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WHO'S WHO? in Montana Politics
WHO'S WHO? in Montana Politics

Elections matter because elected leaders can make decisions that can either help or hurt our families. Politicians pay more attention to communities who participate in elections.

Voting is an important way of saying, "Our families count all year during election year, during election season and beyond!"

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. Regular voter registration ends on Oct. 11th. To check your registration status and find more info, visit the My Voter Page.

MONTANA STATEWIDE ELECTED POSITIONS · Every voter in Montana can weigh in on these races.

POSITION

MT SECRETARY OF STATE

Montana's chief elections officer. Elected every four years.

Key Responsibilities

  • Helps ensure the right to participate in federal, state, and local elections, including how people are registered to vote.

What This Means for You

Helps ensure that no Montanan is unfairly denied the right to vote.

MT SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Head of the state Department of Education. Elected every four years.

  • Supervises all public schools in the state and distributes state education money.
  • Defines teacher certification and can mandate curricula for schools.

Helps ensure that all schools in Montana provide a quality education.

MT COMMISSIONER OF SECURITIES AND INSURANCE

Serves as the state's commissioner of insurance, securities and on the state land board. Elected every four years.

  • In charge of regulating insurance companies, including health insurance providers, to protect Montana consumers.
  • Oversees regulation of securities (stocks and bonds) for the state.

Advocates for citizens who have been victims of insurance or investment fraud.

Reviews health insurance plans to ensure that they meet quality standards and are affordable.

MT ATTORNEY GENERAL

The state's chief legal and law enforcement officer, heads the state Department of Justice. Elected every four years.

  • Represents the state and state’s position in all legal matters in court.Enforces civil rights laws including disability rights, discrimination in mortgage lending, racial profiling, and discrimination in public accommodations.

Helps ensure that orders of protection in domestic violence cases are enforced around the state.

Approves final language for ballot initiatives.

MT STATE SUPREME COURT

The Montana Supreme Court is the highest court in the state, with one Chief Justice and six Justices. All are elected by the voters in statewide, nonpartisan elections (candidates do not run as part of a political party), and Justices serve eight-year terms. No more than two positions are up for election at once.

  • Review cases from lower Montana courts and can reverse or uphold previous decisions.
  • Decide cases that are filed directly with the MT Supreme Court.
  • Supervise all state courts to make sure they are functioning effectively and efficiently.

Makes decisions about our fundamental rights protected by the MT Constitution, including our rights to privacy, a clean and healthy environment.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONERS

Public Service Commissioners (or PSCs) regulate utilities in Montana. The state is divided into five PSC districts. Each district elects one commissioner every four years.

  • Regulate private and investor-owned natural gas, electric, telephone, water, and sewer companies in Montana.
  • Regulate and ensure safety of transportation of commodities such as oil and gas

Determines how much a utility company can raise their rates.

Determines what kind of assistance utility companies need to provide to help low-income families with rate increases.

MONTANA STATE LEGISLATURE · The Legislature is divided into two houses:
the Montana State Senate and the Montana State House of Representatives. They meet every other year for 90 days.

MT STATE SENATORS

The state is divided into 50 Senate Districts and each district elects one senator. Senate seats are up for election every 4 years with a two-term limit (8 years).

MT STATE REPRESENTATIVES

The state has 100 State House Districts. Each district elects one representative. State House seats are up for election every two years, with a four-term maximum (eight years).

  • Enacts state laws in areas such as state taxes, education, child care, and conservation of natural resources.
  • Shares budget-making responsibilities with the governor.

Decides how the state budget should be allocated, such as how much should go to support Montana’s public schools or how much should go to fund state healthcare programs like the CHIP program for low-income children.

Decides how the state budget should be allocated, such as how much should go to support Montana’s public schools or how much should go to fund state healthcare programs like the CHIP program for low-income children.

MONTANA WOMEN VOTE is a statewide organization of low-income women and families working as informed voters, policy advocates, and local leaders.

STRONG FAMILIES is a program of Forward Together. Montana Women Vote is a member of Strong Families, joining more than 170 groups working to change how we think, feel, act, and make policy about families.

For more information, contact Montana Women Vote at 725 W. Alder St., Suite #21, Missoula, MT 59802. Call us at (406) 317-1504

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