constitution, and subject to such 
additional qualifications as may be prescribed by the legislative as- 
sembly for city offices and offices hereafter created. 

Section 12. Upon all questions submitted to the vote of the tax- 
payers 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 (-(institution, shall equally with men have the 
right to vote. 

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

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 ail 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 indebted- 
ness, 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 
indebtedness or liability for any single purpose to an amount exceeding 
ten thousand dollars (.$10.(H>0) without the approval id' a majority of 
the electors thereof, voting at an election to be provided by law. 

Section •">. No City, town, township or school district shall be al- 
lowed to become indebted in any manner or for any purpose to an 
amount, including existing Indebtedness, in the aggregate exceeding three 
(3) per centum of the value of the taxable property therein, to be ascer- 
tained 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 city. town, township or 
school district shall be void; Provided, however. That the legislative 
assembly may extend the limit mentioned in this section, by authoriz- 
ing 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 munici- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 16 

pallty 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 qo power to remove 
the county seat of any county, but the same shall be provided for by 

general law: and no county scat shall be removed unless a majority 
of the qualified electors of the county, at a general election on a propo- 
situs 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 Com- 
missioner 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 exceed- 
ing sixty days thereafter, meet and by and under the direction of the 
District 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 
tiled in the office of the County Clerk and Recorder of such county a 
certificate designating 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 Commissioners, 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 P.oard 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 junior member of the Board to be assigned to Commissioner 
District No. 3; provided, that at the first 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 



16 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

their respective county, by filing in the office of the County Clerk ana 
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 manner as to 
affect the term of office of any County Commissioner who has been 
elected, and whose term of office has not expired ; and provided, fur- 
ther, 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 li)30, 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 l>e 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. 

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 where 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 
county officers : 

One County Clerk, who shall be Clerk of the Board of County Com- 
missioners and Ex-officio Recorder: one Sheriff; one Treasurer, who 
shall be collector of the taxes, provided, that no person shall hold the 
office of County Treasurer for more than two (2) consecutive terms : 
one County Superintendent of Schools; one County Surveyor: one As- 
sessor; one Coroner; one Public Administrator. Persons elected to the 
different offices named in this section shall hold their respective of- 
fices for the term of two (2) years, and until their successors are 
elected and qualified. Vacancies in all county, township and precinct 
offices, except that of County Commissioners, shall be filled by appoint- 
ment by the Board of County Commissioners, and the appointee shall 
hold his office until the next general election; provided, however, that 
the Board of County Commissioners of any county may, in its discre- 
tion, consolidate any two (2) or more of the within named offices and 
combine the powers and duties of the said offices consolidated; however, 
the provisions hereof shall not be construed as allowing one (1) of- 
fice incumbent to be entitled to the salaries and emoluments of two (2i 
or more offices: provided, further, that in consolidating county offices. 
the Board of County Commissioners shall, six (6) months prior to the 
general election held for the purpose of electing the aforesaid officers, 
make and enter an order, combining any two (2) or more of the within 
named offices, and shall cause the said order to be published in a 
newspaper, published and circulated generally in said county, for a 
period of six (6) weeks next following the date of entry of said order. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 17 

Section 6. The legislative assembly may provide for the election or 
appointment of si^ch 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, ex- 
cept 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 gov- 
ernment and unite, consolidate or merge cities and towns and county 
under one municipal government, and any limitations in this constitu- 
tion notwithstanding, may designate the name, fix and prescribe the 
number, designate, terms, qualifications, method of appointment, elec- 
tion 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 government 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 affected 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 shall at its next session provide for the calling 
thereof. The number of members of the convention shall be the same 
as that of the house of representatives, and they shall be elected in the 
same manner, at the same places, and in the same districts. The legis- 
lative assembly 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 support 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 necessary, which shall be submitted to the electors 
for their ratification or rejection at an election appointed by the con- 
vention for that purpose, not less than two nor more than six months 
after the adjournment 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 7-0) 

Section 44. That after the expiration of the Seventeenth Legisla- 
tive Assembly of Montana, the membership of the House of Representa- 
tives 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 1020, and upon the ratio of one Representative or member, therein 
from each county, for each six thousand (6,000) persons in such county, 
or fractional 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: 

Beaverhead County One member 

Big Horn County One member 

Broadwater County One mennVr 

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 ( me 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 ( 'ounty One member 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA % J.'"* * M . 19 

AfcCone County One member 

Meagher County ( >ne member 

Mineral County < >ne member 

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 other- 
wise apportioned. 

Section 47. Whenever a new county is created, it shall be at- 
tached to and become a part of the Representative district, embracing 
the county from which the largest area 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. Sheri- 
dan. Dawson, Wibaux. Prairie, Richland, Fergus, Chouteau, Cascade, 
Meagher, Musselshell. Rosebud, Carter. Fallon. Big Horn, Carbon, Yel- 
lowstone, Stillwater. Sweet Grass, Park, Toole, and Teton shall constitute 
the Second Congressional district of the State. 



20 ELECTION LAWS OE MONTANA 

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. 

INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM 

(Constitutional Provisions Art. V. Sec. 1- — page 7) 

Section 99. The following shall be substantially the form of pe- 
tition for the Referendum to the people on any act passed by the Legis- 
lative 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 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. 

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 Mon- 
tana, 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 pe- 
tition 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, respect- 
fully demand that the following proposed law shall he submitted to the 
legal electors of the State of Montana, for their approval or rejection, 

at the regular, general or special election to he 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 Secre- 
tary of State in numbered sections, for convenience in handling, and 
referendum petitions may be filed in sections in like manner. 

Section 101. The county clerk of each county in which any such 
petitions shall be signed shall compare the signatures of the electors 
signing the same with their signatures on the registration books and 
blanks on file in his office, for the preceding general election, and 
shall thereupon 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 con- 
sider and count only such signatures on such petitions as shall be so 
certified by said County Clerks to be genuine ; provided, that the Secre- 
tary 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 re- 
quired as to the fact for each of such last named signatures; and the 
Secretary of State shall further compare and verify the official sig- 
natures and seals of all Notaries so certifying with their signatures and 
seals filed in his office. Such Notaries' certificates shall be substan- 
tially in the following form : 

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 pe- 
tition, or any pai't 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 (he sheets 
presented 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, disre- 
garding clerical and merely technical errors. 

Section 102. Immediately upon the filing of any such petition f< ti- 
the Referendum or the Initiative with the Secretary of State, signed 
by the number of voters and filed within the time required by the 
constitution, he shall notify the governor in writing of the filing of 
such petition, and the governor shall forthwith issue his proclamation, 
announcing 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. 

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 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 23 

names of the candidates for office, shall also furnish the said county 
clerks his certified copy of the titles and numbers of the various meas 
ures 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 organization presenting and filing 
with him the act, or petition for the initiative or the referendum, or in 
the petition or act; provided, thai 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 he descrip 
five of said measure, and he shall number such measures. All measures 
shall be numbered with consecutive numbers beginning with the num- 
ber 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 67S 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. Meas- 
ures proposed by the initiative shall be designated and distinguished 
from measures 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 dia- 
gram opposite and to the left of the position for which the voter 
desires to vote. The following is a sample ballot representing negative 
vote : 



□ 



For Initiative Measure No. (> 
Relating to Duties of Sheriffs. 



X I Against said Measure No. (i. 



□ 



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

Against said Measure No. 7. 



And no title on the 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 sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people. 

The State Purchasing Agent, shall, not later than the first Mon- 
day 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 sub- 
mitted, 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 Purchas- 
ing 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 forwarded 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 
measure 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 
discretion 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 county. 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 mail- 
ing 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 
compensation 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 meas- 
ures 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 
abstracts 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 25 

each measure, and the governor shall forthwith issue his proclama- 
tion, which shall be published in two daily newspapers printed at the 

capital, giving the whole number of votes cast in the State for and 
against each measure and question, and declaring such measures as 
are approved by a majority of those voting thereon to lie in full force 
and effect as the law of the State of Montana from the date of said 
proclamation, 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 Initia- 
tive. 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 elec- 
tion, 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 provi- 
sion of this statute shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a 
fine not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars, or by imprisonment in the 
penitentiary not exceeding two years, or by both such fine and imprison- 
ment 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 hun- 
dred 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 officers or authority. The Board of County Commissioners 
shall be authorized to call a special election at any time for the pur- 
pose of submitting to the qualified electors 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 



26 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

days before such special election, the governor must issue an election 
proclamation, under his hand and the great seal of the State, and trans- 
mit 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. 

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, iipon receipt 
of such proclamation, may, in the case of a 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 Representatives, 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 
publication 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 l>e by ballot. 

Section 540. Kvery person of the age of twenty-one years or over, 
possessing I lie 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 
immediately preceding the election at which he offers to vote. No per- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 27 

son convicted of felony lias the righl to vote unless he has been par- 
doned. Nothing in this section contained shall be construe] to deprive 
any person of the right to vote who had such right at the time of the 
adoption of the State constitution. After the expiration of five years 
from the time of the adoption of the State constitution, no persons ex- 
cept citizens of the United States have a right to vote. 

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

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 boundaries 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 
towms. 

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 Ik- 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 desig- 
nated 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 



28 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

situated, a description of the boundaries of the several wards within 
such city or town, and in like manner shall certify any changes or 
alterations in such boundaries that may from time to time lie 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. 

Section 549. The city council of any incorporated city or town 
shall, within 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 boun- 
daries of the wards within such city or town as then existing ; such 
map shall also show all stx-eets, avenues, and alleys by name, and the 
respective wards by numbers, with the ward boundareis clearly de- 
fined thereon. 

Section 550. The board must, at the session at which judges of 
election 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 
designated, 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 es- 
tablish 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 
Montana is hereby declared to be ex-officio County Registrar of such 
county and shall perform all acts and duties in this Act provided with- 
out extra pay or compensation therefor. He shall have the custody of 
all registration books, cards, and papers herein provided for, and the 
register hereinafter 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 
arranged 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 calen- 
dar stock, and shall be so perforated that all cards in any drawer may 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



29 



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 : 

(FACE) 

STATE OF MONTANA, 1 

> ss. 
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, I 

[ ss. 
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 spe- 
cified), 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 
- , 19 



.day of 



County Clerk and Ex-Offieio Registrar. 

By Deputy. 



30 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

(BACK) 
AFFIDAVIT OF LOST NATURALIZATION PAPERS 

STATE OF MONTANA, 1 

f ss. 
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 naturali- 
zation, 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 correct answers to all questions propounded by the County 
Clerk touching the items of information 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 
registrar 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 thai bis registration be made at bis 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 bis 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 fur- 
ther, 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 567. All Notaries Public and Justices of the Peace are 
designated 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 Commis- 
sioners shall appoint a deputy registrar, other than Notaries Public and 
Justices of the Peace, for each precinct in the county. Such deputy 
registrar shall he 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 
registration of voters between the hours of nine a. m. and five p. m. 
on all days except legal holidays. Registry cards shall be numbered 
consecutively 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 ( !lerk, 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 Clerk shall classify register cards according to the precincts in 
which the several electors reside, and shall arrange the cards in each 
precinct in alphabetical 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 fill- 
ing 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 



32 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

opposite the name of such person the words, "to be challenged for want 
of naturalization papers," and such person shall not be entitled to 
vote unless he exhibits to the judges of election his final naturaliza- 
tion papers. 

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

I, the undersigned elector, having changed my residence from Pre- 
cinct No to Precinct No in the County of 

, State of Montana, herewith make application 

to have my registry card transferred to the precinct register of the 
precinct 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 out- 
side 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 from 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 
transferred, 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 re- 
quested 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, 1 

> SS. 
County of J 

I. the undersigned elector, being duly sworn on o;ith say: 

I have heretofore registered as an elector in the state of Montana. 
( jounty 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 horn 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 
administer oaths within the State of Montana. Upon filing such affi- 
davit in duplicate with the County Clerk, 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 precinct 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 dupli- 
cate affidavit by the County Clerk of such other county, he shall trans- 
fer the registry card of the elector named in such affidavit to the 
cancelled file of said county. Upon receiving the duplicate affidavit re- 
ferred 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 every 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 with the word "Cancelled," and shall place such cancelled cards 



34 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 re- 
moved 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 Clerk 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 en- 
gaged in the active military or naval services of the United States dur- 
ing the late war. and was duly registered and entitled to vote at the 
last general election, and by reason of such service was unable to vote 
at such election, shall not be considered to have lost any rights by 
reason thereof, and the provisions of the preceding section will nut 
apply. 

Section 564. The County Clerk shall, within ten days after the 
passage and approval of this Act, withdraw from the '"cancelled file" 
the registration cards of all persons subject to the provision of this 
Art. 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 pre- 
cinct 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 elose 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 he published in a newspaper 
within his county, having a general circulation therein, for thirty days 
before which time when such registration shall he 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 
ensuing election by appearing before the County Clerk at his office, or 
by appearing before a deputy registrar 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 35 

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 

conspicuous places in each voting precinct at such election, notice of 

the time when the official register will close for SUCh election. 

Section 5G7. Printing and Testing Lists of Registered Electors. 

The County Clerk shall, at least 15 days preceding any municipal 
primary nominating election in towns and cities, and at least thirty 
days preceding any other election, cause to he printed and posted a 
list of all electors entitled to be registered as shown by the official reg- 
ister of the county, and who are on the precinct registers as entitled 
to vote in the several precincts of such county, city or town, or school 
district of the first class, provided, that if the City Clerk of any city 
or town shall, in writing, certify to the County Clerk, not less than 
twenty-five days before the date fixed by law for the holding of any 
primary nominating election, that no petitions for nomination under 
the direct primary election law for any office to be filled at the next 
ensuing annual city election have been filed with such City or Town 
Clerk, not less than thirty days before the date fixed by law for the 
holding of the primary nominating election, then the County Clerk shall 
not cause to be printed or posted such list of registered electors for 
such city or town. Such printed list of registered electors shall con- 
tain 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, town- 
ship 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 elec- 
tion is to he held. The County Clerk shall cause to l>e posted, not less 
than fifteen days before any municipal, primary nominating election, 
and not less than thirty days before any other election, as in this Ad 
provided for, at least five copies of such printed registry list in at 
least five conspicuous places within said precinct, a copy of the list 
of registered voters herein provided for, and shall retain sufficient num- 
ber 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 apply- 
ing 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 a posting in con- 
nection therewith, at the time provided for in this section, a supple- 
mental list giving the names of electors who may have registered after 
the first list was prepared. 

As Amended by Chapter 61, Laws of 1933. 

Section 56S. POLL-BOOK— PRECINCTS INCLUDING MORE THAN 
ONE COUNTY. 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 hook 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 hooks shall he arranged for the listing of the 
names of the electors in alphabetical divisions, each division to be com- 



36 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

l»(»sc(l of ruled columns with appropriate headings, under which the in- 
formation contained upon the registry card of each elector shall he 
transcribed, excepting the oath of the elector, and the certified copy 
of the poll-books so prepared shall he delivered to the judges of the 
election at or prior to the opening of the polls in each precinct. Where 
the precincts in municipal 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-hook 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 heen brought to the attention of the County Clerk 
not less than twenty days preceding the election. Tf the City Clerk of 
any city or town shall, in writing, certify to the County Clerk, not less 
than twenty-five days before the date fixed by law for the holding of 
any primary nominating election, that no petitions for nomination under 
the direct primary election law for any office to be filled at the next 
ensuing annual city election have been filed with such City Clerk, not 
less than thirty days before the date fixed by law for the holding of the 
primary nominating election, then the County Clerk shall not prepare 
for the city any poll-book or poll-hooks for that year. 

As amended by Chapter 61, Laws of 1033. 

Section 560. Whenever the period during which the official reg- 
istry is closed preceding any election shall occur during the time within 
which any elector is entitled to register for another election, such elector 
shall he permitted to registed for such other election, hut the County 
Clerk shall retain his registry 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 he placed in their proper position in tin 1 
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 cer- 
tificate of the death of any elector is filed in his office. 

.'!. 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 residence 
of such elector. 

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



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 37 

">. Upon Hie production of a certified copy of a final judgment of 
conviction of any elector of felony. 

G. Upon the production of :i certified copy of the judgmenl of anj 
court directing the cancellation to be made. 

Section 571. COMPENSATION OF COUNTY CLERKS. The County 

clerks 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 Three ($.03) Cents for each and every name entered in such 
poll book, and in addition he shall receive in like manner 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 ex- 
pense incurred on account of any such municipal or school district elec- 
tion. 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 
(30) days after the presentation of the account to them by said County 
Clerk, provided, however, that in event of the election of candidates at 
municipal primary elections, as provided for in Chapter 13 of the Ses- 
sion Laws of 1933 of the State of Montana, and no general municipal 
election is required to be held, the County Clerk shall prepare no poll 
books for such general municipal election and shall make no charge 
therefor; provided further, that in elections of school districts of the 
first class if only as many candidates are nominated as there are vacan- 
cies to be filled, the County Clerk shall furnish no poll books and make 
no charge therefor to such school district. 

It shall be the duty of the City Clerk or the Clerk of the school 
district to notify the County Clerk in such case as above mentioned, 
where no poll hooks are required, immediately after the facts become 
known to the City Council or the Board of Trustees of the school dis- 
trict, which makes unnecessary the furnishing of such poll books. 

As amended by Chapter 71, Laws of 1935. 

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 de- 
livery 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 precinct register. 

Section 573. At any time not later than the tenth day prior to any 
election, a challenge may he 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. 
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 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 



38 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 objec- 
tions 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 
qualifications. Notwithstanding the elector is registered, his right to 
vote may be challenged on the day of election by any qualified reg- 
istered 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 
qualifications of the elector. 

Section 574. RESIDENCE, RULES FOR DETERMINING. 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 insti- 
tution of learning, nor while kept at any almshouse or other asylum at 
the public expense, nor while confined in any public pi'ison, 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. No 
person shall be deemed to have acquired a residence in the State of 
Montana by reason of being employed or stationed at any United States 
Civilian Conservation Corps Camp within the State of Montana or at 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 3d 

any transient camp maintained for relief purposes by the Government of 
the United States within the state of Montana. 

4. A person must not lie 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 distrirt. 

5. A person must not be considered to have gained a residence in 
any county into which he comes for temporary purposes merely with- 
out the intention of making such county his home. 

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

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

S. 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 he 
one residence. A residence cannot be lost until another is gained. 

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

As amended by Chapter 25, Laws of 1935. 

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 neces- 
sary), 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 
produce 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 



40 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

the line opposite to the name of the elector, before any elector is per- 
mitted to vote, the judges of election shall require the elector to sign 
his name upon one of the precinct register hooks, 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 substantially the following form : 

STATE OF MONTANA, 1 

f ss. 
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 elec- 
tion 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 plain- 
tiffs 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 pre- 
cinct 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 41 

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 t'> 
voic in the same manner as if his came 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. 

Section 580. Wherever in this Act the word "County Clerk" ap- 
pears, it shall be construed as extending and giving authority to any 
regularly appointed Deputy County Clerk. 

Section 581. The word "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 inn-sons, or any officer of any county. 
city or town, or school district, who. under the provisions of this Act. 
are requh-ed to perform any duty, who shall wilfully or knowingly fail, 
refuse or neglect to perform such duty, or to comply with the provi- 
sions 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 quali- 
fied 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 lie 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 \iolate 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 suvh 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 imprison- 
ment 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. 



42 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 5S6. It shall be the duty of the Board of County Commis- 
sioners of each county to provide the County Clerk thereof with suf- 
ficient 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 provisions 
of this law shall be a proper charge upon the county. 

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 re- 
quired 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 post- 
office 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 43 

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

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 

(naming the offices to be filled, including electors of President and 
Vice-President, a Representative in Congress. State, county and town 
ship officers), and for the determination of the following questions 
(naming them), the polls of which election will be open at S 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 pro- 
vided 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 pudges 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 hoard, 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: 



44 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 



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 Pre- 
cinct 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 per- 
sons 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.,- Votes 

C. D.,- Votes 



Senate 
E. F., Votes 



House of Representatives 
G. H., Votes 



Certified and Signed by Us. 

< 'lerks. 



I 



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 ac- 
count 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 Hoards of County 
Commissioners to the officers of each election precinct at the expense 
of the county. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 45 

Section oor!. 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 elec- 
tion is to ho held, at the polling place of the precinct, the proper num- 
l>or of election hallots as provided for in section 687 of this Code. He 
must also deliver to said judges a ruhber or other stamp, with ink 
pad. for the purpose of stamping or designating the official hallots as 
hereinafter provided. Said stamp must contain the words "Official 
"Ballot," the name or number of the election precinct, the name of the 
countv. the date of 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 imprac- 
ticable 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 lie 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 herein- 
after provided for. There shall he one opening and no more in such 
box or canvas pouch, of siifficient 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 
lie returned 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 hox 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 ex- 
hibit 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 fur- 
nish 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 pre- 
paration 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. : 



46 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 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 siipplies 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 
proposition 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 
messenger 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 tbis 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 elec- 
tors 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 
nominated, his l'esidence, his business, bis business address, and the 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 47 

office for which ho is named, and must designate, In n<>t more than 
five words, the party or principle which such convention or primary meel 
Ing represents, and it must be signed by the presiding officer and secre- 
tary of such convention or primary meeting, who must add to their 
signatures their respective places of residence, their business, and busi- 
ness addresses. Such certificates must lx> delivered by the secretary 
or the president of such convention or primary meeting to the Secre- 
tary of the State or to the County Clerk, as in this chapter required 

Section 614. Certificates 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. Certificates of nomination for county, township, and precinct of- 
ficers 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 cor- 
porations wherein the officers are to be elected. The certificate of nomi- 
nation 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 the State or county ; but the signatures need not all be 
appended to one paper. Each elector signing a certificate shall add to 
his signature his place of residence, his business, and his business ad- 
dress. Any such certificate may be filed as provided for in the next pre- 
ceding 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 
nomination filed under the provisions of this chapter. All such certifi- 
cates must be open to public inspection under proper regulations to be 
made by the officers with whom the same are filed. 



48 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 61S. Certificate of nomination to be filed with the Secre- 
tary 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 must 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. 

Section 61SA. All candidates nominated under the provisions of 
this chapter, shall upon filing the certificate of nomination as provided 
by Sections 614 and 618 of the Revised Codes of Montana. 1921, as 
amended, pay to the officer with whom the certificates of nomination 
are required to be filed, the fees provided by Section 640 of the Re- 
vised Codes of Montana. 1921. as amended by Chapter 125. laws of 
Montana. 1927. and such filing fee shall be paid by every person whose 
name appears upon the ballot at any general election, regardless of the 
method pursued to secure nomination, provided, however, thar only one 
filing fee shall be required from any candidate, regardless of the method 
used in having his name placed upon such general election ballot. 

Added Chapter 28. Laws of 1933. 

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 person 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 he filed, that he declines such nomination, such nomination 
shall he void. In municipal elections, such declination shall he 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 inopera- 
tive from any cause, the vacancy or vacancies thus occasioned may he 
filled in the manner required for original nomination. If the original 
nomination 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 49 

name of the person Dominated, the office f < »i- which he was nominated, the 
name <>f the person for whom the new nominee Is to be substituted, the 
fad that the committee was authorized to fill vacancies, and such far- 
ther information 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 cer- 
tificate is filed with the Secretary of state, he must, in certifying the 
nominations to the various County Clerks, insert the name of the per- 
son who has thus heen nominated to fill a vacancy in place of the 
name of the original nominee. And in the event lie has already trans- 
mitted 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 <>f 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 he 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 
meeting, 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 pre- 
scribed 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, 
primary meeting, or election, who is not identified with 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 meet- 
ing. 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 lie 
empowered 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 result of the same. 



50 ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 

Section 626. The judges shall select one of their number who shall 
act as clerk. ;m<l the clerk must keep a true record of each and every 
person voting, with their residence, giving the street and number and 
postoffiee 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 en- 
titled 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 A r ote 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 
any i>erson 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 primary 
election, or fraudulently or wrongfully 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 sucb 
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 
misdemeanor 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.) 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 51 

PARTY NOMINATIONS BY DIRECT VOTE— THE I)IRE(T PRIMARY 

Section 631. Whenever the provisions of tin's I;i\v in operation prov< 
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 
form 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 
proposed 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 pur- 
pose 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 election 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. 

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 re- 
spective 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 (in- 
sert 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 constitutional convention then called, and candidates for county cen- 



52 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

tr;il committeemen 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 084. APPLICATION OF LAW TO CITIES AND TOWNS. 
The nomination of candidates for municipal offices by the political par- 
ries, subject to the provisions of this law, shall lie governed by this 
law in all incorporated towns and cities of this state baying a popula- 
tion of thirty-five hundred and upward as shown by the last preceding 
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 nomi- 
nation by such political parties for county offices at primary nominating 
elections. The duties imposed by this law on the County Clerks at pri- 
mary nominating elections are hereby, as to said towns and cities, desig- 
nated 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 pro- 
visions of this law, provided, that in cities and towns the primary nomi- 
nating election shall be held on the fourteenth day preceding their 
municipal elections. If no petitions for nomination under this law for 
any office to be filled at the next ensuing annual city election is filed 
with the City Clerk of any city, not less than .SO days before the date 
fixed by law for the holding of a primary nominating election, then 
there shall be no primary election held within such city, and the City 
Clerk shall, not less than twenty-five days before the date fixed for 
the holding of the primary nominating election, certify to the County 
Clerk of the county in which such city or town is situated that no pe- 
tition for nomination under the direct primary election law for any 
office to be filled at the next ensuing annual election has been filed with 
such City Clerk within the time provided by law. Under the provisions 
of this law the lawfully constituted legislative and executive authorities 
of cities and town, within the provisions of this section, shall have 
such power and authority over the establishing of municipal voting pre- 
cincts and wards, municipal boards of judges and clerks of election and 
other officers of their said municipal election, and other matters per- 
taining to municipal primary nominating elections required for such 
cities and towns by this law, such legislative and executive authorities 
have over the same matter at their municipal elections for choosing 
the public officers of said cities and towns. 

As amended by Chapter 02. Laws of 1933. 

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. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 53 

Section 636. Immediately after the closing <>f the polls at a pri- 
mary nominating election, the dorks 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 nlmber 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 envelops, 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 SUb- 
stantially 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 

,1!) 

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 desig- 
nated 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 par- 
ticular 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 he audibly an- 
nounced as it proceeds, and shall be kept in the manner and form as 
follows : 



54 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



No. 


Name of 
Candidate 


Office 


rotal Vote 
Received 


No. 


Tally 5 


No. 


Tally 10 


Tally 15 


1fl 








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-eights of an inch wide. The columns for the tallies shall be 
three-eighths of an inch wide, the lines shall be three-eights 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 opposite his name, as above set forth, for the nomi- 
nation 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 
immediately 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 satisfied of the correctness of the same, shall then sign all of 
said tally sheets. The clerks shall then prepare a statement of that por- 
tion of the tally sheets showing the number and name and political 
party of each candidate 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 55 

Section 638. Immediately after canvassing the rotes in the manner 
aforesaid, the judges and clerks who complete the count, before they 
separate <>v adjourn shall Inclose the poll-hooks In separate covers and 
securely seal the same. They shall also inclose the tally sheets in sep- 
arate 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 ix>n 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, 
showing what numbers are contained therein, but once sealed they are 
not to he 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 votes 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 candi- 
dates for public office in such county, district or state, under the pro- 
visions 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 nomi- 
nated. No independent or non-partisan candidate shall be permitted to 
use any word of the name of any existing political party or organization 
in his candidacy. 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 candi- 
dates 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 
nominations for public office as provided in section 612 of this code. 

As amended by Chapter 7, Laws of 1927. 



56 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Section 040. Any person who shall desire to become a candidate 
for nomination to any office under this law shall send by registered 
mail, 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 
conclusive evidence for the purpose of this law that such elector is a 
candidate for nomination by his party. All nominating petitions per- 
taining 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 
Dollars ($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 accept- 
ance is filed the fee above provided for filing a primary nominating 
petition for such office. No candidate receiving a nomination at a pri- 
mary 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 57 

To (name and title of officer with whom petition 

is to i>e filed). and to the members of the 

party and the electors <>f the (State or counties of 

comprising the district or county or city, as the 

case may be) in the State of Montana: 

I reside :it 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 1!) and if I am nominated as 

the candidate 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 measure 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 he signed as above by the elector seeking 
such nomination. 

Section U42. 643, Repealed by Chapter 133, Laws of 1923. 

Section 644. All petitions for nomination under this Act for of- 
fices to lie 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 he 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 Ik' voted 
for in only one county, or district <>r 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 
amended 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 hook for different political parties subject to the provi- 
sions of this law, the title of the office sought and the name and resi- 
dence of each candidate for nomination at the primary election: the 
name of his political party ; the date of receiving the petition for nomi- 



58 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

nation signed by the candidate ; the words he wishes printed after his 
name on the nominating hallot, if any ; and such other information as 
may aid him in arranging his official hallot for said primary nominating 
election. Immediately after the canvass of votes cast at a primary nomi- 
nating 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 Nominations," the date of such entry, the name of each candidate 
nominated, the office for which he is nominated, and the name of the 
party 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 re- 
quired by law as soon as filed, shall be public records, and shall be open 
to public inspection under proper regulation 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 forth- 
with compare such copy with the original on file, and, if necessary, 
correct the copy and certify and deliver the copy to the person who 
presented 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 per- 
tain, 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 ease 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 substantially in the manner provided by said sections 620 and 
621 of this Code. 

Section 64S. 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 59 

place. In ease of emergency the Secretary of State may transmit such 
duplicate by telegraph. As amended by Chapter 12, Laws of 1925. 

Section 64!). Arrangement of ballots and notice Nol more 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 lie. subject to 
the provisions of this law. shall arrange in the manner provided by this 
law for the arrangement of the names and other information concerning 
all the candidates and parties named in the valid petitions for nomina- 
tion which have been filed with him and those which have been certified 
to him by the Secretary of State, in accordance with 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 192"). 

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 sub- 
stantial 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 
nomination 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 



60 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 identical 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 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 Independent Candidate. The ballots with the en- 
dorsements shall be printed on white paper in substantially the forms 
of the Australian Ballot, used in general elections, except that the candi- 
dates 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 leav- 
ing 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 
I he 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 nominat- 
ing 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 61 

twelve points, and the names of the candidates on the tickets compos 
Ing the same shall not be rotated as required Cor the official ballots, but 
shall be Impressions of the tickets belonging to lot one of each party. 
As amended by Chapter 133, Laws of 1!>23. 

