A special session won’t be held as a result of the outcome of recent polling of the Montana Legislature.
A tally by the Montana Secretary of State’s Office showed just 44 of 150 legislators voted to approve the special session by April 19, a total that did not meet the required threshold to call the session to order. Sixty legislators voted to reject it.
The Secretary of State’s Office said more than 50 percent of lawmakers needed to say yes to convene the session, 75 or 76 depending on whether a district was vacant.
“In any case, those voting to ‘approve’ fell well short under either scenario,” said Richie Melby, communications director for the Montana Secretary of State, in an email Wednesday.
He also noted that Montana Code Annotated 5-3-108 has a provision about what a failed poll means. The statute in part states that if a poll is not approved, “the entire process must be repeated to call the Legislature into special session.”
One month ago, a group of 10 GOP legislators interested in investigating the security of the state’s elections systems requested the Secretary of State conduct the poll. Not all lawmakers responded to the poll, but Democrats have been opposed to the effort.
Republicans who voted to reject the poll were the following: Rep. Frank Garner, Rep. Ross Fitzgerald, Rep. Wendy McKamey, Rep. Fred Anderson, Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe, Rep. Larry Brewster, Rep. Bill Mercer, Rep. Mallerie Stromswold, Rep. Sherry Essmann, Rep. Terry Moore, Rep. Becky Beard, Rep. David Bedey, Sen. Mike Cuffe, Sen. Brian Hoven, Sen. Russ Tempel, Sen. Mike Lang, Sen. Duane Ankney, Sen. Jason Small, Sen. Doug Kary, Sen. Tom McGillvray, Sen. John Esp, and Sen. Walt Sales.