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Secretary of State plans to appeal Green Party ballot ruling

Decision 2018

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton says he plans to appeal to the Montana Supreme Court a state judge's order to remove Montana Green Party candidates from the November ballot.

Stapleton told Lee Newspapers of Montana Wednesday that he decided to appeal after reading the order that invalidated nearly 80 signatures used to qualify the party for the ballot. He argues the order issued by District Judge James Reynolds Monday ignores Montana's long-established practice of inclusion in our democracy.

The Democratic Party filed the lawsuit and has also complained that an out-of-state political consulting firm with ties to the Republican Party was involved in signature gathering for the Montana Green Party without reporting its expenses. The Commissioner of Political Practices is investigating that complaint.

Both sides agree Green Party candidates could draw voters away from Democratic Party candidates.

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