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2010 Election Calendar & Candidate Filing Fees


January 14, 2010 will be the first day of candidate filing for federal, state and local elected offices.  Some other important dates for the 2010 election cycle are:

  • January 14 – First day for declarations for nomination to be filed for Primary Election
  • February 28 – Deadline for county governing body to change precinct boundaries
  • March 15 – 5:00 p.m. last day for candidates to file declarations for Primary Election
  • May 10 – 5:00 p.m. deadline for regular voter registration for Primary Election
  • May 11 – Beginning of late registration period for Primary Election
  • June 8 – Primary Election
  • October 4 – 5:00 p.m. deadline for regular voter registration for General Election
  • October 5 – Beginning of late registration period for General Election
  • November 2 – Federal General Election

A complete election calendar is available on the Secretary of State’s web site at:

http://sos.mt.gov/Elections/archives/2010s/2010/2010_Election_Calendar.pdf

Candidate filing fees are established according to 13-10-202 M.C.A:

  • for offices having an annual salary of $2,500 or less and candidates for the legislature, $15;
  • for county offices having an annual salary of more than $2,500, 0.5% of the total annual salary;
  • for other offices having an annual salary of more than $2,500, 1% of the total annual salary;
  • for offices in which compensation is paid in fees, $10;
  • for officers of political parties, presidential electors, and officers who receive no salary or fees, no filing fee is required.
  • Special provisions for indigent candidates  (13-10-203 MCA)

For most county offices the filing fee is .5% of the annual salary of the office.  This may not necessarily be the same as the actual FY-10 salary of the officer currently holding the elected office.  It is necessary to draw a distinction between the salary of the office and the salary of an officer.  The filing fee is based upon the salary of the office, not the salary of the officer.

With some exceptions, the salary of county elected offices are uniformly set in accordance with 7-5-2503 MCA.  The same section both requires additional increments and allows additional increments.  Those increments that are required are part of the salary of the office.  Those increments that are discretionary are not part of the salary of the office used to determine the filing fee.

Any amount added to the county elected officer’s salary for longevity would not be included because that amount is unique to the person holding the office and is not part of the salary for the office, but rather is part of the salary of the officer.

If the county governing body has included the increment* of up to $2000 allowed in 7-4-2503(2)(d) for a clerk and recorder who is also an election administrator, the amount of that increment should not be added to the uniform base.

If the county governing body has included the increment* of up to $2000 allowed in 7-4-2503(2)(e) for a county treasurer, the amount of that increment should not be added to the uniform base.

* Because both the clerks and treasurers “increments” are discretionary and may be granted or denied from year to year, it should not be included in the amount used for determining the filing fee.

The filing fee for the county superintendent of schools should be based upon the uniform salary of county elected officials as established in 7-4-2503 and does include the additional $400 as established in 7-4-2503(2)(a) but would not include the increment of up to $2000 if the superintendent has a endorsement in school administration because that is not part of the salary for the office but is part of the salary for the officer, if that person is eligible.

The required $2000 increment provided for a county sheriff in 7-4-2503(2)(b) is included for determining filing fees. The longevity also provided for is not included because that is art of the salary for the officer, based upon years of service, rather than for the office.

The $2000 increment required for county commissioners under 7-4-2107 is included for determining the filing fee.  If the board has elected to serve on a part-time basis, the filing fee is pro-rated, based upon the part-time salary.

The filing fee for county attorney is based upon the current salary of the county attorney, less any longevity that may be included in the current officer’s salary.

In counties having stand-alone auditors and/or coroners and the office of justice of the peace, the filing fee is based upon the uniform salary for elected officials provided for in 7-4-2503, unless the position is part-time, in which case the filing fee is pro-rated accordingly, based upon the actual salary of the office.

If county elected offices have been consolidated under Title 7, Chapter 4, Part 23 and the salary of the combined office has been increased pursuant to 7-4-2312 for the term of office, the additional amount allowed is included for determining the filing fee. NOTE: While this is discretionary, it is for the entire term of the office and cannot be reduced for the term.

If any elected office, other than county commissioner, has been established as part-time and the salary of the office is pro-rated accordingly, the filing fee would also be pro-rated.

If the office of county surveyor, not receiving a salary under 7-4-2812, and that is not consolidated with another elected county office, who receives fees only, the filing fee is $10.

If the office of public administrator is not combined with another county elected office, the filing fee is $10.

If the salary for any elected county office is less than $2500, the filing fee is $15.

The filing fees are the same, irrespective of whether a county has partisan or non-partisan elections.

There is no filing fee for candidates for officers of political parties, presidential electors, and officers who receive no salary or fees.  This includes Soil Conservation District Supervisors.