Why Make Voting More Difficult?

We must make sure that everyone who wants to vote can do so

By Gail Trenfield

Our Montana Legislature has made voting more difficult for many groups, including Native Americans and other rural voters; people with disabilities; younger and student voters; people with inflexible work schedules; and those who discover a problem with their registration at the last minute. This includes a large number of Montanans.

To review: SB 169 increases types of identification needed to register and to vote. HB 176 eliminates Election Day registration – closing registration on the day before the election. HB 506 mandates that people who are eligible to vote cannot be given a ballot before Election Day unless they are 18 or/and have lived in the precinct for 30 days.

Our equal right to vote is critical to maintaining our democracy. Because these laws make voting difficult for certain groups and not others, they have rightfully been challenged in court.

Meanwhile, the system is crippled, and we must make sure that everyone who wants to vote can do so. We can check our own registration at My Voter Page: https://app.mt.gov/voterinfo/; register others to vote; educate voters on new requirements – and help get people to the polls. It’s a bit tougher, but we can do this!

Gail Trenfield
St. Ignatius

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