ome unions and other groups have asked the Montana Supreme Court to strike from the 2014 ballot two legislative referendums dealing with elections. They argue that Attorney General Tim Fox should have rejected both referendums because of legal problems with them. Fox’s staff and the bills’ sponsor, Sen. Alan Olson, R-Roundup, disagreed and said the measures approved by the 2013 Legislature should remain on the 2014 ballot. Legislative Referendum 126 would end voter registration on Election Day and move the registration deadline back to 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day, which is on Tuesday. The other measure, LR-127, would change Montana’s primary election to what’s known as the “top two” primary system. Challenging LR-126 are the MEA-MFT, Montana AFL-CIO, Montana Public Employees Association, Montana Human Rights Network, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Montana Women Vote and Western Native Voice. “LR-126 is clear voter suppression, and it cuts across the board of affected groups – Native Americans, university students, people who have changed addresses and veterans,” said Eric Feaver, president of MEA-MFT, the union that is the lead plaintiff in both challenges.
They contend LR-126 contains a false statement in its title and thus should be removed from the ballot. They argued the measure falsely says it is “ensuring compliance with National Voter Registration Act,” or NVRA.
“Nothing in LR-126 is required in any way by the NVRA,” said the petition by Helena lawyers John Morrison and Frederick Sherwood.
In a brief, Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion disagreed, saying LR-126 “does contain language regarding the NVRA that is accurately summarized in the referendum’s title and addresses a concern raised by legislative staffers.”
Some but not all of these same groups, also are challenging LR-127, which would change Montana’s primary elections to what’s known as a “top two” primary system.
Full Article: Groups ask Montana court to strike referendums from ballot.