Montana voters nix tobacco tax, mine cleanup initiatives; approve ballot collection, higher-ed measures

Droves of Montana voters turned out for Tuesday’s midterm election, putting the kibosh on statewide initiatives that would have increased the tobacco tax to pay for Medicaid expansion and denying hard-rock mine permits for companies unwilling to take responsibility for sites’ long-term water quality. Here are the latest vote totals on the four statewide ballot measures on the ballot, as reported by the Montana Secretary of State’s Office early Wednesday.

Legislative Referendum 128, 6 mill levy for Montana University System

Yes: 217,671, 61 percent

No: 138,985, 39 percent

Legislative Referendum 129, prohibition of ballot collection by certain individuals

Yes: 222,511, 64 percent

No: 127,567, 36 percent

Initiative 185, raise tobacco taxes to fund health-care programs

Yes: 157,846, 45 percent

No: 194,842, 55 percent

Initiative 186, deny hardrock mine permit for perpetual treatment of water

Yes: 140,657, 40 percent

No: 208,961, 60 percent