Montana Officials Say Ballot Delay Could Harm Election

Republican Party chairman is arguing that Libertarian candidate for secretary of state Roger Roots is not eligible as a candidate

By Matt Volz, Associated Press

HELENA — Montana officials say the integrity of November’s election would be in peril if the state Supreme Court grants Republican Party chairman Jeff Essmann’s petition to delay the printing of ballots to remove a candidate’s name.

Attorneys for Secretary of State Linda McCulloch and Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl filed their responses Monday to the petition.

Essmann says Libertarian candidate for secretary of state Roger Roots is not eligible as a candidate because he failed to file the proper paperwork.

Motl says Roots did make the proper filings, though some documents were late and his staff can’t find Roots’ original business disclosure statement.

Attorneys for McCulloch say that granting Essmann’s request with printing already underway could prevent the state from meeting a federal deadline to mail ballots to military and overseas voters by Sept. 23.

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