Voting in Montana

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General Information
Election DatesPoll Opening and Closing Times
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This page has information relating to voting in Montana. For full information contact your state election agency.

Registration

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.

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:[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.

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of July 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.[2]

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.[1]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Montana, polling place hours throughout the state vary. Polling places open between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Contact your local elections official for exact times.[3]

Primary voting

Montana is one of 14 states that uses 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

Eligibility

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

Deadlines

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, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

Early voting

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.[8]

Proposed changes

2013

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.[9][10]

Bill Introduced House Vote Senate Vote Gubernatorial Action
HB 30 Nov. 21, 2012 in Montana House of Representatives Approveda on Feb. 1, 2013, 60 to 38 Approveda on April 8, 2013, 29 to 21 Defeatedd vetoed on April 22, 2013

See also

External links

News

References