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Guest column: Montana voter laws empower voting

by Linda Reksten
| July 15, 2021 12:30 AM

Montana voter laws do not suppress voting but guarantee that every vote cast in a Montana election will count. As a member of the House State Administration Committee, we heard testimony from all over the state, including our clerks and recorders representing Montana counties, to improve the voter process.

House Bill 176 protects election integrity by closing late voter registration at noon the day before the election. Clerks and recorders expressed that they needed the time to prepare for Election Day. Are you aware that in the last election in Lake County citizens could register and early vote 30 days prior to the actual Nov. 3 voting day?

Other bills that improved voting include Senate Bill 170, which now requires that voter lists be reviewed yearly rather than every other year. This bill will enable county clerks to remove names of those who have moved out of the state or county or have died.

SB 169 requires a picture ID to vote. In House Administration, we worked for over a month to guarantee that all citizens could use a variety of picture identification sources to vote, including students at local colleges and disabled citizens.

SB 93 authorizes poll watchers to be allowed at each place of deposit in mall ballot elections.

These bills do not suppress voting but improve and empower the voting process, guaranteeing that your vote counts in any election.

Linda Reksten, a Republican, is a member of the Montana House of Representatives for District 12.