State appeals ruling that blocks Green Party ballot access

HELENA (AP) — The state is appealing a judge’s order to remove Montana Green Party candidates from the November ballot because they did not gather enough signatures to qualify.

The notice was filed late Wednesday with the Montana Supreme Court along with a separate motion asking District Judge James Reynolds to stay his July 9 order pending the appeal.

The motion argues if the secretary of state complies with Reynolds’ order and the Supreme Court overturns it after the Aug. 23 deadline to certify ballots, it could lead to an expensive re-printing of ballots or cause irreparable harm to voters supporting Green Party candidates.

The Montana Democratic Party challenged about 200 signatures supporting Green Party ballot access. Reynolds rejected about 85, including some submitted by someone other than the person who gathered them.