Section 653, Repealed by Chapter 163, Laws of 1935. 

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 different 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 trans- 
mitted to the Secretary of State in like manner as other election returns 
are transmitted to him. Such abstract of votes for nomination of each 
party for Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney-General, State 
Auditor. 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 Secre- 
tary 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 imme- 
diately to certify the nomination for each party and enter upon his 
register of nominations the name of each of the persons having the 
highest numlter 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 forth- 
with 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 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 certificate 
stating therein the compensation to which the judges and clerks of elec- 
tion may he entitled for their services, and lay the same before the county 
Board of County Commissioners at its next term, and the said Board 
shall order the compensation 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 



62 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

for nomination to any office shall be deemed to have been nominated by 
liis 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 
Governor, Senator in Congress, Lieutenant-Governor, Attorney-General. 
Supreintendent 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 Dis- 
trict 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 nomina- 
tion 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 of more persons having an equal and the 
highest number of votes of his party for nomination for either of said 
offices, the Secretary of State shall immediately give notice to the sev- 
eral 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 Secretary, 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 
proclamation declaring the nomination of such person or persons, as 
above provided. 

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 re- 
quire 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 
forthwith 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 court or judge shall be contempt. Any person in interest or ag- 
grieved by the refusal or failure of any person to perform any duty or 
act required by this law shall, without derogation to any other right or 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 63 

remedy, l>e entitled to pray for ;i mandamus in the District Court of 
appropriate jurisdiction, and any proceedings under the provisions of 
this law shall be immediately heard and decided. 

Section 057. If the returns and abstracts of the primary nominat- 
ing 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 
Secretary 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 he 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 60S. 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 of 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 muni- 
cipal office may give notice in writing to the person whose nomination 
he intends to contest that his nomination will he 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 hear- 
ing 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 forth- 
with, and shall make all necessary orders for the trial of the case and 
carrying his judgment into effect; provided, that the District Court pro- 
vision of this section shall not apply to township or precinct officers. 
In case of contest between axiy persons claiming to be nominated to 
any township or precinct office, said notice shall be served in the manner 
aforesaid, and shall be returned to the District Court of the county. 

Section 661. Each party to such contest shall be entitled to sub- 



64 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

poena*, ami 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 he duly 
nominated by said court, which shall he 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 Judg° 
thereof in vacation, as the case may he, may he 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 GENERAL COMMITTEEMEN. 

HOW ELECTED. There shall he elected by each political party, suh- 
ject to the provisions of this law, at said primary nominating election, 
two committeemen, one of which shall he a man and one of which shall 
be a woman, for each election precinct who shall he residents of such 
precincts. Any elector may he placed in nomination for Committeemen 
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 nomi- 
nation at the regular biennial primary election. The names of the 
various candidates for Precinct Committeemen of each political party 
shall he 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 candidates. The Committeemen thus 
elected shall he the representatives of their political party in and for 
such precinct in all Ward or Subdivision Committees that may he 
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 husiness 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 Committee, 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, re- 
moval from tin- precinct, or otherwise, the remaining members of said 
County Committee may select a Committeeman to fill the vacancy and 
he shall he 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 pro- 
visions of this law, and to elect two county members of the State Central 
Committee, one of which shall he a man and one of which shall be a 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 65 

woman, and the members of the Congressional Committee, and said Com- 
mittee Shall have the Same power to fill all vacancies and make rides 
in their jurisdiction that the County Committees have to fill county va- 
cancies and l<> make rules. Said County and City Central Committee 
shall have the power to make nomination to fill vacancies occurring 
among the candidates of their respective parties nominated for city or 
county offices by the primary nominating election where such vacancy 
is caused by death or removal from the electoral district, or otherwise. 
Said Committees shall meet and organize by electing a Chairman and 
Secretary within thirty days after the candidates of their respective 
political parties shall have heon nominated. They may select managing 
or executive committees and authorize such suh-committees to exercise 
any and all powers conferred upon the County. City, State and Con- 
gressional Central Committees respectively by this law. The Chairman 
of the County Central Committee shall call said Central Committee meet- 
ing 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 6, Laws of 1933. 

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 Com- 
mittee 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 con- 
vention of each political party to report to the national convention the 
names of the persons so selected to he the national committeeman and 
the national committeewoman of his political party for the State of Mon- 
tana. Said committeeman and committeewoman shall represent said po- 
litical 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 par- 
ties. The national committeeman 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 lie sufficient, if such wrongful or unlawful act or acts had 
been done by such candidate at the regular general election, to cause his 
removal from office, he shall, upon conviction thereof, be removed from 
office in like manner as though such wrongful or unlawful act or acts 



66 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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. 

Section 606. 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 be- 
yond 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 
thereupon 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 i>erson 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 In- 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 imprison- 
ment in the county jail of not less than ten days nor more than six 
months. 

Section 668. Any act declared ;in 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, pri- 
maries 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 660. Any person who shall forge any name of a signer or 
a witness to a nomination paper shall be guilty of forgery, and on con- 
viction punished accordingly. Any person who. being in possession of 
nomination 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 Ik- filed at the proper time in the proper office, shall, 
on conviction. Ik- 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 67 

the polls, the challenging <>t" 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 regula- 
tion and protection of the laws now in force as to elections. 

BALLOTS, PREPARATION AND FORM 

Section 077. All ballots cast in elections for public offices within 
the State (except school district officers), must Ik- printed and dis- 
tributed 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 
bailors 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 bailors 
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 accord- 
ing 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 provided 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 6S0. When any vacancy occurs before election day and 
after the printing of the ballots, and any person is nominated accord- 
ing 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 chap- 
ter 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 



68 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



must be printed thereon in black ink. The ballots used it> any one 
county must be uniform in size, and every ballot must contain the 
names of every candidate whose nomination for any special office speci- 
fied 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 
authorities charged with the printing of the ballots shall decide. As 
near as possible the ballot shall be in the following form: (Stub herein- 
after provided for in this section.) 

- Perforated Line 



DEMOCRATIC 



REPUBLICAN 



LABOR PARTY 



For Governor 

1 Joseph K. Toole 

□ 


For Governor 
i 1 John E. Richards 

□ 


For Governor 
Fred Whiteside 

□ 


For Lieut-Governor 
1 Frank 0. Higgins 

□ 


For Lieut-Governor 
Alex C. Botkin 

□ 


For Lieut-Governor 

□ 
□ 


For 


Secretary of State 
Geo. M. Hayes 


For Secretary of State 
1 Louis Rotwitt 


For Secretary of State 
W. H. 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, which 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 in- 
dicates 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 certifi- 
cates of nomination, file with the officer with whom his certificate of 
nomination is required to be filed a written election indicating the 
party designation 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 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 69 

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, l>ut under no other desig- 
nation whatever, and no person, who lias been nominated hy petition or 
otherwise, shall have his name printed upon the ticket if the same 
already appears 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 reason- 
able space between the names printed thereon, so that the voter may 
clearly indicate, in the way hereinafter provided, the candidate or 
candidates for whom he wishes to cast his ballot. 

Section 684. The ballot shall he printed on the same leaf with a 
stuh, and separated therefrom hy a perforated line. The part above 
the perforated line, designated as the stub, shall extend the entire width 
of the hallot, and shall be of sufficient depth to allow the following 
instructions to voters to be printed thereon, such depth to he not 1< se 
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 
hefore the name of each person or candidate for whom the elector in- 
tends to vote. In cases of a ballot containing a constitutional amend- 
ment, or other question to he submitted to a vote of the people by mark- 
ing an 'X' in the square before the answer of the question or amend- 
ment 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 numlier "1," and 
increasing in regular numerical 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 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 
provided by law. The County Clerk must also prepare the necessary 
ballots whenever any question is required by law to be submitted to the 



70 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 
corporation alone the City Clerk must prepare the necessary ballots. 

Section 687. The County Clei'k 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 
precinct, 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. 

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. TIME OF OPENING AND CLOSING OF POLLS. The 

polls must be opened at eight o'clock on the morning of election day 
and must be kept open continuously until six o'clock in the afternoon 
of said day, when the same must be closed ; provided that in precincts 
having less than one hundred (100) registered electors the polls must 
be opened at one o'clock in the afternoon of election day and must be 
kept open continuously until six o'clock in the afternoon of said day. 
when they must be closed; provided, further, that whenever all regis- 
tered electors in any precinct have voted the polls shall be imme- 
diately closed. 

As amended by Chapter 3, Laws of 1935. 

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 des- 
ignated by them, a sufficient number of places, booths, or compart- 
ments, each booth or compartment to be furnished with a door or cur- 
lain sufficient 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 con- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



71 



structed thai only persona within such rail can approach within ten 
feel ol 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, regis- 
tered in the precinct. In precincts containing less than twenty-five reg- 
istered voters, the election may he 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, 
pi - eparing. or depositing their ballots, or a person present for the pur- 
pose 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 
preparing his ballot shall, in any way. he 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 electioneering on election day. No person whatsoever shall do 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; 
said space of twenty-five feet to he 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 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 after- 
wards be identified as the one voted by him. Every elector who does 
not vote a ballot delivered to him by the judges of election having charge 
of the hallots, shall, before leaving the polling-place, return such ballot 
to such judges. 

Section 694. The expense of providing such places or compartments, 
ropes, and guard-rails is a public charge, and must he 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 



72 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

other stamp provided for the purpose, the designation "official ballot'' 
and the other words on same, as provided for in Section 603 of this 
( 'ode ; 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 constitu- 
tional 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 ques- 
tion 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 offi- 
cial 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 therefrom 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 the stub, shall deposit each ballot in the proper ballot- 
box for the reception of voted ballots, and the stubs in a box for de- 
tached 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 l>ooth 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 73 

Hie assistance of two of the judges, who shall represenl dlfferenl par- 
ties, in the marking thereof, and such judges must certify on the out- 
side thereof that it was so marked with their assistance, and must 
thereafter give no information regarding the same. The judges must 
require such declaration of disability to he 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 TOO. 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 location 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 towns and cities the judges must also an- 
nounce the resident 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 
opening 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 
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 per- 
mitted 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 substantially the following form : 



74 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

STATE OF MONTANA, ] 

{• ss. 
County of J 

"We, the undersigned witnesses, do swear that our names and sig- 
natures 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 helieve that he is entitled to vote at this election, and that we 
are each freeholders in the county," which affidavit shall lie 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 can- 
vass 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 705. Each clerk must keep a list of persons voting, and 
the name of each person who votes must be entered thereon and num- 
bered 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 7(H). If the challenge is on the ground that the person chal- 
lenged has l)een 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." 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 75 

Section Tl(). Challenges upon the grounds either: 

1. That tlu> person challenged is qoI the person whose name ap- 
pears on the official register; or 

That the person has before voted thai day. are determined in favor 
of the person challenged by liis taking the oath tendered. 

2. A challenge upon the ground thai the person challenged has 

been convicted Of a felony and not pardoned must he determined in 
favor of the person challenged on ins taking the oath tendered, unless 
the fact of conviction he 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 exhihit his pardon or a proper certified copy 
thereof to the judges, and if the pardon he found sufficient, the judges 
must tender to him the following oath: •'You do swear that you have 
not heen convicted of any felony other than that for which a pardon is 
now exhibited." 

Upon taking this oath the person challenged must he 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 elec- 
tion 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 he allowed to vote. 

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



76 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

the county in which his voting precinct is situated may make appli- 
cation to the County Clerk of such county, or to the City or Town 
< Jlerk, 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 ap- 
plicant 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 J 

f-ss. 
COUNTY OF J 

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 appli- 
cation, 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 77 

Section 71!>. Such application blank shall, upon request therefor, 
be scut by such County or City or Town Clerk to any elector of the 
county, by mail, and shall l>e delivered to any elector upon applies 
Hon made personally at the office of such County or City or Town 
Clerk; provided, however, that no elector shall he entitled to receive 
such a 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 didy 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 prepaid, 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 of- 
ficer authorized by the laws of this State to take acknowledgment of 
instruments without the state, and such voter shall thereupon, in the 



78 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 with 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 administer- 
ing the oath. 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 Chapter 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 vot- 
ing 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 pre- 
cinct in which such absent voter resides, said larger envelope, contain- 
ing the said voter's envelope and his said application, as above provided, 
shall lie 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, ad- 
dress 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 hini 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 ab- 
sent voters, as well as those marked before him, if any, and the names 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 79 

of the voters to whom such ballots shall be delivered or mailed, or by 

whom they shall have boon 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, 
opposite the numbers corresponding to the numbers of the ballots is- 
sued 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. 

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 cer- 
tificate 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 appli- 
cation and the absent voter's envelope provided for the purpose by the 
Clerk and Recorder 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 elec- 
tion 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 sig- 
natures 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 cor- 
responds to the number in the County or City or Town Clerk's cer- 
tificate. If so, they shall endorse the same in like manner that other 



80 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

ballots are endorsed, shall detach the stub as in other cases, and de- 
posit 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 elec- 
tion 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 containing the general or party ballots, as the 
case may be. retained and preserved in the manner by law provided for 
the retention and preservation 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 cer- 
tificate 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 

therof, be marked on the back "rejected on the ground of 

," filling the blank with the statement of the reason of 

rejection ; which statement shall lie 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 desig- 
nate the rejected ballot as "General ballot." if it be a ballot for candi- 
dates that be rejected. If the rejected ballot Ik- a one put on a ques- 
tion 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 Count; or City or Town Clerk shall provide and have delivered to 
the judge of election suitable envelopes for enclosing rejected absent 
voters ballots. 

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



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 81 

Section 729. Any qualified elector who has marked his ballol as 

hereinbefore provided, who shall be in his precinct on election day, 
shall he permitted to vote in person, provided his said ballol has qoI 
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 desires, be opened in his presence, and the ballot or 
ballots found therein shall be deposited in the ballot-box as herein 
before provided. 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 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 appearing 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 Ik- 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 pre- 
scribed 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 thereto 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 pun- 
ished by a fine not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars, or by imprison- 
ment 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 suffi- 
cient printed ballots and sufficient in number for possible absent voters, 
and also poll-books and ballot-boxes such as lists required for the pre- 
cincts 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, can- 



82 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

vassing,, counting, and returning of such ballots and votes, except a.* 
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 ac- 
cordingly. 

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 im- 
prisonment not more than thirty days in the county jail or by both 
such fine and imprisonment. If such an elector 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 
provisions 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 manner as if the act, omission, or violation had been com- 
mitted in this state, and may be prosecuted in any county in this state ; 
provided, however, 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. 

Sections 736-756, Repealed by Chapter 163, Laws of 1935. 

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 deter- 
mine 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 
election in this state unless the said machine or machines shall have 
received the approval of a majority of said board as herein provided. 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 83 

Said board may employ two Qualified mechanics, who shall be qualified 
electors of the State of Montana, to examine s;ii<l machines and assist 
said board in tbe discharge of its duties under this Act, the compensa- 
tion to be paid such qualified mechanics not to exceed the sum <>f Ten 
Dollars each for each day actually employed. Any machine or machines 
which shall have the approval of the majority 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 ma- 
chine or machines, 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 com- 
pensation of the mechanics and all other expenses connected with the 
examination of any machine shall be paid, or caused to be paid, by the 
person or company submitting the machine for examination liefoi'e the 
filing of the report thereon. The amount of such expenses shall be certi- 
fied 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 
reasonable opportunity to vote for any person for any office, or for or 
against any proposition for whom, or for or against which he is by law 
entitled to vote, and enable him to do this in secrecy : and it must be 
so constructed 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 one 
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 party, and a vote registered or re- 
corded 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 machine 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-Ma- 
chine Commission, and none other. If it shall be impracticable to supply 



84 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

each and every election district with a voting-machine or voting-machines 

at any election following the adoption of such machines in a city, vil- 
lage, or town, as many may he 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 7(>1. 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 
exterior of the voting-machine and every part 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 Vot- 
ing 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 more 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 con- 
nection therewith: and he shall give to each judge that has received 
such instruction, 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 ; 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 3b 

and. as compensation for the time spent in receiving such Instruction, 

each Judge thai shall qualify for and serve in the election shall receive 
the sum of one dollar, to he paid to him at the same time and in the 
same manner as compensation is paid to him lor his services <>n elec- 
tion day. N<> 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 qualified to perform his duties in connection with the ma- 
chine, and has received a certificate to that effect from the custodian 
of the machine; provided, however, that this shall not prevent the 
appointment of a judge of election to fill a vacancy in an emergency. 

Section 762. ASSISTANCE TO ELECTOR UNABLE TO RECORD 
VOTE. If any voter shall, in the presence of the Judges of Election, 
declare that he is unahle to read or write the English language, or 
that by reason of a physical disability or total hlindness he is unable 
to register or record his vote upon the voting machine, he shall be 
assisted as provided by Section 699 of the Revised Codes of Montana 
of 1921. 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 information to any person as to what ticket or for what 
person or persons such person voted, shall he punished as provided in 
Section 10753 of the Penal Code. 

As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1935. 

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 instructions 
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 1 days before each elec- 
tion at which voting-machines are to be used, the Secretary of State shall 
prepare samples of the printed matter and supplies named in this sec- 
tion, 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 pro- 
vide for each voting-machine for each election the following printed 
matter and supplies: suitahle printed or written directions to the cub- 



86 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

todian 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 representatives 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 ma- 
chine ; 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 pre- 
pared 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 stat- 
ing the name and telephone address of the custodian on the day of the 
election ; two statements 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 the place of all tally papers, statements and returns 
as provided heretofore; three (3) complete sets of ballot labels; two 
diagrams of the face of the machine with the ballot labels thereon, 
each diagram to have printed above it the proper instructions to voters 
for voting on the machine; 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 in- 
struction, 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 ma- 
chine; 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 printed in type as large as the space for 
each office will reasonably permit, and wherever more than one candi- 
date 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 more 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 officer with whom his certificate of nomi- 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 87 

nation is required to be tiled, a written statement Indicating the party 

designation under which he desires his name to appear upon the ballot, 
and it shall W so printed. If ho shall refuse or neglect to so file such ;i 
statement, the officer with whom the certificate of nomination is re- 
quired to he filled shall place his name under the designation of either 
of the parties nominating him, but under no other designation whatso- 
ever. If the election he one at which all the candidates for office of 
Presidential elector's 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 candi- 
dates 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 pre- 
cincts in which voting-machines are to be used, no books or 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, 
and they shall cause the machine so labeled, in order and set and ad- 
justed, to be delivered at the voting precinct, together with all necessary 
furniture and appliances that go with the same in the room where 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 num- 
ber 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 parties and the location of the various names of 
the candidates, with the paper ballots used in the precincts where voting 
machines are not in use. Thus the party assigned to the first vertical 
column 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. 



88 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 he 
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 ma- 
chine or machine system, shall not be voted for for the same office or 
on or in any regular device for easting 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 nomi- 
nated by any one or all other parties or for one or more persons nomi- 
nated 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 provide against voting, and open the registering or record- 
ing compartments 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 po- 
sition that the registering or recording compartments 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. Immediately, 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 avainst 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 order of a court of competent jurisdiction. 
When irregular ballots have been voted, the judges shall return 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 jurisdiction; 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 he returned 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 of- 
ficers of election. Such return sheets shall have each candidate's name 
designated by the same reference character that said candidate's name 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 89 

bears on the ballot Labels and counters, and shall make provision for 
Writing in of the vote for SUCb candidate in figures and shall also pro 
vide for writing in of the vote in words. Sneh 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, statins that 
all counters except the protective counter, if any. and except as otherwise 
noted thereon, stood at "000" at the beginning of the election, and that 
all of said counters had been carefully examined before the beginning of 
the electoin; that the ballot labels were correctly placed on the machine 
and correspond to the sample ballot, 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 verify- 
ing the returns, that the forgoing returns are correct, giving the indica- 
tion of the public counter, and poll-list, and protective counter, if any. 
at the close of the election. Such certificate 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 subscribe 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 pre- 
cincts where 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 an election, after a voting machine has had placed 
upon it the ballots for such election, shall tamper with such machine, 
disarrange, deface, injure, or impair, the same in any manner, or muti- 
late, 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. 



90 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 
machine 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, 
candidate, or proposition, removes, changes, or mutilates any ballot on 
said machine, or any part thereof, or does any other like thing, shall be 
imprisoned in the state prison not more than ten years, or fined not 
exceeding one thousand dollars, or punished by both such fine and 
imprisonment. 

Section 772. Any judge or clerk of an election who shall purposely 
cause the vote registered or recorded on or in such machine to be in- 
correctly taken down as to any candidate or proposition voted on, or 
who shall knowingly cause to be made or signed any false statement, 
certificate, 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 thousand dollars, or punished by both such fine and imprisonment. 

Section 773. The proper officers authoried 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 electoin shall be as valid for all purposes as if 
formally adopted. If from any cause a machine becomes unworkable, or 
unfit for use, voting shall proceed as in cases where machines are not 
used, and the County Clerk must furnish each voting 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 are closed, the judges must im- 
mediately proceed to canvass the votes given at such election. The 
canvass must be public in the presence of bystanders and must be con- 
tinued without adjournment until completed and the result thereof is 
publicly declared. 

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- 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 91 

lists. If two or more ballots arc found bo folded together as to presenl 
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 
endorsed 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 impossible 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 dis- 
tinctly 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 received votes, and keep by tallies on such sheet the num- 
ber of votes for each person. The tally-sheets must then be compared 
and their correctness ascertained, and the clerks must, under the super- 
vision of the judges, immediately thereafter set down, at length and in 
their proper places in 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 
thereafter be examined by any person, but must, as soon as all legal 
ballots are counted, be carefully sealed in a strong envelope, each mem- 
ber 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 



92 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 7S2. 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 are 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 con- 
test commenced in some tribunal having jurisdiction 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 are by virtue of an order of 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 93 

the tribunal in which the contesl is pending, brought and opened before 
it to tbe end thai evidence may be bad of tin Ir 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 Clerk and be kept by him, unopened and 
unaltered, until the Board of County Commissioners meet for the pur- 
pose of canvassing the returns, when he must produce them before such 
board, where the same shall be opened. 

Section 780. 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 CERTIFICATES 

Section 700. 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 701. If. at the time and place appointed for such meeting, 
one or more 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 Board of County Commissioners is the Clerk of the Hoard of 
County Canvassers. 

Section 702. 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 re- 
ceived, or until seven postponements have been had. If the returns from 
any election precinct have not been received by the County Clerk within 
seven days after any election, it is the duty forthwith to send a mes- 
senger to the judges for the missing returns, who must procure such 
returns 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 board, 
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 such certificate with tbe County Clerk, with the evidence, if 
any, who must enter the same in the minutes and in the statement 
mentioned in Section 704. 

Section 703. The canvass must be made in public by opening the 



94 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

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 return 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 per- 
form 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 returns 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 re- 
sult, 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 
persons, and for and against each of such propositions. 

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

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

Section 79G. 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 Representa- 
tives, it shall be the duty of the board, under the direction of and in 
the presence of the District Court, or Judge thereof, to recount the 
ballots cast for such persons, and the board shall declare elected the 
person or persons 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 7!>7. The Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners must 
immediately make out and deliver to such person (except to the per- 
son elected District Judge) a certificate of election signed by him and 
authenticated with the seal of the Board of County Commissioners. 

Section 798. Where there are members of the House of Representa- 
tives voted for by the electors of a district composed of two or more 
counties, each of the clerks of the counties composing such district, im- 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 95 

mediately after making out the statemenl specified in Section 794, must 
make a certified abstract of so much thereof as relates to the election 
of such officers- 
Section T!)!». The clerk must seal up such abstract, indorse it 
"Election Returns," and without delay transmit the same by mail to 
the Clerk of the Board of Commissioners of the county which stands 
first in alphabetical arrangement in the list of counties composing such 
district. 

Section 800. The clerk to whom the returns 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 public 
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 Com- 
missioners, must make a certified abstract of so much thereof as re- 
lates to the votes given for persons for said offices to be filled at 
such election. 

Section 802. The clerk must seal up such abstract, endorse it 
"Election 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 
election, 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 
received on the fifth day before the day designated for the meeting 
of the Board of State Canvassers, the Secretary of State must forth- 
with 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 



96 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

traveling expenses necessarily incurred. His account therefor, certified 
by the Secretary of State, after herns; allowed by the Board of Ex- 
aminers, must be paid out of the general fund of the state treasury. 

Section 805. Upon receipt of such copy mentioned in Section 808, 
the Governor must issue commissions to the persons who from it ap- 
pear 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 him- 
self, the Secretary of State must issue the commission. 

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

Section SOT. 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 hear 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. 

Section 808. The penalties for the violation id' election laws are 
prescribed in Sections 10747 to 10820 of the Penal Code. 

FAILIKE 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 musl 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 lie vote for County 
Commissioner, 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 cer- 
tified copy of the statement showing the vote cast for the two or more 
persons having an equal and the highest number of votes for any state 
office. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 97 

Section 812. In case any two <>r more persona 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 Gov- 
ernor a certified statement showing the vote cast for such person, and 
thereupon the Governor must appoint an eligible i>erson to hold office 
as in case of other vacancies in such offices. 

CHAPTER 182 

An Act to Regulate the Nomination and Election of Justices of the Su- 
preme Court and Judges of the District Court of the State of Montana: 
Abolishing Certain Existing Methods in Such Cases and the Use of 
Party or Political Designations at Elections to Such Offices: Imposing 
Certain Duties Upon the Secretary of State and County Officers Hav- 
ing Charge of Election Affairs and Judges and Clerks of Election. 
and Adapting the Provisions of the Laws as They Now Exist to the 
Nonpartisan Election of Judges of Courts of the State. 

Re It Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana: 

Section 1. That hereafter all candidates for the office of Justice of 
the Supreme Court of the State of Montana or Judge of the District 
Court in any judicial district of the State of Montana, shall he nomi- 
nated and elected in accordance with the provisions of this Act and 
in no other manner. 

Section 2. Candidates for any office within the provisions of this 
Act. to be filled at any election to he held in the State of Montana. 
shall be nominated in the manner herein provided at the regular pri- 
mary nominating election proAided by law for the nomination of other 
candidates for other offices to be filled at such election, and all laws 
relating to such primaries shall continue to be in force and to be 
applicable to the said offices in so far as may be consistent with the 
provisions of this Act. 

Section 3. All persons who shall desire to become candidates for 
nomination to any office within the provisions of this Act shall pre- 
pare, sign, and file petitions for nomination in compliance with the 
requirements of the primary election laws, which petition for nomina- 
tion shall be substantially in the following form : 

To (Name and title of officer with 

whom the petition is to be filed), and to the electors of the... 

(State or counties of - comprising the district 

or county, as the case may be) in the State of Montana : 

I, , reside at 

and my post office address is I am a candidate 

on the nonpartisan judicial ticket for the nomination for the office of 

at the primary nominating election to be 

held in the (State of Montana or district or county). 

on the day of , 19 and 

if I am nominated as the candidate for such office I will accept the 
nomination and will not withdraw, and if I am elected. I will qualify 
as such officer. 



98 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Provided, however, that no such petition for judicial office shall 
indicate the political party or political affiliations of the candidate, 
and provided further that no candidate for judicial office may in his 
petition for nomination state any measures or principles he advocates, 
or have any statement of measure or principles which he advocates, or 
any slogans, after his name on the nominating hallot as permitted by 
Section 641, as amended by Chapter 133 of the Laws of the Eighteenth 
Session of the Legislative Assembly of Montana of 1923. 

Each person so filing a petition for nomination shall pay or remit 
therewith the fee prescribed by law for the filing of such a petition 
for the particular judicial position for which he aspires for nomina- 
tion. All such petitions for Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges 
of the several District Courts of the state shall lie filed with the Sec- 
retary of State. 

Section 4. On receipt of each of such petitions the Secretary of 
State shall make corresponding entries in the "Register of Candidates 
for Nomination'' as now provided by law. hut on a page or pages of 
such register apart from entries made with reference to the district 
candidates of political parties. 

Section 5. At the same time and in the same manner as by law 
he is required to arrange and certify the names of candidates for 
other state offices the Secretary of State shall separately arrange and 
certify and file as required by law. the names of all candidates for 
judicial office, certifying to each County Clerk of the state the names 
of all candidates for judicial office entitled to appear on the primary 
ballot in his county, with all other information required by law to 
appear upon the ballot, which lists of judicial candidates shall be made 
upon separate sheets of paper from the lists of candidates to appear 
under party or political headings. 

Section 6. At the same time and in the same manner as lie is 
by law required to prepare the primary election ballots for the sev- 
eral political parties, the County Clerk of each county shall arrange, 
prepare, and distribute official primary ballots for judicial offices 
which shall be known and designated and entitled "Judicial Primary 
Ballots," which shall be arranged as are other primary ballots, except 
that the name of no political party shall appear thereon. The same 
number of official judicial primary ballots and sample ballots shall be 
furnished for each election precinct, as in the case of other primary 
election ballots. 

Section 7. Each elector having the right to vote at a primary 
election shall be furnished with a separate •'Judicial Primary Ballot" 
at the same time and in the same manner as he or she is furnished 
with other ballots provided by law and each elector, without regard to 
political party, may mark such "Judicial Primary Ballot" for one or 
more persons of his choice for judicial nominations, depending on the 
number to l>e nominated and elected, which shall be deposited in the 
general ballot box provided. The official number of such judicial pri- 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 99 

mary ballot so delivered and voted shall correspond t<> the official 
number of the regular bailor of the elector. Every elector shall u- 
entitled to vote, without regard to politics, for one or more persons 
of his choice for nomination for judicial office, depending on the num- 
Ikm- of places to be filled at the succeeding general election. Different 
terms of office for the same position shall lie considered as separate 
offices. 

Section S. After tbe closing of the polls at a primary election, the 
flection officers shall separately count and canvass the judicial pri- 
mary ballots and make record thereof, and certify to tbe same, show- 
ing the number of votes cast for each person upon tbe judicial primary 
ballot, in addition to certifying the party vote or other matters voted 
upon as required by law. Judicial ballots, their stubs, and unused bal- 
lots, shall be disposed of in tbe same manner as other ballots, stubs 
and unused ballots, and all returns made in the same manner now 
provided by law. 

Section 9. The candidates for nomination at any primary election 
for any office within the provisions of this Act. to be filled at tbe 
succeeding general election, equal in number to twice tbe number to 
be elected at the succeeding general election, who shall have received 
at such primary election the highest number of votes cast for nomi- 
nation to the office for which they are candidates i or if the number 
of all of the candidates voted for as aforesaid be not more than twice 
the number to be elected, then all the candidates) shall be the nom- 
inees for such office; and their names, and none other, except as here- 
inafter provided, shall be printed as candidates for such respective of- 
fices upon the official ballots which are provided according to law for 
use at such succeeding primary or general election: provided that no 
candidate shall be entitled to have his name placed on the judicial bal- 
lot at tbe general election, in any form, unless he shall have been a 
successful candidate at the primary election. 

