Voting in Montana
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
To vote in Montana, you must meet the following requirements:
- 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.
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 late registering at your county election office. Late registration is available up until close of polls on election day. You can register to vote in the following ways:
- 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.
As of August 2014, Montana is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration. Montana had a bill pending in the 2013 legislative session which would have authorized online voter registration. It failed to pass the Montana Senate.
Voting on election day
Electors are required to present identification prior to receiving a ballot. If you do not have a photo ID, you can provide a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, voter confirmation notice, government check or other government document that shows your name and current address.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
- See also: Absentee voting
All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Montana. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.
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.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
- See also: Early voting
Montana is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are made available and ends on the day prior to election day.
The 2013 Montana State Legislature passed a bill that would have repealed the option to use same day registration. However, the measure was vetoed by Governor Steve Bullock. The legislature passed a separate bill which will place the question on the 2014 ballot, giving voters the option to repeal same day registration. The referendum bill does not require the Governor's signature.
|Bill||Introduced||House Vote||Senate Vote||Gubernatorial Action|
|HB 30||Nov. 21, 2012 in Montana House of Representatives||on Feb. 1, 2013, 60 to 38||on April 8, 2013, 29 to 21||vetoed on April 22, 2013|
- Billings Gazette, "Montana Republicans vote for closed primaries, for runoff elections," June 21, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "Montana Voter Information," accessed June 9, 2014
- Open States, "SB 206," accessed June 9, 2014
- Vote411.org, "Voting In Montana," accessed January 3, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
- Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
- Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
- Montana Secretary of State, "How to Vote by Absentee Ballot," accessed December 16, 2013
- Montana Secretary of State "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed December 16, 2013
- Ravalli Republic, Voter registration: HB30 was bad for Montana, nation, May 1, 2013
- KRTV.com, Same-day voter registration debated in Montana Legislature, April 17, 2013