Suit Protests Montana Law Restricting Voting Efforts In Public Colleges

Montana Democrats filed another complaint Tuesday to challenge Senate Bill 319 – a law banning political activities, such as voter registration campaigns and political organizing, on state college campuses.

According to the complaint, law passed by Republicans removes “increased political power from Montana’s younger voters” who typically vote for Democratic candidates. In addition, the lawsuit argues that the law “imposes arbitrary, vague and onerous restrictions on the rights of students.”

“Rather than celebrate this laudable increase in youth participation, the Montana Legislature has instead chosen to pass a series of voter suppression laws targeting young voters and limiting their access to the franchise,” he said. -he adds. noted.

“By targeting only university residences, restaurants and sports facilities, the legislature has clearly indicated its intention: to prevent newly emancipated young Montanese from fully participating in the political process,” he added.

To look closer

In its initial stages, Senate Bill 319 allowed two or more political candidates to form joint fundraising committees. However, before it passed last May, state lawmakers amended the bill at the last minute to address college political organization and similar issues.

Now all voter registration campaigns, signature collection efforts, voter identification efforts, ballot collection efforts, or voter participation efforts are banned at public colleges and universities in Canada. Montana. Student groups who break the law would pay $ 1,000 per offense.

Republican lawmakers who supported the amendments explained that it was to protect students from exploitative political efforts.

Montana Secretary of State Christi jacobsen and Commissioner for Political Practices Jeff Mangan are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The bill is also being challenged in other state courts, namely Lewis and Clark County District Court and Yellowstone County District Court, on the grounds that it violates the legislative processes contained in the state constitution.

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