Section 10. In case of a tie vote, candidates receiving tie vote 
for Justice of the Supreme Court or Judge of the District Courts shall 
appear and cast lots before the Secretary of State on the fifth day after 
such vote is officially canvassed. In case any such candidate shall fail 
to appear either in person or by proxy in writing, before twelve o'clock 
neen of the day appointed, the Secretary of State shall by lot deter- 
mine the candidate whose name will be certified for the general election 
and printed on the official ballot. 

Section 11. If after any primary election, and before the succeed- 
ing general electiou. any candidate nominated pursuant to the provi- 
sions of this- Act. shall die or by virtue of any present or future law 
become disqualified from or disentitled to have his name printed on 
the ballot for the election, a vacancy shall be deemed to exist which 
shall be filled by the otherwise unnominated and not disentitled can- 
didate for the same office next in rank with respect to the number of 
votes received in such primary election. If after the primary, and 



100 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

before the general election, there should not be any candidate nomi 
nated and living and entitled to have his name printed on the ballot 
for any office which is within the provisions of this Act, or not enough 
of such candidates to equal the number of persons to be elected to 
such office, then the Governor in the case of Justices of the Supreme 
Court and Judges of the District Court is authorized and empowered to 
certify to the Secretary of State the names of persons qualified for 
such office or offices equal in number to twice the number to be elected 
at the general election, and the names of the persons so nominated 
shall thereupon be printed on the official ballot in the same manner 
as though regularly nominated at the judicial primary election. Nomi- 
nations so made by the Governor to fill a vacancy shall not be deemed 
filed too late if filed within ten days after the vacancy occurs, and in 
case the ballots for the election have already been printed, stickers 
may be used to place the names of such candidate upon the ballot. 

Section 12. At every general election at which any candidate for 
judicial office is to be voted upon the elector shall be provided with 
a separate official ballot having the same identification upon the stub 
thereof as the regular ballot plainly marked "Judicial Ballot." and tin- 
count and canvass of such votes shall be separate from the regular 
ballots of political parties. For the guidance of voters, the ballot shall 
make suitable designation of the number of persons the elector may 
vote for, for each particular office to be filled at such election. 

Section 13. It shall be unlawful for any political party to en- 
dorse any candidate for the office of Justice of the Supreme Court or 
Judge of a District Court, and anyone who in any way participates 
in such endorsement by any political party, or who purports to act on 
behalf of any political party in endorsing any candidate, shall be guilty 
of a misdemeanor. 

Section 14. In all counties of the state where voting machines are 
now. or may hereafter l>e used in any elections, it shall be the duty 
of tbe Clerk and Recorder to arrange the judicial ballot in both the 
primary and general elections in tbe vertical column or horizontal row 
or space, immediately following tbe column, row or space assigned the 
first major political party immediately preceding the column, row or 
space assigned the second major political party. 

Section 15. All Acts and parts of Acts in conflict herewith are 
hereby repealed, ami all laws pertaining to elections, both primary and 
general, and to special elections, not in conflict herewith are hereby 
declared applicable to the nomination and election of the officers herein 
referred to. Approved March 14, 1935. 






Election laws op Montana lol 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS— HOW CHOSEN 

Section 813. ELECTORS, WHEN CHOSEN. At the general elec- 
tion In November, preceding the time fixed by law of the United 
States for the choice of President and Vice-Presideni of the United 

States, there must be elected as many electors of President and Vice- 
President as this state is entitled to appoint. The names of the Presi- 
dential Electors shall appear on the ballot and in addition thereto. 
preceding them, shall appear the names of the Presidential and Vice- 
Presidential candidates in their respective party designated columns. 
No square shall appear in front of the names of the Presidential Elec- 
tors instead of which there shall he one square in front of the names 
of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. The ballot shall 
also have the following direction printed thereon : '"To vote for the 
Presidential Electors of any party, the voter shall place a cross in 
the square before the names of the candidates for President and Vice- 
President of said party." The numher of votes received by Presidential 
and Vice-Presidential candidates shall, within the meaning of this Act, 
be the number of votes to l>e credited to each of the Electors represent- 
ing them. As amended by Chapter 4, Laws of 1933. 

Section 814. The votes for Electors of President and Vice-Presi- 
dent 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 de- 
liver 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 must assemble at the seat of government 
the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next fol- 
lowing their election, at two o'clock in the afternoon. As amended by 
Chapter 33, Laws of 1935. 

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 elec- 
tors 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- 
President. 

Section S20. 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. 



102 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 al- 
lowed 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 
warrants 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 Presi- 
dential Electors and Delegates to National Conventions by Political 
Parties, and Repealing all Acts and Parts of Acts in Conflict Here- 
with. 

Be It Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana: 

Section 1. The term Political Party as used in this Act shall in- 
clude 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 nomi- 
nate their presidential electors and elect their delegates to National 
Conventions 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 precinct committeeman for each election 
precinct, a county chairman in each county and a state chairman. 

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 committee- 
man. In the event there is no county central committee in any count}. 
the state central committee of the political party having no county 
central committee in said county shall appoint a county central com- 
mittee therein and said county central committee shall have the same 
powers and duties as county central committee selected as now pro- 
vided 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 103 

appointed proxy, the convention may nil the vacancy by appointing 
some qualified elector of the party, resident in the precinct, to repre- 
sent such precinct in the convention. 

Section 5. Said county convention shall organize by the appoint- 
ment of a secretary, who, with the chairman of the meeting, shall issue 
and sign certificates of election to the delegates and alternates elected 
by the convention. The convention shall elect delegates and alternate 
delegates 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 alter- 
nate delegates in case any elected delegates cannot attend) shall hold a 
state convention at the seat of government for the purpose of electing 
delegates and alternates to the national convention of the party, and 
presidential electors. 

Section 7. Said state convention shall he 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 
published at the seat of 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 Com- 
mittee shall preside over the convention and, together with a secretary 
chosen by the convention, shall sign certificates of election, which shall 
be delivered as credentials to the several persons elected by the con- 
vention as delegates to the national convention of said party, and cer- 
tificates of nomination for presidential electors for said party which 
shall be filed with the Secretary of State. Only regularly elected dele- 
gates or alternates shall be entitled to sit in said convention or par- 
ticipate in its proceedings and no proxies shall be recognized 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 convention 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 at- 
tend the state convention and participate therein shall receive the sum 
of five (5c) cents per mile for each mile actually traveled by him in 
going to and returning from said convention, said mileage to be com- 
puted 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. 



104 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 manner as is provided by law in case of (Jovernor. 

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 election, to fill such vacancy or vacancies by vote of the 
electors of the state; provided, however, that the (Jovernor 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 
canvassed, certified to, and transmitted in the same manner as the 
vote for state officers. 

Section 828. The Governor must, upon the receipt of the state- 
ment mentioned in Section 803 of tins Code, transmit to the person 
elected a certificate of his election, sealed with the great seal and 
attested by the Secretary of the State. 

CHAPTER 27 

An Act Providing for the Recount of Votes Cast at Any General or 
Special Election, or at Any Municipal Election, by the Board of 
County Canvassers Pursuant to an Order Therefor, Upon Application 
Made to the District Court, or to a Judge Thereof, by Any Person 
Who by the Statement of the Result of the Canvass of the Election 
Returns by the Board of County Canvassers is Found Not to Have 
Received the Highest Number of Votes for the Office for Which 
Said Person Was a Candidate at Such Election ; and Providing for 
the Correction of the Official Canvass by the Said Board of County 
Canvassers to Conform to Such Recount ; and for the Cancellation 
of the Certificate of Election Issued by the County Clerk if it Should 
be Found by Such Recount That the Person to Whom the Certificate 
Had Theretofore Been Issued Did Not Receive the Highest Number 
of Votes of Said Office; and for the Issuance of a Certificate of 
Election to the Successful Candidate as Disclosed by Said Recount; 
and Repealing and Amending All Acts or Parts of Acts, or Section 
of the Statute in Conflict Herewith. 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 105 

He It Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of .Montana: 

Section l. Any unsuccessful candidate for any public office m any 
general or special election, or ai any municipal election, may within 
fire days after the canvass of the election returns by the board or 
body charged by law with the duty of canvassing such election returns. 

apply to the District Court of the county in which said election is hold. 
Or to any Judge thereof, for an order directed to such board to make a 
recount of the votes cast at such election, in any or all of the election 
precincts wherein the election was held, as hereinafter provided. Said 
application shall set forth the grounds for a recount, and it shall he 
verified by the applicant to the effect that the matters and things 
therein stated are true to the best of the applicant's knowledge, infor- 
mation and belief. Within five days after the filing of said applica- 
tion in the office of the Clerk of said District Court, the said court, 
or the Judge thereof, Shall hear and consider said application, and 
determine the sufficiency thereof: and, if from said verified applica- 
tion, the District Court, or the Judge thereof, finds that there is prob- 
able cause for believing that the Judges and Clerks of Election did not 
correctly count and ascertain the number of votes cast for such applicant 
at any one or more of the election precincts that the Judges and Clerks 
of Election might not have correctly counted and ascertained the num- 
ber of votes cast for the applicant in any one or more election precincts, 
then, or in either of such events, the court or judge shall make an 
order addressed to the said Board of County Canvassers, requiring them 
at the time and place fixed by said order, which time shall be not 
more than five days from the making of such order to reassemble and 
reconvene as a canvassing board, and to recount the ballots cast at 
said election precinct or precincts of which complaint is made as in 
said order specified. 

Section 2. If it shall be made to appear by such verified appli- 
cation that the Judges or Clerks of Election in any one or more 
election precincts did not comply with each and all of the provisions 
and requirements of Section 778 of the Revised Codes of Montana of 
1921. in counting and ascertaining the number of votes cast for each 
person voted for at said election, that shall be considered as sufficient 
probable cause for believing that the Judges and Clerks of Election of 
said election precinct, or precincts, did not correctly count and ascertain 
the number of votes cast for the applicant in such election precinct 
or precincts. 

Section 3. If the Judge of said District Court of the county in 
which said election is held be ill, or absent, or for any other reason 
disqualified from acting, then and in that event another District Court 
Judge shall be called in to hear and determine said application, either 
by an order of a Judge of said District Court, or by an order by a 
Justice of the Supreme Court id' the State of Montana. A failure to 
hear, consider or determine said application within the time herein 
provided, shall not divest the court of jurisdiction, but the said court 
before which said application is presented and filed shall retain juris- 



106 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

diction thereof for all purposes until said application is finally acted 
upon, considered and determined, and until a final count is made and 
had by the said Board of County Canvassers and the result thereof 
finally determined as herein provided. 

Section 4. If said application ask:< for a recount of the votes cast 
in more than one election precinct, but the grounds thereof are not suf- 
ficient for a recount in all, the court shall order a recount as to only 
such precinct as to which there are sufficient grounds stated and shown. 
The court in its order shall determine the probable expense of making 
such recount, and the applicant or applicants asking for such recount 
shall deposit with the said board the amount so determined and specified 
in said order, in cash ; and if it be ascertained by said recount that the 
applicant or applicants have been elected to said office, then and in 
that event all money so deposited with said board shall be returned to 
the said applicant or applicants, but if an applicant as a result of 
said recount is found not to have been elected, then if the expense of 
making said recount shall be greater than the estimated cost thereof 
said applicants shall pay said excess, but if less than the estimated, 
cost, then the difference shall be refunded to the applicant or applicants. 
The expense of making said recount as herein provided, shall be the 
salary of the members of the canvassing board for the period of time 
required to make such recount, and the salary of two clerks at the rate 
of not more than $8.00 per day each. If more than one candidate 
makes application for a recount of the votes cast at said election, the 
court may, in its discretion, consider such applications separately or 
together, and may make separate or joint orders in relation thereto, and 
apportion the expense between said applicants. The Board of Canvassers, 
in recounting said ballots cast at said election, shall count the votes 
cast in the respective precincts at to which a recount is ordered for 
the several candidates in whose behalf a recount is ordered, at the same 
time, in the following manner : 

The County Clerk shall produce, unopened, the sealed package or 
envelope received by him from tbe Judges of Election of the election 
precinct, or precincts, as to which a recount is ordered, in which is 
enclosed all ballots voted at such election in said precinct or precincts; 
and the package or envelope must then be opened by a member of the 
Board of County Canvassers in the presence and view of the other mem- 
bers of said board and of the County Clerk, and of the candidates for 
said office or offices as to which said recount is ordered, present 
thereat. The ballots must then be taken from said package or envelope 
by a member of the board, and in the presence of the candidate or 
candidates seeking such recount, and the candidate or candidates who by 
the first canvass was found to have received the highest number of 
votes, the ballots must be taken singly by one of the members of the 
Canvassing Board, and the contents thereof, while exposed to the view 
of said candidates and of one of the other members of said Canvassing 
Board, must be distinctly read aloud, and as the ballots are read, 
two clerks must write at full length, on sheets to be known as tally 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 107 

sheets, which shall ix> previously prepared for thai puriiose, one for each 

clerk, with the name of said respective candidates anil the office 01 
Offices to which a recount is being made, with the numbers of such 
election precincts as to which said recount is ordered, and the number 
of votes for each person in said election precinct or precincts, At the 
completion of said recount the tally sheets must then ho compared and 
their correctness ascertained, and the total number of votes cast fur 
any candidate determined. If, on such recount, the votes cast fur any 
candidate who makes such application shall he cither more or less than 
the number of votes shown upon the official returns for that person 
and office, then the original returns shall he thereupon by the Clerk 
of said Board of Canvassers, and under its direction, corrected so as to 
state the number of votes ascertained on such recount. 

The said Board of Canvassers shall thereupon cause its clerk to 
enter on the records of said hoard the results of said election as de- 
termined by such recount, and the clerk of said board shall thereupon 
make out and deliver certificate of election in conformity to the result 
ascertained by said recount. 

The candidate who as a result of the original or first canvass of 
the returns by the Board of Canvassers was found to he elected, shall 
be served with a copy of the application, and shall be given an oppor- 
tunity to be heard thereon, and he shall he permitted to he present 
and to be represented at any recount ordered. 

When said recount of the ballots in any election precinct has been 
finished, the ballot shall then be again enclosed in the same package or 
envelope in which they had been placed by the Judges of Election, and 
in the presence and view of the County Clerk and the members of the 
Board of Canvassers the said packages or envelopes shall again he 
closed and sealed, and then again delivered into the custody of the 
County Clerk. 

Section 5. The Board of Canvassers shall make no recount of any 
votes cast in any election precinct or for any office other than the pre- 
cinct or precincts and office or offices specified in said order. 

Section 6. If it shall be found and determined by said recount 
that the person to whom the County Clerk has issued a certificate of 
election pursuant to Section 797 of the Revised Codes of Montana of 
1921, did not in fact receive the highest number of votes cast at said 
election for said office, then the said certificate of election first issued 
by said clerk shall be void, and the certificate of election issued by 
said clerk pursuant to the findings and determination of said recount 
shall be treated and considered, for all purposes as the only certificate 
of election to said office, and the person named therein shall be the 
person elected to said office. 

Section 7. No Judge or Clerk of any Election, of any election pre- 
cinct, as to which a recount is ordered shall receive any pay for his 
or her services as such Judge or Clerk until the completion of such 
recount by the said Canvassing Board, and if it shall be ascertained on 



108 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

such recount that any applicant in whose behalf such recount is had. 
has been elected, then in that event, the Judges and Clerks of the elec- 
tion precincts in which the votes were found to have not been correctly 
counted shall not be paid or receive any pay for their services as such. 

Section 8. All Acts, or parts of Acts, or sections of the statute in 
conflict herewith are hereby repealed, or are to be considered as 
amended to conform to the provisions of this Act. 

Approved February 16. 1935. 

CONTESTING ELECTIONS 

Section S2!>. Election contests are governed by the provisions of 
Sections 659 to 661, and Sections 10810 to 10814 of these ('odes. 

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 years 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 recog- 
nized by the state board of education, or is a graduate of some uni- 
versity, 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 he 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 A r oter 
at any election under this Act, shall be eligible to the office of school 
trustee in such district. 

Section 986. In the districts of the first class, the number of trus- 
tees 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 






ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 109 

class having more than one schoolhouse where school is held, one trus- 
tee must be elected from persons residing whore such outside schools 
are locate<l. 

Section 988. In districts of the second and third class, the names 
of all candidates for membership <>n the school board must i>o 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 dis- 
trict may file with the clerk the nominations of as many persons as 
are to be elected to the school hoard 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 
cities in each ward, which notices must specify the time and place of 
election, and the hours during which the polls will he open. The trus- 
tees must appoint by an order entered in their records three qualified 
electors of said district, to act as judges at such election, and the clerk 
of the district shall notify them by mail of their appointment. If the 
judges named are 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 he by 
ballot, without reference to the general election laws in regard to nomi- 
nations, form of ballot, or manner of voting, and the polls shall he 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 he voted 
for or elected as trustee unless he has heon 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 cer- 
tificate 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 he filled, the term for which such candidate was nomi- 
nated, 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 election. 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 canvass- 
ing board shall not count any votes cast for any person, unless he has 
been so nominated and a cerifticate thereof filed as herein required. 

Section 991. The Board of Trustees shall, at least thirty days be- 
fore 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 
correspond, and define the boundaries thereof. 



110 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 002. The District Clerk shall, 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 Trustees, the best interests of the district will 
be served by the publication of such notices of election in some news- 
paper 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 903. 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. 

Section 004. 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 noe 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 005. 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 following form: 

For School Trustees : 
For Three (3) Year Term. 

Vote for Three: 

John Abner 

AVilliam Brown 

Adam Smith 

For One (1) Year Term. 

George Davis 

Section 996. At every election held under this Act. a poll-list shall 
lie 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 de- 
posits his ballot. There shall also be provided a tally-list for each polling 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 111 

place; after the ballots have been counted ami made to agree with the 
poll-list the judges shall proceed to count then:. The clerk shall enter 
in the- tally-list the name of every person voted 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 tor that purpose the 
whole number of votes he received. The judges and clerk shall Bign a 
certificate 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 informalitly in such certi- 
ficate 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 dis- 
trict, who shall canvass 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 Superin- 
tendent of Schools. School Trustees are hereby authorized to administer 
oaths to judges of election. 

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 certificate 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 vacancy caused thereby. 

Section 998. A vacancy in the office shall be filled by appoint- 
ment 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 remaining 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 l>e elected a school trustee for the unex- 
pired 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 ap- 
point in writing, some competent person, who shall qualify and serve 
until the next annual school election. The County Superintendent shall 
at the time notify the clerk of the school district of every such appoint- 
ment ; provided, that absence from the school district for sixty consecu- 
tive 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. 



112 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Section 9J)f>. Any school trustee may be removed from office by 
a court of competent jurisdiction by law for removal of elective civil 
officers: provided, however, that upon charges being preferred and good 
cause shown, the Board of County Commissioners may suspend a trus- 
tee until such time as charges can be heard in the court having juris- 
diction thereof. 

Section 1000. Should 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 
Trustees shall immediately notify the County Superintendent of such 
appointment. 

Section 1001. When at any annual school election the terms 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. 

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 elec- 
tion, may vote thereat. 

Section 1003. Any person offering to vote may he 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 
Tinted 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 he 
received; otherwise rejected. Any person who shall swear falsely before 
any such judge of election shall be guilty of perjury, and shall be 
punished accordingly. 

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 (dec! ion for the purpose of bonding the district for the erection 
and furnishing buildings and purchase of school sites, and for permis- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 113 

sion to sell school property; provided, thai in districts of the first 
and second class boards of trustees shall have power to change or select 
school sites. 

Section 101;j. Every school board unless otherwise specially pro- 
vided by law shall have power and it shall be its duty: ***** s. To 
purchase, 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 unless dircted 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 he 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 he consolidated, 
either by the formation of a new district, or by the annexation of one 
or more districts to an existing district, as hereinafter provided. 

Whenever the County Superintendent of Schools receives a petition 
signed 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 con- 
solidation. 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 dis- 
trict mainly lies. If the majority of the votes cast in each district be for 
consolidation, it carries, and the Superintendent, within ten days there- 
after, 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 hi' for the formation of a new dis- 
trict, it shall specify the name and number of such district, and he shall 
appoint three trustees to serve until the first Saturday in April succeed- 
ing. At the regular election succeeding there shall 1h> elected by the regu- 
larly qualified electors three trustees, one of whom shall serve for one 
year, one for two years, and one for three years. The election of trus- 
tees and terms shall be the same as for other districts under the general 
school laws. ******* 



114 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

"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 
districts 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 the purposes of election of trustees. 

"Subdistrict" shall moan 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 
amended by Chapter ITS. 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 
district 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 dis- 
trict 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 taxa- 
tion and such other purposes as are hereinafter provided, and shall be 
divided into subdivisions for the selection of trustees and consist of sub- 
districts for the purpose of local management, local control, and custody 
of property. The boundaries of the subdivisions shall be determined by 
the Board of County (Commissioners who shall divide that portion of 
the county to l>e included in the rural school district of the county, into 
four parts which shall be known as subdivisions, each having as near 
as may bo one-fourth of the total area of the rural school district, and 
making 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 subdistriets in the manner provided by law. Boun- 
daries 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 nearer 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 pe- 
tition shall describe the boundaries of the territory proposed to be trans- 
ferred 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 
interested 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 115 

than twenty days from the date of the receipt by the board of such pe- 
tition. The Board of County Commissioners at such special meeting shall 
approve <>r deny the said petition and shall enter their approval <>r 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 
1k> made a part of adjacent subdistricts or created a subdlstrict of the 
rural school district." As amended by chapter ITS. 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 tins 
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 i>cr 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 he 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 
district and whose names appear upon the registration hooks of the 
county upon the day of calling such election, shall be entitled to vote 
upon such election. The polling hooks of any precinct shall not contain 
the names 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 1m- necessary to give notice of closing 
of registration hooks of the county in elections held pursuant to the pro- 
visions of this Act. But the registration hooks of the enmity Cor 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 dis- 
trict": 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 he 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 
Commissioners shall make and eider an order creating such rural school 
district and establish the boundaries of each subdivision, and this Act 
shall become effective in so far as the county is concerned. 



116 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

"If a majority of the votes cast at such election is against organi- 
zation 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 
provided, the said Board of County Commissioners shall thereupon ap- 
point one elector from among the residents of each of the four sub- 
divisions of the rural school district of the county. Of these four trus- 
tees 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 
appointment, the terms of trustees so appointed to he determined by lot. 

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

"In any county in which a rural school district is in operation 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 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 mem- 
bers shall continue on the hoard. On the third Saturday of April in such 
county the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, the County 
Superintendent 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 ITS. Laws of l!)^o. 

•'Section 1043. The elected trustees shall he electors of the subdi- 
vision of the rural school district id' the county in which they are to serve. 
Except as hereinbefore provided such trustees shall be elected at the an- 
nual school election and shall serve for three years and until their suc- 
cessors are elected or appointed and qualify. 

"On or before fifteen days prior to the annual school election, there 
may he filed with the secretary of the Board id' Trustees of the rural 
school district, petitions signed by at least twenty-five qualified electors 
id' 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 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 117 

cause the names of all candidates Cor trustees of the rural school district 
to be printed and scut to the clerk in each subdistricl of the pari 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 subdistrict. 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 appointed 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 general 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 ('ommissioners and certificates of election 
issued by the County Clerk in the same manner as may be prescribed 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 trus- 
tees the votes cast in each of the four subdivisions of the rural school 
district shall be canvassed separately and the candidates receiving the 
largest number of votes in any one subdivision shall Im> elected as the 
trustee for such subdivision; 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 ^he 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 appoint- 
ment. 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 enume- 
rated 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 



118 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

imposed upon trustees of school districts according to the provisions of 
Chapter 7(> of the Session Laws of the Thirteenth Legislative Assembly 
and Acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, except as modi- 
fied 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 the different items of expenditures for operation and main- 
tenance to be incurred by such subdistricts for the ensuing school year. 
Such budget shall explain in detail the several items of estimated ex- 
penditures, 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 opportunities 
afforded each child in such subdistrict. Any Board of Trustees of a 
subdistrict making expenditures in excess of their budget shall have de- 
ducted from their budget for the ensuing year the amount of such excess 
expenditure, unless the County Board of Trustees authorized such expendi- 
ture 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 
Montana 1921. 

"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 furnish- 
ing of reasonable educational facilities to every child in I he rural school 
district, including the payment of U/>ard 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 in- 
terest on all outstanding bonds issued by such rural school district or 
the payment 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 every rural school district is hereby au- 
thorized 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 119 

them: The supervision of the health of students, employment of a truanl 

Officer, provision for new students in any local district who may have 
Come into said district alter the adoption of the budgel for said distri-l 
and not provided for in said budget. They shall also he 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, dormitories or teacherages when the same are deemed necessary by 
the Board of Trustees of the rural school district and to make provision 
of necessary building facilities for isolated and social 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 be- 
fore 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 he 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 he 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 
delinquencies. The Board of Trustees of the rural school district shall 
at its regular meeting held on the second Thursday in December, appor- 
tion to the several suhdistricts their proportionate part of the taxes then 
collected, such proportionate part to be determined in accordance with 
the budget as above mentioned. They may at this meeting make such 
adjustments in the budgets as may seem necessary 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 
rural 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 suh- 
district. Hereafter all warrants issued by suhdistricts 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 hoard 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 pro- 
vided 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- 



120 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

sumed by the rural school district. And for the purpose of enforcing 
the provisions of this chapter, the rural school district shall be a body 
corporate, which may sue and l>e 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 au- 
thorized 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 re- 
duce 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- 
ness of and be paid by the subdistricts. such payments being made 
from a subdistrict special levy for that purpose." As amended by Chap- 
ter 178. Laws of 1925. 

Section 104G. 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 
proposed district has an assessed valuation of not less than Six Hun- 
dred Thousand Dollars. Such district shall be created only upon the 
petition of one hundred qualified electors residing in the proposed 
district, setting 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 
property 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 
district. 

If, at the time such new district is created, there is any indebted- 
ness against the rural school district, then the Board of County Commis- 
sioners of the county in which such districts are located shall, at its 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 121 

first regular meeting after the order creating said new district is made, 
apportion such Indebtedness between said districts, by Firsi deducting 
from said Indebtedness the amounl of .-ill moneys in the treasury be 
longing to the sinking fund of said rural school district, and then appor 
Honing the remainder of the indebtedness between the respective dis- 
tricts 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 dis- 
trict. Upon the adjustment of such indebtedness, it shall be the duty of 
(he Board of Trustees of SUCh new district to cause to be made out, 
issued, and delivered to the Trustees of such rural school district, war- 
rants equal to the amount of such indebtedness apportioned to such new- 
district, 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 availahle 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 in- 
terest 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 
providing 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 of such bond that "This bond is issued for the purpose of pro- 
viding funds to pay outstanding warrants." 

Section 1047. "The regular animal meeting of the Board of Trus- 
tees of the rural school district shall be held on the first Thursday in 
July. At this meeting new members elected shall take office: a presi- 
dent shall be elected for the ensuing year by the board, from among its 
own membership: 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. Bach member of the 
Board of Trustees of the rural school district shall lie paid from the 
general fund of the county his necessary traveling expenses in attend- 
ing regular meetings, 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 forfeiture of the office." As amended by Chapter 68, Laws 
of 1923. 

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



122 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

"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 dis- 
solution 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 
Commissioners 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 Commissioners 
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 or- 
ganized prior to the passage of this Act the County Commissioners of 
the county shall continue to levy the taxes upon all the property located 
within the territory which formerly constituted the rural school district, 
until the interest and principal of all bonds issued by the rural school 
district shall have been paid in full." As amended by Chapter ITS, 
Laws of 1925. 

Section 1178. Whenever, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees 
of any school district of the third class, it is desirable to select, pur- 
chase, 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 
canvassed in the same manner as at the annual election of school of- 
ficers. Three notices giving the time, place and purpose of such meet- 
ing 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, purchasing, 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 



election laws or Montana 123 

sites so changed cannol again ix> changed within three years from the 
date of such action, except upon the advice of the County Superin 
tendenl of Schools and County Health officer. 

The school site shall be selected In a place thai Is convenient, ac- 
cessible, suitable, and well drained; provided, thai in districts of the 
first and second class, the site shall he 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 honse 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 1210. District School Taxes in Excess of Ten Mill Levy. 
Election. — Whenever the Board of Trustees of any school district 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 school 
house or houses of such district, for furnishing additional school facili- 
ties 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, said Board 
of Trustees shall determine and fix the amount necessary and require 
for such purpose or purposes in addition to such ten mill tax levy and 
it shall submit the question of an additional levy to raise said amount 
to the qualified electors residing within the district who are taxpayers 
upon property therein and whose names appear upon the last completed 
assessment roll of the county for state, county and school taxes, 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. 

Section 1220. Where the question of making 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 elec- 
tion, or by publication thereof for a like period before such election in 
each newspaper published in said district, or by both such notice and 
publication. 

Section 1221. Purposes of Levy to be Submitted — Use of Funds. 
In submitting such question there shall be specified the amount to be 
raised by such additional tax levy and the approximate number of mills 
required to raise such amount and the purpose for which the same is 
to be expended and if authorized the money raised by such additional 
tax levy shall be used for that specified purpose only ; provided, that 



124 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

if any balance remains on hand after the purpose for which said levy 
was made has been accomplished, said balance may. by the vote of 
the trustees of said district, lie transferred to any other fund of such 
district. 

Section 1222. Fonn and Marking of Ballot — Conduct of Election. 
The ballot furnished electors at said election shall have printed thereon 
the following: (Shall a levy be made in addition to the regular ten 
mill levy authorized by law in such number of mils as may be neces- 
sary to raise the sum of (state the amount to be raised by additional 
tax levy) for the purpose of (insert the purpose for which the additional 
tax levy is made)? 



□ 
□ 



For an additional levy to raise the sum of (state the amount 
to be raised by additional tax levy), and being approximately 
(give number) of mills. 

Against an additional tax levy to raise the sum of (state 
amount to be raised by additional tax levy), and being approxi- 
mately (give number) of mills. 



