Montana MJ Activists File Lawsuit For Electronic Ballot Signature Gathering During COVID

Montana MJ Activists File Lawsuit For Electronic Ballot Signature Gathering During COVID

The plaintiffs—Ted Dick, campaign manager of New Approach Montana and a former executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, and former state Sen. Dave Lewis (R)—said that the pandemic and resulting public health emergency orders mean that “it is neither ethical nor permitted” to collect signatures in person as currently required.

They want the government to lift those restrictions for the November 2020 election and allow their campaign to digitally collect signatures for both a statutory measure to legalize cannabis and a constitutional proposal that would make a technical change to the law specifying that only adults 21 and older could possess or purchase marijuana.

Enforcing policies that bar electronic signatures, in light of the circumstances, would violate the “constitutional rights of Plaintiffs and the people of Montana to amend the constitution and enact laws by initiative, as well as the rights of Plaintiffs and the people of Montana under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs maintain that an existing law in the state called the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act creates a legal basis for electronic signatures to be accepted by the secretary of state’s office for the purpose of getting an initiative qualified for the ballot.

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Published at Wed, 15 Apr 2020 20:03:57 +0000

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