Voting in Montana

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Montana permits no-excuse early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. The state does not, however, permit online voter registration. Montana voters are required to provide identification in order to receive a ballot.

For full information about voting in Montana, contact the state election agency.


To vote in Montana, you must meet the following requirements:[1]

  • Be registered as required by law.
  • Be 18 years old or older on or before the next election.
  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Have lived in Montana for at least 30 days.

In addition, you cannot vote if:

  • You're a convicted felon serving a sentence in a penal institution.
  • You've been judged in a court of law to be of unsound mind.[2]

—Montana Secretary of State

When and where

The deadline for regular registration is 28 days before the election. If you miss that deadline, you can still register and vote in the election by registering at your county election office. Late registration is available until the close of polls on Election Day. You can register to vote in the following ways:[1]

  • Visit your county election office Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and complete a registration form.
  • Fill out and sign a voter registration card and drop it off at your county election office, or mail it to the county election administrator.
  • Fill out and sign a registration form when you apply for or renew your driver's license or Montana ID.[2]

—Montana Secretary of State

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of April 2015, Montana is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration.

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

A voter is required to present identification prior to receiving a ballot. Valid identification includes photo and non-photo ID, including the following: a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, voter confirmation notice, government check or other government document that shows the voter's name and current address.[1]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Montana, polling place hours vary throughout the state. Polling places open between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.[3]

Primary voting

Montana utilizes an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[4][5][6]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting


All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Montana. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[7]


To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the county election office by noon the day prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office before the close of polls on Election Day.[7]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Montana is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits some form of early voting. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are made available and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[8]

Election policy ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Elections and campaigns on the ballot and List of Montana ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in Montana.

  1. Montana Amending the Direct Primaries Law, IR-15 (1920)
  2. Montana Campaign Expense Limits, I 304-305 (1912)
  3. Montana Campaign Finance Law Revision, I-118 (1994)
  4. Montana Change Voting Age, Amendment 3 (1970)
  5. Montana Corporate Contributions Initiative, I-166 (2012)
  6. Montana Corporate Contributions to Ballot Issues, IR-114 (1998)
  7. Montana County Commissioner Districts, Amendment 1 (1928)
  8. Montana Direct Corporate Contribution in Ballot Issues, I-125 (1996)
  9. Montana Direct Nomination of Candidates for Public Office, IR-13 (1920)
  10. Montana Direct Presidential Preference Primary, I 308-309 (1912)
  11. Montana Elected Board of Education Amendment (2016)
  12. Montana Election of County Commissioners, Amendment 1 (1892)
  13. Montana Election of County Commissioners, Amendment 1 (1898)
  14. Montana Election of Local Officers, Amendment 1 (1952)
  15. Montana Party Nomination by Direct Vote, I 302-303 (1912)
  16. Montana Popular Choice for U.S. Senator, I 306-307 (1912)
  17. Montana Presidential Primary Law, R-56 (1954)
  18. Montana Repeal Presidential Primary Law, R-27 (1924)
  19. Montana Repeal of the Presidential Preferential Primaries Law, IR-16 (1920)
  20. Montana Valid Election for Qualified Ballot Issues, C-21 (1990)
  21. Montana Voter Qualifications, Amendment 1 (1932)
  22. Montana Voting Age, Amendment 1 (1972)
  23. Montana Voting Qualifications, Amendment 1 (1896)

Recent news

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See also

Elections in Montana

External links