Election Day Voter Registration Is BACK IN (or voter suppression is OUT)
This was supposed to be an article to help make sure everyone was ready to vote next month, and the information I found made me so ANGRY, that it is now BOTH voter information, and the people who are trying to stop you from voting.
Back in April 2021, Governor Greg Gianforte signed into law House Bill 176 which eliminates same-day voter registration in Montana and Senate Bill 169 imposing new photo ID requirements in Montana.
These new laws seem to target young voters and Native American voters. For students, a student ID is not enough to vote. (FYI, your voter registration card was dubbed invalid, as well) They'd like another form of ID as well such as a utility bill, government document or paycheck all with the voters current address. Here's what House Speaker, Wylie Galt, said about student voters:
Basically, it makes that if you’re a college student in Montana and you don’t have a registration, a bank statement or a W-2, it makes me kind of wonder why you’re voting in this election anyway,” House Speaker Wylie Galt
What an ignorant elitist out-of-touch statement. The students are VOTING FOR THEIR FUTURE.
Are we going back to the days where only male land-owners could vote? You don't have to pay for utilities to vote in an election.
Galt represents District 30 in Montana that is right smack on a reservation from just outside of Billings all the way to Miles City. That means by backing these 2 bills, he can suppress A LOT of voters on the Eastern side of Montana, just sayin'.
And this from Representative Jedediah Hinkle:
Rep. Jedediah Hinkle of Belgrade spoke about an election night in Gallatin County where a nonprofit group “not on our side of the aisle” bused students to the polls all day, and at 11:30 p.m., the line of voters flowed from the second floor of a courthouse outside and around the block, stressing election workers.
I'd be almost down for that take on registration in advance if he wouldn't have let out of the bag that they weren't on their side of the aisle. Now, he's just an elitist who wants to suppress as many votes as possible that don't go their way.
As for Cascade County
I called the Cascade County Election Office to get a few questions answered. Imagine my surprise when I found out the pleasant and knowledgeable person who answered the phone was our very own Clerk and Recorder, Rina Moore. From Ms. Moore, I learned that 75% of voters in Cascade County do so by mail. She said in a perfect world, the other 25% would vote at the polls, but in Montana, only 10%-15% of votes are actually made in person at the polling station.
There is good news
On September 21, the Montana Supreme Court upheld an injunction issued by Yellowstone county District Court Judge Michael Moses in March, which had barred Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen from enforcing the two laws.
I want to cast my vote in person
In Great Falls, you can go to Montana Expo Park on election day, November 8, 2022 and cast your ballot. In Vaughn, it's the Vaughn Volunteer Fire Station. In Belt, it's the Belt Senior Center. In Sun River, you can vote at the Fort Shaw Senior Center and in Cascade, you can cast your ballot at Wadsworth Hall.
There's a lot more to cover before election day, so watch our page for more information so you can make your best choices.