August 2023, a Lawsuit Was Filed Against The City Of Great Falls

According to The Electric, six weeks after the library levy was voted in, Beth Cummings and Dena Johnson requested the court void the library levy election. Cummings said that she contacted city officials days before the election because she was concerned the estimated amount of the levy was wrong.  The 2 also said that mistakes in the resolution, ordinance and ballot language violated state law and was confusing to voters.

The Tenth Judicial District Heard The Case

From The Electric, Judge Heather Perry issued an order on February 27, 2024.  Judge Perry dismissed the case and stated

although their filings are detailed and generally well organized, every one of their legal arguments is wrong. They are consistently mistaken about which sections of law actually apply to the instant matter, misread and misapply controlling precedent, and generally find fault where no fault actually exists or any error was clearly harmless. It is difficult to read their filings and come away with any impression other than that this action is a thinly veiled attempt to undo an election result they dislike rather than a truly justified complaint about a mishandled or otherwise legally problematic election.

Judge Perry went on to state:

Cummings and Johnson had requested a hearing, citing a section of law that was not applicable to the library levy election

The court also feels it necessary to briefly comment…that the library levy election at issue here was a major point of reporting and discussion throughout Great Falls, and even the State of Montana, for a significant period of time in the first half of 2023. There were many articles written about the election, citizen groups which formed both in support of and against its passage, and generally many signs that this was not an issue ‘flying under the radar,’ as it were. This reality further undermines plaintiff’s complaints, as despite all the flaws they alleged, none of these were seriously raised before or during the election despite the significant amount of attention paid to it by substantial numbers of people

I wonder if we're ever going to hear the end of the library levy debate.  Here we are, closing in on a year later, and it's still a point of contention.

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