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Constitutional Amendment to Revise Initiative Signature Requirements

Montana Ballot Measure - Amendment 47

Election: Nov. 3, 2020 (General)

Outcome: Passed


Campaign Finance and Elections


The 2019 Legislature submitted this constitutional amendment for a vote. C-47 modifies the state constitution to specify proposed petitions for citizen ballot initiatives must be signed by at least five percent of the qualified electors in one third of the legislative districts. It repeals a different standard found to be unconstitutional in 2005.

Measure Text

Section 1. Article III, section 4, of The Constitution of the State of Montana is amended to read:
"Section 4. Initiative.
(1) The people may enact laws by initiative on all matters except appropriations
of money and local or special laws.
(2) Initiative petitions must contain the full text of the proposed measure, shall be signed by at least five percent of the qualified electors in each of at least (one-half of the counties) one-third of the legislative representative districts and the total number of signers must be at least five percent of the total qualified electors of the state. Petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state at least three months prior to the election at which the measure will be voted upon.
(3) The sufficiency of the initiative petition shall not be questioned after the election is held."

Section 2. Two-thirds vote required.
Because [section 1] is a legislative proposal to amend the constitution, Article XIV, section 8, of the Montana constitution requires an affirmative roll call vote of two-thirds of all the members of the legislature, whether one or more bodies, for passage.

Section 3. Effective date.
[This act] is effective upon approval by the electorate.

Section 4. Submission to electorate.
[This act] shall be submitted to the qualified electors of Montana at the general election to be held in November 2020 by printing on the ballot the full title of [this act] and the following:

[] YES on Constitutional Amendment __.
[] NO on Constitutional Amendment __.

*Coding: Words in (parentheses) indicate proposed deletion of text.


Official Summary