Lawmakers End Same-Day Voter Registration

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The Montana Legislature has passed a bill that would end same-day voter registration and moving the last day voters could register to the Friday before Election Day.

The Senate gave final approval to House Bill 180 with a 28-22 vote on Friday. The House had passed it 67-33 in February.

Republican sponsor Rep. Champ Edmunds of Missoula argued the current system of allowing people to register on Election Day opens the system to fraud. Election officials in Gallatin County told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle same-day registration led to delays in the 8 p.m. poll closure time.

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch opposed the bill, saying nearly 19,000 people have registered on Election Day since it became legal in 2006 and it has not led to voter fraud.

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