Bill to Eliminate Election Day Registration Fails

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A bill that would have eliminated same-day voter registration has failed in a House committee.

The House State Administration Committee voted 9-9 Tuesday on two bills by Rep. Ted Washburn, R-Bozeman. One would have ended voter registration on the Friday before election day while the other would have barred the use of current utility bills and school IDs to register to vote.

Republicans supported the measures and argued pushing back the registration deadline would take pressure off county clerks and recorders on election day.

Supporters argued the identification bill would ensure that people who are not Montana residents are not voting in state elections.

Democrats argued the bills set out to prevent fraud that does not exist and would restrict voter access.