Instant Runoff Voting
The Greens believe that Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is the single most important election reform measure -- even more important than public funding of campaigns (which most of us oppose, if it means wasting money on TV ad campaigns like we have, now). If you don't know about Instant Runoff Voting, I have copied excerpts from a story about it, with links to more information.
Instant Runoff Voting Is Catching On
By Steven Hill
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
Instant runoff voting ensures that officeholders are elected with a majority of the vote in a single November election. No separate runoffs or primaries are necessary. Voters rank their candidates, and if their first choice can't win, their vote goes to their second-ranked candidate as their runoff choice. Voters are liberated to vote for the candidates they really like without worrying about "spoilers." You can rank your favorite candidate first, knowing if she or he can't win, you haven't wasted your vote because it will go to your second choice.
The movement toward use of IRV is gaining momentum because it answers a real need. It's one of the best solutions to public frustration with unresponsive and unaccountable government. IRV makes voters feel like their votes count, because they are not stuck always choosing the lesser of two evils; they can cast their vote for their favorite candidate, knowing if she or he can't win, they haven't thrown their vote away on a spoiler. IRV opens politics to new candidates and their ideas, increases political debate, and even discourages negative campaigning as candidates try to win rankings from the supporters of their opponents.
For all these reasons, instant runoff voting is now the hot reform to watch as Americans grapple with how to improve our democracy and make elected officials more accountable to We the Voters.
Here's another national organization promoting IRV:
The Center for Voting and Democracy
So far, we haven't had much luck promoting IRV in Montana. In this election cycle, Green Party member Ray Jergeson, who intended to file as an Independent for the Montana House against Bill Wilson here in Great Falls, withdrew on Wilson's promise that he would introduce an IRV Bill in the 2007 legislature. I don't live in that District, but Bill did request my assistance in persuading Ray not to run, assuming it was part of a Green Party strategy to unseat him. So, we delivered for him, and he won, but now he refuses to carry a Bill for IRV. Democratic Party officials have been almost invariably hostile to IRV, even though it would have almost certainly made them victors in the last two Presidential elections.
With Burns' loss (which could have been a victory with IRV, although that is by no means certain - most of those who voted Libertarian wouldn't have voted for Burns, anyway, because he supported the PATRIOT ACT), we might better look to a Republican to carry this bill. Or better yet, a number of sponsors from both parties, if there are any who care about fair elections and the will of the people being followed.
We'd like to emphasize that IRV doesn't favor any one party over another. It simply levels the playing field, and helps to reduce or eliminate "big money" from political campaigns, as well as eliminating "the spoiler effect" and having to vote for "the lesser of two evils." And it gives minor parties, new parties, and independents a much better chance at winning office, and having their views considered and known.
The state of Maine seems to have the most complete IRV Bill proposal in the country. For the text, go to
Paul Stephens, CasCoGreens
Matt Singer's original draft bill for Instant Runoff Voting (c.2002)
I'm not sure if this draft is consistent with the current Montana Code and IRV practice, but it seems to cover all the points. Compare it with the Maine bill, above, which is much shorter, and doesn't address a lot of other aspects of election law. Either law could be enacted by the Legislature, or put on the ballot as a (Constitutional?) Initiative for the next election.
This Initiative was evaluated by the Secretary of State's office, and the only reason Matt withdrew it, as I recall, was because the fiscal impact was determined to be several million dollars to change ballots and election procedures to implement it, and he thought that would defeat it before we even got started. It also encourages the elimination of primary elections wherever IRV is used, but it doesn't mandate IRV in every election.
If you know a legislator who would sponsor this, or any other IRV bill, by all means copy the text of this page to her or him, or contact me for more information.
Paul Stephens firstname.lastname@example.org
AN INITIATIVE REPLACING PLURALITY ELECTIONS WITH INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING; ELIMINATING PRIMARY ELECTIONS; PROVIDING GRANTS TO UPDATE VOTING TECHNOLOGY; RENAMING TITLE 13, CHAPTER 10; AMENDING SECTIONS 13-1-101, 13-1-103, 13-1-302, 13-2-115, 13-2-115, 13-2-123, 13-3-214, 13-2-220, 13-3-105, 13-4-101, 13-4-101, 13-10-201, 13-10-325, 13-10-327, 13-10-407, 13-10-503, 13-13-117, 13-14-117, 13-15-405, 13-15-507, 13-16-501, 13-17-103, 13-25-104, 13-26-107, 13-38-101, AND 13-38-201, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 13-10-204, 13-10-208, 13-10-209, 13-10-301, 13-10-304, 13-10-305, 13-10-311, 13-10-326, 13-10-401, 13-10-402, 13-10-403, 13-10-404, 13-10-405, 13-10-501, 13-10-507, 13-10-601, 13-10-604, 13-14-115, AND 13-14-118, MCA; AND AN ENACTMENT DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Ballot design.
