US Supreme Court Asked to Intervene in Special Election

Candidates say that Montana's ballot-access laws don't give independent candidates and voters opportunity to participate

HELENA — Three minor party and independent candidates who want to run in Montana’s special congressional election are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

Thomas Breck, Doug Campbell and Steve Kelly asked the nation’s highest court Thursday to place their names on the May 25 ballot. A federal judge and a federal appeals court each declined similar requests.

The candidates say that Montana’s ballot-access laws don’t give independent candidates and voters a meaningful opportunity to participate.

The state required the candidates to collect 14,268 voter signatures by March 6. The special election was announced March 1.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris lowered the signature requirement to 400, but did not give the candidates additional time to collect them.

Democrat Rob Quist, Republican Greg Gianforte and Libertarian Mark Wicks are the three candidates on the ballot.

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