No same-day registration, photo ID required


The Montana Supreme Court recently handed two victories to Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen in reversing a district judge’s decision to block new laws passed by the Montana legislature.

KGVO News spoke Thursday morning with Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman for his reaction to the court’s actions.

“The (Montana) Supreme Court recently issued decisions that uphold laws passed by the 2021 Legislature,” Seaman began. “The most important thing for Missoula County voters to know is that Election Day voter registration will not occur for most Missoula County voters. There is a specific circumstance in which you may move from one district of the county to another, but the best way to ensure that you are able to vote is to go online today, check voter page and confirm your registration status.

Seaman also addressed the second decision made by the Montana Supreme Court.

“The other decision was about ID at the polling station,” he said. “This means that every voter will have to show photo ID. If it is not one of the six specific pieces of identification listed by the Secretary of State, it will also require supporting documents. A good example here in Missoula County is if you only have your Costco card, you will need supporting documents like a bank statement, or a government document issued to you or a pay stub, so that all voters coming to a polling station will be required to show photo ID.

Seaman was pleased that his office had considered either ruling in preparation for Election Day.

“We are still working hard to make sure people are aware, so on our recent instructions it was indicated that this was under legal challenge and to contact our office to make sure you could vote,” did he declare. “I’m glad we had the foresight to include this in our instructions, so now we know exactly where we’re going to stand for June, going through this election, and then the courts will have the opportunity to hear these cases determine the the merits of the claims and then make sure we have a clear decision for the upcoming elections in November.

Seaman reminded the KGVO that this was the first real election at a polling station in nearly four years, so many will have to go to their polling stations to vote on Election Day.

“The biggest question we’ve been getting lately is ‘where’s my ballot’?” he said. “If you are a polling station voter, you will have the option of going to your polling station on election day. Not all voters received a ballot on the 13th. You can check voter page to confirm whether you are a polling place voter or an absentee voter, but those of you who have not received a ballot should go to this website and confirm your voting location for the day of ballot.

Call the Missoula County Elections Office at 406-258-4751, or come in person at 140 North Russell in Missoula.

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