(1) Ballots for all elections in Montana shall utilize instant run-off voting and provide for voters to rank as many candidates as appear on the ballot unless:
(a) only one or two candidates appear on the ballot;
(b) more than six candidates appear on the ballot, in which case the ballot shall provide for the ranking of up to six candidates; or
(c) the election is on a ballot issue.
(2) Ballots for all elections in Montana shall include the following instructions without significant modifications: "In races involving one or two candidates, please mark the candidate you prefer or leave blank. In races involving more candidates, you may rank up to six of the candidates in your order of preference. You may still choose to vote for only one candidate. Your vote will not count differently whether you vote for one candidate or rank six."
Section 2. Vote Tabulation.
(1) In elections involving two candidates, one vote shall be counted for each candidate whenever a voter has selected that candidate.
(2) In elections involving more than two candidates, the counting shall proceed through multiple stages:
(a) First Round. The first-round of vote tabulation shall consist of counting one vote for each candidate whenever a voter has marked that candidate as his first choice.
(i) First round vote totals will be used for all purposes under law other than determining a winner.
(ii) Vote tabulation shall stop at the first round if any candidate has received a majority of the vote.
(b) Successive Rounds.
(i) In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be considered out of the race and all votes awarded to that candidate will be transferred to the candidates marked as the second choice. In cases where no candidate has been marked as a second choice, no vote will be transferred.
(ii) This process will continue until either
(a) a candidate has achieved a majority of the votes, in which case that candidate will be declared the winner in accordance with 13-1-103; or
(b) only two candidates remain, in which case the candidate with the greater number of votes will be declared the winner in accordance with 13-1-103.
Section 3. Party Affiliation.
Parties shall have the power to determine who may be listed as a nominee of the party on election ballots.
(1) Political parties may decide to nominate candidates for all partisan offices in accordance with party rules.
(a) For offices to be filled by the state at large, the state central committee shall nominate candidates.
(b) For offices to be filled in districts including more than one county, a committee appointed by the county central committees of all counties in the district shall nominate candidates. Procedures for the appointment of the committee and the nomination must be provided in party rules.
(c) For offices to be filled in counties, municipalities, or districts wholly within a county, the county central committee shall nominate candidates.
(2) Political parties may nominate multiple candidates in all partisan elections.
(3) Political parties must submit nominations to the Secretary of State 120 days before the election.
(4) Candidates who filed for nomination with a political party and did not receive a nomination may either withdraw within the time frame established by law or choose to appear on the ballot as an "Independent." All candidates not notifying the Secretary of State of their decision by the withdrawal deadline will appear on the ballot as "Independent" candidates.
(5) Candidates may choose to decline a party nomination and be "Independent."
(6) Candidates receiving nominations from multiple parties must choose either one or none of the affiliations to be listed on the ballot.
Section 4. Grants for voting machines.
The 2002 Legislature shall appropriate monies from the General Fund to provide grants to counties that need to update their voting equipment in order to make it compatible with the requirements provided in 13-17-103.
Section 5. Section 13-1-101, MCA is amended to read:
13-1-101. Definitions. As used in this title, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Active elector" means a qualified elector whose name is on the active list.
(2) "Active list" means a list of active electors maintained by an election administrator pursuant to 13-2-219.
(3) "Anything of value" means any goods that have a certain utility to the recipient that is real and that is ordinarily not given away free but is purchased.
(4) "Application for voter registration" means a completed voter registration card submitted to the election administrator and subject to confirmation, as provided in 13-2-207.
(5) "Candidate" means:
(a) an individual who has filed a declaration or petition for nomination, acceptance of nomination or appointment as a candidate for public office as required by law;
(b) for the purposes of chapter 35, 36, or 37, an individual who has solicited or received and retained contributions, made expenditures, or given consent to an individual, organization, political party, or committee to solicit or receive and retain contributions or make expenditures on the individual's behalf to secure nomination or election to any office at any time, whether or not the office for which the individual will seek nomination or election is known when the:
(i) solicitation is made;
(ii) contribution is received and retained; or
(iii) expenditure is made; and
(c) an officeholder who is the subject of a recall election.
(6) (a) "Contribution" means:
(i) an advance, gift, loan, conveyance, deposit, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value to influence an election;
(ii) a transfer of funds between political committees;
(iii) the payment by a person other than a candidate or political committee of compensation for the personal services of another person that are rendered to a candidate or political committee.
