Election Day

Voters ring the room of the River Rock Community Center Tuesday.

The winding lines of eager voters at the polls have finally disappeared. Those upset with the election results have vowed all over social media to move to Canada. Marijuana was legalized in several states, gay marriage in others. Locally, some referendums passed by a landslide while others nosed ahead my far closer margins.

Here’s a look at how Montana voted on the state referendums and what is might mean for the state.

 LR-120, The act requiring parental notification from a doctor before a young woman under 16 years old can get an abortion.

The referendum passed by a huge margin. Almost 70 percent of Montana voters approved the measure, or 330,792 people endorsed it while 136,969 voted against LR-120.

Parental notification is not required in the case of a medical emergency. Any doctor who fails to notify the parent or receive a waiver faces six months in jail and a $500 fine.

By an even larger margin, LR-121 also passed. The law will deny many state services and opportunities to illegal aliens. Those services include access to state jobs, services for the disabled, access to public education and more.

Almost 80 percent of the voters who turned out in Montana supported the measure, or 373,756 voters signed off on LR-121. Less than 100,000 people voted against the referendum.

LR-122, an act that would prohibit that state or federal government from mandating citizens to purchase health care coverage, was passed by a large margin of 280,769 voters to 137,505.

The act however has no practical merit because the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a vote this summer saying the federal government can constitutionally mandate citizens to buy health insurance. Politicians who endorsed the measure said it was a “statement” to the federal government.

It was dubbed the most confusing bill on the ballot in the Montana, the medical marijuana referendum. IR-124 asked voters to either uphold or strike state law that places staunch restrictions on the medical marijuana industry.

Voters upheld state law and the regulations for the medical pot industry that follow. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association, the group that backed the bill, expressed their frustration with the election results saying, the medical marijuana industry is only being restricted by prohibition.

Bob Brigham, the campaign manager for the “No on IR-124,” issued a statement Tuesday about voters upholding SB 423.“With IR-124, the politicians won and patients lost,” Brigham said. “Montanans are clearly sick and tired of debating medical marijuana, when the conversation should be about when and how we’re going to end prohibition, just as two states did tonight.”

MTCIA also has a lawsuit pending in Lewis and Clark County against SB423. They will find out later this month how much freedom medical pot users will be allowed. The vote was closer than most other referendum issues; 234,435 people voted for strict marijuana controls, while 179,423 wanted a freer medical pot industry.  

Montana voters upheld their century old belief that corporations are not people by voting for I-166. The initiative says corporations should not be entitled to the same constitutional rights as human beings. Montanans voted 3-1 to prohibit corporations from enjoying constitutional rights.

Historically, the state has maintained that belief to keep exorbitant political spending out of Montana politics.

Last December, the Montana Supreme Court upheld state’s century-old ban on corporate political payments in state elections, but the move was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.