Montana Administrative Register Notice 44-2-269 No. 23   12/08/2023    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 44.3.2408 pertaining to ballot form and uniformity






TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On January 5, 2024, at 9:30 a.m., the Secretary of State will hold a public hearing in the Secretary of State's Office conference room, Room 260, State Capitol, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule.  


2. The Secretary of State will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m., December 22, 2023, to advise of the nature of the accommodation needed.  Please contact Andy Ritter, Secretary of State's Office, P.O. Box 202801, Helena, MT 59620-2801; telephone (406) 444-7911; fax (406) 444-3976; TDD/Montana Relay Service (406) 444-9068; or email Andrew.Ritter@mt.gov.


3. The rule proposed to be amended is as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


44.3.2408 BALLOT FORM AND UNIFORMITY  (1)  The Secretary of State's Office adopts and incorporates by reference the "Ballot Layout Guide" dated November 28, 2023, which county election administrators must follow to ensure uniformity of the ballot form for each type of ballot used in the state as required by 13-12-202, MCA. A copy of the Ballot Layout Guide can be accessed on the Secretary of State's website at sosmt.gov. The secretary of state adopts and incorporates by reference the document entitled "Ballot Form and Uniformity Pursuant to 13-12-202 MCA Layout Instructions and Sample Ballots," which is available on the secretary of state's web site at the following link: http://sos.mt.gov/Elections/Officials/Forms/index.asp, updated March 20, 2012.

(2) The document incorporated by reference is provided to each election administrator and contains guidelines that prescribe the ballot form for each type of ballot used in this state, giving guidelines as to font, spacing, and printed instructions, to conform to the requirements of 13-12-202, MCA.


AUTH: 13-1-202, 13-12-202, MCA

            IMP: 13-1-202, 13-12-202, MCA


REASONABLE NECESSITY: The proposed changes update the referenced version of the Ballot Layout Guide and clarify the requirement that county election administrators must follow the standards to strengthen the uniformity required by 13-12-202, MCA.


4. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-302(1)(c), MCA, it has been determined that this proposed rule amendment will not have a fiscal impact. 


            5. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Angela Nunn, Secretary of State's Office, P.O. Box 202801, Helena, Montana 59620-2801, or by e-mailing angela.nunn@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., January 5, 2024.


6. Austin James, Secretary of State's Office, has been designated to preside over and conduct the hearing.


7. The Secretary of State maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list may submit their request online at https://sosmt.gov/arm/secretary-of-state-administrative-rules/ or submit a written request which includes the name and contact information of the person who wishes to receive notices. Written requests may be mailed or delivered to the Secretary of State's Office, Administrative Rules Services, 1301 E. 6th Avenue, P.O. Box 202801, Helena, MT 59620-2801, or emailed to sosarm@mt.gov.


8.  The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply. 


9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the Secretary of State has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/  AUSTIN MARKUS JAMES                     /s/ CHRISTI JACOBSEN   

Austin Markus James                                   Christi Jacobsen

Rule Reviewer                                              Secretary of State


Dated this 28th day of November, 2023.

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