BILLINGS – Montana’s Republican secretary of state on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to restore the names of Green Party candidates to the state’s November election ballot after a similar request was rejected last month. But there’s little time left before ballots get printed.
The Green Party’s removal by court order followed revelations that the state Republican Party bankrolled the $100,000 signature-gathering effort that put the Greens on the ballot.
An earlier request by Secretary of State Todd Stapleton to get the party back on the ballot was denied last month by Justice Elena Kagan. Stapleton has now filed an emergency request seeking to have the Greens restored to the ballot while the case is argued.
Having the Greens on the ballot could siphon votes from Democratic candidates. Ballots are due to go out to military and overseas voters by next Friday.
The August 7 state court decision that removed the Green Party marked the second time in two years that Green candidates were stripped from the ballot.
It was never determined who was behind the 2018 effort to get Green Party candidates on the Montana ballot. But the Green Party of Montana said it was not behind the efforts in 2018 or 2020.