MONTANA

 

Candidates

Governor Steve Bullock for US Senate.

Kathleen Williams for Congress US House of Representatives

I'm

NOTES:

  1. MT Voter Registration Deadline vary. Oct 4, 30 days until election day, Nov 3, 2020.

  2. Stage 4 -- No excuse to vote by mail, permanent vote by mail option
  3. No online registration available

FAVORITES:

  1.  Act Blue Directory 

  2. Vote.org -- Everything about ever state

  3. Movement.vote/groups/ -- Help local, state orgs get out the vote

  4. Votevets.org -- Vets against voter suppression

  5. Votefwd.org -- Most popular way to volunteer to support getting out the vote

  6. VoteSaveAmerica.com -- Adopt a State

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Voter Issues

AUGUST 2020

Montana: Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has given county election officials the authority to conduct the November general election by mail, as they had requested. Officials in the state's largest county, Yellowstone (the home of Billings), have already said they would take advantage of this option. Bullock made the same move ahead of Montana's June primary, and all 56 counties opted to run all-mail elections, leading to record turnout.

 

• Montana: An organization representing local election officials has asked Gov. Steve Bullock to allow counties to conduct the November general election by mail, just as they did Montana's June primary, and have requested he make a decision by Aug. 10. A Bullock spokesperson said the governor is currently consulting with election administrators and health professionals, and specifically took note of the deadline that county officials asked him to observe.

JULY 2020

Montana: A state court has issued a preliminary injunction blocking a GOP-supported law that makes it a crime for most Montanans to turn in another person's absentee mail ballot, ruling in favor of the Native American advocates who brought a suit arguing that the statute violates the state constitution. The court had previously blocked the law on a short-term basis days before the June 2 primary, but this latest ruling suspends the law until the judge can issue a final ruling on the law, which may not happen until after November's elections.

The law in question was approved by voters in 2018 after Republican legislators placed it on the ballot to circumvent a veto from Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock. It makes it a felony to turn in someone else's absentee ballot unless the person doing so is the voter's family member, caregiver, household member, or acquaintance, and even those individuals may turn in no more than six others' absentee ballots. Only postal workers and election officials are fully exempt.

Montana is one of a few states that lets voters opt into permanently receiving an absentee mail ballot in all elections, which is intended to make it easier to vote. In addition, the pandemic prompted officials to mail every voter a ballot for the June 2 primary, and mail voting is likely to be very popular in November. However, because many Native Americans living on remote reservations lack reliable postal service and access to transportation, many ask others who do not face such barriers to turn in their ballots for them.

Republican state Attorney General Tim Fox and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton have not yet indicated whether they will appeal, though the lead GOP sponsor of the law said he hoped that they would.

APRIL 2020

• Montana: Republican Secretary of State Corey Stapleton says that all 56 Montana counties plan to conduct the state's June 2 presidential and downballot primaries by mail, an option that Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock recently made available.

MARCH 2020

• Montana: Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has told county election officials that they may conduct the state's June 2 presidential and downballot primaries entirely by mail. Voters would be sent ballots with postage-paid return envelopes, and they'd also be able to vote in person during the state's early voting period, which runs for 30 days leading up the primary.

 

• Montana: The ACLU has filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to overturn a constitutional amendment that Republican legislators passed and voters approved in 2018 to limit who can turn in someone else's absentee mail ballot, saying that it illegally discriminates against Native American voters. The lawsuit argues that the amendment violates a number of protections in the state constitution, including the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and due process.

The amendment makes it a felony to turn in someone else's absentee ballot unless the person doing so is the voter's family member, caregiver, household member, or acquaintance, and even those individuals may turn in no more than six others' absentee ballots. Only postal workers and election officials are fully exempt.

Montana is one of a few states that lets voters opt into permanently receiving an absentee mail ballot in all elections, which is intended to make it easier to vote, and most voters cast their ballot that way. However, because many Native Americans living on remote reservations lack reliable postal service and access to transportation, many ask others who do not face such barriers to turn in their ballots for them. Plaintiffs noted that get-out-the-vote organizers often collect 80 or more ballots each.

Neither liberals nor conservatives hold a reliable majority on Montana's Supreme Court, making it uncertain how the justices would rule if this case eventually reaches them.

©BOOMERS FOR DEMOCRACY