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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Supreme Court Upholds Green Party's Ballot Removal

Montana absentee ballot for the 2017 special congressional election.
Eric Whitney
Montana Public Radio
Montana absentee ballot.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a state judge's decision to remove Montana Green Party candidates from the November ballot.

The justices issued the order Tuesday and said they'd file their written opinion later. Thursday is the deadline for the Secretary of State's Office to certify general election ballots.

The Montana Democratic Party and three voters challenged about 200 signatures used to qualify the Green Party for ballot access.

District Judge James Reynolds disqualified about 85 signatures in early July, leaving the Green Party without enough valid signatures.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, a Republican, appealed Reynolds' decision.

Both Democrats and Republicans agree the Green Party could siphon votes away from Democratic candidates, including U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who is being challenged by Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale.

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