(b) "Contribution" does not mean:
(i) services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee or meals and lodging provided by individuals in their private residence for a candidate or other individual;
(ii) the cost of any bona fide news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication of general circulation;
(iii) the cost of any communication by any membership organization or corporation to its members or stockholders or employees, as long as the organization is not a primary political committee; or
(iv) filing fees paid by the candidate.
(7) "Election" means a general, regular, or special, or primary election held pursuant to the requirements of state law, regardless of the time or purpose.
(8) "Election administrator" means the county clerk and recorder or the individual designated by a county governing body to be responsible for all election administration duties, except that with regard to school elections, the term means the school district clerk.
(9) "Elector" means an individual qualified and registered to vote under state law.
(10) (a) "Expenditure" means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, promise, pledge, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election.
(b) "Expenditure" does not mean:
(i) services, food, or lodging provided in a manner that they are not contributions under subsection (6);
(ii) payments by a candidate for a filing fee or for personal travel expenses, food, clothing, lodging, or personal necessities for the candidate and the candidate's family;
(iii) the cost of any bona fide news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication of general circulation; or
(iv) the cost of any communication by any membership organization or corporation to its members or stockholders or employees, as long as the organization is not a primary political committee.
(11) "Federal election" means a general or primary election in which an elector may vote for individuals for the office of president of the United States or for the United States congress.
(12) "General election" or "regular election" means an election held for the election of public officers throughout the state at times specified by law, including elections for officers of political subdivisions when the time of the election is set on the same date for all similar political subdivisions in the state. For ballot issues required by Article III, section 6, or Article XIV, section 8, of the Montana constitution to be submitted by the legislature to the electors at a general election, "general election" means an election held at the time provided in 13-1-104(1). For ballot issues required by Article XIV, section 9, of the Montana constitution to be submitted as a constitutional initiative at a regular election, regular election means an election held at the time provided in 13-1-104(1).
(13) "Inactive elector" means an individual whose name is placed on an inactive list.
(14) "Inactive list" means a list of inactive electors maintained by an election administrator pursuant to 13-2-219.
(15) "Individual" means a human being.
(16) "Instant run-off voting" means a method of casting and tabulating votes that simulates a series of run-off elections and that allows voters to rank candidates as to their preferences.
(17)(16) "Issue" or "ballot issue" means a proposal submitted to the people at an election for their approval or rejection, including but not limited to initiatives, referenda, proposed constitutional amendments, recall questions, school levy questions, bond issue questions, or a ballot question. For the purposes of chapters 35, 36, or 37, an issue becomes a "ballot issue" upon certification by the proper official that the legal procedure necessary for its qualification and placement upon the ballot has been completed, except that a statewide issue becomes an "issue" upon approval by the secretary of state of the form of the petition or referral.
(18)(17) "Person" means an individual, corporation, association, firm, partnership, cooperative, committee, club, union, or other organization or group of individuals or a candidate as defined in subsection (5).
(19)(18) "Political committee" means a combination of two or more individuals or a person other than an individual who makes a contribution or expenditure:
(a) to support or oppose a candidate or a committee organized to support or oppose a candidate or a petition for nomination; or
(b) to support or oppose a ballot issue or a committee organized to support or oppose a ballot issue; or
(c) as an earmarked contribution.
(20)(19) "Political subdivision" means a county, consolidated municipal-county government, municipality, special district, or any other unit of government, except school districts, having authority to hold an election for officers or on a ballot issue.
(20) "Primary" or "primary election" means an election held throughout the state to nominate candidates for public office at times specified by law, including nominations of candidates for offices of political subdivisions when the time for nominations is set on the same date for all similar subdivisions in the state.
(21) "Public office" means a state, county, municipal, school, or other district office that is filled by the people at an election.
(22) "Registrar" means the county election administrator and any regularly appointed deputy or assistant election administrator.
(23) "Special election" means an election other than a statutorily scheduled primary or general election held at any time for any purpose provided by law. It may be held in conjunction with a statutorily scheduled election.
(24) "Voting machine or device" means any equipment used to record, tabulate, or in any manner process the vote of an elector.
Section 6. Section 13-1-103, MCA is amended to read:
13-1-103. Determination of winner. (1) In elections requiring instant run-off voting, the individual who demonstrates majority support for any office at any stage of vote tabulation is elected to that office. In the case that no individual receives a majority at any point during tabulation, the individual receiving the highest greater number of votes for any office at an election at the final stage of tabulation is elected or nominated to that office.
(2) In elections not requiring instant run-off voting, the individual receiving the greater number of votes for any office at an election is elected to that office.
Section 7. Section 13-1-302, MCA is amended to read:
13-1-302 Election costs. (1) Unless specifically provided otherwise, all costs of the regularly scheduled primary and general elections shall be paid by the counties and other political subdivisions for which the elections are held. Each political subdivision shall bear its proportionate share of the costs as determined by the county governing body.
