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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Proposed ballot initiative to create an open-primary in Montana advances

A proposed ballot initiative to create an open-primary in Montana is moving forward per a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

The citizen-led initiative would create a “top four” ballot, meaning the four candidates that receive the most votes in a primary would end up on the general election ballot regardless of party.

This means multiple candidates from the same party could end up on the ballot together.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen had previously rejected the proposed ballot initiative, saying it was unconstitutional.

Montanans for Election Reform drafted the initiative. The group challenged Knudsen’s decision in court. The Supreme Court ordered Knudsen to send the initiative to the Secretary of State’s office, which oversees statewide elections.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
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