Montana Administrative Register Notice 44-2-154 No. 4   02/25/2010    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM  44.3.2203 pertaining to elections





TO:  All Concerned Persons


            1.  On March 18, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., the Secretary of State will hold a public hearing in Room 206 of the Capitol Building, at 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. on March 11, 2010, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need.  Please contact Jorge Quintana, Secretary of State, P.O. Box 202801, Helena, Montana, 59620-2801; telephone (406) 461-5173; fax (406) 444-4249; TDD/Montana Relay Service (406) 444-9068; or e-mail jquintana@mt.gov.


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



(2)  The minimum acceptable prescribed form for an application for an absentee ballot must include a written request for the absentee ballot, the elector's birth date, and the elector's or the elector's agent's signature. Additional recommended statements include the election for which the elector is requesting an absentee ballot and the address to which the elector wants the ballot mailed. Electors are strongly encouraged to use the form used by available from election administrators, which appears in the forms booklet that is provided by the Secretary of State to each election administrator.

(3) through (5) remain the same.

(6)  The election administrator shall mail an address confirmation form, prescribed by the Secretary of State in January and July of each year to each elector who has requested an absentee ballot for subsequent elections. The annual address confirmation form mailed in January is for elections to be held between February 1 following the mailing through July of the same January of the next year, and the address confirmation form mailed in July is for elections to be held between August 1 following the mailing through January of the succeeding year.  The form shall, in bold print, indicate that the elector may update the elector's mailing address using the form.  The elector or elector's agent shall sign the form, indicate the address to which the absentee ballot should be sent, and return the form to the election administrator.  If the form is not completed and returned, the election administrator shall remove the elector from the register of electors who have requested an absentee ballot for subsequent elections.

(7) remains the same.

(8)  An elector who has been removed from the register of electors who have requested an absentee ballot for each subsequent election may subsequently  later request to be mailed an absentee ballot for subsequent elections.


AUTH: 13-1-202, MCA

IMP: 13-1-211, 13-13-212, 13-13-213, MCA


4.  REASON:  This rule is being amended pursuant to the passage of Senate Bill 276 during the 2009 legislative session.  The main purpose of these amendments is to reflect the changes made to the election laws during the legislative session and to clean up language in the rule.


            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: Jorge Quintana, Secretary of State's Office, P.O. Box 202801, Helena, Montana, 59620-2801; telephone (406) 461-5173; fax (406) 444-4240; or e-mail jquintana@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., March 25, 2010.


6.  Jorge Quintana, Secretary of State's office, has been designated to preside over and conduct this 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 shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices.  Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request.  Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 5 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the Secretary of State.


8.  An electronic copy of this Proposal Notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the Notice conform to the official version of the Notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the Notice and the electronic version of the Notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


9.  The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled.  The primary bill sponsor was contacted by letter sent via U.S. Mail on October 28, 2009.




/s/  Jorge Quintana                                        /s/ Linda McCulloch                         

Jorge Quintana                                      LINDA MCCULLOCH

Rule Reviewer                                               Secretary of State


Dated this 16th day of February, 2010.


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