(2) A political subdivision holding an annual election with a regularly scheduled school election shall bear its proportionate share of the costs as determined by the county election administrator and the school district election administrator.
(3) The political subdivision for which a special election is held shall bear all costs of the election, or its proportionate share as determined by the county governing body if held in conjunction with any other election.
(4) Costs of elections may not include the services of the election administrator or capital expenditures.
(5) The county governing body shall set a schedule of fees for services provided to school districts by the election administrator.
(6) Election costs shall be paid from county funds, and any shares paid by other political subdivisions shall be credited to the fund from which the costs were paid.
(7) The proportionate costs referred to in subsection (1) of this section shall be only those additional costs incurred as a result of the political subdivision holding its election in conjunction with the primary or general election.
Section 8. Section 13-2-115, MCA is amended to read:
13-2-115. Registration lists to be prepared. (1) Except as provided in subsections (6) and (7), immediately after registration is closed, the election administrator shall prepare and must have printed lists of all registered electors in each precinct. Names of electors must be listed alphabetically, with their residence address or with a mailing address if located where street numbers are not used. A preliminary list of registered electors may be printed before the close of registration for an election. If a preliminary list is printed, a supplementary list must be printed after the close of registration.
(2) A copy of the list of registered voters must be displayed at the polling place. Extra copies of the lists must be retained by the election administrator and furnished to an elector upon request.
(3) The list of registered electors prepared for a primary election may be used for the general election if a supplemental list giving the additions and deletions since the primary list was prepared is printed. The election administrator may prepare lists for a special election, but lists are not required to be printed for special elections.
(3)(4) Lists of registered voters need not be printed if the election will not be held.
(4)(5) The election administrator shall forward a list of all registered electors in the county to the secretary of state, as provided in 13-2-123. The secretary of state shall use the lists submitted by election administrators to compile and maintain a list of all registered electors in the state. Upon written request, the secretary of state shall furnish to any elector, for noncommercial use, a current list of registered electors. Upon delivery of the list to the elector, the secretary of state shall charge and collect a fee commensurate with the cost of compiling and maintaining the list and of reproducing the list in the format requested by the elector.
(5)(6) If a law enforcement officer or reserve officer, as defined in 7-32-201, requests in writing that, for security reasons, the officer's and the officer's spouse's residential address, if the same as the officer's, not be disclosed, the registrar may not include the address on any list of registered voters but shall list only the name or names.
(6)(7) (a) Upon the request of an individual, an election administrator may not include the individual's residential address on any list of registered voters but shall list only the name or names if the individual:
(i) proves to the election administrator that the individual, or a minor in the custody of the individual, has been the victim of partner or family member assault, stalking, custodial interference, or other offense involving bodily harm or threat of bodily harm to the individual or minor; or
(ii) proves to the election administrator that a temporary restraining order or injunction has been issued by a judge or magistrate to restrain another person's access to the individual or minor.
(b) Proof of the victimization is conclusive upon exhibition to the election administrator of a criminal judgment, information and judgment, or affidavit of a county attorney clearly indicating the conviction and the identity of the victim.
(c) Proof of the issuance of a temporary restraining order or injunction is conclusive upon exhibition to the election administrator of the temporary restraining order or injunction.
Section 9. Section 13-2-123, MCA, is amended to read:
13-2-123. Election administrator to provide list of electors to secretary of state. (1) The election administrator in each county shall provide to the secretary of state a list by precinct of all registered electors in the county. The list must include the following information, when possible, for each elector:
(b) mailing address;
(c) precinct number;
(d) registration number assigned by the county election administrator pursuant to 13-2-114;
(e) residence address;
(f) telephone number;
(g) date of birth;
(i) legislative house district;
(j) date of registration; and
(k) whether the elector's name is on the active or inactive list of electors.
(2) (a) Except as provided in subsection (2)(b), the list provided pursuant to subsection (1) must be a paper copy.
(b) If the county election administrator also maintains the information in other media, such as on a computer disk or tape, and the secretary of state requests the information in that media, the county election administrator shall also provide the list in that media.
(3) In odd-numbered years, the list of electors required by subsection (1) must be delivered to the secretary of state by December 15.
(4) In even-numbered years, the list of electors required by subsection (1) must be delivered to the secretary of state:
(a) for a primary election, no later than July 1, and the list must indicate any changes made up to and including the date of the June primary; and
(b) for a general or special election, 30 days prior to the close of registration before the election.
(5) Each election administrator may provide the secretary of state with a supplemental list of electors in even-numbered years, giving the additions, deletions, and changes made between the time that the previous list was compiled and the close of registration.
