Write-In Candidate Information

A person may file a declaration of intent to run as a write-in for office in any election including but not limited to the general election (13-10-211(1)), MCA. The deadline for filing a declaration of intent to run as a write-in candidate is no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th day before the date established under 13-13-205, MCA, on which ballots must be available for absentee voting for the election. The declaration of intent must contain the information detailed in 13-10-211, MCA.

Use of pre-printed labels:

  • Pre-printed labels are not prohibited by law.
  • A candidate is advised to check with the local election administrator regarding use of pre-printed labels.
  • If a county uses vote tabulating equipment, the use of pre-printed labels may not be advisable based on the manufacturer’s caution, and experience of election administrators:
  • Stickers can degrade the performance of the tabulators depending on:
    • type of label used
    • tabulators involved
    • the way the labels are applied
    • number of voters that use the labels
  • To write in a name, voters are instructed to blacken the oval to the left of the line provided, and write in the name (or affix a pre-printed label) in the blank space(s) for the write-in candidate(s) for whom the voter wishes to vote.

According to Election Systems and Software, manufacturer of tabulating equipment used in most Montana counties, “despite the consequences involved, stickers have been used successfully in the past, and are not uncommon.” To minimize any potential problems or disruptions, ES&S has published guidelines for use of labels.

The fee for filing depends on the office. Applicable Write-in Laws and Administrative Rules

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