Between Oct. 27 and Nov. 2, 7,790 Montanans in 52 of the state’s 56 counties either registered to vote or updated their voter status. On Election Day, the total was 8,172 — the second highest figure in a general election since Montana implemented same-day registration in 2006.
Two voting law bills passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Greg Gianforte this spring are being challenged in Yellowstone County district court.
Statewide Race Results
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Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen has issued an ‘open letter’ in apparent response to allegations of discrepancies in Missoula County election results.
Senate Bill 162 would have exempted religious organizations from the state’s campaign reporting requirements. It was tabled in mid-March. Now it’s back, piggybacked onto a new bill just days before a key legislative deadline.
A records request for ballot envelopes in Missoula County has generated allegations about the 2020 election results, and given legislators fodder for debates about changing statewide election laws.
House Bill 325 would ask voters to approve election of state Supreme Court justices by districts, rather than statewide. Supporters say the change would encourage better representation on the state’s most powerful bench. Critics call it ‘judicial gerrymandering.’
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MORE ELECTIONS COVERAGE
House Bill 535 to the House State Administration Committee Thursday. The bill seeks to replace the governor-appointed Commissioner of Political Practices with a four-person bipartisan council selected by legislative leadership, and to transfer oversight of campaign finance reporting to the Secretary of State.
Legislators in the 2021 session agree that Montana elections should be fair and secure. But debate on proposals from both sides of the aisle has revealed powerful fallout from the 2020 election — and partisan disagreement on solutions.