Today, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is expected to announce the official signature totals for proposed ballot initiatives and certify those that qualify.
To qualify for the ballot, a ballot issue seeking to amend the Montana Constitution needs at least 48,674 signatures, including 10 percent of the voters in 40 of the 100 state House districts.
And so, today, another failure is expected for Constitutional Initiative 102, an amendment to the constitution to ban all abortion. Here were the totals as of Friday:
This proposal, sponsored by the Montana ProLife Coalition, would amend the state constitution to define “person” to include every human being from the beginning of that person’s biological development, effectively outlawing abortion. State signature tally: 29,938. Number of House districts qualified in: 12.
Though an analysis reveals that the initiative’s movement was plagued by problems, such as when their leader was caught in a Medicaid fraud probe, that the signature gathering was found out to be pushed largely by out-of state interests, and that the proposal was so extreme that even Montana’s in-state nut-jobs urged their peeps not to sign or refused to get involved, the reason it didn’t qualify is because Montanans simply don’t want this garbage in our Constitution.
***Update: The Lee story is out.
Dr. Annie Bukacek of Kalispell, I-102’s sponsor, vowed that the group will to try again in 2012 and that will start its signature gathering in June 2011.
“We have barely begun the fight for the rights and liberties of unborn babies, and we will keep working on it until their personhood is established in our Montana constitution,” she said.
“Barely begun?” Um, Ms Bukacek, you’ve been working on this for three years already, it’s not happening…
However, Allyson Hagen, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, interpreted its failure differently, saying: “The continued failure of this amendment should be a signal to elected officials in Montana that, when they vote to eliminate women’s privacy rights, they are voting against the values the vast majority of Montanans hold.”