HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock held a press conference in Helena on Thursday morning to provide an update on COVID-19 situation in Montana.
Gov. Bullock announced that Montana counties will have the option of conducting the general election exclusively through mail ballots.
County election officials formally asked Bullock on July 24, to allow them to choose whether to conduct an all-mail ballot for the general election -- and asked that he make that decision by Aug. 10, which is 85 days before the election.
Watch the full press conference below.
The directive permits counties, at their discretion, to expand access to voting by mail and early voting. Counties that opt to vote by mail will still require counties to allow in-person voting. All counties must ensure appropriate social distancing to provide safe voting and voter registration for all Montanans.
Gov. Bullock noted that for the primary election, county election administrators adeptly managed the change in procedures and held a safe election marked by an increase in voter turnout compared to previous primary elections.
Governor Bullock’s Directive contains three central components:
- Counties may choose to send mail ballots and expand early voting for the June 2, 2020 primary election.
- Counties are encouraged to publicize available options and to work with nonprofit organizations to ensure that all Montanans will have access to a ballot, whether in person, early, or by mail.
- All counties must establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies at polling locations, designated drop-off locations, or other public-facing portions of facilities involved in voting.
Click here to read the full directive.
Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clay Christian also spoke about coronavirus testing at the Montana University System this fall.