Section 10. Section 13-2-214, MCA, is amended to read:
13-2-214. Classification of federal post card application. (1) Unless the elector is already registered, a federal post card application received from an elector in the United States service shall be treated as a simultaneous application for registration and for ballot for each primary and general election in which he is entitled to vote during the year of its receipt.
(2) Upon receipt by the election administrator of a federal post card application, properly filled out and signed, the election administrator shall:
(a) classify the application according to the precinct in which the elector resides or, if the information is insufficient to determine precinct of residence, assign an appropriate precinct;
(b) immediately enter all information in the registration records of the office and either file the post card application with regular registration forms or file a photocopy attached to a regular registration form on which the information has been entered;
(c) send to the applicant by the fastest mail service available a notice that he has been registered and informing him that a ballot is enclosed or that he will be mailed an absentee ballot for the next election in which he is entitled to vote under subsection (1).
(3) The election administrator may use photocopies of the post card application to complete all necessary records.
Section 11. Section 13-2-220, MCA, is amended to read:
13-2-220. Maintenance of voter registration rolls for elections -- rules by secretary of state. (1) The secretary of state shall adopt rules specifying a list of procedures from which an election administrator shall choose at least one procedure for the maintenance of accurate voter registration rolls for use in elections.
(2) The procedures specified by the secretary of state must include the following procedures, which an election administrator shall follow in every odd-numbered year:
(a) compare the entire list of registered electors against the national change of address files and provide appropriate confirmation notice to those individuals whose addresses have apparently changed;
(b) mail a nonforwardable, first-class, "return if undeliverable--address correction requested" notice to all registered electors of each jurisdiction to confirm their addresses and provide the appropriate confirmation notice to those individuals who return the notices;
(c) mail a targeted mailing to electors who have failed to vote by:
(i) sending the list of nonvoters a nonforwardable notice, followed by the appropriate forwardable confirmation notice to those electors who appear to have moved from their addresses of record;
(ii) comparing the list of nonvoters against the national change of address files, followed by the appropriate confirmation notices to those electors who appear to have moved from their addresses of record;
(iii) sending forwardable confirmation notices; or
(iv) making a door-to-door canvass.
(3) Any notices returned to the election administrator after using the procedures provided in subsection (2) must be followed by an appropriate confirmation notice that is a forwardable, first-class, postage-paid, self-addressed, return notice. If the elector fails to respond within 30 days of the confirmation notice, the election administrator shall move the elector to the inactive list.
(4) A procedure used by an election administrator pursuant to this section must be completed at least 90 days before a primary or general election for federal office.
Section 12. Section 13-3-105, MCA, is amended to read:
13-3-105. Designation of polling place. (1) The county governing body shall designate the polling place for each precinct no later than 30 days before a primary an election. The same polling place shall be used for both the primary and general election if at all possible. Changes may be made by the governing body in designated polling places up to 10 days before an election if a designated polling place is not available. Polling places may be located outside the boundaries of a precinct.
(2) Not more than 10 or less than 2 days before an election, the election administrator shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, a statement of the locations of the precinct polling places. The election administrator shall include in the published notice the accessibility designation for each polling place according to the classification in 13-3-207. Notice may also be given as provided in 2-3-105 through 2-3-107.
(3) An election administrator may make changes in the location of a polling place if an emergency occurs 10 days or less before an election. Notice shall be posted at both the old and new polling places, and other notice may be given by whatever means available.
(4) Any publicly owned building may be used as a polling place. Such building must be furnished at no charge as long as no structural changes are required in order to use the building as a polling place.
Section 13. Section 13-4-101, MCA, is amended to read:
13-4-101. Appointment of election judges -- other boards of election judges. (1) At least 30 days before the primary election in even-numbered years, the county governing body shall appoint 3 or more election judges for each precinct, one of whom shall be designated chief judge.
(2) A board of election judges, designated as a counting board, may be appointed in any precinct if recommended by the election administrator.
(3) A board of election judges, designated as a counting board for absentee ballots, may be appointed to count all absentee ballots for all precincts if recommended by the election administrator.
Section 14. Section 13-4-102, MCA, is amended to read:
13-4-102. Manner of choosing election judges. (1) Election judges shall be chosen from lists of qualified registered electors for each precinct in the county, submitted at least 45 days before the primary election in even-numbered years by the county central committees of the political parties eligible to nominate candidates in the primary.
(2) The list of each party may contain more names than the number of election judges to be appointed. The names of those not appointed as election judges shall be given to the election administrator for use in making appointments to fill vacancies.
(3) Each board of election judges shall contain judges representing all parties that have submitted lists as provided in subsection (1). No more than a majority may be appointed from the list of one political party in each precinct. If any of the political parties entitled to do so fail to submit a list, the governing body shall, insofar as possible, appoint judges so that all parties eligible to participate in the primary are represented on each board.
