You have full Initiative & Referendum rights. Citizens can pass laws they write or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature by collecting enough petition signatures to place the statute on the statewide ballot for a decision by the voters. Voters can also initiate constitutional amendments by Initiative.


See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.

Grade: C+

Click here to view Montana’s individual report in Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights.

State Balloting Process

How you can change Montana’s government through ballot initiatives


Montana’s Populist governor Robert B. Smith, elected in 1896, and his
successor, Joseph K. Toole, elected in 1900, both called for I&R, but
neither made much headway until December 1903, when the reformer F.
Augustus Heinze organized and “Anti-Trust Democratic Party” and an “Ant-
Trust Republican Party.”…Read More

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Date Initiative language can be submitted: Anytime

Signatures are tied to vote of which office: Governor

Next Gubernatorial election: 2012

Votes cast for governor in last election: 486,730

Net number of signatures required: For a constitutional amendment, 10%
of votes cast for governor in last gubernatorial general election (48,673).
For a statute initiative, 5% of votes cast for governor (24,336)

Distribution Requirement: For amendments 10% in 40 Legislative
Representative Districts and for statutes 5% in 34 Legislative Districts.

Circulation period: 1 year

Do circulators have to be residents: No.

Date when signatures are due for certification: June 18, 2010

Signature verification process: County officials check the names of all
signers to verify they are registered voters. In addition, they randomly
select signatures on each sheet and compare them with the signatures of
the electors as they appear in the registration records of the office. If any
of the randomly selected signatures do not appear to be genuine, all
signatures on that sheet must be compared with the signatures in the
registration records of the office.

Single-subject restriction: Yes

Legislative tampering: The legislature can both repeal and amend

Excerpted from the Initiative & Referendum Almanac by M. Dane Waters.