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Making it hard to put initiatives on the ballot is a mistake

| April 20, 2021 7:00 AM

To the editor:

One of the best things about our great state of Montana is how easy it is to express our opinions. Being able to put initiatives on the ballot is a right we have as Montanans.

House Bill 651 inhibits our ability to put important initiatives on the ballot. Having to pay a $100 fee to register with the secretary of state prevents us from collecting signatures on the issues that are important to Montanans.

On top of this, if HB 651 were to pass, it would allow the state legislature to voice their opinion on the wording of the ballot, which may dissuade some Montanans from signing the bill.

If we really are a state that cares about people and representation, why would we make it so much harder to put an issue on the ballot for all Montanans to vote on? This is the opposite of what our citizen legislature should be pushing for, as it takes power away from Montana citizens. Most states do not have the ability to put initiatives on a statewide ballot.

If these bills were to pass, it would essentially make Montana into a state with less representation and more governmental power.

Alix Irvine

Bozeman