(4) The election administrator shall make appointments to fill vacancies from the list provided for in subsection (2). If the list is insufficient or if one or more of the eligible political parties fails to submit a list, the election administrator may randomly select, either by manual drawing or by computer, sufficient qualified registered electors in the county to fill election judge vacancies in all precincts.
(5) An elector chosen to potentially serve as an election judge must be notified of selection at least 30 days before the primary election in even-numbered years. Each elector who agrees to serve as an election judge shall attend a training class conducted under 13-4-203 and shall continue to serve as assigned by the election administrator for 2 years.
Section 15. Chapter 10 of Title 13 is renamed "Nominating Procedures"
Section 16. Section 13-10-101, MCA, is amended to read:
13-10-201. Declaration for nomination. (1) Each candidate in the primary election, except nonpartisan candidates filing under the provisions of chapter 14, shall send a declaration for nomination to the secretary of state or election administrator. Each candidate for governor shall send a joint declaration for nomination with a candidate for lieutenant governor.
(2) A declaration for nomination must be filed in the office of:
(a) the secretary of state for placement of a name on the ballot for the presidential preference primary, a congressional office, a state or district office to be voted for in more than one county, a member of the legislature, or a judge of the district court;
(b) the election administrator for a county, municipal, precinct, or district office (other than a member of the legislature or judge of the district court) to be voted for in only one county.
(3) Each candidate shall sign the declaration and send with it the required filing fee or, in the case of an indigent candidate, send with it the documents required by 13-10-203. The declaration for nomination must be acknowledged by an officer empowered to acknowledge signatures or by the officer of the office at which the filing is made.
(4) The declaration, when filed, is conclusive evidence that the elector is a candidate for nomination by the elector's party.
(5) (a) The declaration for nomination must be in the form and contain the information prescribed by the secretary of state.
(b) A person seeking nomination to the legislature shall provide the secretary of state with a street address, legal description, or road designation to indicate the person's place of residence. If a candidate for the legislature changes residence, the candidate shall, within 15 days after the change, notify the secretary of state on a form prescribed by the secretary of state.
(c) The secretary of state and election administrator shall furnish declaration for nomination forms to individuals requesting them.
(6) Declarations for nomination must be filed no sooner than 135 days before the election in which the office first appears on the ballot and no later than 5 p.m., 75 150 days before the date of the primary election.
(7) A declaration for nomination form may be sent by facsimile transmission, if a facsimile facility is available for use by the election administrator or by the secretary of state, delivered in person, or mailed to the election administrator or to the secretary of state.
Section 17. Section 13-10-325, MCA, is amended to read:
13-10-325. Withdrawal from nomination. (1) A candidate for nomination or candidate for election to an office may withdraw from the election by sending a statement of withdrawal to the officer with whom his declaration, petition, or acceptance of nomination was filed. The statement must contain all information necessary to identify the candidate and the office sought and the reason for withdrawal. It shall be sworn or affirmed before an officer empowered to administer oaths. A candidate may not withdraw later than 85 days before a general election or 75 days before a primary election.
(2) Filing fees paid by the candidate may not be refunded.
Section 18. Section 13-10-327, MCA, is amended to read:
13-10-327. Vacancy after primary and prior to general election. (1) Except as provided in 13-10-328 for a vacancy in the candidacy of either governor or lieutenant governor caused by the death of a candidate, if a party candidate dies or withdraws after the primary and before the general election, the affected political party shall appoint someone to replace the candidate in one of the following ways:
(a) For offices to be filled by the state at large, the state central committee shall make the appointment as provided by the rules of the party.
(b) For offices to be filled in districts including more than one county, a committee appointed by the county central committees of all counties in the district shall make the appointment. Procedures for the appointment of the committee and making the appointment must be provided in party rules.
(c) For offices to be filled in counties, municipalities, or districts wholly within a county, the appointment must be made under rules adopted by the county central committee.
(2) Except as provided in this section, appointments to fill vacancies must be made no later than 75 days before the election. A candidate may not officially withdraw 85 days or less before a general election. However, if a candidate for partisan office dies less than 85 days before the general election, the affected political party shall appoint a candidate within 5 days after being notified of the vacancy. One of the procedures provided in 13-12-204 must be used to place the name of the appointee on the ballot if necessary.
(3) The appointing committee shall send a certificate to the officer with whom a declaration for nomination for the office would be filed, with the information required on a declaration for nomination and the name of the candidate for whom the appointee is to be substituted. The appointee shall send a signed and acknowledged acceptance of the appointment and the filing fee for the office.
