- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Secretary of State has given the go-ahead for sponsors to collect signatures for a proposed constitutional initiative prohibiting warrantless searches of digital communications.

The proposed initiative by former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger was approved Friday. It seeks to prevent state government officials from searching Internet, telephone and other digital records without a warrant.

It also would prohibit the use of general warrants to search unspecified places, persons or records.

To be placed on the ballot, Bohlinger must gather 48,349 voter signatures by June 20.

Bohlinger is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. He said earlier this month that he may drop out of the race after another candidate, John Walsh, was appointed to serve the remainder of Sen. Max Baucus’ term.

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