State Democrats have asked Montana Secretary of State, Corey Stapleton, to remove the Green Party from the 2020 ballot, even though enough signatures necessary to add them were legally obtained and submitted. Should Democrats get their way, Green Party voters will not have the option of casting their vote for their preferred candidate, thus disenfranchising a portion of state voters.
Several state newspapers, including Helena’s Independent Record and Bozeman’s Daily Chronicle, issued false and conflicting reports about Green Party signature-gathering last month. These publications claimed that the signatures were being collected by Club for Growth Action and by “some shadowy, likely out-of-state group…”
With previous theories heretofore unconfirmed or disputed and with nothing illegal happening in the collection of signatures (which have been thus far validated as authentic), Democrats have moved on to insist Stapleton disenfranchise Green Party voters based upon a donation made between the Montana GOP and Montanans for Conservation, who collected the signatures (it was not Club for Growth as first reported by newspapers), nor “some shadowy, likely out-of-state group.”
Kagtie Wenetta, treasurer for Montanans for Conservation, told Commissioner for Political Practices, Jeff Mangan, that a $100,000 in-kind donation from the Montana Republican Party when he inquired. The Commissioner for Political Practices works at the behest of Governor Steve Bullock, and mostly exists to harass Republican candidates.
The Montana Democrat Party has since asked Corey Stapleton to unlawfully remove the Green Party from the ballot.
The GOP responded, “While Montana Democrat candidates and their liberal allies have worked to limit ballot access for other minor political parties for a long time, the Montana Republican Party is supporting efforts that create additional options at the ballot box.”