Every State, Every Vote: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Expands Vote-By-Mail Access For General Election
Gov. Bullock: “With this approach we can protect that fundamental right to vote, while easing crowding and pressure on voting on Election Day.”
Yesterday, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced an executive directive to ensure a safe, fair, and accessible election in November. Gov. Bullock’s directive allows counties to expand vote-from-home and early voting options for the general election.
This order builds on Gov. Bullock’s plan for the June 2020 primary, when he also allowed counties to use vote-by-mail measures and early voting to conduct elections safely during the pandemic. The updated directive reflects a request from a bipartisan group of county election officials, who studied the June 2020 primary and asked Gov. Bullock to again give counties the option to conduct a mail ballot election in November.
Regardless of whether they choose to expand mail-in voting, all counties in Montana will be required to offer safe in-person polling stations for those who need it.
Read more about Gov. Bullock’s directive below and learn how Democratic governors are fighting to expand access to the ballot box at EveryStateEveryVote.com.
Associated Press: Montana permits counties to hold all-mail voting in November
Montana will permit counties to hold all-mail voting come November to limit the spread of the coronavirus, according to a new directive issued by Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday.
The directive was issued after the Montana Association of Clerk and Recorders and the Montana Association of Counties last month called on Bullock to allow counties the option to conduct the general election vote by mail.
Bullock issued a similar directive earlier this year that permitted the June 3 election to be held by mail to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Following the move, the primary election saw record-high turnout.
Montana Standard: Bullock: Counties can opt for mail election
Gov. Steve Bullock said Thursday that he’ll let the state’s counties decide on holding the November general election by mail, while expanding early voting and preserving options to cast a ballot in person.
“It only makes sense that we start preparing now to make sure no Montanans will have to choose between their vote and their health,” Bullock said in a press conference Thursday. “They didn’t have to in June and they shouldn’t have to in November.”
Great Falls Tribune: Counties given OK for mail ballot, expand early voting for Nov. 3 election
Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive Thursday leaving the decision to counties to expand voting by mail and early voting for the November general election due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak.
The directive is similar to one the Democratic governor issued for the June primary and counties that decide to vote by mail must still allow in-person voting. All counties must ensure appropriate social distancing to provide safe voting and voter registration for all Montanans.
Governor Steve Bullock at a press conference in Helena on Thursday ordered the Secretary of State and county election officials to add mail-in ballots and expand early voting to traditional polling place voting to the upcoming general election.
Bullock said the danger of voting in person due to COVID 19 was the cause for the new order issued today.
“The Montana Association of Counties and the Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders and election administrators asked that I give counties the option to conduct the 2020 general election by mail, as we did in the June primary,” he said. “They requested that I make that determination by this coming Monday, August 10th to allow the time to make sure that their local election administrators are prepared.”
At a press call, Thursday morning Governor Steve Bullock announced that Montana counties would have the option of conducting the general election exclusively through mail ballots.
County election officials formally asked Bullock on July 24, to allow them to choose whether to conduct an all-mail ballot for the general election — and asked that he make that decision by Aug. 10, which is 85 days before the election.
On Thursday, Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive to ensure all eligible Montanans can safely vote in the 2020 November general election by allowing counties to expand voting by mail and early voting. Whether or not they provide mail ballots, all counties will be required to offer in person voting opportunities and take precautions to ensure Montanans have the option to register or vote safely.