As already noted, last year the Ninth Circuit struck down the Montana distribution requirement for petitions to create a qualified party. The Montana legislature is not scheduled to meet during calendar year 2022, so there is no likelihood that the legislature can restore the distribution requirement until 2023 at the earliest. Presumably if the legislature restores it, it will require an equal number of signatures from legislative districts, avoiding the constitutional problem.
Therefore, for 2022, the petition to qualify a new party will be easier than it has been since 1969. The petition still needs 5,000 signatures, but signatures can be gathered anywhere in the state. However, the petition deadline is in late February.
Before 1969, Montana allowed…