Montana Public Radio

I-186

Jeremy Fleege (L), an environmental engineer with Montana Resources, and Matt Vincent (R), an environmental consultant for MR, at a Stop I-186 event at Butte Brewing Company, October 24, 2018.
Nora Saks / MTPR

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana voters have rejected a ballot initiative that would have increased cleanup standards for companies that plan to open new mines in the state.

The measure that failed in Tuesday's election would have required developers to provide clear evidence in any new hard-rock mining proposal that the mine wouldn't need the perpetual treatment of polluted water after operations end. 

Updated at 9 a.m. Check our Live Election Results for the most up to date information.

Not all of Montana's precincts have fully reported this morning so in some cases we don't know much more than we did by the time many people went to bed last night.

Polls show undecided voters may tip the balance in Montana's House and Senate races; how two ballot issues are attracting a lot of outside money and attention; new ads range from ominous to humorous; and a national Republican group sends out a mailer with erroneous voter information. Listen in now on "Campaign Beat," MTPR's weekly political analysis program.

Jeremy Fleege (L), an environmental engineer with Montana Resources, and Matt Vincent (R), an environmental consultant for MR, at a Stop I-186 event at Butte Brewing Company, October 24, 2018.
Nora Saks / MTPR

Campaign contributions in the fight over Montana ballot initiative 186 have roughly doubled over the last month, most of that money is backing opponents of the initiative’s proposed new regulations on mining. MTPR's Nora saks reports from one of their events in Butte. 

A screen shot of a recent political text message sent to phones in Montana
Corin Cates-Carney

Fifty-six thousand Montanans recently got a text from the political committee supporting ballot issue I-186, which would tighten regulations on the mining industry. The group that sent out those messages said they were not "robo-texts," although a messaging app helped send them out.

Screen capture from the "Stop I-186.com" website Oct. 16, 2018.
Stop I-186.com

Backers of a Montana citizen's initiative that would add new mining regulations say a foreign-owned company is illegally bankrolling an industry campaign against the proposal.

In a complaint Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission, sponsors of Initiative 186 alleged campaign law violations by the Montana Mining Association, Sandfire Resources and others.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to 'Campaign Beat,' our weekly political analysis program. I'm Sally Mauk and I'm joined by University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin and veteran Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson.

Mistakes In Montana Voter Guide Cost $265,000

Oct 12, 2018
An image of part of the email from Montana's Secretary of State office announcing errors in the state Voter Information Pamphlet
Montana Secretary of State's office

The official Montana voter information pamphlet many voters have received contains formatting errors. An addendum correcting them has now been mailed out at a total cost of more than $265,000.

In an email yesterday, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton announced that the one page addendum was being mailed.

The latest campaign finance reports show that a lot of the $3 million that’s flowed into the race for Montana’s I-186 ballot measure so far has come from organizations and individuals with out of state and international ties. 

Nick Mott

The latest fundraising reports say opponents of a ballot initiative aimed at protecting Montana waterways from mine pollution have raised about 25 percent more money than its supporters, despite not taking in any cash in August.

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