The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives, including our democratic institutions and processes. Traditional methods of gathering voter signatures for ballot petitions are unsafe, and as a result, ballot initiative campaigns have been forced to search for alternative ways to meet petition gathering requirements without jeopardizing public health.
New Approach Montana, which is working to put two marijuana legalization initiatives on the November ballot, recently filed a lawsuit seeking a legal remedy that would allow the campaign to gather signatures through a secure, online system.
The right of Montanans to petition their government and enact laws approved by voters is enshrined in the state constitution. The campaign is hopeful that state courts will agree that electronic signatures are the best way to protect both the safety of Montana residents as well as their democratic right to self-governance.
We will continue to provide updates as the situation develops. We hope you and your family remain safe and healthy during these difficult times.