(4) The officer receiving the certificate of appointment, accompanied by a statement of acceptance and the filing fee, shall certify the name of the appointee for the ballot.
Section 19. Section 13-10-407, MCA, is amended to read:
13-10-407. Delegates to national presidential nominating conventions. The method of selection of delegates to national presidential nominating conventions is to be set by party rules. The use of the results of the presidential preference primary election by the political parties in their delegation selection systems is discretionary and is to be determined by party rules.
Section 20. Section 13-10-503, MCA, is amended to read:
13-10-503. Filing deadlines. (1) A petition for nomination and the affidavits of circulation required by 13-27-302, accompanied by the required filing fee, must be filed with the same officer with whom other nominations for the office sought are filed. Petitions must be submitted, at least 1 week before the deadline for filing, to the election administrator in the county where the signer resides for verification and certification by the procedures provided in 13-27-303 through 13-27-306. In the event there are insufficient signatures on the petition, additional signatures may be submitted before the deadline for filing.
(2) Except as provided in 13-10-504, each petition must be filed before the scheduled primary election or the filing deadline for the special or general election if a primary election is not scheduled.
Section 21. Section 13-13-117, MCA, is amended to read:
13-13-117. Method of voting. (1) On receipt of his ballot, the elector must immediately retire to one of the booths and prepare his ballot.
(1) He shall prepare his ballot by marking an "x" in the square before the name of the individual or individuals for whom he intends to vote in elections involving either in or two candidates.
(3) He shall prepare his ballot by placing rankings numbering one (1) through six (6) on the ballot in elections involving three or more candidates.
(4)(3) If the ballot contains a ballot issue, he shall mark an "x" in the applicable square indicating his vote either for or against the issue.
(5)(4) The elector may write the name of an individual for whom he wishes to vote in the blank space or affix a preprinted label in the blank space and may vote for that individual by marking an "x" before the name or by placing a numeral next to the name. When the ballot is marked in this manner, it must be counted the same as though the name were printed upon the ballot and marked by the elector, except as provided in 13-15-202.
(6)(5) An elector voting a ballot that will be counted by an optical scan ballot tabulating device shall mark his ballot in the manner prescribed on his ballot. However, his ballot must not be invalidated if he marks the voting positions with an "x" or if he manually ranks the candidates using numerals.
(7)(6) After preparing his ballot, the elector must fold it so the face of the ballot will be concealed and the official stamp may be seen and hand it to the election judges.
(8)(7) The judge receiving the ballots shall remove the stubs in sight of the elector and deposit each ballot in the ballot box and each stub in a box for detached stubs. The judge must place the ballots in the ballot box immediately without opening or examining them.
(9)(8) No individual except an election judge may put a ballot, any paper resembling a ballot, or anything other than a ballot in a ballot box.
(10)(9) Any elector who spoils his ballot may, on returning the spoiled ballot, receive another in place of it.
Section 22. Section 13-14-117, MCA, is amended to read:
13-14-117. Placing names on ballots for general election. All candidates who file for non-partisan office shall be listed on the general election ballot. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), candidates for nomination equal to twice the number to be elected at the general election who receive the highest number of votes cast at the primary are the nominees for the office. If the number of candidates is not more than twice the number to be elected, then all candidates are nominees for the office.
(2) If, pursuant to 13-14-115(3), a primary election is not held, then all candidates who filed for an office are nominees for the office.
Section 23. Section 13-15-405, MCA, is amended to read:
13-15-405. Declaration or certification of results. (1) The board shall declare nominated or elected the individuals having the highest number of votes cast for each county and precinct office, except achieved victory as provided in 13-1-103 13-10-204.
(2) The board shall proclaim the adoption or rejection of a county ballot issue.
(3) The board shall certify the results of the canvass of votes cast for individuals for political subdivision offices and for and against political subdivision ballot issues to the governing body of each political subdivision participating in the election.
(4) If there is a tie vote for a county office, an office of a political subdivision wholly within the county, a precinct office, or a ballot issue voted on only in that county or portion of that county, the board shall certify the vote to the election administrator.
(5) The board shall certify the results of the canvass of votes cast for justice of the peace, city judge, and municipal court judge to the supreme court in order to ensure compliance with 3-1-1502 or 3-1-1503.
Section 24. Section 13-15-507, MCA, is amended to read:
13-15-507. Declaration, proclamation, and certification of results. The board shall declare nominated or elected the individual who has won as provided in 13-1-103. having the highest number of votes cast for each office, except as provided in 13-10-204. The board shall proclaim the adoption or rejection of ballot issues. Certified copies of the report required in 13-15-506, the declaration of nominated or elected individuals, the proclamation of adoption or rejection of ballot issues, and the effective date of adopted ballot issues shall be delivered to the governor.
