Montana Constitution Home
Suffrage and Election
Section 1. Ballot. All elections by
the people shall be by secret ballot.
Section 2. Qualified elector. Any
citizen of the United States 18 years of age or older who meets the
registration and residence requirements provided by law is a
qualified elector unless he is serving a sentence for a felony in a
penal institution or is of unsound mind, as determined by a court.
Section 3. Elections. The legislature
shall provide by law the requirements for residence, registration,
absentee voting, and administration of elections. It may provide for
a system of poll booth registration, and shall insure the purity of
elections and guard against abuses of the electoral process.
Section 4. Eligibility for public office.
Any qualified elector is eligible to any public office except as
otherwise provided in this constitution. The legislature may provide
additional qualifications but no person convicted of a felony shall
be eligible to hold office until his final discharge from state
Section 5. Result of elections. In
all elections held by the people, the person or persons receiving
the largest number of votes shall be declared elected.
Section 6. Privilege from arrest. A
qualified elector is privileged from arrest at polling places and in
going to and returning therefrom, unless apprehended in the
commission of a felony or a breach of the peace.
Section 7. Ballot issues -- challenges --
elections. (1) An initiative or referendum that qualifies for
the ballot under Article III or Article XIV shall be submitted to
the qualified electors as provided in the Article under which the
initiative or referendum qualified unless a new election is held
pursuant to this section.
(2) A preelection challenge to the procedure by which an initiative
or referendum qualified for the ballot or a postelection challenge
to the manner in which the election was conducted shall be given
priority by the courts.
(3) If the election on an initiative or referendum properly
qualifying for the ballot is declared invalid because the election
was improperly conducted, the secretary of state shall submit the
issue to the qualified electors at the next regularly scheduled
statewide election unless the legislature orders a special election.
History: En. Const. Amend. No. 21, 1990.
Section 8. Limitation on terms of office.
(1) The secretary of state or other authorized official shall
not certify a candidate's nomination or election to, or print or
cause to be printed on any ballot the name of a candidate for, one
of the following offices if, at the end of the current term of that
office, the candidate will have served in that office or had he not
resigned or been recalled would have served in that office:
(a) 8 or more years in any 16-year period as governor, lieutenant
governor, secretary of state, state auditor, attorney general, or
superintendent of public instruction;
(b) 8 or more years in any 16-year period as a state representative;
(c) 8 or more years in any 16-year period as a state senator;
(d) 6 or more years in any 12-year period as a member of the U.S.
house of representatives; and
(e) 12 or more years in any 24-year period as a member of the U.S.
(2) When computing time served for purposes of subsection (1), the
provisions of subsection (1) do not apply to time served in terms
that end during or prior to January 1993.
(3) Nothing contained herein shall preclude an otherwise qualified
candidate from being certified as nominated or elected by virtue of
write-in votes cast for said candidate.
History: En. Sec. 1, Const. Initiative No. 64, approved Nov. 3,