The voters shall mark the ballots in the same manner as ballots 
are marked under the election laws of this state. The election shall 
be held, votes canvassed and returns made as in other school elections. 
If the majority voting on the cpiestion 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 
district is situated the amount authorized by such election to be raised 
by such additional levy and such Board of County Commissioners shall 
make such additional levy in such number of mills as will raise such 
amount in the same manner that the levy for special taxes in said 
district is made. 

Section 122:'.. 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 fol- 
lows : 

"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 
resided in this state oik' 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 
affirmation, the judges must substitute the word 'taxpayer 1 for the 
words "taxpaying freeholder. 9 Said oath shall be reduced to writing 
and signed by the person challenged and sworn to before one of the 
judges of election. 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 he 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 120 

SCHOOL DISTRICT BONDS 

CHAPTER 1 17 

i Laws of 1927) 

An Act Relating to School Districl Bonds; Granting Boards of Trus- 
tees of School Districts of all ('lasses the Power to Issue. Negotiate 
and Sell or Exchange Bonds for Certain Purposes under Certain 
Limitations and Restrictions: Providing the manner of Holding Bond 
Elections 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 Hoards of School Trustees, Boards 
of Comity 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, 12."><>. 12:12. 
and Sections 1244 to 12.~>1 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 tin- 
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 EOR 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 th<' electors of the 
school district; and no such election shall lie called unless there has 
l>een presented to the Board of Trustees a petition asking that such 
election be held and smh 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. EORM. CONTENTS AND PROOF OF PETITION. The 

petition for the calling of an election to vote upon the question of 



126 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

issuing school district bonds shall plainly state the purpose of the pro- 
posed 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 purpose 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 signed, 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 qualified electors of the school district may circulate the 
petition or petitions, and the clerk or each elector circulating such peti- 
tion 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 petition, 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 ex- 
amine the same and shall endorse thereon or attach thereto his certi- 
ficate, 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 
twenty per centum (20%) 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 Trus- 
tees shall be the judges of the sufficiency of the petition and the find- 
ings of such board shall he conclusive against the school district and 
in favor of the innocent holder of bonds issued pursuant to the elec- 
tion called and held by reason of the presentation of such petition. If 
it is found Unit the petition is in proper form and bears the requisite 
number of signatures, the board shall pass and adopt a resolution which 
shall recite the essential facts in regard to the petition and its pre- 
sentation, fix the exact amount of bonds proposed to be issued, which 
may be more or less than the amount estimated in the petition, de- 
termine 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 127 

electors of t lie district who arc qualified to vote at such election to act 
as judges of election, and direct the clerk to give notice <>r such election. 
The notice of election shall designate some certain school house in aaid 
school district and be in substantially the following form: 

"NOTIOE 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 Montan;) . 

who are taxpayers therein and whose names appear on the last com- 
pleted 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 
he the first choice of the Board of Trustees. The bonds to be issued, 
whether amortization or serial bonds, will he 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 arc 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 be- 
fore the day specified for such election, post notice of such election in 
not less than three (3) public places within the district, and in in- 
corporated 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) suc- 
cessive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation in the district, 
if one be published therein, in addition to such posting. 



128 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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

OFFICIAL P, A I .LOT 

SCHOOL DISTRICT BOND ELECTION 

INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS: Make an N or similar mark in 

the vacant square before the words "BONDS — 'YES"' if von 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 rati' 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. 

Sction 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 district 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 resolu- 
tion calling for the election, the clerk of the school district shall notify 
the County Clerk of the date on which the election is to he held, and 
qualified persons 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 registration hooks shall he closed for such election, hut it 
shall not he necessary to give any notice of such closing of the regis- 
tration books. 

After the closing of the registration hooks 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 hooks for such election, as provided in Section 
568 of the Revised Codes id' .Montana of L921, and deliver the same to 
the school district clerk who shall deliver the same to the judges prior 
to the opening 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 
(."»i public and conspicuous 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 129 

Section 13. CONDUCT <»r ELECTION. The bond election Bhall 
be conducted in the manner prescribed for the election of school trus- 
tees and returns shall be made and canvassed In a similar manner. 

Section 14. PERCENTAGE OF ELECTORS "REQUIRED TO AU- 
THORIZE BO\D ISSUE. Whenever the question of Issuing bonds for 
any purpose is submitted to the qualified electors of a school district 
at either a general or special school election not less than fifty-one 
(oil per centum of the qualified (doctors entitled to vote on such 
question at such election must vole thereon, otherwise such question 
shall be deemed to have hern rejected ; provided, however, that if 
fifty-one (51) per centum 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 15. MEETING OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO CANVASS 
ELECTION RETURNS: RESOLUTION EOR BOND ISSUE. If such 
election shall authorize the issuance of such bonds, the Board of Trus- 
tees 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 rat* 1 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 execu 
Hon 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 Commis- 
sioners, 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 he conclusive against the munici- 
pality in favor of any innocent bidder 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. 



130 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 1277. Nothing in this Act shall lie 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 14S. Laws 1!):!1) 

chapter :; 

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 
county were assessed in their 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 he submitted the question 
whether bonds id' the county shall lie issued for the purchase or erec- 
tion 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 hijrh 
school dormitory or dormitories, or gymnasium, and/or for the pur- 
chase 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 foregoing, and if such petition shall specify tin-rein 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, ap- 
prove 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 name of the 
Board of Trustees request the Hoard 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 
tin' amount and for the purpose or purposes in the petition set forth. 

Section 13. Duty of Hoard of County Commissioners. Immediately 

upon the receipt of any such request it shall be the duty of the Hoard 
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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 131 

Section 14. Koncl limit. — Term — Kate of Interest — Form. In any 
county of tin- first, second, third or fourth class the amount of all 
bonds requested in 1 authorized under the provisions of this chapter shall 
not exceed, in any one county in the aggregate as outstanding obliga- 
tions 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 hear interest and the general form 
of the bonds shall he fixed by the Board id" 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 accredited district higb schools are maintained bonds of the county 
may likewise he issued in accordance with the provisions of this chap- 
ter and for any of the purposes aforesaid, the proceeds of such issue 
to he 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 
he allotted to tin' county high school and the amount winch is to 
apportioned to or anions the accredited district high school, or schools; 
and in all such cases the amount alloted to the county high school and 
the amount to be apportioned among the accredited district high school 
or schools shall he computed upon the hasis of the average daily at- 
tendance in the county high school, and in all the accredited districl 
high schools of the county during the year preceding the submission 
of the question of the bond issue. 

CHAPTER 5 

ABOLISHMENT < >F COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS 

Section 1!>. Authority to Abolish. Any county in which a county 

high school has heen established may abolish such county high school 

and dispose of all property 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 elec- 
tion 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 pray- 
ing that the county high school he abolished. 

Section 21. Commissioners to Submit Question. At the first regu- 
lar 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 
immediately 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. 



132 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 thai the question of abolishing the county high school in the 
county will lx> submitted :it the ensuing general election, at least once 
;i week for four successive weeks in some newspaper of general circu- 
lation published in the county, and. if there be none, in such news- 
paper as the Board of County Commissioners may designate, the 
first publication of such notice to be made between September 1 and 
September 16 of the said year. 

Sc.t ion 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 registered voters of the county 
at the ensuing general election in November, and the votes cast thereon 
canvassed and returns thereof made, in the manner provided by law 
for the election of county officers at that election, subject, however, to 
the following social requirements: 

The votes for or against the abolishment of the county high school 
shall be cast by ballot which shall 1h> in substantially the following 
form : 

For the abolishment of the county high school. 
Against the abolishment of the county high school. 

An elector may vote for abolishing the county high school by plac- 
ing an "X" in the square immediately before the words "For the 
abolishment of the county high school: and a ballot so marked and 
casl Shall be counted in favor of abolishing the county high school. 
An elector may vote against the, abolishment of the county high school 
by placing an "X" in the Bquare immediately preceding the words 
"Against the abolishment of the county high school": and a ballot so 
marked and casl shall be counted against abolishing the county high 
school. 

Section 24. Action by Hoard of County Commissioners when Elec- 
tion 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 meet- 
ing in December following shall make and enter at large upon its 
minutes an abstract of the votes BO cast anil a resolution that in ac- 
cordance therewith on and after July 1st of the year immediately 
following lb.- county high SChOOl of the county shall be, and is thereby, 
abolished. 

Section 26. Same — When Election Favors Retaining High School. 

Bui 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 133 

county high school shall l>e had in that county for at lenst 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 
he re-submitted for at least four years after the date that this act 
becomes effective. 

CHAPTER fi 

VALIDATION OF CERTAIN ACTS AND PROCEEDINGS 

Section 34. School Bonds Validated. All bonds which have been 
heretofore 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 sub- 
sisting 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 
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 hereto- 
fore done, and all proceedings heretofore had, by any Board of County 
Commissioners 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 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, 1S99, 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, 1S99, 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 dis- 
trict having no accredited high school. The Board of Trustees of any 
school district where no accredited high school is already established 
and maintained may establish one or more junior high schools in the 
district at any time in accordance with the sections immediately fol- 
lowing and provide therefor quarters, buildings, building sites, equip- 
ment and a teaching force. 



134 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Section 46. Petition — Resolution of Board — Approval of Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction. Whenever the Board of Trustees of any 
Bchool district which has do accredited high school already established, 
shall receive ;i petition In writing from twenty per centum (20%), or 
more, of the registered voters of th<' district requesting that a junior 
high school or junior high schools be established, or shall itself re- 
solve 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 he made 
by the said Board of Trustees to the Superintendent of Public Instruc- 
tion, 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 Superin- 
tendent id' Public Instruction, the Board of Trustees of the school 
district shall immediately submit to the registered voters of the dis- 
trict 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 id' Public Instruction shall set forth 
the facts pertinent to such issue and the amount of bonds required for 
I he purposes mentioned, or any of them. And in any such case if the 
establishment of the junior high school or junior high schools be ap- 
proved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction the question sub- 
mitted 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 school be contemplated, whether junior high 
schools shall be established in the district and bonds in a specified 
amount issued t<> provide quarters, buildings, building sites and equip- 
ment, 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 tlw quest] >f a bond issue for the purpose of building, 

enlarging, altering or acquiring by purchase a school house, or fur- 
nishing and equipping the same, and of purchasing the necessary bonds 
therefor. 

Section 50. Duty of Board if Establishment of Junior High School 
he Approved, it' 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 estab- 
lish ami open the school or schools so authorized. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 135 

Section 51. Issuance of Bonds, [f the Issuance of bonds as speci- 
fied in any question submitted be approved the Board of Trustees shall 
thereafter 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 ease of the issuance of district bonds for the purpose of build- 
ing, enlarging, repairing or acquiring by purchase a school house, in 
the said district, or furnishing and equipping the same, and of pur- 
chasing the necessary lands therefor. 

Section 52. Junior High. Schools — How Established Where District 
High School is Already Established. The Hoard 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 quali- 
fied 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 14<>. Laws of 1931) 

Section 7. If. after the Hoard 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 lie sufficient to meet and take care of the expenditures pro- 
posed to be made during the ensuing school year from such general 
fund, as contained in such preliminary budget, the board must determine 
and make an estimate of the amount of such deficiency and the nurul>er 
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 additional 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 en- 
suing 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. 



136 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

SPECIAL ROAD DISTRICTS 

Section 1664. The regular election for the electing of members of 

Hit- Board of Directors shall be held In such district at the same time 
as regular general elections. The secretary of such board shall cause 
written 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 
no! ices shall he posted in at leasl 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 lGGo. 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 deter- 
mine 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 1000. If any person challenged shall refuse lo take said 
oath, his vote shall be rejected; and if any person shall be guilty of 
noting illegally, he shall be punished as provided in the general elec- 
tion laws of this state. The three members of the Board of Directors 
of the road district shall act as judges of election, hut should any of 
them I'c absent for an.\ cause, at the time of owning 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, 
i lie directors shall appoint three judges of election who shall perform 
the duties required by law. 

Section 1007. 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 
Dumber. of votes, shall be declared elected, and the report of said elec- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 137 

t ici). signed by said judges, shall forthwith be transmitted to the 
Count; Clerk and Recorder of the county where such election is held, 

to Ik- presented to the Board of County Commissioners for action and 
hearing as to the regularity of the election so held, and to be con- 
firmed by said County Commissioners. If upon counting the votes there 
shall he a tie vote, the two persons baying received such tic 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 carefully preserved, and after said count shall be placed 
in the ballot boxes, ami 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 general 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 elec- 
tion 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 author- 
ized for the purpose of constructing 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 15) 

Section 43(59. 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 elec- 
tion 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 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 meeting of said Board 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 praying for the removal of said county seat has been 
filed with the County Clerk, and that said petition is open to the inspec- 



138 ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 

i if m of any and all persons Interested therein, and thai said petition 
will Im- presented t'> the Board of County Commissioners al its next 
regular session for action thereon. No other <>r additional petition than 
the one originally filed shall be considered by the Board of County Com- 
missioners, except tlint at any time <>n or before the date fixed for 
the hearing, any person having signed the original petition for the 
removal of the county scat may file ;i 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 4."»7<>. If the petition is signed hy 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 elec- 
tors of the county: provided, that the term '"taxpayer*' used in this 
section shall be deemed to mean "ad valorem taxpayers," and that for 
the purpose 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 ascertaining whether 
such petition bears the names of sixty-five per cent of tin' taxpaying 
voters listed therein: and they shall make a similar comparison of the 
names signed to the petition with those appearing upon the listed as- 
sessment-roll of the county for the purpose of ascertaining whether the 
petition bears the names of sixty-five per cent id' the ad valorem tax- 
payers 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 id' County 
Commissioners, on or before the date fixed for the bearing, their state- 
ment in writing of the withdrawal of their names from the original 
petition, it shall be deemed insufficient, and the question of the re- 
moval of the county seat shall not be submitted. 

Section 1371. .Notice of such election, clearly stating the object, 
must be given,* and the election must he 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 

genera] election law. 

Section (372. In voting on the question, each elector must vote for 
the place in the county which he prefers, by placing opposite the name 
of the place the mark X. 

Section l.",7.''. Winn the returns have been received and compared, 
and the results ascertained by the board, if a majority of the quali- 
fied electors of the county have voted in favor of any particular place, 
the board must give notice of the results by posting notices thereof 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 139 

in ;ill the election precincts of the county, and by publishing ;i like 
notice in a newspaper primed in the county .-it least once ;i week for 

four weeks. 

Seci inn 4.* IT t. In the notice provided for in the next preceding sec- 
tion, the place selected to l>e the county seat of the county must be SO 
declared from a day specified in the notice in >t 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 4.">7.">. Whenever any election has been held, as provided 
for in the preceding sections of this chapter, the statement made by the 
Hoard of County Commissioners, showing the result thereof, must he de- 
posited in the office of the County Clerk, and whenever the hoard gives 
the notice prescribed by Section 4.*>74 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 1h' held within four years thereafter. 

Section 4377. When the county seat of a county has been once 
removed by a popular vote of the people of the county, it may he 
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 he 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 
chairman. 

The person appointed to the office of County < 'lerk in the hill cre- 
ating the county shall he notified in writing by the County Commis- 
sioners, 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 4.'!7!>. 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 lie located as hereinafter 
in this Act provided. The place so designated shall be the temporary 



140 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

county seal of s.-ii<i county until the permanent county seat is located 
i.y the electors of -aid county al the general election to be held on the 
first Tuesday after the firs! Monday of November of the next even- 
Dumbered year after the creation of the county, or at a special election 
as hereinafter 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 temporary county scat on a slip of paper and said slips be inclosed 
in envelopes 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 he the duty of the Hoard 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 l>e in the form 
and contain the same matter as the ballots provided for in Section 
43Sr> of this Code, and the provisions of Section 43S6 of this Code shall 
apply to and govern the manner of voting and of canvassing said bal- 
lots, and the Hoard of County Commissioners shall declare the result 
of such election and the 1 nation df the permanent county seat, and 
Bald 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 maj 
be filed with the County Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners 
of such county asking the board to submit the question of the loca- 
tion 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 
Ael provided. Said petition or petitions must contain in the aggregate 
i he names of at hast one hundred taxpayers, whose names appear upon 
the assessment-books containing the last assessment of the property situ- 
ated in such new county, and whose names also appear as registered 
• lector.- in some registration district established and existing in the terri- 
tory embraced in the new county al 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 
Ding said petition or petitions appear in the last assessment-books 
of his county, ami also in the registration-books of his county contain- 
ing tin- oames Ol the electors registered in the last general election in 
the districts now embraced in the new county. 

Ction 1880. Dpon filing said petition or petitions, duly certified 
io as provided in the preceding section, with the County Clerk of the 
new county, he must immediately notify the chairman of the Board of 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA X41 

County Commissioners who. upon receipt of such notice, must call a 
meeting of the board to be held within ton days after the tiling of 
said petition, for the purpose of considering the same. If the hoard a! 
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 43S1. At the meeting of the board at which the special 
election 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 
designating 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 <^' 
their duties. 

Section 4382. The period for the registration of electors shall he 
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 register 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 embraced 
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 Com- 
missioners at which the special election for the location of the perma- 



142 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

inn! county seat Is called, the board shall appoint three judges of 
election for each precincl in the county who shall act as the judges at 
said election. It shall be the duty of the County clerk to have printed 
and distributed to the judges <d' election the necessary ballots, the 

form of which shall he as provided in Sections 1379, 4385 and 4387 () l 

this Code, and also supply the judges with the necessary honks, records, 
stationery and ballot-boxes required to hold such election in the manner 

provided by law. 

Section 1384. The judges appointed for said special election must 
qualify as required by the general election law. and the polls musi 
he opened ami dosed, the voting done, the ballots counted, returns 
made to the Hoard 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 4.''>N,">. The form of the ballot used at such elections shall 
he as follows: There shall he a stub across the top of each ballot, 
and separated therefrom by a perforated line. The part above the per- 
forated 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 nt' the stuh there shall he printed in what is known as brevier 
capitals the following instructions. 

"To vote this ballot the elector will write in thi' blank space on 

the ballot the name of the town or place at which he desires the perma- 
nent county seat to Ik' located." 

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

"I'm- the permanent county seat of county, my 

choice is ": (here insert nam.' of county i 

Provided, that any person who, from any cause, is unable to write, may 
have one of the judges in the presence of another judge write his 
'hoice "ii the ballot. 

Section 1386. When the name of a town or place in a county 
-hall l>e so Inserted in the blank space on such ballot by an elector, 

and the ballot has been cast as provided hy law. the same shall he 

deemed a rote for the designated town or place as the location id' the 
permanent county scat of said county. The Board of County Commis- 
sioners "f said county shall canvass the returns of said election in 
the manner provided by law for the canvassing of election returns. 
and upon BUCh canvassing of returns the town or place found to have 
received a majority of all votes cast on such questions shall he declared 
hy the hoard the perma neiit county seat of the county. The order de- 
claring the result of BUCh election 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 he and remain, until 
lawfully changed in the manner provided hy law. the permanent county 
seat of such county. Within ten days after the declaration of the re- 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 143 

suit 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 4.'iST. If no town or place receives a majority of all votes 
cast on such question, then the town or place receiving the highesl 
number of votes shall he declared by the hoard and immediately become 

the temporary county seat of the county, and at the next general elec- 
tion the two towns or places receiving the greatest number of votes 
at said first election shall he the candidates for the permanent county 
seat. At said next general election, the County Clerk shall have sep- 
arate ballots in the form provided for in Section 4385 of this Code 
printed and distributed as provided h\ law containing the names of 
said candidates for the permanent county seat. On the stub of such 
ballots shall he printed the following instructions: 

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

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

^2 for the permanent county seat. 

^] 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 
declare 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 several 
counties of the State of Montana and to the officers thereof, and to 
their powers and duties, shall he 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 perma- 
nent 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 under the provisions of this Act. or if no special election is held 
for such purpose, then said question shall lx> submitted by the County 
Commissioners at the next general election after the passage of this 
Act and in the manner provided herein for the submission of such 
questions at general elections; provided, however, that no special elec- 
tion shall he called for the purpose of submitting such question unless 
a petition or petitions containing in the aggregate the names of one 
hundred taxpaying electors of such county, whose names appear upon 
the last assessment book, and also on the last registration-hooks of 
said county, are filed with the clerk of the Board of County Commis- 
sioners within six months after the passage and approval of this Act. 

Upon the filing of such petition or petitions within said time, con- 



144 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

taining the requisite Dumber of taxpaying electors, which must tic ascer- 
tained by the board from the records of said county, Bald board must 
Immediately call such special election as herein provided. 

it' registration districts and polling precincts have already been es- 
tablished in said county, they shall remain the same Cor such special 
election, but a new registration shall be had and said special election 
conducted and the result determined as In this Acl provided. 

The provisions of this section shall doI apply in any case where 
there has been a permanent county scat Located and maintained for ;i 
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. 

CREATION OF NEW COUNTIES BY PETITION AND ELECTION 

Section 4.".!)0. Creation of New Counties — Debts and Assets Pro- 
rated and Minimum Area Fixed. New counties may from time to time 
be formed and created in this state from portions of one or more coun- 
ties, which shall have been created and in existence for a period of 
more than two years, in the manner sel forth and provided in this Act; 
provided, however, that no new county shall he 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 he estab- 
lished 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 ami 
Indian reservations within old counties nor shall any new county he 
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 he established, nor shall any new county 
t>e formed which contains less than one thousand square miles of sur- 
ed 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 siluate at the county seat of the county sought to 
be divided; provided, that such county line may he run within a (lis 
tance of ten mile-- of a county seat in cases where the natural contour 
of the county, by reason of mountain ranges or other topographical 
conditions, Is such as to make it difficult to reach the county scat. 
ami in such cases a petition, signed by at leas! fifty-eight per centum 

(58%) of the voters In the proposed new county, shall he presented to 
the .Indue of the Districl Court in which the county affected is located. 
asking for the appointmenl 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 ;it 
fifteen miles from the county seat, as such lnmndaries are Legally fixed 
ami determined at the date of the filing of the petition or petitions 
referred to in Section i::«.»:: of the Revised Codes of 1921. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 145 

Every county which shall U' enlarged <>r created from the terri- 
tory taken from any other county or counties shall be liable for a pro- 
rata proportion of the existing debts and Liabilities of the county or. 

counties front which such territory shall be taken, and shall be entitled 
to a prorata 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 100. 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 deter- 
mined on the same basis as is used for the imposition of taxes in the 
State of Montana, to-wit : By taking that percentage of the true and 
full value of all taxable property in any county specified by Section 
'20(H) 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 4892. 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 
l he legislative Assembly, unless such city or town shall have been 
incorporated 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 I>oundaries 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 proceedings 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 



146 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

territory is taken by the proposed new county: ;in<l all officers of any 
such county siuiil comply with the orders of the Board of County Com- 
missioners, in the same manner as if said order had been duly made 
by the Hoard of County Commissioners of each respective county from 
winch territory is proposed to he taken. Such petition shall he 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 ther 1 to have voted at the last general election pre- 
ceding the presentation of said petition to the Board of County Com- 
missioners as herein provided; provided, that in cases where the pro- 
posed new county is to he formed from portions of two or more coun- 
ties, separate petition shall he presented from the territory taken from 
each county; and each of said separate petitions shall he signed by a' 
least fifty-eight per cent of the qualified electors of each of said 
proposed portions. Such signatures need not all he appended to one 
paper, hut may he signed to several petitions which must he similar in 
form, and when so signed the several petitions may he fastened together 
and shall he treated and presented as one petition. 

Such petition or petitions shall contain: 

1. A particular description of the boundaries of the proposed new 
county. 

'_'. A statement that no line thereof passes within fifteen miles of 
the courthouse situated at the county seat of any county proposed to 
lie divided, except as hereinafter in this Act provided. 

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 will 
remain in the county or counties from which territory is taken to 
form such new county, after such county is formed and a statement 
of tlie surveyed area in square miles which will he in the new county 
alter formed. 

."». The name of the proposed new county. 

6. A prayer that such proposed new county he organized into a 
new county under the provisions of this Act. 

There shall he attached and filed with said petition or petitions 
an affidavit of five qualified electors and taxpayers residing within 
each county BOUght to Im- divided, to the effect that they have read 
said petition and examined the signatures affixed thereto, and they 
believe that the statements therein are true, and that it is signed by 
at least fifty-eighl per cenl of the qualified electors as herein pro- 
vided, of the proposed new county, or id' the proposed portion thereof, 
taken from each existing county, where the proposed new county is to 
he formed from portions of two or more existing counties; that the 
signatures affixed thereto are genuine; and that each of such persons 
BO signing was a qualified elector of such county therein sought to he 
divided, at the date of such signing. Such petition or petitions BO 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 147 

verified, and the verification thereof, shall be accepted in all proceedings 
permitted or provided for in this Act, as prima facie evidence 1 of Un- 
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 hoard. The County Clerk shall also, at the same 
rime, designate a newspaper of general circulation published in the old 
counties, hut not within tin- proposed new county, and also a news- 
paper of general circulation published within the boundaries of the pro- 
posed new county, if there be such, in which the said County Clerk 
shall order and cause to he published, at least once a week for two 
weeks next preceding the date fixed for such hearing, a notice in sub- 
stantially the following form : 

NOTICE 

Notice is hereby given that a petition has been presented to the 

Hoard of County Commissioners of county 

(naming the county represented by the Board of County Commis- 
sioners with which said petition was filed I . 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 
objections 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 ap- 
proved by said board, in an amount of Five Thousand Dollars, payable 
to the county in which said petition is filed, conditioned that the ob- 
ligators 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 pro- 
vided 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 



148 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

fifty per cent of the qualified electors who are resident property tax- 
payers of any territory to he excluded. All such territory being ex- 
cluded must lie in one block, ami contain an area of not less than thirty- 
six square miles, and he 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 sig- 
natures to the original petition for the creation of a proposed county 
slmll l>e filed or considered which have not lieen 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. 

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 
<o determined by said Hoard 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 proposed to take into the proposed new county. 

.".. Whether any line of the proposed new county passes within fif- 
teen miles of the courthouse situate at the county seat of any county 
proposed 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 
i- taken to form such new county will be reduced to less than twelve 
hundred square miles of surveyed land, by taking the territory pro- 
posed to be taken therefrom to form such new county. 

<i. Whether the area of the proposed new county will contain at 
least mil' 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 
-mil petition. 

8. Whether the area embraced within the proposed new county will 
i>e reasonably compact. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 149 

On final hearing the Board of Commissioners, upon petition of 
not less than fifty per cent of the qualified electors (as shown by tin 1 
official registration hooks 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 said proposed new county and of the old county 
from which such territory is proposed to he 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 pe- 
tition 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 
he 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 establish and define such boundaries: provided, how- 
ever, that the segregation of such territory from any old county or coun- 
ties 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 valu- 
ation of Four 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 l>e dis- 
posed of in the order in point of time in which they are filed with 
the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, and on final deter- 
mination 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 deter- 
mine 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 sur- 
veyed land, and that the proposed new county contains property of an 
assessed valuation of at least Four Million Dollars, inclusive of all 
assessed valuation, 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 courthouse 
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 



150 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

:ii least fifty-eight per cenl of the qualified electors of that portion <>f 
the proposed new county from which it is taken, then the said Board of 
County Commissioners shall divide the proposed new county into a con- 
venient Dumber of township, road, and school districts, and define 
their boundaries and designate the names of such districts. S;iid Hoard 
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 do such precinct shall extend beyond the boun- 
dary lines of the then existing county in which it is located, and from 
which the territory is proposed to be taken; and said hoard shall ap- 
point election officers to act at said election and to he paid by said 
hoard. Within two weeks after its determination of the truth of the 
allegations of said petition as aforesaid, the said Hoard of County Com- 
missioners shall order and give proclamation and notice of an election 
to he 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 county seal 
therefor, in case the vote at such election shall be in favor of the 
establishment and organization of such new county. All qualified elec- 
tors 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 elec- 
tion. Registration and transfers id' registration shall be made and shall 
close in the manner anil at a time provided by law for registration 
and transfers of registration for a general election in the Slate of 
.Montana. Such proclamation and notice of election shall be published 

at least once a week for three weeks before the holding of such elec- 
tion, in some newspaper of general circulation published in the territory 
which is proposed to be taken for the new county, and a copy thereof 
-hall be mailed immediately 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. "Pot the new county of (giving the name of the 

proposed new county i" "Yes." and "For the new county of 

(giving the name of the proposed new county)" "No." and each voter 
desiring t" vote for the establishment and organization of said new 
County shall mark a cross 1X1 opposite the words, "For the new 
county of ." "Yes." in the manner now required by 
law in other elections, ami each voter desiring to vote against the 
establishment and organization of said new county shall mark a cross 
i X i opp08lte the words. "For the new county of ,'' ".\o." 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 151 

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 will belong, as determined by the Board 
Of County Commissioners as herein otherwise provided. There shall 
also he 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 elec- 
tors, nominating any city or town within the proposed new county for 
the county seat, and the voter shall designate 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 pro- 
posed new county, and the majority of all the votes cast therefor shall 
determine the election thereon. In case any city or town fails to re- 
ceive 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 tem- 
porary county seat, 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 highest 
number of votes shall have been cast shall be submitted in like manner 
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 pro- 
vided 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 pre- 
cinct in such proposed new county all ballots, poll lists, tally lists, 
registers for voters' signatures, ballot boxes, and other election sup- 
plies and equipment necessary to conduct such election, and which are 
not hereinafter specifically directed to be furnished by the clerk of 
another county or counties. Such election shall be governed and con- 
trolled by the general election laws of the State, so far as the same 
shall be applicable, 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 iu 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 who were qualified electors at the last general election 
before the date of such election. 



152 ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 

All returns of election herein provided for shall h<> marie to the 
Board of County Commissioners calling such election. 

All Dominations of candidates for the office required to be filled 
at said election shall be made La the manner provided by law for the 
nomination of candidates by petition. 

The provisions of the election laws relating to preparation, print- 
ing, and distribution Of sample ballots, except the provisions of said 
laws relating to primary elections in this state, shall havi application 
to any election provided Cor in this Act. 

Sect inn 4395. If, upon the canvass of the votes cast at such elec- 
tion, it appears that fi'fty-eigbl per cent of the votes cast are "For the 
new county of " "Yes." the Board of County Com- 
missioners 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 id' 

county, and that the city or town receiving the highest number of 
votes cast at said election for county seat shall he the county seat of 
said county until removed in the manner provided by law, and desig- 
nating and declaring the person receiving respectively the highest num- 
ber of votes for the several offices to he filled at said election, to he 
duly elected to such offices. Said hoard shall forthwith cause a copy 
of its said resolution, duly certified, to he filed in the office of the 
Secretary of State, and ninety days from and after the date of such 
filing said new county shall he deemed to he fully created, and the 
organization thereof shall he deemed completed, and such officers shall 
he entitled to enter immediately upon tin 1 duties of their respective of- 
fices upon qualifying in accordance with law and giving bonds for the 
faithful performance of their duties, as required by the laws of the 
state. Tlie < 'lerk of the Hoard 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 re- 
spective offices. 

