Gallatin County Commissioners voted to move dropping their party affiliation to the ballot

BOZEMAN- After many months of conversation, the decision has finally been reached.

The Gallatin County Commissioners voted to move forward with dropping their party affiliation. 

Several months after the introduction of House Bill 129 the Gallatin County commissioners have made up their not before a lot of conversation went down.

The commissioners heard from the public on their decisions for wanting to move forward with this, County Commissioner Chair Joe Skinner said that this will force people to do research on who they’re actually voting for instead of circling a letter next to a name. 

But David Parker a political professor at MSU said otherwise in that meeting during his exchange with the commissioner.

“You look at all of these candidate biographies that are out there they don’t say very much,” Parker said, “they say very, very, little, that partisan identification is a very good indication of the values of the individual running.” 

Parker compared a non-partisan election to purchasing a can of soup, people don’t read the contents of the label they read the word on the label.

They are not going to look and see if it contains onions and broth they’re going to look and see if it’s French onion soup.

“It’s very simple, Joe is wrong, you look at all the evidence, ballot roll-off shows you people vote less in non-partisan elections,” Parker said.

Nevertheless, the commissioners unanimously supported putting this on the ballot

Commissioner Macfarlane said he felt it wasn’t appropriate for an elected official to make a decision on letting elected officials drop affiliation that’s why he was supporting putting it in the hands of voters.

This is now headed to the November election.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to vote on it, if it passes on the November ballot it will take effect at the start of July 2020.

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