Protecting and Defending Democracy

We recognize that powerful forces in the United States are actively manipulating the electoral and legislative processes by disenfranchising citizens, controlling election rules, and dominating paid media.

Montana has a relatively high voter turnout. In presidential elections turnout usually hovers around 75% and in off-presidential years around 55%, higher than most other states. We recognize that specific areas, particularly reservations and low-income neighborhoods, generally participate at lower levels than the rest of the state.

Special efforts should be made to increase voter participation in those areas. We believe that our electoral system has been corrupted. We believe in the concept of one person, one vote. We believe that money and the power of lobbyists have corrupted our legislative processes. This is particularly true here in Montana because our citizen lawmakers only meet once every two years.

We believe term limits raise serious constitutional issues. The combination of term limits and bi-annual legislative sessions means that term-limited citizen legislators are at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with professional, full-time lobbyists.

Big Sky 55+ will:
  • Support registering as many eligible voters as possible and eliminate barriers to voting, including; conducting elections by mail-in ballots, providing polling stations in traditionally low turnout areas and providing election officials sufficient funding for conducting fair, efficient and accurate elections.
  • Oppose prohibitive voter ID laws, intimidation or other forms of harassment, particularly targeted to non-English speakers and voters of color; displaying false or misleading signs about voter fraud and the criminal penalties related thereto; and spreading false information about voter requirements or the need to present certain types of photo identification where no such requirement exists.
  • Oppose efforts to create barriers to voting and qualifying ballot measures.
  • Support limiting the amount of money that can be spent in elections and limiting the time frame in which electioneering can occur.
  • Support public funding of elections (which have already been adopted in 27 jurisdictions across the country).
  • Support prohibiting corporations from participating in elections in any form.
  • Support political parties delegate selection processes that are allocated by population and reflective of the popular vote in primaries.
  • Support eliminating or curtailing the “super delegate” system for presidential nomination conventions.
  • Support electing Presidents by popular vote and eliminating the Electoral College.
  • Oppose partisan gerrymandering when re-apportioning political jurisdictions.
  • Support expanding civics education in Montana public schools to assure our citizens have a solid grounding in democratic values and processes.