The Board of County Commissioners shall have authority to pro- 
vide a Editable place for the county officers, ami to purchase such sup- 
plies as may hi' deemed necessary for the proper conduct of the county 
government. All other officers take office ninety days after the filing 
of the resolution herein provided for with the Secretary of State. All 
the officers elected at said election, or appointed under this Act. shall 
hold their office until the time provided by general law for the elec- 
tion and qualification of such officers in this State, and until their 
successors are elected and qualified, and for the purpose of determin- 
ing the term of office "f such officers, the years said officers are to 
hold office are to be computed respectively from and including the 
first Edondaj after the first day of January following the last pre- 
ceding general election, if. however, upon such canvass it appears that 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 153 

more than forty-two per cenl of the votes casl ;it said election are 

"For the new county of .. ," "No," the Board of 

County Commissioners canvassing said vote as provided herein shall 
pass a resolution in accordance therewith, and thereupon the proceed- 
ings 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 he instituted for at least two years after 
such determination. 

Section 4.'{!)ti. At the election provided for in Section 4.'!!>4 of this 
Code, there shall he chosen such county, township, and district officers 
as are now or may hereafter by general law he provided for in coun- 
ties of the class to which said new county is determined to belong, 
as herein provided; provided, that all duly elected, qualified and act- 
ing officers of the county or counties, who may reside within the ppro- 
posed new county, shall he 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 hearing 
and determination 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 provided, shall omit providing for the election of any such 
officers as may have filed their declaration as herein provided: pro- 
vided, 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 
in- 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 town- 
ships 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 hereinbefore in Section 4.'»H4 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 pro- 
visions of this Act shall each perform the duties and receive the 
compensation now provided by general law for the office to which 



154 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

be has been appointed or elected by in the counties of the class to 
which such new county shall bave 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 
proclamation to be issued by him, designating such new county as 
attached to the particular judicial district for judicial purposes. 

Section 4.'i!t7. It shall be the duty of the persons elected to or 
continuing 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 Hoard of 
County Commissioners it shall notify the Governor of the state of 
the organization of said county, and thereupon it shall he the duty of 
the Governor to appoint three persons, one of whom shall he a resi- 
dent and a taxpayer within the new county, and no two of whom 
shall he from any one county: the three persons so appointed shall 
form and he a Board of Commissioners. Such Commissioners shall, 
within ten days after the notice of the appointment, meet at the county 
seal of the new county and organize by electing from their number a 
chairman, and also elect, a secretary who must not he a member of 
siiid 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 transaction of business. Said Commission 
shall have power to compel by citation or subpoena, signed by their 
president and secretary, the attendance of such persons and the pro- 
duction of such hooks and papers before said Commission as may be 
required in the performance of the duties imposed by this Act. except 
that the official records 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 he 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 he 
allowed the same U^cs as are allowed to him for services in civil ac- 
tions; and all witnesses attending before said Commission shall be 
entitled to the same compensation and mileage as is allowed to wit- 
nesses in courts of record; provided, thai no witness shall he 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 1398. 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. Win-never in this Act publication of any notice is 
provided for, ami no newspaper of general circulation is puhlished 
within the territory in which said notice is required to l>e published, 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 155 

notice shall be given by posting copies of such notices in al Least ten 
public places in such territories for the same length of time said notice 
was required to 1h> published. 

Section 4405. The territory within the limits of any new county, 
until otherwise provided by law. shall he 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 -44oc>. 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 he guilty of a misdemeanor and 
of malfeasance in office, and shall he 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- 
jority 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 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 rela- 
tion to such proposed new county, including an order to nullify and 
set aside any election order 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 thereunder. 

DUTIES OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS RELATIVE TO 

ELECTIONS 

Section 4465. The Board of County Commissioners has jurisdic- 
tion and power under such limitations and restrictions as are pre- 
scribed by law: 

."!. To establish, abolish, and change election precincts, and to ap- 
point judges of election, canvass all election returns, declare the result, 
and issue certificates .thereof. 

Section 4515. The Board id' County Commissioners must provide 
all poll-lists, poll-books, blank returns and certificate's, proclamations 
of elections, and other appropriate and necessary appliances for hold- 
ing all elections in the county, and allow reasonable charges therefor. 
and for the transmission and return of the same to the proper officers. 



156 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Section 4516. Whenever, ;is canvassers, the Board or" County Com- 
missioners declares the result of any election held in the county, cer- 
tificates must be i>y the clerk of the board issued to all persons elected 
to a county office or to a township or district office therein, and sucli 
other certificates must he made out and transmitted as required by 
the title relative to Elections. 

BOM) ISSUE AND TAX LEVY FOR BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION 

Section 471."!. The Board of County Commissioners may, in their 
discretion, 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 provisions of this Act as are expended on State and main high- 
ways shall he expended under plans approved by the State Highway 
( 'ominission. 

Section 4714. Before such increased levy shall he made, the ques- 
tion shall he submitted to a vote of the people at some general or 
special election, and shall he submitted in the following form, inserting 
the number of mills proposed to he levied: 

"Shall there lie 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 471."). A majority of the votes cast shall Ik- necessary to 
adopt such measure. 

Section 471H. Such levy shall be collected in the same manner as 
other road taxes an' collected. 

CHAPTER 188— LAWS 1931 

Section 7. PETITION AXI) ELECTION REQUIRED FOB BONDS 
ISSUED FoK OTHER PURPOSES. County bonds for any other pur- 
pose than those enumerated in Section <i of this Act shall not he issued 
unless authorized at a dnly 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 L3 of this Act ; 
and no such bond election shall U' 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 tin- county and whose 
names appeal on the last completed assessment roll for state and 
county taxes. 

Section s. FORM, CONTEXTS AND PROOF OF PETITION. Every 

petition for the calling of an election to vote upon the question of 
Issuing county bonds shall plainly anil clearly state the purpose or 
purposes for which the proposed bonds are to be issued, and shall 



• ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 157 

contain an estimate of the amount necessary to be issued for such pur- 
pose or purposes. There may Ik> a separate petition for eacli purpose. 
or two (2) or more purposes may Ik- combined in one (1) petition if 
each purpose, with an estimate of the amount of bonds necessary to 
l»e issued therefor, is separately stated in such petition. 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 
n single complete petition before being delivered to the County Clerk 
as hereinafter provided. The petition shall give the postoffice address 
ami voting precinct of each person signing the same. 

Only persons who are qualified to sign such petition shall he quali- 
fied to circulate the same, and there shall he attached to the completed 
petition the affidavit of some person who circulated, or assisted in 
circulating 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 office, 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 1 Which and how many of the persons whose names are sub 
scribed to such petition are possessed of all of tin- qualifications re- 
quired of signers to such petition. 

(3) Whether such qualified signers constitute more or less than 
twenty per centum (20%) of the registered electors whose names appear 
upon the last completed assessment roll for state and county taxes. 

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 
Commissioners at its first meeting held after he has attached his cer- 
tificate thereto. The hoard shall thereupon carefully examine the pe- 
tition and make such other investigation as it may deem necessary. 

If it is found that the petition is in proper form, hears the requi- 
site number of signers of qualified petitioners, and is in all other 
respects sufficient, the hoard 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 purposes, for which tin- bonds are 
proposed to be issued, and fix the exact amount of bonds proposed to 
be issued for each purpose, which amount may he less than hut 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. 



158 ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 

Section 10. NOTICE OF ELECTION— ELECTION HOURS— ELEC- 
TION OFFICERS. Wnether such election is held at the general elec- 
tion, or at a special election, separate notice shall be given thereof. 

Such mil ice shall state the date when such election will he held, the 

hours between which the polls will he open, the amount of bonds pro- 
posed to he issued, the purpose of the issue, the term of years through 
which the bonds are to he paid, and such other information regarding 
the holding of the election and the bonds proposed to he issued as 
'he board may deem proper. If bonds are to he issued for two 
I 2 1 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 he posted. Such notice must also he 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 elec- 
tion called for such purpose the Board of County Commissioners shall 
fix the hours through which the polls are to he kept open, which shall 
he not less than eight (8), and which must he stated in the notice 
of election, and may appoint a smaller number of election judges than 
is required for a general election, hut in no case shall there he 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, 

I he polls shall he kepi open during the same hours as arc fixed for 
SUCb general election and the judges and clerks for such general elec- 
tion shall act as the judges and clerks for such bond election. 

Section 11. FORM OK BALLOTS AND CONDUCT OF ELEC- 
TION. The form of ballots shall he as prescribed by Section 472'2 of 
the Revised Codes of .Montana of 1923 ; hut if bonds are sought to 
be issued for two (2) or more separate purposes, then separate bal- 
lots must he provided for each purpose. The election shall hi' con- 
ducted in the manner prescribed by said Section 4722 of the 1921 
Codes, and the general election laws of the State shall govern insofar 
as they are applicable; hut if such question he submitted at a general 
election (he votes t hereon must he counted separately and separate 
returns must he made by the judges and clerks at such election. 

Section 1-'. who ARE ENTITLED To vote. All qualified elec- 
tors of the county, whose names appear upon the registration list of 
the county and upon the poll hooks of the precinct in which thej 
seek to vote, shall he qualified to vote at all county bonding elections, 
and no property assessment or taxpaying qualification shall he re- 
quired. 

Section 13. PERCENTAGE OF ELECTORS REQUIRED To AIT- 
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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 159 

centum (40$ > of the qualified electors entitled to vote on such ques- 
tion must vote thereon, otherwise such proposition shall be deemed 
to have been rejected; provided, however, thai it" forty per centum 
(40%) <>r 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 hold 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 

election 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 Commissioners shall, at a regular or special meeting held 
within thirty (30) days thereafter, pass and adopt a resolution pro- 
viding for the issuance of such bonds. Such resolution shall recite 
the purpose for which such bonds are to he issued, the amount thereof, 
the maximum rate of interest the bonds may l>ear, the date they shall 
bear, the period of time through which they shall he payable, the op- 
tional provisions, if any: and provide for the manner of the execution 
of the same. It shall provide that preference shall he given amorti- 
zation bo'nds 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. 

FLOATING INDEBTEDNESS OF COUNTIES— FUNDING OF THE 

SAME 

(Chapter 159, Laws of 1931) 

Section 1. * * * (a) * * * Funding the same by issuing funding 
bonds and selling such bonds in the manner provided by law; provided, 
however, that such bonds may l>e 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. .">, page 14 1 

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 approval of a majority of the electors of the county, and without 
first having submitted the question of a loan to a vote of such elec- 



160 ELECTION LAWS OE MONTANA 

tors; provided, that it sluill not be necessary to submit to the electors 
the question 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 lie 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 
prescribed by law in regard to the submission of questions to the elec- 
tors 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 elec- 
tor 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 liest for the interests of the county. 

Section 4722. Hereafter, whenever, in due course of law. in the 
manner and form required by law and according to the provisions and 
requirements id" 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 submitted, 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 indebtedness shall not lie placed or printed upon the official 
ballots furnished electors at such election for the purpose of voting 
for candidates for any office or offices, and containing the names of 
candidates tor office or offices to be voted for at such election, but 

the County Commissioners shall authorize, and the County clerk shall 
have printed and furnished 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 tbereon in Fair-sized legible type and black ink. in one line 
or more, as required, the winds "For" said bonding proposition (stating 
it and the terms thereof explicitly and at length), and thereunder the 
words "Against" said bonding proposition (stating it and the terms 
thereof explicitely and at length in like manner as above! ; and there 
shall l>e before the word "For" and before the word "Against," each. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 161 

;i square space Of BUfficlent size to place m plain cross or X therein, 
and sucb arrangemenl shall be in this manner: 

For (statins propositions.) 
Against (stating propositions.! 

Such separate ballots shall be kept, stamped, gives out. received, 
counted, returned, and disposed of by election judges in like manner as 
other official ballots herein referred to. Eaeb 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 re- 
turned 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-<>. See page 15) 
Section 471'.".. 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 47124. No person is eligible to a district or township office 
who is not of the age of twenty-one 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: 
A Sheriff: 

A County Auditor, except in the sixth, seventh, and eighth 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. 



162 ELECTION LAWS OE MONTANA 

Section 4728. All elective county and township officers, except 
County Commissioners, must be elected at the general election to be 
held in the year 1894, and at the general election to he 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 472!». The election and terms of office of County Com- 
missioners 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 Pro- 
cedure. 

MANAGERIAL FORM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT 

(Chapter 100— Laws of 1931 as amended) 

An Act Providing for the Adoption of the Managerial Form of 
County Government. 

Section 1. Any county in the state is hereby authorized to adopt 
a county manager form of government as herein defined, and in ac- 
cordance with the procedure herein specified. 

Section 2. METHOD OF ADOPTION, (a) Upon a petition filed 
with the Hoard of County Commissioners signed by not less than 20 
per cent of the whole number of voters who voted at the last general 
election asking that :i referendum be held on the question of adopting 
the county manager form of government, 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 ninety days nor less 
than sixty days from the filing of the petition, but not within thirty 
days Of any general election. The question submitted shall be worded: 

Shall the county manager form of government be adopted in 

County?" 

(b) It shall Ik 1 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 consecutive weeks. 

(C) [f a majority of the votes cast on the question at the election 
^hall be in favor of the county manager form of government it. shall 
go into effeel at a date designated in the petition or resolution. Pro- 
vided : That no elected official then in office, whose position will no 
longer be filled by popular election, shall be retired prior to the expira- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 163 

tion of his term of office, but thai from and after (ho establishment 
of such form of government, his duties shall be such duties as are 
assigned to him by the County Manager." 

Approved March 7, 1933. 

CLASSIFICATION AND ORGANIZATION OF CITIES AND TOWNS 

Section 4961. Whenever the inhabitants of any part of a county 
desire 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 ter- 
ritory is situated, which petition must describe the limits of the pro- 
posed 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 Commis- 
sioners, at its next regular or special meeting, must appoint some suit- 
able person to take a census of the residents of the territory to be 
incorporated. After taking the census, 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 -tiKii'. 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 Commis- 
sioners must call an election of all the qualified electors residing in 
the territory, described in the petition. Said election must be held at 
a convenient place within the territory described in the petition, to be 
designated by the hoard, notice of which election must be given by pub- 
lication in some newspaper published within the limits of the territory 
to be incorporated, or, if none be published therein, by posting notice 
in three public 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 
he conducted as provided in Sections 531 to S2S of this Code. 

Section 4963. When the incorporation of a city or town is com- 
pleted the Board of County Commissioners must give notice for thirty 
days in a newspaper published within the limits of the city or town, 



164 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

or if none be published therein, by posting notices in six public places 
within the limits of the corporation, of the time and place or places 
of holding the first election for offices of the corporation. At such elec- 
tion all the electors qualified by the general election laws of the state. 
: t ii< 1 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 qualified electors and may choose officers for the 
city or town, to hold office as prescribed in the next succeeding section. 

Section 41J64. At such election there must he 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 he 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 Hoard 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 4!tb"7. 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 provi- 
sions of this Code relative to the government of cities and towns. 

Section 45)71. The first election of officers of the new municipal 
corporation organized under the provisions of this chapter must be 
at the first and annual municipal election after such proceedings and 
the old officers remain in office until the new officers are elected and 
qualified. 

Section 4979. When a city or town desires to he 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 annexa- 
tion can he 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 declare, and thereupon submit the question of annexa- 
tion 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 ordi- 
nances 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 165 

all necessary ordinances to carry Into effect the terms of the annexa- 
tion. Such annexations do not affect or Impair any rights, obligations, 
or liabilities then existing, for or against either of such cities or towns. 

CITIES AND TOWNS— OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS 

Section 4905. The officers of a city of the first class consist of 
one Mayor, two aldermen from each ward, one Police Judge, one City 
Treasurer, who may he 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 whenever 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 ordinance, prescribe the duties of all city offi- 
cers and fix their compensation, 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 of- 
ficer 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 town officers, and fix their compensa- 
tion, subject to the limitations contained in this title. 

Section 5001. The first City or Town Council elected under the 
provisions 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 third class 
into not less than two nor more than four wards ; and towns into not 
less than two nor more than three wards. All changes in the number 



166 ELECTION LAWS OE MONTANA 

and boundaries of wards must be made by ordinance, and no new 
ward must l>e created unless there shall he within its boundaries one 
hundred and fifty electors, or more. 

Section 5003. On the first Monday of April of every second year 
a municipal election must be held, at which the qualified electors 
of each town or city must elect a Mayor and two Aldermen from 
each ward, to be voted for by the wards they respectively represent : 
the Mayor to hold office for a term of two (2) years, and until the 
qualification of his successor ; and each Alderman so elected to hold 
office for a term of two (2) 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 shall hold office for a term 
of two (2) years, and until the qualification of their successors; pro- 
vided, however, that in all cities and towns when the term of office 
of the incumbent Mayor, Alderman, Police Judge or City Treasurer will 
not expire until the first Monday in May, 11)36. a special election 
must be held on the first Monday in April, 1936. at which election a 
successor to such Mayor, Alderman, Police Judge or City Treasurer 
shall be elected for a term of one (1) year, and thereafter no election 
shall be held for the election of city officers, except every second 
year. As amended by Chapter 60. Laws of 1935. 

Section 5004. No person shall be eligible to the office of Mayor 
unless 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 organi- 
zation 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 meeting 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 
preceding his election or appointment, and is not a qualified elector 
thereof. 

Section 5008. No person shall be eligible to the office of Alder- 
man unless be 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 
preceding such election. 

Section 5009. The Council must provide by ordinance for the reg- 
istration of electors in any city or town, and may prohibit any person 









ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 167 

from voting at any election unless he lias been registered; bul such 
ordinance must not be in conflict with the general law providing for 
the registration of electors, and must not change the qualifications of 
electors 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 vot- 
ing in each ward, and there may be as many more as the Council 
by ordinance shall fix, and the elector must vote in the ward in which 
he resides. The election precincts in a city or town must correspond 
with wards, but a ward may be subdivided into several voting pre- 
cincts, 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 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 news- 
paper 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 first day 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 appointment ; 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 appointed 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 refuses 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. 



168 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Section r>(H -4. 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 id' the successor. A vacancy 
in the office of Alderman must he 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 Coun- 
cil, upon written charges to l>e 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 f>(>4!). 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 hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more, a tax not ex- 
ceeding 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 l>e 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 support and maintenance thereof; provided, that 
no increase over the present authorized levy shall be made until the 
question of such increase has been first submitted to a vote of the 
taxpayers affected thereby. 

As amended by Chapter .">:!. 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 elec- 
tion the question. At such election the ballot must have printed or 
written thereon 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 established 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 169 

INITIATIVE AM) REFERENDUM IN CITIES AND TOWNS 

Section .ions. Ordinances may be proposed by the legal voters of 

any city or town in this state, in the manner provided in this Act. 
ITight pei- cent of the legal voters of any city or town may propose to 
tlie City or Town Council an ordinance on the subject within the 
legislative jurisdiction and powers of such City or Town Council, or 
an ordinance amending 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 Coun- 
cil 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 ordinance 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 pro- 
posed by the petition be passed without change, it shall not 1k> sub- 
mitted to the people, unless a petition for referendum demanding such 
submission shall be filed under the provisions of this Act. If the 
Council shall have made any change in the proposed 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 num- 
ber of counsel who shall be heard on either side, and the time to be 
allowed for argument. It shall only be necessary to state in the com- 
plaint that a petition for an ordinance was filed in pursuance of this 
Act; that the City Council passed an ordinance on the subject different 
from that proposed in the petition : and that the plaintiff desires a 
construction of the ordinance 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 criminal 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 l>e 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 sufficient number of 
legal voters, then the ordinance proposed by the petition shall be sub- 
mitted 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 



170 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

form, or not signed by a sufficient number of legal voters, the ordi- 
nance shall m it 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 sufficiently 
signed a new petition, regular in form may be presented by the re- 
quired 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 
an 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 
court in and for the county, in the name of the city or town, to deter- 
mine whether the petition and ordinance are regular in form, and 
whether the ordinance so proposed would be valid and constitutional. 
The complaint shall name as defendants not less than ten nor more 
than twenty of the petitioners. In addition to the names of such de- 
fendants, in the caption of the complaint, there shall be added the 
words, "and all petitioners whose names appear on the petition for 

an ordinance filed on the day of in the 

year.— ," stating the date of 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 pro- 
posed ordinance would be unconstitutional or invalid as being beyond 
the powers of the City or Town Council, and in such excepted cases 
the petitioners, 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 lie 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 thai the same be submitted at a special elec- 
tion and such petition lie signed by not less than fifteen per cent of 
the electors qualified to vote at the last preceding municipal election. 

Section 50(30. 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, exeepting also emergency 
measures, and in case of emergency measures the emergency must be 
expressed in tin' preamble or in the body of the measure, and the meas- 
ure must receive a two-thirds vote of all the members elected. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 171 

In emergency ordinances the resolutions shall Include only such 
measures ns are Immediately accessary for the preservation of peace, 
health, and safety, and shall nol 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 resolu- 
tion, or any part or parts thereof, shall he suhmitted 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 he suhmitted 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 he signed by 
not less than fifteen per cent of the qualified electors of the city or 
(own, the measures shall he suhmitted at a special election to he 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 or Town Council. 

Section 5064. Whenever a measure is ready for submission to the 
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 he published four days in four consecutive 
weeks in each daily paper in the municipality, if there be such, other- 
wise 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 elec- 
tions. The referendum or initiative ballots shall he counted, canvassed, 
and returned by the regular board of judges, clerks and officers, as 
votes for candidates for office are counted, canvassed, and returned. 
The returns for the question submitted by the voters of the munici- 
pality shall be on separate sheets, and returned to the clerk of the 
municipality. The return 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 



172 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

the municipality for and against such measure, and it shall be pub- 
lished in like manner :is other proclamations herein provided for. A 
measure accepted by the electors shall take effect five days after the 
vote is officially announced. 

Section 5000. 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 5007. 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 
initiative and referendum, and he regulated by such laws, except as 
otherwise provided in this Act. The City Clerk shall perform the du- 
ties which, under the state laws, devolve upon the County Clerk and 
Secretary 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 necessary to mail or distribute copies of the petitions or meas- 
ures to the electors of the city or town. 

Section 500S. The provisions of this Act regarding the referendum 
shall not apply to ordinances which are required by any other law of 
the state to he submitted to the voters or the electors or taxpayers of 
any city or town. 

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 
prescribed by law and those 1 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 oi persons, association, or corporation, without first 
submitting the application therefor to the resident freeholders whose 
names shall appear on the city or county tax-roll preceding such 
election. 

Section r>07<>. 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 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 173 

there be, to be derived by the city. At such election the ballots must 
contain the words, "For granting Franchise," "Against granting fran- 
chise," and in voting, the elector must make 8 cross thus. "X." opposite 

the answer he intends to vote for. Such election must he conducted 
and canvassed and the return made in the same manner as other city 
or town elections. 

Section o077. If the majority of votes cast at the election he 
"For granting franchise," the Mayor and City Council must thereupon 
grant the same by the passage and approval of a proper ordinance. 

MUNICIPAL COURTS 

(Chapter 177. Laws of 1935) 

Section 3. ELECTION OF JUDGES. There shall he elected at 
the general city election in the year 1936 in all cities with a popula- 
tion of twenty thousand (20.000) and over, one judge of municipal 
court. The term of such judge so elected shall commence on the first 
Monday in May. 1936, and terminate on the first Monday in May. 
1938. Thereafter, judges of municipal courts shall he elected at the 
general city elections in all even numbered years. Such judges shall 
hold office for the term of two years from the first Monday of May 
in the year in which they are elected and until their successor is 
elected and qualified. All elections of municipal judges shall he under 
and governed by the laws applicable to the election of city officials. 
except that the names of candidates for municipal judge shall be 
placed on the ballot to be used at such election without any party 
designation or any statement, measure or principle which the candidate 
advocates or any slogan after his name. 

BONDING FIRE DISTRICTS IN UNINCORPORATED TOWNS 

Section .114!). Whenever the Hoard 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 consti- 
tuted ex-officio a Board of Directors of such fire district. The Board 
of Directors 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, acquir- 
ing a water supply, purchasing or otherwise acquiring or constructing 
a water system 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 amortiza- 
tion or serial bonds, but shall not extend over a longer term than 
ten years. As amended by Chapter 130, Laws of 1925. 



174 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

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 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 qualified 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 elec- 
tion, 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 holding 
such election, and on the day specified therein the register of voters 
for such precinct must he closed and remain closed until after the 
holding of such election. The County Clerk and Recorder shall, im- 
mediately 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 assess- 
ment books for the last assessment for state and county taxes, and 
note after the name of each person contained in such register whether 
9uch person's name appears on such assessment books, and make out 
and sign a certificate giving the names of all such persons whose 
names do appear on such assessment hooks 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 per- 
sons named as judges and clerks of such election. At such election 
no person whose name dots not appear in such Treasurer's certificate 
as a taxpayer whose name appears on the last assessment books shall 
he permitted to vote, and no person whose name does so appear in 
such certificate shall he 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 sub- 
SCribe an affidavit before one of such judges id" election, stating that 
he actually resides within the limits of such fire district, and all such 
affidavits shall he preserved and delivered to the Board of Directors 
Of tin' district at the same time the returns are delivered to such hoard. 
The polls for such election shall he opened at 1 o'clock in the after- 

i n and remain open until (i o'clock in the afternoon. The judges 

and clerks shall count the votes cast at such election and shall make 
a return thereof to tin' 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 precinct in which the district is located, which ballots 
shall be substantially in the following form: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 175 

"Shnll bonds be issued and sold to the amount of 

dollars and bearing not to exceed 695 interesl per annum and for a 

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 square 
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 sub- 
stantially 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 Becorder, as ex-officio 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 litho- 
graphic, printed or engraved facsimile signature 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 registered 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 "3105. 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 therein, either at 
the regular annual 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 au- 
thorized, 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 ac- 
complished, such balance may, by vote of the Council, be transferred 
to any other fund of said city or town. 



176 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 submitted on separate ballots, each of which ballots shall be in 
substantially the following form: Shall the City (or Town) Council 
lie authorized to make a levy of (here insert the number) mills taxes 
in addition to the regular levy now authorized by law for the pur- 
pose of (here insert the purpose for which the additional levy is to 
be made). 

Against additional levy. 

For additional levy. 

The voters shall mark the ballot or ballots in the same manner as 
other ballots are ma iked 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 he 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 
election 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 
corporate existence in this state, or hereafter organized under any of 
the laws thereof, shall deem it necessary to issue bonds for any pur- 
pose Whatever, under its powers as set forth in Subdivision (t4 of 
Section 5039 of the Revised Codes of Montana, 1921, or amendments 
thereto, the question of issuing SUCll bonds shall first be submitted to 
the qualified electors of such city or town in the manner hereinafter 
<et forth; provided, however, that it shall not he 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, or to fund or refund warrants or bonds 
issued prior to and outstanding on the first day of July. 1933. In 
order to issue bonds to fund or refund warrants or bonds issued prior 
to and outstanding on July 1. 1931, or to fund or refund warrants 
or bonds issued prior to and outstanding on July 1, 1933, it shall 
only be necessary for the Council, at a regular or duly called special 
meeting, to pass and adopt a resolution setting forth the facts in re- 
gard to the Indebtedness to be funded or refunded, showing the reason 
for Issuing such bonds and fixing and 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 id" such bonds. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA l77 

Section*;. PETITION FOR ELECTION— FORM— PROOF. No bonds 

shall be issued by ;i city or town for any purpose except to fund or 
refund warrants or bonds Issued prior to and outstanding on July 1 
1931, as authorized in Section l 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 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%) of the qualified elec- 
tors 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 honds shall plainly and clearly state the purpose or purposes 
for which it is proposed to issue such bonds, and shall contain an esti- 
mate of the amount necessary to be issued for such purpose or pur- 
poses. There may he a separate petition for each purpose, or two (2) 
or more purposes may he combined in one (1) petition, if each pur- 
pose with an estimate of the amount of bonds to be issued therefor 
is separately stated in such petition. Such petition may consist of one 
1 1 i sheet, or of several sheets identical in form and fastened together. 
after being circulated and signed, so as to form a single complete pe- 
tition 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 com 
pleted petition the affidavit of sonic person who circulated, or assisted 
in circulating, 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 he 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 petitioners, and attach thereto a certificate under his official sig- 
nature, 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 mimes are sub- 
scribed to such petition, are possessed of all of the qualifications re- 
quired of signers to such petition. 

(3) Whether such qualified signers constitute more or less than 
twenty per centum (20%) of the registered electors whose names appear 
upon the last completed assessment roll for state and county taxes, 
as taxpayers within such city or town. 

Section 7. CONSIDERATION OF PETITIONS-CALLING ELEC- 
TION. When such petition has been filed with the city or town clerk 



178 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

mid ho lias 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 
investigation as it may deem necessary. 

If it is found the petition is in proper form, bears the requisite 
number of signatures of qualified petitioners, and is in all other re- 
spects 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 purposes 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 
I hereof. 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 regard- 
ing 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 
purpose 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) eonsecu- 
livc weeks immediately preceding the date for holding such election in 
some newspaiK'r 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 (Si. and which must be stated in the notice of election, 
and may appoint a smaller huuiIkm- of judges than is required at a 
general city or town election, but in no case shall there be less than 
l luce (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 
i own 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 179 

Section 9. FORM OF BALLOTS AND CONDUCT OF ELECTION. 
Whenever the question of issuing bonds is submitted al either a general 
city or town election, or al a special election, separate ballots shall be 
provided therefor. Such ballots shall be white in color and of con- 
venient 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 re- 
quired, the word "FOR" (stating the proposition and the terras thereof 
explicitly and at length), and thereunder the word "AGAINST" (stat- 
ing the proposition 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 arrangement shall be in the following manner: 

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 govern- 
ing city or 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 
whose 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 OS Session Laws. 1023. 
as amended by Chapter 47 Session Laws. 1920; 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 oi 
vote at such election who is not a qualified elector and taxpayer as 
hereinbefore set forth. 

