Ravalli County Republicans filed a lawsuit yesterday, September 9, challenging the state’s open primary system. Attorney Matthew Monforton explains why his clients are pursuing the suit.

"We filed the lawsuit against the Secretary of State in order to stop democrats from infiltrating republican primaries," Monforton said. "There were several blatant examples where democrats told the media quite openly that that was what they were doing: encouraging their members to vote in republican primaries and vote for the liberal candidate."

Monforton says the current primary system in Montana damages a first amendment right.

"This issue involves the first amendment right of political parties to elect their own leaders," Monforton said. "That is why we are going the legal route because this involves a constitutional right that democrats are violating in election cycle after election cycle."

When asked if a particular race helped to inspire the lawsuit, Monforton said that there were many instances of crossover abuse, but that Scott Boulanger’s 39 vote loss to primary challenger Pat Connell was an obvious example.