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Senate election ballot measure passes legal test

Published On: May 14 2014 06:28:58 PM MDT
HELENA MONTANA CAPITOL
HELENA, Mont. -

A proposed ballot measure to end the governor's power to fill U.S. Senate vacancies has been approved for signature-gathering.
    
The Secretary of State's office sent notice to the initiative's sponsor, Helena attorney Jim Brown, on Wednesday saying the proposal is legally sufficient.
    
Brown must now gather 24,175 voter signatures by June 20 to place the measure on November's ballot.
    
The proposal calls for a special primary election within 60 days of the governor being notified of a Senate vacancy. That would be followed by a special general election.
    
The winner would serve in the Senate until the next regular general election.
    
Brown submitted the proposal in March, about a month after Gov. Steve Bullock appointed John Walsh to replace U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.