Section 11. PERCENTAGE OF VOTERS REQUIRED TO AU 
THORIZE THE ISSUING OF BONDS. Wherever the question of issu 
ing 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 



180 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

sluill be deemed to have been rejected; provided, however, that if forty 
per centum (40% i or more of such qualified electors do vote on such 
proposition <»r question at such election, and a majority of such votes 
shall be east in favor of such question <>r proposition, thou such propo- 
sition or question shall be deemed to have been adopted and approved. 

Section 12. CANVASS OF ELECTION RETURNS— RESOLUTION 
FOR BOND ISSUE. Tf the bonding election is held at the same time 
as a general city or town election, then the returns shall he 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 special election then the City or Town Council shall meet within 
ten (10 1 days after the date of holding such special election and can- 
pass the returns. If it is found that at such election forty per centum 
(40%) 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 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 1h> 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 l>c payable, and that any 
thereof be redeemed in full, at the option of the city or town, on any 
interest payment date from and after ten (101 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 advan- 
tageous 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 thai such bonds may lie 
issued and sold in two C2) or more series or installments. 

ABATEMENT OF SMOKK NUISANCE 

Section 5292. For the purpose id" raising moneys to meet the pay- 
ments under the terms and conditions of said contract, and other nec- 
.ir.v and proper expenses in and about the same, and the approval 
or disapproval thereof, it shall be the duty of the Board of County 
Commissioner-, 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 contract and the issuance of bonds necessary to carry 
out the same, which shall not exceed five per centum of the value of 
I he taxable property therein, inclusive of the existing indebtedness 
thereof, to lie ascertained by the last assessment for state and county 
taxes previous to the issuance of said bonds and incurring said indebted- 
ness; and if said petition be presented t<» the Council of any incorporated 
city or town, then within thirty days thereafter they shall ascertain 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 181 

the aggregate indebtedness of such city or town, and, within sixty 
diiys 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, winch shall nol 
exceed three per centum of the value of the taxable property therein, 
inclusive of the existing indebtedness thereof, to be ascertained in the 
manner hereinbefore provided, and if disapproved, the expenses of such 
election shall be paid out of the general 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 
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 
hereinafter 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 
contract and bonds," then the said contract and bond given for its 
fulfillment 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 conditions of the contract as in their judgment are proper and 
necessary to enable the electors to vote intelligently upon the proposi- 
tion 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 election to be held under this Act. 



182 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

COMMISSION FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR CITIES 

CHAPTER 13 

An Act Relating to the Election of Mayor and Councilmen Under the 
Commission Form of Government and Providing When Names of Can- 
didates at Primary Elections Shall Not be Placed Upon the General 
Municipal Election Ballot and When No General Municipal Election 
Shall be Held. 

Be It Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana: 

Section 1. Whenever, in any city operating under a commission 
form of government, at a primary election held in accordance with 
Section 5377 of the Revised Codes of Montana of 1921. a Councilman 
or Councilmen or a Mayor and Councilman or Councilmen are to be 
ilccted, one person or candidate for any office to be filled shall receive 
a majority of all votes cast for such office, then such person or per- 
sons shall he deemed didy elected to the respective office or offices 
for which he or they receive such majority vote. If at such primary 
election more than two (2) persons are candidates for the same office 
and no one person receives a majority of all votes cast for such office 
then the names of the two persons receiving the highest number of 
votes shall be placed upon the general municipal election ballot under 
the provisions of Section 5377 of the Revised Codes of Montana of 1921. 
If, in any year, all officers to be elected are thus elected by a majority 
vote at such primary election, then, in that event, no general municipal 
election shall be held in said city for said year. 

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 and approval. 
Approved February 10, 1933. 

COMMISSION FORM OF GOVERNMENT FOR CITIES 

Section 536G. Any city may abandon its organization and reor- 
ganize under the provisions of this Ad. by proceeding as hereinafter 
provided. 

Section o.'tlu. 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 tor the last preceding city election, praying 
thai the question of reorganization under this Act he submitted to the 
qualified electors of such city, said City Council shall thereupon, and 
within thirty days thereafter, order a special election to he held, at 
which election the question of reorganization of SUCb City, under the 
provisions of this Act, shall be submitted to the qualified electors of 
BUCh city. 

Such order Of the City Council shall specify therein the time when 
such election shall he held, which must he within ninety days from 
the date of the filing of such petition. 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 183 

Section 536S. Upon the City Council ordering such special election 

to 1k> 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 he such otherwise once a week for two consecu- 
tive weeks in each weekly newspaper published therein, and such procla- 
mation shall also he posted in at least five public places within such 
city. 

Section 5360. 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 Legislative 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 
Legislative Assembly. 

Against reorganization of the City of under Chap- 
ter (name of chapter containing this Act) of the Acts of the Twelfth 
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 
city elections. 

Section 5370. 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 he 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 
he 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 purpose 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 Ik? within ninety days after the 
making of said order, and the Mayor shall thereupon issue a proclama- 
tion setting forth the purposes for which such special election is called 
and the day of holding the same, which proclamation shall be pub- 
lished for ten successive days in each daily newspaper published in 
such city, if there be such, otherwise 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. 



184 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Section 5372. Such election shall be conducted, the vote canvassed, 
and result declared in the same manner as provided by law in respeel 
h> other city election. 

Section n:;?.".. All laws governing cities of the first, second and 
third classes, and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Aft. shall 
apply to and govern Cities organized under this Act. All by-laws, ordi- 
nances, 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 every city of the second class, a Mayor 
and two Councilmen; in every city of the first class having a popula- 
tion 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 i>erson 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 he 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 alter 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 provisions 
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 herein- 
after provided, shall cense and determine as soon as the Council shall 
by resolution declare. 

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 Councilmen elected at such special election shall expire, a Mayor 
and two Councilmen shall he 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 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 185 

the oilier of such Councilmen elected al such first general city election 
shall hold office for two years, beginning with the first Monday in 
May of thai year: a Mayor and four Councilmen shall 1h> elected in 
ities having a population of twenty-five thousand or more; and the 
Mayor elected at such first general 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 Council- 
nien 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 Councilmen thereafter elected 
shall be two years. 

The Councilmen elected at the first general city election shall de- 
cide by lot, in such manner as they may select, which thereof shall 
hold the office of Councilman the term of which expires one year there- 
after, 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 substantially 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 candi- 
date for nomination to the office of (Mayor or Councilman) to be 

voted upon at the primary election to be held on the 

Monday of , ID , and I hereby request that my name 

be printed upon the official primary ballot for nomination by such pri- 
mary 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 resi- 



186 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

dence, with street number, of eacb of the persons so signing the said 
petition, and the said petition shall l>e 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 l>e held in such city on the 

Monday of , 19 We further state that we 

know him to he 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 nomi- 
nation 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 
nomination papers as there are officers to be elected, and only one can- 
didate shall be petitioned for or nominated in the same nomination 
papers. 

Immediately upon the expiration of the time of filing the state- 
ments and petitions for candidates, the said City Clerk shall cause to 
be published 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 he printed, authenticated with a facsimile of his 
Bignature. Upon the said ballot the names of the candidates for Mayor, 
arranged alphabetically, shall first be placed, with a square at the left 
of each name, anil immediately below the words, "Vote for one." Follow- 
ing 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 ami 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: 

(Place a cross in the square preceding the names of the parties 
you favor as candidates for the respective positions). 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 187 

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 chal- 
lenges 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 pub- 
licly 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 candidates for Councilmen. If two Councilmen 
are to be elected at such general municipal election, the four persons 
receiving the highest number of votes shall be the candidates for Coun- 
cilmen, 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 candidates 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 
cities incorporated under the general municipal incorporation law, or 



188 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

by charter, would be entitled to vote for the election of officers at anj 
general municipal elect inn in such cities, shall be qualified to vote at 
iill elections under this Act; and the ballots to be used at such general 
municipal election shall be in the same general form as for sueb pri- 
mary elections so far as applicable, and in all elections in such cities 
the election precincts, voting places, method of conducting the elections, 
canvassing of votes and announcing the results shall be the same as 
by liiw 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 exe- 
cute 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 serv- 
ices 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 
consideration ; any person who agrees, by promise or written statement 
that lie will do. or will not do. any particular act or acts, for the pur- 
pose of influencing the vote of any elector or electors at any election 
provided in this Ad : 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 elec- 
tion who has not been a resident of this state for one year next pre- 
ceding 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 Dollars 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 6388. Every ordinance or resolution appropriating money 
or ordering any street Improvement or sewer, or making or authorizing 






ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 189 

the making of any contract, or granting any franchise or right to 
occupy or use the streets, highways, bridges, <>r public places In the 
city for any purpose, shall iw> complete In the form In which it is 
finally passed, and remain on file with the City Clerk for public in- 
spection 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 he granted, renewed, or extended, 
except by ordinance, and every franchise or grant for interurhan 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 extension 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 5389-53! )?>. inclusive, relating to Powers and Duties of 
Council, omitted.) 

Section 5304. The holder of any elective office may be removed at 
any time by the electors qualified to vote for a successor of such in- 
cumbent. 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 l>e filed with the City Clerk, which petition 
shall contain 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 state- 
ments 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. Within 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 quali- 
fied 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 he 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 Coun- 
cil shall order and fix a date for holding 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 



190 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

conducted, returned, and the result thereof declared, in all respects as 

are other ('lections. 

As far as applicable, except as otherwise' herein provided, nominations 
hereunder shall be made without the intervention of a primary election 
by filing with the clerk, at least ten days prior to said special elec 
tion, 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 state- 
ment 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, sub- 
stituting the word "special" for the word "primary" in such statement 
and petition, and stating therein that such person is a candidate for 
election instead of nomination. The ballot for such special election 
shall lx> 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 re- 
moved 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 receiv- 
ing the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. At such elec- 
tion, if some other person than the incumbent receives the highest num- 
ber of votes, the incumbent shall thereupon he deemed removed from 
the office upon the qualification of his successor. In case the party 
who receives the highest Dumber 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 cumu- 
lative, and additional to the methods heretofore provided by law. 

Section ~i'.'M7>. Any proposed ordinance may be submitted to the 
Council by petition signed by electors of the city equal in number to 
the percentage hereinafter required. The signature, verification, inspec- 
tion, certification, amendment, and submisson 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 entii'e number of 
persons registered to vote at the last preceding general election, and 
contains a request that the said ordinance be submitted to a vote of 
the people, if not passed by the Council, such Council shall either: 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 191 

(a) Pass each ordinance without alteration within twenty days 
after the attachment of the clerk's certificate to the accompanying pe- 
tition: 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 muni- 
cipal election, if one is so fixed, such ordinance shall he 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 
ordinance), and "Against the ordinance" (stating the nature of the pro- 
posed 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 people 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 suc- 
ceeding general city election : and should such proposition so submitted 
receive a majority of the votes cast thereon at such election, such 
ordinance shall thereby be repealed or amended accordingly. When- 
ever any ordinance or proposition is required by this Act to be sub- 
mitted to the voters of the city at any election, the City Clerk shall 
cause such ordinance 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 submis- 
sion of such proposition or ordinance to be voted on. 

Section 5396. No ordinance passed by the Council, except when 
otherwise 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 urg- 
ency, 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, dur- 
ing 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 vote at the last preceding general municipal elec- 
tion, protesting against the passage of such ordinance, be presented to 



192 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

the Council, the same shall thereupon be suspended from going into 
operation, and ir shall be the fluty of the Council t<> reconsider such 
ordinance; and if the same is nol entirely repealed, the Council shall 
submit the ordinance, as is provided by Subdivision (b) of the preceding 

section, to the vote of the electors of the city either at a general elec- 
tion or at a special municipal election to he 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 
Eavor thereof. Said petition shall he in all respects in accordance with 
the provisions of the preceding section, except as to the percentage of 
signers, and he examined and certified to by the clerk in all resects 
as therein provided. 

Section oTtOT. Any city which shall have operated for more than 
one year under the provisions of this Act may abandon such organi- 
zation 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 he called, at which the following proposition 
only shall ho submitted: 

"Shall the city of (name the city) abandon its organization under 
Chapter .17 of the Acts of the Twelfth Legislative Assembly and he- 
come a city under the general law governing cities 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 he in 
favor of such proposition, the officers elected at the next succeeding 
biennial election shall he those then prescribed by the general law of 
the stale 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, hut 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 he determined, the election 
ordered and conducted, anil the results declared, generally as provided 
lor by Section .">.".!>! of this Code, insofar as the provisions thereof 
are applicable; Or if now organized under special charter, may resume 
said special charter. Whenever the form of government of any city is 
determined by a vote of the people under the provisions of this sec- 
tion, the same question shall not he submitted again for a period of 
two years, and any ordinance adopted by a vote of the people shall 
not he repealed or the same question submitted for a period of two 
years. 

Section 6398. Petition provided lor in this Act shall he signed by 
none hut legal voters of the city. Each petition shall contain, in ad- 
dition 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. It shall also he accompanied by the affidavit of one or more legal 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 193 

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 affidavit was made. 

Section 5390. All Acts and parts of Acts, and all laws, not incon- 
sistent with any of the provisions of this Act. now in force or here- 
after enacted relative to municipal corporations, are hereby continued 
in full force and effect, and shall he considered and construed as not 
repealed by this Act. except insofar as the same may he in conflict or 
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act. 

CHAPTER 137 

An Act Providing for the Payment of Filing Fees hy Candidates for 
Mayor and Councilmen in Cities Operating Under the Commission 
Form of Government. 

Be It Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Montana: 

Section 1. Every candidate for Mayor and every candidate for 
Councilman in cities opera tins under the commission form of govern- 
ment shall, at the time of filing his nominating petition pay the fol- 
lowing fees to the City Clerk as filing fee: A candidate for Mayor 
shall pay Twenty Dollars ($20.00), and a candidate for Councilman 
shall pay Fifteen Dollars ($15.00). 

Section 2. This Act shall be in full force and effect from and 
after its passage and approval. 
Approved March 14, 1933. 

COMMISSION-MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT 
FOR CITIES AND TOWNS 

Section ."V400. Any municipality may abandon its organization and 
reorganize under the provisions of this Act, by proceeding as herein- 
after 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 lie 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 munici- 
pality. 

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 proc- 
lamation setting forth the purpose for which such special election is 



194 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

hold, 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 purpose 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 substantially in the following form : 

For 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. 

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 ami vote canvassed and result 
declared in the same manner as provided by law in respect to other 
municipal elections. 

Section 5404. If such proposition is adopted, the Mayor shall 
transmit 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 
submission. As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1023. 

Section 5405. If the majority of the votes east at such election 
shall be in favor of such proposition, the City or Town Council must 
bold 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 
Commissioners to which such municipality shall be entitled, which order 
shall specify the time of holding such election, which must l>e within 
ninety days after the making of such order, and the Mayor shall there- 
upon issue a proclamation setting forth the purpose for which such 
special election is held and the day of holding the same, which procla- 
mation shall be published for ten successive days in each daily news- 
paper published in such municipality if there be such, otherwise for 
two successive weeks in each weekly newspaper published therein, and 
;i copy thereof shall also be posted at each voting place within said 
municipality and also in five of the most public places in said munici- 
pality. As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1023. 

Section 5406. Such election shall be conducted, the vote canvassed 
and the result declared in the same manner as provided by law in re- 
spect to other municipal elections. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 195 

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 repealed 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 Tinder 
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 5408. Whenever the inhabitants of any community or group 
of communities in any county, whether separately incorpoi-ated in 
whole or in part, or unincorporated, which are situated in such prox- 
imity or location with reference to each other as to make single muni- 
cipal control 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 presentation of a petition signed by not less than twenty-five per 
cent of the qualified electors in such community or group of communi- 
ties, 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 district. 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 judgment of the Board of County Commissioners, pro- 
vide 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 Commis- 
sioners shall declare the result of said elections, and immediately there- 
after 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 Commis- 
sioners of such municipal 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 conducted in the manner prescribed by 



196 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

law for the election of county officers, and the Commissioners so elected 
must qualify in the manner prescribed by law for county officers. 

Section r>409. 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, appropriation, 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 objects which the municipality may lawfully tax : 
may borrow money on the faith and credit of the municipality by 
the issue or sale of bonds or notes of the municipality ; may appro- 
priate 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 associations engaged in any busi- 
ness, occupation, profession, or trade; may define, prohibit, abate, Sup- 
press, 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 construc- 
tion, height, and the material used in all buildings, and the maintenance 
and occupancy thereof; may regulate and control the use. for what- 
ever purpose, of the streets and other public places; may create, estab- 
lish, abolish, and organize offices, and fix the salaries and compensa- 
tions of all officers and employees; may make and enforce local sani- 
tary and police and other regulations: and may pass such ordinances 
as may be expedient for maintaining and promoting peace, good govern- 
ment, 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 lie 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 prescribed 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 
hereinafter provided. The Commission shall consist of three Commis- 
sioners for all municipalities having a population less than twenty- 
five thousand and five Commissioners for all cities having a population 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 197 

of twenty-five thousand or more. The Commission shall constitute the 
governing body, with powers ;is hereinafter provided, to pass ordinances, 
adopt regulations, and appoint a chief administrative officer to be knows 
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 appointed 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 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 Commis- 
sioner 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 Commis- 
sioner 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 
Commission for the remainder of the unexpired term, but any vacancy 
resulting 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 dollars. Commissioners and other officrs 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 municipality. Any Commissioner who shall cease to pos- 
sess any of the qualifications herein required, shall forthwith forfeit his 
office, and any such contract in which any member is or may be in- 
terested, 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 indi- 



198 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

rectly, 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 At- 
torney, 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 1023. 

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 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 nomi- 
nations shall be held on the last Tuesday of August of the odd-num- 
bered years. 

Any qualified elector of the municipality, who is the owner of real 
estate situated therein to the value of not less than one thousand dol- 
lars, desiring to become a candidate for Commissioner, shall, at least 
ten days prior to said primary election, file with the Clerk of the Com- 
mission 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, If) 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 resi- 
dence, 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) 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 199 

be placed on the hallo! as a candidate for nomination to the office of 
Commissioner at the primary election to bo hold 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 indi- 
vidually certify that we have not signed similar petitions greater in 
number than the number of Commissioners to be chosen at the next 
general municipal election. 

Names of Qualifying Electors. Numlier 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 
signing the appended petition, and that such signatures are genuine, 
and the signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be. 

(Signed) 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this das* 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 state- 
ments and petition for candidates, the Clerk of the Commission shall 
cause to be published for three consecutive days in all the daily news- 
papers published in the municipality in proper form, the names of the 
persons that are to appear upon the primary ballots, and if there he 
no daily newspaper, then in two issues of any other newspaper that 
may be published in said municipality, and the said clerk shall there- 
upon cause the primary 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 he 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, regu- 
lar 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). 



200 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

If you wrongly mark, tear or deface this ballot, return il and 
obtain another. 

Candidates for nomination to the office of Commissioner at the 

primary election. 
John Doe 
Henry Smith 
George Jones 
James Richards 
Richard Doe 

Official Ballot Attest: 

(Signature) 

Clerk of the Commission. 

Having caused said ballots to he printed, the Clerk of the Commis- 
sion 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 general 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 challenged by any elector of the municipality upon any or all 
grounds set forth and specified in Section KM! of the Revised Codes of 
Montana of 1921, and the provisions of Sections 707, 70S, 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 furnished 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 received 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. who, by ordinances governing cities and towns in- 
corporated under the general municipal corporation law, or by charter, 
would be entitled to vote for the election of officers at any general 
municipal 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 conduct- 
ing the elections, canvassing of votes and announcing the results, shall 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 201 

be the same as by law provided for the election of officers in such 
cities or towns so far as the same arc 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 rota- 
tion, as follows : 

The ballot shall be printed in as many series as there are candi- 
dates for the office of Commissioner. The whole number of ballots 
to be printed shall be divided by the number of series, and the quo- 
tient so obtained shall be the number of ballots in each series. In 
printing the first series of ballots, the names of candidates shall be 
arranged in alphabetical order. After printing the first series, the 
first name shall 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 541S. 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 misde- 
meanor, 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 ef- 
fect 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 Com- 
mission. 

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 



202 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

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, stat- 
ing the name and the office of the officer or officers sought to he re- 
moved. 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 cer- 
tificate of the Clerk of the Commission, and unless it be filed as pro- 
vided 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 of residence by street and number. To each such petition paper 
there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof, stating 
the number of signers to such part of the petition, and that each sig- 
nature appended to the paper was made in his presence and is the 
genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. 

Section 5422. All papers comprising a recall petition shall be as- 
sembled 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 statins the name and the office of the officer sought to 
be removed. 

Section 542.'1 The Clerk of the Commission shall at once submit 
the recall petition to the Commission, and shall notify the officer sought 
In be recalled of such action. If the official whose removal is sought 
does not resign within five days after such notice, the Commission 
shall thereupon order and fix a day for holding a recall election. Any 
such election shall lx> held not less than seventy nor more than eighty 
days after the pot ii ion 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 Com- 
mission shall call a special election to be held within the time afore- 
said. 

Section 5424. The ballots at such recall election shall conform to 
the following requirements: 

With respeel to each person whose removal is sought, the ques- 
tion shall he 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 he 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 203 

names of candidates to fill the vacancy or vacancies. The name of the 
Offfcer or officers whose removal La SOUghl 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 he 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 
registered electors, and shall be filed at least thirty days prior to the 
date fixed for holding such recall election: and the form and require- 
ments 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 elec- 
tion be against the recall pf the officer named on the ballot, snob of- 
ficer shall continue in the office for the remainder of his unexpired 
term, 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 Commis- 
sioner 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 542S. 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 
consideration ; 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 influencing the vote of any elector or electors at any elec- 
tion 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 electer 
of such pi-ecinct where he offers to vote ; any person knowingly procur- 
ing, 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 Dollars, 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 



204 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Commission i>y petition signed by al least ten per cent of tho total 
number <>f registered voters in the municipality. All petition papers 
circulated with respect t<> any proposed ordinance shall be uniform in 
character and shall contain the proposed ordinance in full, and have 
printed or written thereon the names and addresses of at least five 
electors who shall he officially regarded as filing the petition, and 
shall constitute a committee of the petitioners for the purposes herein- 
after 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 papers need not all be appended to one paper, but to 
each such paper there shall be attached an, affidavit by the circulator 
thereof, stating the number of signers to such part of the petition, and 
that each signature appended to the paper is the genuine signature 
of the person whose name it purports to be. and was made in the pres- 
ence of the affiant. 

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 submis- 
sion. If the Commission rejects the proposed ordinance, or passes it in 
a different form from that set forth in the petition, the committee of 
the petitioners 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 or- 
dinance 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 pro- 
posed ordinance shall state the title of the ordinance to be voted on, 
and below it the two propositions, "For the ordinance," and "Against the 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 20o 

ordinance." Immediately at the lfft 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 vot- 
ing on any such proposed ordinance shall vote in favor thereof, it shall 
thereupon become an ordinance of the municipality. 

Section 5435. Proposed ordinances for repealing any existing or- 
dinance or ordinances, in whole or in part, may be submitted to the 
Commission as provided in the preceding section for initiating ordi- 
nances. Initiated ordinances adopted by the electors shall be published 
and may be amended or repealed by the Commission as in the case of 
other ordinances. 

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 
Commission, requesting that any such ordinance be repealed or sub- 
mitted 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 pe- 
tition to the Commission, which shall proceed to reconsider the ordi- 
nance. If, upon such reconsideration, the ordinance be not entirely re- 
pealed, 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 majority of those voting thereon, it shall he deemed 
repealed. 

Section 5438. Referendum petitions need not contain the text of 
the ordinance, the repeal of which is sought, hut shall be subject in 
all other respects to the requirements for petitions submitting proposed 
ordinances to the Commission. Ballots used in refei - endum 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 elec- 
tors by the committee of the petitioners, shall be subject to a referen- 
dum 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 
highest affirmative vote shall prevail. 

Section 5441. Ordinances passed as emergency measures shall be 
subject to a referendum in like manner as other ordinances, except 



206 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

that they shall go into effect at the time indicated in such ordinances. 
If. when submitted to a vote of the electors, an emergency measure be 
not approved by a majority of those voting thereon, it shall be con- 
sidered repealed as regards any further action thereunder : but sucb 
measure so repealed shall be deemed sufficient authority for payment, 
in accordance with the ordinance, of any expense incurred previous to 
the referendum 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 
electors, 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 
taxpayers of such city or towns whose names as such appear upon the 
assessment 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. 

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 pro- 
vided by law, and shall execute and give sufficient bond to the munici- 
pal corporation 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 
Commissioners in all other cities and towns, conditioned for the faithful 
performance of the duties of his office, which bond shall he 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 he paid 
by the municipality. As amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1023. 

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 candi- 
dates 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 number by lot. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer, 
except that in his absence, a president pro tempore may be chosen. The 
Mayor shall exercise such powers conferred, and perform all duties im- 
posed upon him by this Act, the ordinances of the municipality and the 
iaws of the state, except that he shall have no power to veto any meas- 
ure. He shall be recognized as the official head of the municipality by 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 20 Y 

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 num her 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 successor shall serve as the Mayor. 

Section 544(5. 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 mo- 
tion, resolution, or ordinance, or pass any measure unless a greater 
number is provided for in this Act. In municipalities having five Com- 
missioners, three Commissioners shall constitute a quorum, and the 
affirmative vote of three Commissioners shall he 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 he called and recorded, and every motion, resolution, or 
ordinance shall he reduced to writing and read before the vote is taken 
thereon. 

Section 5447. The salary of each Commissioner shall he 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 nor more than one fee shall be paid for any one day. The salary 
of the Commissioner 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 Com- 
mission shall meet at the usual place for holding the meetings of the 
legislative body of the municipality, at which time the newly elected 
Commissioners shall assume the duties of their office. Thereafter, the 
Commissioners shall meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordi- 
nance 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 thousand 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 pub- 
lic and any citizen shall have access to the minutes and records thereof 



208 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

at all reasonable times. The Commission shall determine its own rules 
and order of business and shall keep a journal of its proceedings. As 
amended by Chapter 31, Laws of 1923. 

(Sections 5449-5495, inclusive, bearing on Towers and Duties of 
Commission, 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 municipality that now are. or hereafter may l>e granted to munici- 
palities 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 com- 
plete in the form in which it is finally passed, and remain on file with 
the Commission 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, sub- 
ject to petition and referendum as hereinbefore provided. 

Section 5408. 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 
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 in- 
dividual, company, or corporation operating a public utility, the right 
to extend the appliances and service of such utility outside of the terri- 
tory as designated by the franchise, subject to petition and referendum 
;is hereinbefore stated. All such extensions shall become part of the 
aggregate property of the utility, and shall he subject to all the obli- 
gations and reserved rights in favor of the municipality applicable to 
the property of the utility by virtue of the ordinance providing for its 
construction and operation. The right to use and maintain any such 
extensions shall expire witli the original grant of the utility to which 
the extension was made, or any renewal thereof. 

(Sections 5501 -551. '5. 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 or- 
ganization hereunder, and accept the provisions of the general laws 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 proposi- 
tion only shall be submitted: 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 209 

•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 genera] law governing (cities or towns) of like population; 
or if formerly organized under social 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 qualifica- 
tion of such officers, such municipality shall become a municipality 
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 municipality, 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, 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 ques- 
tion 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 question submitted for a period of two years. 

Section 5515. Except as otherwise in this Act provided, all Acts 
and parts of Acts and all laws now in force or hereafter enacted 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 '51. 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. en- 
titled 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 
municipality operating under the provisions of this Act, to be made to 
said Public Sendee 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- 



210 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

sipnexs elected at the first election shall have the same function? ami 
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 he 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 
corporate functions and existence of any such prior municipal corpora- 
tion 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 
district under this law, such municipal district shall bear the same 
name as the principal incorporated city or town in such disti'ict. 

Section 5519. Whenever any group of communities, including one 
or more incorporated cities or towns, shall become a single municipal 
district under this law, the corporate property of each such city or 
town shall become the property of the new municipality, hut improve- 
ments paid for in whole or in part by special assessments upon abutting 
property within special improvement districts shall not be deemed mu- 
nicipal property within the meaning of this law, to the extent of pay- 
ments so made. If such prior city or town shall have an unpaid in- 
debtedness, the Commissioners of said new municipality elected at the 
first municipal election shall inventory and appraise or cause to 1«' 
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 he 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 performance 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, 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 211 

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 1. 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 preced- 
ing assessment roll shall be entitled to vote upon any proposal to create 
or increase any indebtedness of city. town, school district or other mu- 
nicipal 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 pro- 
vided 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 there- 
for as provided by Section 568, Revised Codes of Montana of 1921, and 
furnish copies thereof to the city, town, school district or municipal 
corporation in which such election is to be held for which he shall re- 
ceive compensation as provided in Section 571. Revised Codes of Mon- 
tana of 1921. When the election is upon a proposal to create or increase 
the indebtedness of a city, town, school district or other municipal cor- 
poration, 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 pro- 
vided 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. 

Aproved 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 large at the general 
state elections next preceding the expiration of the terms of office of 



212 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 S791. 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 
Justice of the Supreme Court hereby provided for shall extend from 
the first day of September. 1919, to the first Monday of January. 1923; 
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 in- 
cluding the first Monday of January of any one year to and excluding 
the first Monday 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. 

JUDICIAL DISTRICTS 

Section SS12. Judicial Districts Defined. In this state there are 
seventeen 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 
counties. 

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. 

N'inth District. Teton. Pondera. Toole, and Glacier counties. 
Tenth District. 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 213 

Fifteenth District, Roosevelt, Daniels, and Sheridan counties. 
Sixteenth District. Coster, 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. Thirteenth 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 gen- 
eral election to be held during the year 1932. and at the primary elec- 
tion 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 provisions 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 Janu- 
ary. 1933, the judicial districts and district judges in this state shall be 
and remain as heretofore provided in Section 3 of this Act. 

Section 8820. If a vacancy occur in the office of judge of a dis- 
trict 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 unex- 
pired term. 

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE 

(Constitutional Provision, Article VIII. Section 20. See page 12) 



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. 

****** 

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. 



