Montana Elections

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Voter ID lawsuits sowing confusion
07/25/16 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, July 25, 2016 - 13:15
Excerpt: 

Just 15 weeks before Election Day, lawsuits in nine states are raising the possibility that voters in crucial battlegrounds will face confusion over how and when to cast their ballots.

The lawsuits, mostly brought by civil rights groups, take aim at the flurry of election laws recently put in place by states, including requirements that voters provide photo identification or proof of citizenship.

In recent weeks, several courts have issued rulings blocking or upholding the laws, but those rulings have at times been contradictory, sowing even more confusion.
The suits, which have spent years in a maze of federal courts, focus mainly on laws passed by Republican-led legislatures after the 2010 midterm elections.

Additional ID options allowed in Texas special runoff election
07/25/16 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, July 25, 2016 - 00:00
Excerpt: 

Officials said voters who do not have one of the forms of approved ID may vote provisionally and sign an affidavit attesting that the voter is the same person who appeared at the polling place, that the voter is casting a ballot while voting in person and that the voter has a reasonable impediment, which keeps the voter from obtaining an acceptable form of photo ID.

With the affidavit, voters must present either a valid voter registration certificate or current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name of the voter.

However, voters who do not have any of the requested documents will need to provide their date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number as part of the affidavit.

All identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented.

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

Montana Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference Caucus and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, June 7

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

There are NO voter registration deadlines. However, late registration (29 days before Election Day until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day) must be done at the county election official's office.

For more information, visit the Montana Secretary of State Website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Poll hours of operation vary.  Most polling places open at 7:00am.  Some smaller polling places may open their polling places at 12:00 noon.  All polling places close at 8:00pm.  Contact your local elections official for exact times.

How to Find Your Polling Place

Visit the Secretary of State's My Vote tool to find your polling place.

Your voter registration card lists the location of your neighborhood polling place.  If you've misplaced your card, call your local elections office to find out where to vote.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines

2015 Primary  Election : Any dates for the primary will vary based on the municipality’s primary election date. Check with your local elections website for more information.

2015 General Municipal Election: November 3, 2014 & Same-Day (for late registration)

The regular registration deadline for the general election is October 5, 30 days before the general election.   However, Montana also has late registration from October 6, through 8:00pm on the day of the election.  For late registration, you must show up at your local elections office during business hours up to and including Election Day and fill out a voter registration card.

PLEASE NOTE:  Late registration closes temporarily at 12:00 noon the day before the election, and reopens again on Election Day.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Visit the Secretary of State's My Vote tool to check your registration status.

How to Register

You can register to vote by:

  • Visiting your local elections office and filling out a form during business hours;
  • Filling out a voter registration form and mailing it or dropping it off at your local elections office; or
  • Filling out a form when you apply for or renew your drivers’ license or Montana ID.

Registration Eligibility

To be eligible to register to vote in Montana, you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen;
  • Be 18 years or older on or before the next election; and
  • Have lived in Montana for at least 30 days.

Identification Required for Registration

When filling out your registration form, you must provide a Montana driver's license or Montana ID number.  If you do not have either, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you do not have a Montana driver's license, Montana ID Card, or Social Security number, provide (in-person) or enclose (by mail) a copy of one of the following, showing both your name and current address:

  • Any photo ID showing your name;
  • A current utility bill;
  • Bank statement;
  • Paycheck;
  • Government check; or
  • Other government document that shows your name and current address.

How to Check Registration

Visit the Secretary of State's My Vote tool to check your registration status.

If You Want to Vote Early

Montana does not have traditional early voting but you can cast an in-person absentee ballot starting no later than 30 days before the election.  You can find more information about absentee voting below.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

If you are a registered voter in Montana, you may also vote by absentee ballot, even if you are able to vote in person on Election Day.  

To vote absentee, you may complete the Annual Absentee List Application.  Once on this list, the ballots for all elections for which you are eligible will be automatically mailed to you.  To remain on the list, you must complete and return an annual confirmation notice mailed to you by your local elections office.  

To vote absentee without being added to the annual absentee list, you may instead an Application for an Absentee Ballot.

Applications for an absentee ballot must be RECEIVED (postmark does not count) at the local county election office by noon on the day before the election.  You may pick up an application at your local election office or at the Secretary of State's Office, or you may call either office and ask to have an application mailed to you. You may also download a free application.  Mail the application or drop it off at your local election office.  Once you've submitted your application, your absentee ballot will be mailed to you, unless you put on the application that you would prefer to have someone pick it up for you.

Once you've marked your ballot and signed the affirmation on the signature envelope, return it to your county elections office before the polls close on Election Day in the secrecy envelope that is provided.  The ballot must be RECEIVED by the county elections office by 8:00 pm on Election Day (a postmark does not count).

You may track the status of your absentee ballot at Montana's My Voter Page.

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

When filling out your registration form, you must provide a Montana driver's license or Montana ID number.  If you do not have either, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you do not have a Montana driver's license, Montana ID Card, or Social Security number, provide (in-person) or enclose (by mail) a copy of one of the following, showing both your name and current address:

  • Any photo ID showing your name;
  • A current utility bill;
  • Bank statement;
  • Paycheck;
  • Government check; or
  • Other government document that shows your name and current address.

How to Check Registration

Visit the Secretary of State's My Vote tool to check your registration status.

Requirements to Cast a Ballot

You must present ID when voting.  When you enter your polling place, an election judge will greet you, ask your name, and confirm that you are registered to vote in that precinct.  He or she will then ask you to show ID.  This can be any current photo ID that shows your name (for example, a valid driver's license, school ID, state ID, or tribal ID) or a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, voter confirmation notice, government check or other government document that shows your name and current address.

If you do not have any of the items listed above, you can still vote by requesting and filling out a "Polling Place Elector ID" form

OR

You can vote a provisional ballot.  Your provisional ballot will be counted if you provide one of the items on the list to the county elections office by 5:00pm the day after the election, or mail it to the county elections office postmarked by the day after the election.

You must re-register if you change your address or your name.

In 2014, Montana introduced the Electronic Absentee System.  Absent active duty military and overseas citizen electors can register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and vote their ballot electronically for all federal elections with the Electronic Absentee System.  The system is available 45 days before each statewide election and can be found here

You cannot vote if you're a convicted felon serving a sentence in a penal institution.  Formerly convicted felons who have been released, but are serving parole or probation are still able to register and vote.  If your registration is cancelled due to a felony conviction, you must re-register upon your release in order to vote.


**The materials below have not been updated since 2014**

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Montana Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

 

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state