HELENA — This Wednesday afternoon, the Montanans for Election Reform officially launched their campaign to gather signatures for two election reform initiatives.
“And we have republicans, democrats, independents. It really is a broad base of people from all over the state that share the same mission and values,” says former Republican House member from Kalispell and Board Member of Montanans for Election Reform, Frank Garner.
The two initiatives CI-126 and CI-127 were approved by the Montana Supreme Court and Attorney General to begin gathering signatures. If they receive enough signatures, they will be added to the ballot in November.
CI-126 would give voters the option to cast their vote regardless of party affiliation in Montana’s primaries. This means that all parties would be listed on the same ballot.
CI-127 requires the winning candidate to have taken office by means of winning the majority of votes in the general election. This would mean that the winning candidate would need more than half the votes to take office.
Supporters of these 2 initiatives say these changes would reduce the influence of special interest groups and major political parties and empower the independent.
Garner says that this campaign creates bipartisan and even nonpartisan cooperation.
“I know from talking to people across the state and in my hometown that they're tired of the divisiveness, tired of us not solving some of the hardest problems, and they want to see reforms and changes that put them back in charge,” says Garner.
Each initiative will take more than 60,000 signatures from registered voters across Montana – including a minimum amount in 40 of the state’s 100 legislative districts – for them to qualify for the 2024 ballot.