214 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

BOND ISSUE, RESTRAINED 

Section 0040. No action can be brought for the purpose of rest rain- 
ing 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 
expiration of sixty days from the date of the order authorizing the 
issuance and sale of such bonds, on account of any defect, irregularity, 
or informality 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 sucli 
duty, or who, in his official capacity, knowingly and fraudulently acts 
in contravention or violation of any of the previsions of such laws, is. 
unless a different punishment for such acts or omissions 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 10748. Every person who wilfully causes, procures, or al- 
lows himself to be registered in the official register of any election dis- 
trict of any county, knowing himself not to be entitled to such registra- 
tion, is punishable by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars, or by 
imprisonment in the county jail or state prison not exceeding one year, 
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 
registration 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 break- 
ing up or invalidating such election, or wilfully detains, mutilates, or 
destroys 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 2l5 

Section 10750. Every person doI 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 eiectiin, 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 in- 
tent 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 know- 
ingly 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 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 imprisonment 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 returns 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 pun- 
ishable 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 subtracts 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 pun- 
ishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of six months, 
or in the state prison not exceeding two years. 



216 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Section 10757. Every person who, by force, threats, menaces, brib- 
ery, or any corrupt means, either directly or indirectly, attempts to 
influence 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 de- 
frauds 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 punishable by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars, or imprison- 
ment not to exceed one year, or both. 

Section 1075S. 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 misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by imprisonment not 
to exceed six months, or by a fine of not less than Fifty nor more than 
Five Hundred Rollars, 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 
instruction 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 re- 
veal 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 
election having charge of the ballots, or does not return the ballot be- 
fore 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. 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 217 

Section 10701. Every person who. with the intention to promote 
tlic election Of himself or any other person either: 

1. Furnishes entertainments, at his expense, to any meeting of 
electors previous to or during an election ; 

2. Pays for, procures, or engages to pay for any such enter- 
tainment ; 

3. Furnishes or engages to pay any money or property for the 
purpose of procuring the attendance of voters at the polls, or for the 
purpose of compensating any person for procuring the attendance of 
A'oters 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 bal- 
lots, hand hills, and other papers, previous to such election ; is guilty 
of a misdemeanor. 

Section 10702. Every person who. being a candidate at any elec- 
tion, offers, or agrees to appoint or procure, the appointment of any 
particular 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 10703. Every person, not being a candidate, who communi- 
cates any offer, made in violation of the last section, to any person, 
with intent to induce him to vote for, or to procure or to aid in pro- 
curing the election of the candidate making the offer, is guilty of a 
misdemeanor. 

Section 10704. Every person who gives or offers a bribe to any 
officer or member of any legislative caucus, political convention, or pol- 
itical gathering of any kind, held for the purpose of nominating candi- 
dates for offices of honor, trust, or profit, in this state, with intent 
to influence the person to whom such bribe is given or offered to be 
more favorable to one candidate than another, and every person, mem- 
ber 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 10705. 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 10700. Every person who wilfully disturbs or breaks up 
any public meeting of electors or others, lawfully being held for the pur- 
pose of considering public questions, or any public school or public school 
meeting, is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

Section 10707. Every person who makes, offers, or accepts any 
bet or wager upon the result of any election, or upon the success or 



2l8 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 1076S. Every person who wilfully violates any of the pro- 
visions of the laws of this state relating to elections is, unless a dif- 
ferent punishment for such violation is prescribed by this Code, punish- 
able 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 
bribery, 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 re- 
frain 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 or for 
any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce such elec- 
tor 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 ; 

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 be 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 be 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 in- 
directly, 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 election ; 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 219 

7. Every person who, after any elect ion, 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 consideration, 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 ; 

9. 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 
representing 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 
refrained 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 him- 
self 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 to procure, or tries to procure, for such person, or 
for any other person, any money or valuable consideration ; 

11. Every person who, 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 pro- 
cure or to endeavor to procure, such office, place or employment, to or 
for such person or any other person ; 

12. Every person who, in consideration of any gift, loan, offer, 
promise, or agreement, as mentioned in the two last preceding subsec- 
tions, allows himself to be nominated, or refuses to allow himself to be 
nominated, 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 



220 ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 

promise, express or implied, calculated or intended to influence the pol- 
itical opinions or actions of such employees. Nor shall it he lawful for 
an employer, within ninety days of an election, to put up or otherwise 
exhibit 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 of establish- 
ment be closed up, or the salaries or wages of his workmen or em- 
ployees be reduced 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 cor- 
porations as well as individuals, and any person violating the provisions 
of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall bo 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 
election contests or petitions that any corrupt practice has been com- 
mitted, 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 1077U. 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 
provided, in his campaign for nomination to any public office or po- 
sition in this state, in excess of fifteen per cent of one year's compen- 
sation 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 campaign for such nomination. No sums of money shall be paid, 
and DO 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, employer, 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 he paid and no expenses 
authorized or incurred by or on behalf of any candidate who has re 
ceived the nomination to any public office or position in this state, 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 221 

except such as in- may contribute towards payment for ins political 
party's or independent Statement in the pamphlet herein provided for. 
tn he paid by him in his campaign fur election, in excess of ton per 
cent of one year's salary or compensation of the office for which ho is 
nominated : provided, that no candidate shall he restricted to less than 
one hundred dollars. Xo sum of money shall be paid and no expenses 
authorized or incurred by or on behalf of any political party or organi- 
zation to promote the success of the principles or candidates of such 
party or organization, contrary to the provisions of this Act. For the 
purposes of this Act, the contribution, expenditure, or liability of a 
descendant, ascendant, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, wife, 
partner, employer, employee, or fellow official or fellow employee of a 
corporation, shall he deemed to be that of the candidate himself. 

Section 10775. Terms used in this Act shall he construed as follows, 
unless other moaning is clearly apparent from the language or con- 
text, or unless such construction is inconsistent with the manifest in- 
tent 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 
individuals. 

"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. 

"Political agent" shall apply to any person who. upon request or 
under agreement, receives or dishurses 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. 



222 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

clerk hire, challengers or watchers at the polls, traveling expenses, tele- 
graphing 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 memhers of the legis- 
lative assembly from a district composed of more than one county, hut 
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 
statement 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 
remaining uncancelled and in force at the time such statement is made, 
whether such expenditures, promises, and liabilities were made or in- 
curred before, during, or after such election. If no money or other valu- 
able thing was given, paid, expended, contributed, or promised, and no 
unfulfilled liabilities were incurred by a candidate for public office to 
aid or promote his nomination or election, or the election of his party 
candidates, 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 to file such a statement shall be fined twenty-five dollars for every 
day on which he was in default, unless be shall be excused by the 
court. Fifteen 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 
mi (lie part of any candidate, and within ten days thereafter such prose- 
cuting 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 he kept 
by every person, 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 transactions in any way affecting or connected with the political 
canvass, campaign, nomination, or election concerned. Every person re- 
ceiving or expending money or incurring liability by authority or in be- 
half 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, ex- 
penditure, or incurrence of liability, give such treasurer, agent, candi- 
date, or other person on whose behalf such expense or liability was in- 
curred 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 ex- 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 223 

pense. Every voucher, receipt, and account hereby required shall be a 
part of the accounts and files of such treasurer, agent, candidate, or 
other person, and shall he preserved by the public officer with whom it 
shall he 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 Secretary 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 counties, 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 
candidate or treasurer of the political oi-ganization whose success or de- 
feat 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. 

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 dis- 
tricts composed of one or more counties, and County Clerks for county 
offices, and the City and Town Clerks. Auditors, or Recorders for muni- 
cipal offices, shall transmit to the several candidates, and to the treas- 
urers 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 
application therefor. Upon his own information, or at the written re- 
quest 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 
candidate 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 forthwith in writing 
notify the delinquent person. Every such complaint filed by a citizen 



224 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

or candidate shall state in detail the grounds of objection, shall be sworn 
to by the complainant, 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 Secretai'y 
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 connection with or in any way relating to the nomina- 
tion or election concerned, whether it is an office to which a salary or 
compensation is attached or not, and said person shall thereupon be re- 
quired to file such statement and to comply with all the provisions re- 
lating to statements herein contained. Whoever makes a statement re- 
quired 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 pro- 
vided. 

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- 
with notify the County Attorney of the county where said violation oc- 
curred, and shall furnish him with copies of all papers relating thereto, 
and said County Attorney shall, within sixty days thereafter, examine 
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 appropriate 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 
sufficient 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 within sixty days after 
such election if the statement was filed within the fifteen days required 
but such a petition may lie filed within thirty days after any payment 
not included in the statements so filed. 

Section 107S2. 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 



ELECTION LAWS OT MOITTANA 225 

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 accoimts 
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. 

Section 107S5. 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 in- 
directly holds such position, nor shall he be a member of a political 
committee 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 re- 
frain from or cease being a candidate, and no person shall solicit any 
payment, 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 



226 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

make any such payment or contribution if it shall bo demanded or asked 
during the time he is a candidate for nomination or election to or an 
incumbent of any office. Xo payment or contribution for any purpose 
■diall 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 enter- 
tainment or ball, or to subscribe for or pay for space in any book, pro- 
gram, 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 
tbis section shall not apply to the soliciting of any business advertise- 
ment 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 be may 
have been a contributor, for more than six months before his candi- 
dacy, nor to ordinary contributions at church services. 

Section 10700. Xo 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, trus- 
tee, surety, indemnity, safe deposit, insurance, railroad, street railway. 
telegraph, telephone, gas, electric light, heat, power, canal, aqueduct. 
water, cemetery, or crematory company, or any company having the right 
to take or condemn land, or to exercise franchise in public ways granted 
by the state or by the county, city, or town, shall pay or contribute in 
order to aid. promote, 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 bidders of 
a majority of such stock. 

Section 10701. Any person or candidate who shall, either by him- 
self or by any other person, either before or after an election, or while 
such person or candidate is seeking a nomination or election, directly or 
indirectly, give or provide, or pay. wholly or in part, the expenses of 
giving or providing any meat or drink, or other entertainment or provi- 
sion, 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, en- 
tertainment, provision, clothing, liquors, cigars, or tobacco, shall also be 
guilty of treating; and such acceptance shall be a ground of challenge 
to his vote and of rejecting his vote on a contest. 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 227 

Section 10702. Whenever any persons right to vote siuill be chal- 
lenged, and ho lias taken the oath prescribed by the statutes, and if 
it is at a dominating election, then it shall he 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. 
Thereupon the chairman of the hoard 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 10758 of this Code. 

Section 10703. Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by 
himself or any other person in his behalf, make use of or threaten to 
ir::ke use of any force, coercion, violence, restraint, or undue influence, 
nr 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 measure before the people, or any person who. being a minister, 
preacher, or priest, or any officer of any church, religious or other cor- 
poration 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 sub- 
mitted to the people, for or on account of his religious duty, or the in- 
terest of any corporation, church, or other organization, or who shall 
by abduction, duress, or any fraudulent contrivance, impede or prevent 
the free exercise of the franchise by any voter at any election, or shall 
thereby compel, 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 10704. 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 wagering upon the results of any impending election, shall be guilty 
of a corrupt practice. Any person who. for the purpose of influencing 
the result of any election, makes any bet or wager of anything of pe- 
cuniary value on the result of such election in his electoral district, or 
any part thereof, or any pending election, or on any event or contingency 
relating thereto, shall be guilty of a corrupt practice, and in addition 



228 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

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 peni- 
tentiary 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 elec- 
tor, 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 measure submitted to the people, at any 
election, or to register or refrain from registering as a voter at any 
state, district, 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 elec- 
tion districts 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. 

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 
political 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 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 229 

candidate for nomination ot 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 h<> punished as for a cornfpl 
practice. 

Section 1071)0. It shall he 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, hill, placard, or poster 
relating to any election or to any candidate at any election, unless the 
same shall l>ear on its face the name and address of the author, and of 
the printer and publisher thereof; and any person writing, printing, pub- 
lishing, circulating, posting, or causing to be written, printed, circulated, 
posted, or published any such letter, bill, placard, circular, or poster as 
aforesaid, 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 prac- 
tice, and shall on conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not less 
than Ten Dollars nor more than One Thousand Dollars. If any letter, 
circular, poster, bill, publication, or placard shall contain any false state- 
ment or charges reflecting on any candidate's character, morality, or in- 
tegrity, the author thereof, and every person printing or knowingly as- 
sisting in the circulation, shall be guilty of political criminal libel, and 
upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the peni- 
tentiary 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 publi- 
cation, it shall be a sufficient defense to such charge. But in that event, 
and as a part of such defense, the author and the printer 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 contain- 
ing 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 par- 
ticularly to the charges contained therein, and that, before printing, pub- 
lishing, 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 



230 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

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 tins Act, :is 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 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 
authorized 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, re- 
ceive, or pay money or any valuable consideration for becoming or for 
refraining from becoming a candidate for nomination or election, or by 
himself or in combination with any other person or persons to become a 
candidate 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 
complaint made to any district court, if the judge shall be convinced 
that any person has sought the nomination, or seeks to have his name 
presented to the voters as a candidate for nomination by any political 
party, for any mercenary or venal consideration or motive, and that his 
candidacy for the nomination is not in good faith, the judge shall forth- 
with 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 per- 
sons 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 lOSO.'i. Where, upon the trial of any action or proceeding 
under the provisions of this Act for the contest of the right of any 
person 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 
committed by the candidate, or with his knowledge or consent, or was 
committed 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 charac- 
ter, 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 231 

the candidate arose from Inadvertence or from accidental miscalculation, 

or from some other reasonable cause of a like nature, and In any case 
did not arise from any want of good faith, and under the circumstance; 
it seems 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 10S04. 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 elec- 
tion, 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 pro- 
vided in the preceding section of this Act. Such judgment shall not pre- 
vent 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 de- 
clared 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 dif- 
ferent time 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 valuable thing subsequent to the filing of the statements pre- 
scribed by this Act, in which case the action or proceeding may be com- 
menced 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 ex- 
cuse 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 
nomination as a candidate for the office to which he is declared nomi- 
nated 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 



232 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

office or vacancy in any office or position of trust, honor, or emolu- 
ment 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 1080S. If any County Attorney shall be notified by any 
officer or other person of any violation of any of the provisions of this 
Act within his jurisdiction, it shall be his duty forthwith to diligently 
inquire into the facts of such violation, and if there is reasonable 
ground for instituting 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 County 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 penalty of which is fine or imprison- 
ment, or both, or removal from office. 

Section 10S09. If, in any ease 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. 

Section 10810. Any elector of the state, or of any political or mu- 
nicipal division thereof, may contest the right of any person to any 
nomination 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 provisions 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 couni 
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 may be shown to have been given to such other person. 

Section 10812. When the reception of illegal votes is alleged as a 






ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 233 

cause of contest, it shall bo sufficient to state generally that in one 
or more specified voting precincts Illegal votes were given to the per- 
son 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 con- 
testing 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 contestant from offering evidences 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 
sureties on bail-bonds, conditioned to pay all costs, disbursements, and 
attorney's fees that may be awarded against him if he shall not pre- 
vail. 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 
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 immediately notify the judge of 
the court, and issue a citation to the person whose nomination or of- 
fice 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 dis- 
posed 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 at- 
torneys, 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 contested, the court may, in its discretion, order the cases to be heard 
together, 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 



234 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

its findings to the Secretary of State, to be by him transmitted to the 
presiding officer of the body in question.) In the ease of other nomina- 
tions or elections, the court shall forthwith certify its decision to the 
board or official issuing certificates of nomination or election, winch 
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 judg- 
ment 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 appropriate 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 nomination 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 election, 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 busi- 
ness in the State of Montana may be brought into court 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 averred to have been committed. The court, upon conviction of such 
corporation, may impose a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dol- 
lars, or may declare a forfeiture of the charter and franchises of the 
corporation, if organized under the laws of this state, or if it be a 
foreign corporation may enjoin said corporation from further transacting 
business in this state, or by both such fine and forfeiture, 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 convic- 
tion 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 
postponement, the court may impose costs in its discretion as a con- 
dition thereof. No petition shall be dismissed without the consent of 
the County Attorney, unless the same shall be dismissed by the court. 
No person shall be excused from testifying or producing papers or docu- 
ments 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 



ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 235 

or used againsl him in any civil «>r 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 1081S. A petition or complain! filed under the provisions 
of this Act shall he 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. 15. 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 returned 

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 nominee or officer elected or nominated at said election, or was 
a candidate 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 

carefully examined and read the return of my election expenses and 



236 ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 

receipts hereto attached, and to the best of my knowledge and belief 
thai return is full, correct, and true. 

And I further state on oath that, except as appears from this re- 
turn, 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 autho- 
rized by me or not, made any payment, or given, promised, or offered 
any reward, office, employment, or position, public or private, or valu- 
able 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 re 
turn, 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 myself or any other person for my nomination or election, or for 
the purpose 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 making or giving of any payment, reward, office, position, or em- 
ployment, or valuable consideration, for the purpose of defraying any 
such expenses or obligations as herein mentioned for or on account ,of 
my nomination 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 
supporters of which he has knowledge, with numbered vouchers for all 
sums and payments for which 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 237 



INDEX 



Code 

No. Page 

ABSENT ELECTORS — See "Voting" 715-735 75-82 

Apportionment and Representation Art. VI 9 

44 18 

Arrest, Electors free from 541 27 

Ballot, All Elections to be by Art. IX 13 

539 26 

Ballot Box 604-605-606 45 

Ballots and Supplies, Delivery of to Judge of Precinct 603 45 

BALLOTS: 

Blank spaces must be left on 683 69 

Cities and Towns, expense is charge against 677 67 

City Clerks to Prepare, when 686 70 

Color and Quality of printed 681 67 

Contents 682 68 

Correction by Pasters 680 67 

County Clerk Must Provide 678 67 

Expense is County Charge 677 67 

Form of 681 68 

Margin required 683 69 

Name may be written in 678 67 

Nominee of two parties, on what ballot printed 682 68 

Not counted unless officially printed 678 67 

Parties, how placed on 681 68 

Pasters for Vacancies after printing of 680 67 

Preparation and Form 677-687 67-70 

Printed in black 681 68 

Printing and Distribution 677 67 

Quantity for precincts having no registration 687 70 

Quantity furnished precincts 687 70 

Questions submitted, form and contents of 686 69 

Record of number delivered to precincts 687 70 

Size, uniform 681 68 

Stub, consecutively numbered .'. 684 69 

Stub, contents 684 69 

Uniform printing of all 685 69 

Vacancy after printing 680 67 

Voter may write name, or paste sticker 

over other name 684 69 

"Writing or pasting candidates name on the ballot 678 67 

Bond Issue — Restraining action, prohibited 

after what time. 9040 214 

Bonds — See Fire Districts, Cities and Towns 5149 173 

Bridge Construction — Bond Issue and Tax Levy for 4713-14 156 

Bridges, Public — Bonds for 1711 137 

CANVASS OF RETURNS: 

Abstract of Returns, to State Board 801-802 95 

Ballots: 

Counting of 775, 778 90, 91 

Defective 777 91 

Destruction, after count, of Excessive Procedure 776 91 

Rejected, Stamping of 780 91 

Stringing and sealing 779 91 

Board of County Canvassers 790 93 

County Clerk is Clerk of 791 93 

Membership Vacancy, how filled 791 93 

Certificates of Election 797, 805 94, 96 

Commissions to those elected 805 96 

County 792 93 

Board certificate where no precinct returns 7 92 93 

Date of County Canvass 790 93 

Entry of Result 794 94 

How made 793 94 

Messenger for, and expenses 792 93 

Highest vote elects 795 94 

Judges returns to County Clerk 782 92 

Messenger for State returns when, expenses 804 95 

Penalties 808 96 

Poll Books, Signing of 781 92 

Poll Lists, checking of 775 90 

Precinct Judges 774 90 



238 ELECTION LAWS OT MONTANA 

Code 

No. Page 
Precinct Records, Retention by County Clerk — 

how long 786-789 92-93 

Records, Delivery to Precinct Judges 784 92 

Representatives voted for in more than one County, 

procedure 798-800 94-95 

Result may not be withheld for defect or informality.... 806 96 

Retention by Judge of record for inspection purposes.. 783 92 

Returns, delivery to County Clerk by whom 785 92 

State Board of Canvassers and Duties 803-804 95 

Tally Sheets, use 778 91 

Tie vote, recount, and certificate to Governor 7 96 94 

Census — State, Legislature shall provide for Art. VI 9 

Challenges for Registration 573 37 

CITIES AND TOWNS: 

Abatement of Smoke Nuisance - 5292-5299 180-181 

Absent Electors may vote how 715-735 75-82 

Aldermen 5003-5005 160 

Annexation of Contiguous 4979 164 

Ballots, prepared by City Clerk 687 70 

BOND ISSUE: 

No election called except upon petition 1252 129 

Restraining action forbidden after what time 9040 214 

Sufficiency of petition 1252 129 

BONDS: 

Issue of refunding, procedure 1 176 

For fire districts 5150 174 

Of — election procedure Chap. 160 176-180 

Petition and election procedure 6-12 177-1S0 

Voter's qualifications 1253 129 

Canvass of Returns 5012 167 

Certificates of Election 5012 167 

City Clerk, duties of 5067 172 

Classification and organization 4961-4979 163-165 

Commission Form of Government Chap. 13 182 

5366-5399 182-193 

Chap. 137 193 

Abandonment of, procedure 537 9-5398 192-193 

Ballots, form of 5369 183 

Ballots, form and printing 5377 186 

Bond for Mayor and Councilmen 5377 188 

Canvass of Election returns 5368, 5377 183, 187 

Certificate of Mayor 5370 183 

Corrupt practice, penalty 5378-5379 188 

ELECTION: 

Calling of 5367 1S2 

Of first officers 5371 183 

Of Mayor and Councilmen Chap. 13 182 

Proclamation 5368 183 

Electors qualifications 5377 188 

Fees for filing nominating petitions Chap. 137 193 

Laws which govern 5373 184 

Nominating petition, form, filing of 5377 185-186 

Oath and qualification of elected officers 5377 188 

OFFICERS: 

Election of, and canvass of returns 5371-5372 183-184 

Must be nominated at Primary 5377 185 

Of 5374 184 

Ordinance by petition 5395 190 

ORDINANCES: 

Must be voted by people, when 5388 180 

Passing of 5388 188-189 

Referendum upon 5396 191-192 

Suspension of proposed 5396 192 

When effective 5396 191 

Petition for reorganization 5367 182 

Petitions, time for filing 5377 185 

Property rights vest in 5373 184 

Publication of candidates for office 5377 186 

Removal of officers 5394 189 

Returns, publication of 5377 187 

Second submission to electors, when 5370 183 

Terms of office and qualification date 5375 184 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 239 

Code 

No. Page 

Terms of office expire when 5376 184 

Territorial limits 5373 184 

Vacancies, how filled 5374 184 

Commission-Manager Form of Government 5400-5520 193-^10 

Abandonment of plan, procedure 5514-5516 208-209 

Acceptance of passes, etc., forbidden 5413 198 

Adoption of plan, election procedure 5408 195 

Annexation to municipal district 5408 195 

Ballot, nominees to be placed on 5415 200 

Ballots: 

Form 5403, 5415 194, 200 

Form, printing, delivery 5415 199-200 

Canvass of returns 5403, 5415 194, 200 

Certificate of Mayor 5404 194 

Challenge procedure 5415 200 

City Manager, appointment 5410 196 

Commission, composition of 5410 196 

"Commission-Manager Plan" 5410 196 

Commission members, qualifications of 5413 197 

Commission, seat vacated when 5448 207 

Commissioners : 

Assume duties when 5448 207 

Qualifications and term of office 5411 197 

Conduct of election 5403 194 

County Seat may furnish office quarters, when 5520 210 

Flection: 

Date of 5417 201 

First officers, proclamation and procedure 5405-5406 194 

For annexation to municipal district — 5408 195 

Electors, who are '. 5415 200 

Expense accounts, filing of 5418 201 

Franchises, grant of 5496-5500 208 

Incorporated cities, rights and powers 5409 196 

Laws and ordinances which apply 5407 195 

Mayor: 

Head of municipality 5444 206 

Vacancy, how filled 5444-5445 206-207 

Who shall be 5444 206 

Meetings and records are public 5448 207 

Meetings of Commissioners when 5448 207 

Meetings, special, called how 5448 207 

Nominating petition, form, filing of 5414 198-199 

Oath and Bond of Commissioners 5443 206 

Officers must be nominated at Primary 5414 198 

Officers, special election for first 5405-5406 194 

Ordinance: 

Effective when 5436, 5441 205, 206 

For Bond issue 5442 206 

Referendum on 5436-5442 205-206 

Repeal of existing 5435 305 

Submitted to Electors, when, procedure 5431-5434 204-205 

Ordinances: 

Conflict 5440 205 

Enactment, procedure 5429-5431 203-204 

Penalty, bribery 5427-5428 203 

Petition to form 5401 193 

Powrs, name, property, indebtedness, of group 

communities coming under Act 5517-5519 209-210 

Powers of Commission 5496-5500 208 

Powers of incorporated cities and towns 5409 196 

Primary Election, date of 5414 198 

Proclamation for election 5402 193 

Publication of candidates names 5414 198 

Quorum of Commissioners 5446 207 

Recall of Commissioners, procedure 5419-5426 201-203 

Resubmission of question, when 5404 194 

Rotation of names on ballot 5416 201 

Rules, order of business and Journal 5448 208 

Salaries of Commissioners 5447 207 

Vacancies, how filled 5412 197 

Veto, Mayor may not exercise 5444 206 

Contracts 5074-5077 172-173 

Courts 3 173 

Direct Primary, application of law to 634 52 

Election: 

Ballots, a city expense 677 67 

Calling, notice of and conduct 4962 163 



240 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Code 

No. Page 

City Clerk must perform all duties 679 67 

Date of 5003 166 

Electors: 

Qualifications 5010 167 

Qualifications on indebtedness proposals Chap. 47 211 

Fire Districts, bonding of, election procedure 5149-5150 173-175 

Franchises 5074-5077 172 

Free Public Libraries 5049-5051 168 

Incorporation of 4961-4979 163-165 

Indebtedness, submission to taxpayers Chap. 160 175-180 

Initiative and Referendum 5058-5068 169-172 

Ballots, form, canvass, returns 5065 171 

City Clerk, duties of 5067 172 

Election, proclamation of Mayor 5064 171 

Law does not apply to what other ordinances 5068 172 

Measure, effective when 5065 172 

Ordinance, demand for, submission to voters 5061 171 

Ordinance Petitions, percentage of signers 5058-5059 169-170 

5062 171 
Ordinances: 

Effective when 5060 170 

Emergency 5060 171 

Proposed how 5058 169-170 

Submission to people 5058 169-170 

Suits to determine changes in 5058 169-170 

When voted upon 5059 170 

Petition form of 5067 172 

Referendum, submitted when, percentage of signers.. 5062 171 

Register, evidence of right of petitioner 5066 172 

Special elections, Council may order when 5063 171 

Voters qualifications 5066 172 

Judges and Clerks of Election 5011 167 

Levy, increase of, election procedure 5195-5199 175-176 

Mayor, elected when, qualifications _ 5003-5004 166 

Notice of completion of incorporation 4963 163 

Office vacant, when 5013 167 

OFFICERS: 

And Elections 4995-5015 165-168 

Charges against 5015 168 

Council mav prescribe duties of 4997 165 

Elected, term -, 5003, 5006 166 

Election and qualification of 4963-4971 164 

Oath of office 5013 167 

Listed 4995-4997 165 

Qualifications of 5007-5008 166 

Removal 5015 168 

ORGANIZATION 4961-4979 163-165 

Census 4961 163 

Number of inhabitants 4961 163 

Petition, contents and filing 4961 163 

Precincts, election 5011 167 

PRIMARY 

Date of 634 52 

Filing of nominating petitions 634 52 

Registration of Electors 5009 166-167 

Tax for libraries 5049-5051 168 

Term of office, begins when 5014 168 

Tie vote, procedure 5012 167 

Vacancies, how filled 5015 168 

Voting places 5011 167 

Wards 5001-5002 165 

5011 167 
clerks of Election— See "Judges and Clerks of Election" 

Conduct of Elections 688-714 70-75 

CONGRESS: 

Members: 

Certificate of election to 828 104 

Election and vacancies 824 104 

Nomination of 824 104 

Vacancy, how filled 825 104 

Vote canvassed, how 827 104 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 



241 



Code 
No. 

Congressional Districts 48 

New County 48 

Constitutional Amendments Sec. 8, Art. XIX 

On ballot, how 103 

Constitutional Convention Art. XIX 

Contest of Elections 829 

CONVENTIONS: 

Date of County Chap. 12G 

Date of State 6 

Delegates to National, how elected Chap. 126 

Expense of 8 

Corrupt Practices Act 10773-10820 

Actions filed where 10806 

Actions, time for commencing 10805 

Advertisements in newspapers, must show 

by whom paid 10798 

Ballot, applying for in name of other person 10795 

Bets and Wagers by candidate 10794 

Books of account open to whom 10777 

Buttons, Badges, not worn when...... 10797 

Candidate, convicted, may not hold office 10807 

Candidate may not be asked for or offer 

contributions, when 10789 

Candidate's name not to be printed on ballot when 10801 

Candidates, requests or demands on, prohibited 10789 

Challenge of voter, entry in Poll Books 10792 

and on Ballot 10794 

Compensating Voter for expenses in attending Polls 10797 

Complaints filed by whom and action upon 10779 

Contest: 

Bond 10813 

Case shall take precedence 10813 

Certification of decision 10814 

Citation 10813 

Costs 10813 

Grounds for 10810 

Petition 101518 

10813 

Procedure where more than one petition 10814 

What parties may appear in 10814 

Who elected after rejection of illegal votes 10809 

Contributions: 

As condition precedent to putting forward name 

in caucus or convention 10789 

By Corporations 10790 

By holder of Public position, prohibited 107 85 

Inviting or accepting 10785 

Convention Credentials, transfer of for 

money prohibited 10787 

Copies of Act furnished to whom 10778 

Corporations, proceedings against, penalties 10815 

County Attorney, duty 10808 

Court having Jurisdiction 10806 

Delegate to Convention, Public officer may not be 10786 

Election, inducement to accept or decline 10802 

Expenditures, limited 10773-- 

Expense Statements: 

Affidavit required 10779 

And records of Political Committees 10777 

By individuals in behalf of candidate 10777 

Certified copies of 10782 

Complaint as to 10779 

Duty of officer 10780 

Failure to file 10780 

x..,. „ 10801 

Filing of 10776 

Form of 10819 

Inspection 10779 

Preservation of 10782 

Publication of 10782 

Public records 10782 

Vouchers to be attached 10819 

False affidavit, penalty 10820 

Forfeiture of Office for violation of law 10803-4 

Inducement to accept or decline nomination or election 10802 



Page 

19 
20 

17 
23 
17 

108 



102 
103 

102-103 
103 

220-236 
231 
231 

228 
228 
227 
223 
228 
232 

225-226 
230 
226 
227 
228 
228 
224 

233 
233 
233-234 
233 
233 
232 
235 
233 
233 
233 
232 



226 
226 
225 
225 

225 
223 
234 
232 
231 

225 
230 
220 

224 
222 
223 
224 
223 
224 
224 
230 
222 
235-236 
223 
224 
225 
224 
236 

236 

230-231 

230 



242 



ELECTION LAWS OE MONTANA 



Code 

No. 

