NewsMissoula County


New voting laws to be aware of ahead of Election Day

Ballots due to Missoula Co. Elections Office by 8 PM Tuesday
Vote Ballot Box
Posted at 1:23 PM, Oct 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-31 17:46:13-04

MISSOULA — Tuesday is election day, and there’s a couple of new state laws surrounding voting to be aware of ahead of time.

In April, Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill that eliminated voter registrationon Election Day in Montana by signing HB 176 into law. Election Day voter registration had been allowed in Montana since 2006.

Registering to vote now ends at noon the Monday before Election Day statewide. This includes a new registration or updating a registration after moving.

”You know with losing 13 hours of voter registration, I don't know that we can ever bridge that gap because that was a great safeguard to be able to help make sure that every eligible voter got to vote, but adding in these extra hours really helps to make sure that we're as accessible as we can be," Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seamantold MTN News last week.

On Monday the Elections Office in Missoula is open 8 AM to 5 PM and Tuesday 7 AM to 8 PM.

Now 2021 isn’t as big of an election year without a presidential choice on the ballot, so it remains to be seen how many people will end up voting locally and what kind of impact this new law will have.

Another bill, SB 169, tightened up ID requirements for voter registration. It was also signed into law in April.

In order to register to vote on Monday - this needs to be done before 12 PM.

Bring a Montana Driver's License or other state-issued ID cards to your county election office. Other forms of acceptable identification include military ID, Tribal Photo ID, and US Passport. You can also use the last four digits of your social security number.

To confirm your identity and residence, copies of a utility bill, bank statements, paycheck, or other government documents with name and address can be used.

For more information about what's needed to register to vote in Montana, click here.

The USPS recommends ballots be sent in the mail by October 26th, which was last week.

So the safest bet for Missoulians to make sure your vote is counted is to drop ballots off in person at the Elections Center at 140 N. Russell St. in Missoula by Tuesday, November 2nd at 8 PM.

To see other drop-off locations in Missoula County, click here.

Other counties in Montana will have different ballot drop-off locations.