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Constitutional Amendment On Electronic Privacy Going Before Montana Voters

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus
Montana Public Radio
Montana Capitol

Montanans will consider a proposed amendment to the state’s Constitution in the next election that aims to enhance privacy protections.

Montana lawmakers, with broad support, endorsed the proposal. It asks voters to decide whether or not to give electronic data and communications constitutional protection against unreasonable search or seizure.

The bill’s language, carried by Republican Sen. Kenneth Bogner of Miles City, will appear on the next statewide ballot.

In a news release, Bogner says the goal is to bring Montana’s Constitution into the 21st Century and that the government should need a warrant to access electronic data and communications.

The bill passed with two-thirds of the Legislature in favor of it, which is required for a constitutional amendment.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Michigan and Missouri were the first states to have this type of protection in place.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.