Inducing not be candidate 10788 

Influencing voter, coercion 10793 

Jurisdiction, Court may compel filing of statements.... 10781 

Libel, Political-criminal 10800 

Meaning of 10796 

Measures, expense account by person sponsoring 10777 

Name not printed on Ballot, when 10801 

Newspaper Publisher, shall not print adver- 
tisements, etc., except 10798 

Nomination, inducement to accept or decline 10802 

Nomination or election, not set aside, when 10811 

Payment of money to undisclosed principal 10783 

Penalty for Violation of Act r 10816 

Personating other elector 10795 

Pledge to vote for U. S. Senator, permitted 10784 

Political Committees, Public officer may not 

be member of 10786 

Political Committees, records of 10777 

Political literature, circulation of 10800 

Proceedings under Act — Advancement, dismissal, 

witness privileges 10817 

Promises of appointment 10784 

Public Officers — May make no contributions 10785 

Solicitation of votes on Election Day 10799 

Terms, definition of.... 10776 

Treating 10791 

Undue Influence and coercion 10793 

Votes, reception of illegal, allegations, evidence 10812 

Votes, who elected after rejection of illegal 10809 

Vouchers in excess of $5.00 10777 

Words defined 10775 

COUNTIES: 

Ballot, contents of 4394 

Creation of: 

Act does not apply, when 4407 

Assessed valuation, fixed how 4391 

Ballots, sample 4395 

Board of Commissioners, appointed by Governor, 

duties and powers 4397 

Boundaries, determination 4393 

By petition and election 4390-4407 

Canvass of returns 4395 

Cost of election, pro-rating 4398 

Debts and assets, pro-rated 4390 

Division into townships, road and school districts... 4394 

Election officers, appointment 4394 

Election proclamation and notice, signed by whom... 4394 

Election Register furnished Election Boards 4394 

Election supplies 4394 

General election laws apply 4394 

Judicial District of new 4396 

Legislative representation 4405 

Measure defeated, election can not be held 

for two years 4395 

Notices, posting of when no publication possible 4404 

Officers: 

Certificate of Election to 4395 

Chosen, quality how, bonds of 4396 

Enter upon duty, term 4395 

Nomination of 4395 

Penalties 4 406 

Petition, filed where, contents, signers, affidavit, 
hearing, publication and form of notice, bond of 

petitioners 4393 

Precincts of 4 394 

Proclamation and notice of election 4394 

Qualification of Voters 4394 

Registration 4394 

Resolution: 

County Commissioners 4393 

On result, filing of 4395 

Seat: 

Voting upon 4394 

What towns qualified to be 4392 

Sheriff, duty, fees 4397 

Supplies for officers 4395 



Page 

225 
227 
224 
229 
228 
223 
230 

228 
230 
232 
225 
234 
228. 
225 

225 
222 
229 

234 
225 
225 
229 
220 
226 
227 
233 
232 
223 
221 



150-151 

155 
145 
152 

154 
148-149 
144-155 
151 
154 
144 
150 
150 
151 
151 
151 
151 
154 
155 

153 
154-155 

152 
153 
152 
152 

155 



146 
149 
150 
150 
150 

148 
152 

151 
145 
154 
152 



ELECTION LAWS OP MOOTTANA 243 

Code 

No. Page 

Topographical Commission 4390 

Witnesses and fees 4397 

Floating indebtedness, funding of 1 

Minimum area 4390 

Bonds: 

Ballots, form 

. Conduct of Election 11 

Election: 

Calling 9 

Canvass of Returns 14 

Hours 10 

Notice of 10 

Officers 10 

Percentage Electors required to authorize 13 

Petition and Election, for 7-14 

Petition, Consideration of 9 

Petition for, form and proof, filing of 8 

Resolution by Board of County Commissioners 14 

Voter's qualifications 12 

Borrowing 4717-22 

Commissioner Districts 4 

Commissioners : 

Election and Term 4729 

Election of 4 

Government — Managerial Form 1-2 

New: 

Congressional District 48 

Legislative member 46 

Representative District 47 

Office, who eligible to hold 4723 

Officers, listed 4725 

COUNTY SEAT: 

Location of 437 8-89 

Removal of 2 

4369-77 

Courts — Supreme and District Art. VIII 

Delegates to National Conventions Chap. 126 

DIRECT PRIMARY: 

Abstract of Votes, preparation and delivery 655 62 

Acceptance of Nomination, where name written on 

ballot, and fee 640 56 

Ballots and records, destruction of 646 58 

Ballots: 

Arrangement of and Notice 649 59 

Destruction of blank 651 60 

Forms, division into sets 651 59 

How printed 651 60 

Inclosing, sealing and delivery of 638 55 

Number for each precinct 652 60 

Printed separately for each Party 651 59 

Sample 649 59 

For Political Parties 652 60 

How printed 652 60 

Printed only by order of Clerk 652 60 

Voting and deposit of, by Elector 651 60 

Bribery, Penalty 667 66 

Candidate, death of, what sections apply 647 58 

Candidate excluded from fall ballot, when 640 56 

Candidate names, arrangement on ballot 651 59 

Candidates nominated, meeting at call of 

Chairman, date 666 66 

Canvassing Board, State, composition and duties 655 62 

Canvass of Returns 654 61 

Canvass of State Returns, when 655 62 

Certificate of Nomination, by Governor 655 62 

Certificate of nomination to successful contestee 661 64 

Check lists — to be furnished Judges, when 650 59 

Cities and Towns, application of law to 634 52 

Committeeman, selection at passage of Act 664 65 

Committeeman and Woman, selection of National, term 663 65 

Committee Meeting, calling of 662 65 

Committeemen: 

Meeting and organization 662 65 

Precinct, election, term 662 64 

Vacancies 662 64 





144 




15-» 




159 




144 




158 




158 




157 




159 




158 




158 




158 




158 


156 


-159 




157 


156 


-157 




159 




158 


159- 


-161 




15 




162 




15 




162 




20 




19 




19 




161 




161 


139- 


-144 




15 


137- 


-139 




11 


102- 


-103 



244 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 



Compensation Certificate by County Clerk 

Contest Judgment 

Contest, removal to Supreme Court 

Contest, Service of Papers, and procedure to hear 

Contest, Subpoenas 

Contesting: nomination 

Counting and disposition of Ballots 

Counting Ballots, audibly announced 

Date of Nominating Election 

Election certificates 

Emergency law 

Errors, how corrected 

Expense of supplies and conduct of election, 

paid how 

Fee for filing Nominating Petitions 

Forgery 

General laws apply, when 

Highest vote, elects 

Independent candidate, can not use existing party name 

Judge or Clerk of Election, Penalties 

Mandamus 

Messenger sent for returns, how paid 

Names of candidates, rotation on ballot 

Nominating petition, form of 

Nominating petitions, filed where 

Nomination, acceptance when name written on 

Ballot, fee for 

Nomination on more than one ticket, procedure 

Nominations: 

By new Parties and Parties under 3% 

By Petition, arrangement, certification and 

posting of 

Prohibited under Section 612 

Nominees, notification 

Notice of Election, contents, printing and posting 

Party name, exclusive right to 

Penalties 

Penalties for unlawful act by candidate 

Petitions for nomination filed when and where 

Platform, of State, when 

Poll Books, Sealing and delivery of 

Primary Nominating Election, date of 

Proclamation of nominations 

Public records, what are 

Records, preservation of 

Register and check list, to be furnished Judges when.. 

Register, Entry of nominations 

Register of candidates 

Registers, are Public Records 

Returns: 

By Judges 

From precinct, opened on order of Court 

Secretary of State, shall send for, when 

Signed and posted at polling place 

Telegraphing 

Rotation of names on ballot 

State Central Committee, filing of names of Com- 
mitteemen with National Committee 

Suppression of petitions 

Tally sheets, form and distribution 

Tally sheets, sealing and delivery of 

Telegraphing returns 

Tie vote, how decided 

Tie vote, how settled 

Vacancy, how filled 

What Parties may participate in 

Writing name on ballot, how counted 

District Courts 

DISTRICTS: 

Representative, changed when 

Representative 

Senatorial 

Senatorial, new counties 



Code 




No. 


Page 


654 


61 


661 


64 


661 


64 


660 


63 


661 


64 


659 


63 


636 


53 


637 


53 


632 


51 


654 


61 


635 


52 


656 


62 


650 


59 


640 


56 


669 


66 


631 


51 


668 


66 


67 


67 


654 


61 


639 


55 


65S 


63 


656 


63 


657 


63 


651 


59 


641 


56 


640 


56 


640 


56 


651 


60 


639 


55 


648 


58 


639 


55 


654 


61 


633 


51 


639 


53 


658 


63 


665 


65 


644 


57 


666 


66 


638 


55 


632 


51 


655 


62 


646 


58 


646 


58 


650 


59 


654 


61 


645 


57 


646 


58 


636 


53 


638 


55 


657 


63 


637 


54 


657 


63 


651 


59 


663 


65 


669 


66 


637 


53 


638 


55 


657 


63 


654 


61 


655 


62 


647 


58 


639 


55 


651 


60 


12 


11 


3 


10 


4 


8 


4 


8 


4 


10 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 



245 



Code 
No. 
ELECTION: 

Certificates, issuing of 4516 

Highest number of votes, elects 13 

Proclamations 533-536 

ELECTION RETURNS: 

By Election Judges 6ii!i 

Cards and forms to be furnished by County Clerk 608 

Posting at Polling place 610 

Election Supplies, supplied by County Commissioners 4515 

ELECTIONS: 

Free and open Art. Ill 

General, Date of 531 

Special, Date of 532 

To be by Ballot : 539 

Elective Franchise, Crimes against 10747-10772 

Elective Frauds and Offences 10747-10772 

Aiding or abetting in 10756 

Alterations in ballots or returns 10752 

Appointment, promise of 107 62-10763 

Ballot, fraudulent use of 10749 

10758 

Ballots, deposit without official stamp 10759 

Ballots, inspecting or marking by Judges or Clerks 10753 

Betting on Elections 10767 

Bribery, Legislative Caucuses 10764 

Bribery, what constitutes, penalty 107 69 

Duty, refusal to perform by officer, felony 10747 

Electioneering on Election Day 10759 

Election voided when 10772 

Electors, intimidating 10757 

Employers, unlawful acts of 10770 

Fines, disposition of collected 10771 

Furnishing money for electors 10761 

Nomination certificates, altering or destroying 10758 

Offences on Election Day 10760 

Penalties 10768 

Procuring of registration or voting 10751 

Public Meetings, attempt to prevent 10765 

Public Meetings, disturbing 10766 

Registration, fraudulent, penalty 10748 

Returns: 

Alteration of 10755 

Forging or counterfeiting 10754 

Manipulating 10749 

Threats to Electors 10757 

Voting, fraudulent 10749 

Voting or Registering 10750 

ELECTORS: 

Ineligibles 8 

Free from arrest 4 

541 

Insane persons, etc., can not vote 543 

Military duty 5 

Qualifications and Disabilities of 540 

Qualifications of 2 

Executive Department Art. VII 

Failure of elections, proceedings 809-812 

Fire Districts — See Cities and Towns 5149-50 

General Election, Time for Holding 531 

Government, Legislature may provide for County and City 7 

Government of Counties 4723-30 

Indebtedness, Limitation Sec. 5, 6, Art. XIII 

Initiative and Referendum 

Constitutional requirements Art. V 

Canvass of returns 106 

County Clerk, duties of 101 

102 
103 
105 

Effective, when 108 

Pamphlet copies, printing and distribution 105 

Penalties 107 



Page 

156 

14 

25-26 



46 
46 
46 

155 



7 
25 
25 
26 

214-220 
214-220 
215 
215 
217 
214 
216 
216 
215 
218 
217 
218-19 
214 
216 
220 
216 
219 
220 
217 
216 
216 
218 
215 
217 
217 
214 

215 
215 
214 
216 
214 
215 



13 
13 
27 
27 
13 
26 
13 
10 
96-97 

173-175 
25 
17 

161-162 
14 
20-25 
7 
24 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
24 
25 



246 



ELECTION LAVS OP MONTANA 



Code 
No. 

Petition, form 99-100 

Petitions, who may sign 108 

Proclamation by Governor 102 

107 

Secretary of State, duty concerning 101 

102 
103 
105 

Voting 104 

Instructions Card, preparation and posting 607 

JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ELECTION: 

Compensation 59 

Number and how appointed, and notified 587-590 

592-593 

Oath of Office 596 

Oaths, may administer 597 

Precinct — Election notices mailed to 594 

-Posting of 595 

Judicial Departments Art. VIII 

Judicial Districts 12 

13 

Number of Judges, Vacancies, Districts 8812-8813 

Chap. 91 

Judicial Officers, Election, term, vacancies 8790-8798 

Justices of the Peace 8833-8838 

Justices of Supreme Court and Judges of 

District Court — non-partisan, election of Chap. 182 

LAWS: 

Local or special, prohibited 26 

Publication of pamphlet copies of Election 807 

Legislative authority Art. Ill 

LEGISLATURE: 

Apportionment and Membership 45 

Census, provide for Art. VI 

Composition of 4 

Local or special laws prohibited 26 

Representatives : 

Qualifications 3 

Term of 2 

Senators: 

Qualifications 3 

Term of 2 

Vacancies 45 

Libraries, free 5049-5051 

542 

Military Duty, Electors exempt from 5 

Military Service, Voting rights not lost when in 563, 565 

Municipal Courts — Judges, election of Chap. 177 

National Conventions, Delegates to Chap. 126 

Naturalization Papers, Exhibit of at Polls, when 559 

Nomination of Candidates — See also "Direct Primary" 

Nomination of Candidates by Convention or Petition 612-618a 

Certificate: 

Certified how 613 

Filed where 614 

618 
Limited to one candidate each 616 

NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES: 

Challenges 627 

Convention: 

Candidates for Judge can not be nominated by 9 

Or Primary defined 612 

Declining Nomination 620 

Error in publication, how corrected 622 

Fees for filing certificates 618a 

Fraudulent voting 628 

Influencing, deterring Voter 629 

Judges at Caucus, appointment and duties 625, 626 

Names certified for ballot, when 619 

Nominations, are public records 617 

Nominee, can accept only one nomination 616 



Page 

20 
25 
22 
25 
22 
22 
22 
24 
23 

46 



42 
42 
42 
43 
43 
43 
43 
11 
11 
12 

212-213 
213 

211-212 
213 

97-100 



9 
96 

7 



IS 
9 
8 
9 

8 
8 

8 

8 

9 

168 

27 

13 

34 

173 

102-103 

32 

46 

46 
47 
48 
47 



56 

99 

46 
48 
49 
48 

50 
50 
49-50 
48 
47 
47 



ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 247 

Code 

No. I 'age 

Penalties 630 50 

Petition signed by Electors, contents 615 47 

Preservation of certificates, how long 617 47 

Vacancies, how filled 621 48 

Who may vote 623-624 49 

Nbn-Partisan Election of Judges Chap. 182 97-100 

Arrangement of candidates name on ballot 5 98 

Ballot, Voter to be furnished with separate 7 98 

Ballots, Judicial Primary 6 98 

Ballots, stubs, etc., disposition after close of election.. 8 99 
Candidate's name cannot appear on General Ballot 

unless nominated at regular Primary election 9 99 

Canvass of returns 8 99 

Certification of names of candidates 5 98 

Endorsement of candidate by party prohibited 13 100 

Fee for petition 3 98 

Form of petition 3 97 

Judicial ballot 12 100 

Nominating petition filed where 3 98 

Nominations by the Governor, when 11 100 

Nominees, who shall be 9 99 

Political name of any party not to appear 6 98 

Register, entry of names in 4 98 

Tie vote, procedure 10 99 

Vacancy, filled how 11 99 

Voting machine, procedure 14 100 

OFFICE: 

Civil, who capable of holding 410 25 

Township listed 4726 161 

Who may hold District or Township 4724 161 

OFFICERS: 

Clerk of District Court 18 12 

Clerk of Supreme Court Sec. 8, Art. VIII 11 

County and Township, when elected 4728 162 

County Attorney, Qualifications, election 19 12 

County, list of to be elected 5 16 

District Judges, election, term 12 11 

4730 162 

Executive, election, qualification, residence Art. VII 10 

Judicial, election, term, qualifications Art. VIII 11 

Justice of the Peace 20 12 

4730 162 

Legislature may provide for other 6 17 

Requirements as to residence 7 13 

Vacancies, filled how 34 12 

Who eligible as public 11 14 

Party Nominations by Direct Vote — See "Direct Primary" 

Penalties 611 46 

POLL BOOKS: 

Commissioners must furnish 598 43 

Distribution 599 43 

Form of 600 43 

Printing 568 35 

Rejecting for want of form forbidden 601 44 

POLLS: 

Proclamation by Judges of opening and closing of 690-691 70 

Time of opening and closing 689 70 

PRECINCTS: 

Boundaries of 545 27 

Changing boundaries, when, numbering 546 27 

City Council to certify boundaries and changes 547 27 

Consolidation for voting machine purposes 7 59 84 

Establishment or change of Election 4465 15". 

Indian Reservation 552 28 

Location of house for holding Election 550-551 28 

Map of boundaries filed 548-549 28 

Notices of Election and Posting 594 43 



248 



ELECTION LAWS OE MONTANA 



Code 

No. Page 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS: 

Accounts, audited and paid by whom 823 102 

Ballots by 819 101 

Canvass of Vote .' 814 101 

Certificates of Election 815 101 

Chosen how 813 101 

List of all persons voted for 820 101 

Lists, transmittal of - 821 102 

Meeting of 816 101 

Mileage and per diem 822 102 

Names of Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees 

to appear on ballot, how 813 101 

Nomination of Chap. 126 102-103 

Vacancy filled how 817 101 

Vote for President and Vice-President 818 101 

Proclamations, Election 533-536 25-26 

Publication of Measures to be voted upon 538 26 

Questions for Voters, publication of 538 26 

Recount of Votes Chap. 27 104-108 

Application to Court for 105 

Ballots, disposition after 4 107 

Cause sufficient when 2 105 

Certificate of Election upon 4 107 

Certificate of Election, void when 6 107 

Compensation of Judges withheld 7 107 

Expense: 

Deposit of by applicant 4 106 

How established 4 106 

Refund of deposit upon 4 106 

Hearing 1 105 

In what precincts 4 106 

Judges, illness of 3 105 

Jurisdiction, no loss of, when 105 

Method and procedure in 4 106 

Only in what precincts 5 107 

Order for 1 105 

Service of result 4 107 

REFERENDUM — See "Initiative and Referendum" 



REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS: 

Action to compel, plaintiffs, defendants 577 40 

After books closed 569 36 

Cancellation of Cards 570 36 

Certificate of Error 579 40 

Certificate of, to Secretary of State 566 34 

Challenge 573 37 

Challenge and examination of one voting 584 41 

Change of residence 560 32 

Close of 566 34 

Compensation to County Clerk for list 571-572 37 

"County Clerk," construed how 580 41 

County Commissioners to provide supplies and help 586 42 

Deputy Registrars, who are 557 31 

Disabled, may register, how 556 30 

Duty County Clerk on passage of Act 564 34 

Election, defined 582 41 

Elector, defined 581 41 

Elector transfer from other County, affidavit 561 32 

Freeholders certificate as to elector 576 40 

General Law 553-586 28-42 

Hours for 558 31 

Lists of, printing and posting 567 35 

May not vote if name not registered 578 40 

Militia, members may vote without registration, when 565 34 

Must sign register when voting 576 39 

Naturalization by Election Day, challenge 

requirement 559 31 

Naturalized citizen applying for 57 5 39 

Omission of name from 579 40 

Penalties 583, 585 41 

Poll Book, printing 568 36 

Posting notice of closing of 566 35 

Publication of closing 566 34 

Registry book and card index 554 28 

Registry book, Secretary of State to designate form of 554 29 



ELECTION LAWS OE MONTANA 249 

Code 

No. Page 

Registry cards, numbered, classified, Tiled how 558 31 

Removal of non-voters, when 562 33 

Re-regist ration 562 34 

Residence qualification by Election Day 559 31 

Residence, rules for determining 574 38 

Supplies and help 586 42 

War Veterans, do not lose registration when 563 34 

Who may register 555 30 

Residence 3 13 

Not gained by military duty 6 13 

Rights, Constitutional, declaration of Art. Ill 7 

Road construction, bond issue and tax levy for 4713-4714 156 

Road District, special election procedure 1664-1667 136-137 

School District Officers, separate elections held for 

Sec. 10, Art. XI 14 

School Matters 931-1015 108-113 

Ballot, form of 995 110 

Board members, how nominated in 2nd and 3rd 

class districts 988 109 

Bonding District, special election for 1014 112 

Bonds: 

Amount, term, date of election, fixed by trustees 10 126 

Ballots, preparation and form 11 128 

Canvass of election by Trustees 15 129 

Conduct of election 13 129 

Election: 

Only upon petition 1252 129 

Procedure 8-15 125-129 

Who may vote 12 128 

Issue: 

Restraining action forbidden after what time 9040 214 

Without election, procedure 6 125 

List of registered electors 12 128 

Notice of election 10 127 

Percentage of electors to authorize 14 129 

Petition: 

Consideration by Trustees 10 126 

For election 8 125 

Form, contents, filing, and proof 9 125 

Poll books, preparation and charge for 12 128 

Registration of electors 12 128 

Resolution for issue of 15 129 

School Districts Chap. 147 125-129 

Who may vote ; 1253 129 

Budget System, School Districts 7 135 

Buildings, construction or removal, limitation on 

School Board 1015 113 

Canvass of votes 996 110 

Certificate of Election 996 111 

Challenge procedure 1003 112 

Clerk of Board, vacancy 1000 112 

Compensation Judges and Clerks of election 1004 112 

Consolidation of School Districts 1034 113 

et seque et seque 

Certification of election result 1034 113 

Petition and notice of election 1034 113 

Voting shall be by ballot 1034 113 

County Free High, Validation of 36 133 

County High Schools: 

Abolishment procedure 19-25 131-133 

Validation of issued bonds 34 133 

Validation of location and establishment 35 133 

County Superintendent of Schools: 

Qualifications 10 14 

Term 951 108 

County Unit System of Rural School, election 

to create 1042 115 

Districts, Electors qualifications on indebtedness Chap. 47 211 

Elections, when and where held 987 108 

Expenses of election 1004 112 

High school, bonds for buildings, etc., submission 

of question and procedure 12-15 130-131 

Informality not to vitiate election 996 111 

Judges 989 109 

Appointment 994 110 



250 ELECTION LAWS OP MONTANA 

Code 

No. Page 

Vacancy, how filled 994 110 

Junior High, authority to establish, procedure 45 133 

New districts: 

Appointment of trustees 1034 113 

How created 1034 113 

Nomination prerequisite to election in 

first class districts 990 109 

Notice of election, posting or publication 992 110 

Polling places, designated when 991 109 

Poll list !'9t; 110 

Poll open when 989 109 

993 110 

Posting of notices 989 109 

Powers of school board 1015 113 

Rural School Districts: 

Annual meeting, when held, and for what purpose 1047 121 

Appeal by patrons 1044 118 

Board of Trustees, ex-officio members 1042 116 

Bond issue to pay warrant indebtedness 1046 121 

Boundaries 1041 114 

Building and Furnishing Fund 1210 123 

Buying, selling or exchanging property, 

procedure 1173 122 

Closing of schools, when 1044 119 

Corporate Body 1044 120 

County Commissioners duty 1041 114 

County Unit System, creation of 1042 115 

Created how 1041 114 

Dissolution, classification after 1048 122 

Dissolution, procedure 1048 122 

Elections, how conducted 1043 117 

Forfeiture of office 1047 121 

Funds, general or special, to reduce levies 1045 120 

Posting of notice for hearing 1041 114 

Property distribution 1048 122 

Redisricting of districts at passage of Act 1042 116 

Salary schedule 1044 120 

Second class: 

How created, property of 1046 120 

Indebtedness, apportionment 1046 121 

Tax levy, to pay interest on debt 1046 121 

Sinking Funds 1045 120 

Site selected, requirements 1173 123 

State Board of Land Commissioners, 

may sell or rent to 1173 123 

Tax levies 1044 119 

Taxes, apportionment of 1044 119 

Third Class, indebtedness 1045 120 

Traveling expenses of trustees 1047 121 

Trustees: 

Appointment, term, election, etc 1042 116 

Are electors of; term and election 1043 116 

Duties — Budget, tax levy 1044 118 

How nominated and elected 1043 116 

Oath 1044 117 

Qualification 1043 117 

Warrants, countersigned by, form 1044 119 

Sale of property, procedure 1014 113 

Sites, trustees may select 1014 113 

Special election for bonding district 1014 113 

Superintendent of Public Instruction: 

Qualifications 931 108 

Term of office 931 108 

Tally list 996 110 

Taxation, extra, election procedure 1219-1223 123-124 

Terms, construed 1040 114 

Trustees: 

As Canvassing Board 996 111 

Election, how held 989 109 

Eligibility 985 108 

Forfeiture of office, when 997 111 

May administer oaths 996 111 

Number of 986 108 

Removal from office 999 112 

Suspension of 999 112 



ELECTION LAWS Or MONTANA 251 

Code 

No. Page 

Term of office and oath 997 111 

Third class district, must be elected 

from District 987 1II8 

Vacancy declared by non-attendance 998 111 

Vacancy in office 998 111 

When majority of Board term expires, 

procedure 1 |H, I 112 

Voters' qualifications 1002 112 

Voting by ballot 989 109 

Smoke nuisance, abatement of 5292-5299 180-181 

Special election on tie vote, when 809 96 

Supplies, election, to be furnished by 

County Commissioners 602 44 

Taxpayer, who is, at an election 544 27 

Tie vote, procedure 809-812 96-97 

Voting: 

Absent Electors 715-735 75-82 

Affidavit, form of 720 77 

Application: 

Blank delivered upon request and how 719 7 7 

Delivery to County Clerk and checking 718 76 

For ballot 716 76 

Form 717 76 

Ballot: 

Delivery of and instructions 720 77 

Duty of County Clerk in mailing 728 80 

Envelope, not to be opened when deposited 

in ballot box, except 731 81 

Not to be delivered on Election Day 719 77 

Numbers reserved for 725 79 

To County Clerk 722 78 

Voting of 7 21 77 

Ballots: 

Delivery to Judges when 723 78 

Deposit of voted 727 80 

Disposition of rejected 727 80 

Must be official and regular 724 78 

Rejected 725 79 

Rejected when and for what reasons 727 80 

Cities and Towns, procedure applies to 719 77 

Elector: 

May vote when 726 79 

Must appear at polling place when — 

penalty 734 82 

Present in precinct on Election Day, 

may vote 729-730 81 

Endorsement by Judges 727 79 

Judges duties 725, 727 79 

Oath, officer administering must use 

sealing wax 721 78 

Penalties 732 81 

Poll lists, notation and reservation of 

ballots for 725 79 

Record of ballots 724 78 

Signatures, comparison 727 79 

Stub, detached voids ballot, endorsement 727 80 

Violation of provisions by officer or elector.... 735 82 

Voting machines, procedure 7 33 81 

Assistance, permissible, when 699 72 

Ballot: 

Deposit in box by Judges 702 73 

How voted 696 72 

Spoiled, procedure 698 72 

Ballots, delivered to voter only by Judge 693 71 

Booth, occupied by one person, time limit in 697 72 

Booths 692 70 

Certificate by Judges when assisting electors 699 73 

Challenge 706-714 74 

Electioneering prohibited on Election Day 693 71 

Elector: 

Shall announce name, etc., when 700 73 

Shall return ballot, when unvoted, to Judge 693 71 

Shall vote only official ballot 693 71 



252 ELECTION LAWS OF MONTANA 

Code 

No. Page 

Exhibiting voted ballot prohibited 693 71 

Expenses, a public charge 694 71 

Freeholders certificate 704 73 

Guard rail 692 To 

Guard rail, only voter permitted 693 71 

Identification marks on ballot prohibited 693 71 

Interference with voter prohibited 693 71 

Judges: 

And clerks of election, duties 695-714 72 

Deposit of ballot in ballot box 702 73 

Designated to deliver ballots 695 71 

Must announce name of person 701 73 

Machines 757-773 82-90 

Assistance to electors, when and how 762 85 

Ballots, number supplied 763 87 

Ballots put upon 764 87 

Bond issue to purchase 760 84 

Certificates and supplies for 763 85-86 

Compensation of mechanics, amount and by 

whom paid 757 83 

Consolidation of precincts for using 759 84 

Demonstration of use, where 763 85 

Diagram, mailing to voter 763 85 

Election Board composed of whom 761 84 

Examination and approval of, reports on 757 83 

General laws apply 768 89 

Instruction to Judges for use of 761 8 4 

"Irregular Ballots" 765 88 

Judges compensation for instruction 761 85 

Locking at close of polls 766 88 

May not be used until approved 757 83 

Must be on exhibition 763 85 

Must satisfy what requirements 758 83 

Nomination for more than one office 763 88 

On exhibition after count completed 7 67 88-89 

Papers relating to preserved how long 767 88 

Penalties 769-772 89-9o 

Preparation for use 764 87 

Publication of diagram before election 7 63 85 

Purchased by whom 759 83 

Qualification certificate to Judge 761 84 

Returns 767 89 

Room prepared for 761 84 

State Board of Voting Machine Commissioners, 

creation and duties of 757 82 

Time limit for 761 84 

Use of governed how 761 84 

Validation of experimental use in elections 773 90 

May commence, when 688 70 

Must sign precinct register, when 57 6 39 

Oath of elector under disability 699 73 

Poll list, keeping of 705 74 

Prohibited unless name on register 578 40 

Qualifications for Art. IX 13 

Register, delivery to County Clerk of 704 73 

Removal of ballots before closing prohibited 693 71 

Signing Register Book 704 73 

Time limit in 697 72 

Unofficial sample ballots prohibited at polling place 696 72 

"Voted" entry on check list 703 73 

Writing or pasting other names permitted 696 72 

Women, right to vote on referred measures 12 14 



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