Start the New Year by Updating Your Voter Registration
by Linda McCulloch, Montana Secretary of State
(HELENA, MT) - As we begin the 2012 election season, every Montana voter should be reminded of the importance of maintaining an accurate voter registration record.
Election administrators rely on the accuracy of this record to establish a voter's eligibility, polling place location, mailing address in which to send an absentee ballot or other election material, and much more.
Whether you are one of Montana's roughly 632,000 registered voters, or someone who will register for the first time this year, you can help your election administrator by ensuring all the information in your voter registration record is up-to-date. It's a simple way to show gratitude for the excellent job our election administrators do in affording Montana fair and secure elections.
Every Montana county has an election administrator. In most counties (all but 5), the election administrator is the elected clerk and recorder. It is a momentous job centered on the core duty of administering all local, statewide and federal elections in Montana - with the exception of school elections in some areas.
Since the passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002, the job of election administrator has seen significant changes. Your election administrator must be a technical wizard in order to operate different voting and tabulation equipment; they must be a teacher and trainer, training hundreds of poll workers and educating voters; and they must be adept in quick and efficient problem solving, making critical decisions quickly and accurately. Whether administering a small local district election or a presidential election, an election administrator relies on an accurate statewide voter registration file to provide all of these services which are critical to the success of the election.
You can check your voter registration record online at MyVoterPage.mt.gov. If you've moved, changed your name, or the way you sign your name, download a fillable Voter Registration Card at sos.mt.gov, or call our toll-free number 1-888-884-VOTE (8683) and request a card be mailed to you. Keep in mind that updating your address with the postal service does not update your voter registration information!
Voters who would like to stay ahead of the game can also request to be put on Montana's Annual Absentee List. Voters on the Annual Absentee List are automatically mailed their ballot 30 days before Election Day, which allows ample time to study the issues and candidates, vote your ballot at your convenience, and return it by mail or in person to the county election office.
Montana's county election administrators do an excellent job of administering our elections. They deserve our thanks and our attention to voter registration accuracy. I encourage you to start the new year by updating your voter registration record.
Montana Secretary of State