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Shared State Episode 03: Grateful To God

Sep 15, 2020

Delegates included a nod to religion when they wrote Montana’s constitutional preamble. Decades later, ideas about God, faith and morality continue to influence how lawmakers approach policy issues. Specifically: access to abortion and civil rights for LGBTQ people.

Cannabis in jars.

Montana voters will decide in the 2020 election whether to join 11 other states that have legalized adult use of recreational marijuana. Groups for and against the idea debated on Monday at a forum hosted by City Club Missoula.

Campaign Beat: QAnon, Carbon Tax And Cooney On Drums

Sep 11, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence and top Montana Republican candidates plan to attend a fundraiser hosted by supporters of QAnon, which the FBI calls a domestic terrorism threat. Gov. Bullock flip-flops on support of a carbon tax. A new ad accuses Sen. Daines of cozying up to Texas billionaires who own a big chunk of Montana. A new poll shows the Senate race a virtual tie. Trump's remarks about dead soldiers draw party line reaction. And Mike Cooney marches to the beat of his own drum.

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Gwen Florio, filling in for Holly Michels.

A 2020 Montana primary absentee ballot
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Republicans have filed another lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, joining an effort to stop an emergency executive order that allows counties to conduct this year’s election by all-mail voting.

A Montana district court began trial hearings on Sept. 8 regarding the legality of a state law that limits the number of ballots a person can deliver on others’ behalf.

Yellowstone County District Court Judge Jessica Fehr is hearing the first of two trials tied to the Ballot Interference Prevention Act (BIPA), which caps the number of absentee ballots a person or group can drop off for someone else at six.

Bozeman’s mayor resigned on Sept. 9 after allegations of bullying city staff and interfering with city administration.

In a press release from the city, Chris Mehl thanked voters for the opportunity to serve Bozeman and said he had tried to be “proactive and prepared” in his role as mayor but other city commissioners didn’t see it that way.

Shared State Episode 02: 'We The People Of Montana'

Sep 9, 2020

When we say "We the people of Montana," who do we really mean? Who’s included, who’s left out, and what’s that mean this November? Listen now on Shared State, a podcast about what's driving Montana's 2020 elections and where the outcomes could lead us.

The candidates for Montana’s state auditor office squared off in a televised debate Sunday hosted by MTN News. The Republican candidate touted his past business experience as making him the most qualified to run the office. The Democrat argues he’s best prepared for the job due to his work as an attorney and state legislator.

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

As of Friday, 45 of Montana’s 56 counties have filed plans to hold all-mail elections this November after Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive in August allowing counties to do so. However, some people are pushing back against the measure and Republican officials have filed a lawsuit trying to stop it.

Shared State Episode 01: Preamble

Sep 8, 2020

In case you haven't been turning on the TV or opening the paper, we're in the thick of campaign season and there are big, competitive races up and down the ticket, some of which could flip the governor's office red or turn our whole congressional delegation blue. Money is pouring into these races from around the country, and the stakes are high.

But this election is also about something deeper: What the candidates say they care about and how those ideas could impact the rest of us. From Montana Public Radio, Yellowstone Public Radio and Montana Free Press, this is Shared State, a podcast about what's driving Montana's 2020 elections and where the outcomes could lead us.