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Montana Candidate Challenging ‘Voting Record’ Law
Monforton is asking a federal judge to temporarily block enforcement of the law
HELENA — An attorney and legislative candidate from Bozeman is challenging a state law that requires candidates to be thorough and accurate when portraying an opponent's voting record in campaign materials.

The Montana Legislature passed a bill in 2013 that requires any printed material that mentions an opponent's voting record to include a reference to all the votes upon which the information is based, a disclosure of contrasting votes known to have been made by the same candidate over the past six years, and a signed statement that the information is accurate.

The candidate, Matthew Monforton, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Helena on Wednesday naming Political Practices Commissioner Jonathan Motl, Attorney General Tim Fox, Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher, and Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert, Lee Newspapers of Montana reported.

Monforton is asking a federal judge to temporarily block enforcement of the law, saying it burdens his free speech and is unconstitutionally vague.

Motl had no immediate comment.

Monforton's complaint argues the law would require him to add one or two pages to a planned letter to voters, increasing his expenses. The lawsuit also says Monforton does not intended to include all of his opponent's "flip-flops," arguing it would camouflage his stand on the issues.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen has set a hearing for Feb. 7 in Missoula.
 
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