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Green Party Qualifies For Montana 2020 Ballot

The Green Party has qualified to appear on Montana’s 2020 ballot. As of Friday afternoon, no candidates have filed to appear under the party’s banner. They have until Monday evening to do so.

The Montana Secretary of State’s Office Mar. 6 announced the Green Party filed enough qualified signatures in its petition to become a political party in the state.

The party needed a signature count of at least 5 percent of voters from at least 34 legislative districts. It submitted more than 11,000 signatures from Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Silver Bow and Yellowstone Counties. More than 5,000 of those were accepted.

The announcement comes a month after a conservative political action committee (PAC), with fundraising ties to state Auditor Matt Rosendale’s U.S. House Campaign, filed paperwork allowing it to spend money to qualify the Green Party for this year’s ballot. A spokesman for the PAC told the Associated Press it wasn’t an active project as of the end of February.

The Green Party qualified under similar circumstances for the 2018 midterms but was moved from the ballot after the Montana Democratic Party successfully challenged dozens of signatures.

Democrats say the Green’s placement on the ballot is a conservative-backed attempt to draw votes away from Democratic candidates.

Montana’s candidate filing deadline is this coming Monday.