May 05, 2014
CONTACT: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807
Regular Voter Registration Closes May 5;
Late Voter Registration Available May 6 - Election Day
HELENA, MT – Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch is reminding Montanans that they can register to vote and cast a ballot up through the close of polls on Election Day. The regular voter registration period for the Primary Election closes today (May 5) at 5:00 p.m. Late voter registration will open at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6 and close at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3.
“Montana’s voter registration laws are among the strongest in the nation,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Late registration allows folks to register right up through the close of polls on Election Day, which guarantees no voter is denied the right to cast their ballot.”
Late registration was first implemented in the 2006 Federal Primary. Since then, 65,836 Montanans have used it to register to vote and cast a ballot in a statewide election. Of those Montanans, 28,329 have registered and voted on Election Day.
Late voter registration must be done in person at the county election office or at the location designated by the county election administrator. It is temporarily closed from noon to 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election.
“Late registration is used by every type of voter, in every area of the state,” Secretary McCulloch said. “We’re lucky to live in a place where current law protects our right to participate in elections.”
County election offices today mailed more than 185,000 absentee ballots to identified absentee voters. Any registered voter who would like to vote by absentee ballot in the Primary Election may fill out an Application for Absentee Ballot, or sign up for the Absentee List. Applications are available at the county election office and on the Secretary of State’s website at sos.mt.gov, and must be returned by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, June 2.
Voters can track the status of their absentee ballot online, or on select smartphones, with the My Voter Page (MVP) application. The MVP app also includes a voter’s registration information, polling place location and a precinct-specific sample ballot.
According to Secretary McCulloch, “Voicing your opinion on state and local issues helps to protect your interests, and one of the surest ways to be heard is to vote. Voting in the Primary Election is just as important as voting in other elections, as it helps to advance your candidates on to the General Election ballot.”