Section 25. Section 13-16-501, MCA, is amended to read:
13-16-501. Tie vote after recount. (1) If the recount shows a tie vote for any office and it cannot be determined who has been nominated by the primary election, the election officer with whom the candidates' nominating declarations or petitions were filed shall determine by lot which candidate shall be nominated. Written notice of the time and place of the drawing shall be given to each candidate involved.
(2) If the recount after a general election shows a tie vote and it cannot be determined who has been elected, the office or position shall be filled as provided by 13-16-502 through 13-16-506.
Section 26. Section 13-17-103, MCA, is amended to read:
13-17-103. Required specifications for equipment. A voting machine or device may not be approved unless:
(1) an elector can vote in secrecy;
(2) an elector is prevented from voting for any candidate or upon any ballot issue more than once and is also prevented from voting on any office or ballot issue for which he is not entitled to vote;
(3) an elector can secretly select the party for which he wishes to vote in a primary election and the machine or device will count only votes for the candidates of that party by the elector in the primary election;
(3) an elector can utilize his ability to rank candidates in instant run-off voting elections.
(4) an elector can vote a split ticket in a general election if he desires;
(5) every valid vote cast is registered and recorded;
(6) the machine or device is constructed so that it cannot be tampered with for a fraudulent purpose and is also constructed so that during the progress of the voting no individual can see or know the number of votes registered for any candidate or on any ballot issue;
(7) it allows write-in voting; and
(8) a guarantee to provide training and assistance to election officials is included in each contract for purchase of the machine or device.
Section 27. Section 13-25-104, MCA, is amended to read:
13-25-104. Meeting and voting of electors. (1) The electors shall meet in Helena at 2 p.m. on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following their election.
(2) The electors shall vote by separate ballots for one person for president and one for vice president of the United States.
(3) The electors shall cast their ballots for the persons who received the highest number of votes were declared winners as provided in 13-1-103 for president and vice president of the United States, respectively, in the most recently conducted general election in the state of Montana.
Section 28. Section 13-26-102, MCA, is amended to read:
13-26-102. Delegates to constitutional convention. (1) The number of convention delegates shall be equal to the number of members in the legislature. Each district shall have delegates equal to the number of members it is entitled to in the legislature.
(2) Delegates shall be elected at the next primary or general election after congress has proposed the amendment or at a special election called by the governor.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the election shall be in accordance with the laws for the election of members of the legislature.
Section 29. Section 13-38-101, MCA, is amended to read:
13-38-101. Powers of parties. Each political party shall have power to:
(1) make its own rules;
(2) provide for and select its own offices;
(3) call conventions and provide for the number and qualification of delegates;
(4) adopt platforms;
(5) provide for selection of delegates to national conventions;
(6) provide for the nomination of presidential electors;
(7) provide for the selection of national committeemen and women;
(8) decide which candidates may be affiliated with the party on election ballots;
(9)(8) make nominations to fill vacancies occurring among its candidates nominated for offices to be filled by the state at large or by any district consisting of more than one county where such vacancies are caused by death, resignation, or removal from the electoral district;
(10)(9) perform all other functions inherent in such an organization.
Section 30. Section 13-38-201, MCA, is amended to read:
13-38-201. Election of committeemen at primary. (1) Each political party shall elect at each primary election one man and one woman who shall serve as committeemen for each election precinct in a manner to be provided for by party rules. The committeemen shall be residents and registered voters of the precinct.
(2) An elector may be placed in nomination for committeeman by a writing so stating, signed by the elector, notarized, and filed in the office of the registrar within the time for filing declarations naming candidates for nomination at the regular biennial primary election.
(3) The names of candidates for precinct committeeman of each political party shall be printed on the party ticket in the same manner as other candidates and the voter shall vote for them in the same manner as he does for other candidates.
Section 31. Sections 13-10-204, 13-10-208, 13-10-209, 13-10-301, 13-10-302, 13-10-305, 13-10-311, 13-10-326, 13-10-401, 13-10-402, 13-10-403, 13-10-404, 13-10-405, 13-10-501, 13-10-507, 13-10-601, 13-10-604, 13-14-115, 13-14-118, MCA, are repealed.
Section 32. All other references to primary elections in MCA are hereby struck from the code.
New Section Section 33. Submission to the electorate. This initiative shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the state of Montana at the general election held in November 2002 by printing on the ballot the full title of this act and the following:
 FOR using instant run-off voting and eliminating primary elections.
 AGAINST using instant run-off voting and eliminating primary elections.
New Section Section 34. Effective Date - applicability. If approved by the electorate, this initiative is effective January 1, 2003 and applies to elections occurring during or after 2004.