Stop Montana from Giving Corporations the Right to Vote

corporations not people

Target: Montana state legislature

Goal: Don’t allow corporations to vote in municipal elections.

A state representative from Montana recently introduced a bill that would allow corporations the right to vote in municipal elections. The bill proposed by Republican Representative Steve Lavin states that any “firm, partnership, company, or corporation” who owns property in the district would be able to designate a representative from the business to vote in the municipal elections just as citizens are able to do. Neither the representatives nor owners of the business would be required to be residents of the district in order to vote.

The bill, known as Montana House Bill No. 486, is symptomatic of a larger belief that corporations should be entitled to the same rights guaranteed to everyday citizens. The belief is commonly held by many conservative lawmakers and can be best summed up by Mitt Romney’s claim that “Corporations are people, my friend,” which he made during his 2012 campaign. This mindset can also be seen in the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision that allows corporations to spend unlimited money to influence elections. This particular bill, however, would even further encroach upon the rights only held by actual human beings who hold U.S. citizenship.

The premise of this bill undermines the entire foundation of democracy in which each citizen—not each corporation or business—is guaranteed the ability to vote. Sign the petition below to urge Montana’s legislators to protect our democratic rights by striking down this bill.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear members of Montana state legislature,

Republican Representative Steve Lavin recently introduced House Bill No. 486 which would allow corporations the right to vote in municipal elections. If it is passed, any “firm, partnership, company, or corporation” who owns property in the district would be able to designate a representative to vote, and neither the representatives nor owners of the business would be required to be residents of the district in order to participate.

Simply put, this bill must be stopped. It undermines the entire foundation of democracy in which each citizen—not each corporation or business—is guaranteed the ability to vote. This bill is characteristic of an increasingly popular belief that corporations should be able to hold the same rights guaranteed to everyday citizens. Evidence of this belief can be seen in Mitt Romney’s claim that “Corporations are people, my friend,” which he made during his 2012 campaign, and in the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision. House Bill No. 486, however, would even further encroach upon the rights only held by actual human beings who are U.S. citizens.

Contrary to Mr. Romney’s statement, corporations literally are not people. They are not living, breathing human beings; they obviously cannot obtain a marriage license, enroll in college, or have children. Of course individual business owners can cast a vote in elections, but they are able to do so because they are citizens. In fact, this bill could effectively allow business representatives to cast two votes in a single election.

A law such as this would set a dangerous precedent that subverts the rights and freedoms of every American. We demand that you protect the democratic rights of your constituents and fellow Americans by stopping this bill.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: sharonkubo via Flickr

Sign the Petition

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One Comment

  1. Mary Janison says:

    Our laws in America keep getting weirder and weirder.

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76 Signatures

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