Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Tell us how you use the radio, along with social media, smartphones, tablets, streaming and the web to stay connected to entertainment, news and updates from MTPR and other sources. Whether you use all these things or none, your response is helpful.
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Supreme Court: Ballots Must Be Received On Election Day

Jackie Yamanaka

The Montana Supreme Court ruled this week that only ballots received by 8 P.M. on Nov. 3 will be counted in this year’s general election.

With ballots already printed, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton argued that temporarily abandoning the state’s 8 P.M. Election Day ballot receipt deadline would cause confusion among voters.

The state Supreme Court agreed and granted a stay late on Sept. 29, writing the extension would disrupt the status quo and interfere with the state’s ability to administer an orderly election.

Yellowstone County District Judge Donald Harris had ruled on Sept. 25 that ballots postmarked by Election Day should be counted even if elections officials receive them after polls close.

On Sept. 28, Stapleton told the Supreme Court he intended to appeal another part of Harris’ order blocking the Ballot Interference Prevention Act (BIPA), which caps the number of ballots a person or group can drop off for someone else at six. The high court upheld Harris’ ruling against BIPA, pending full consideration by the court after Nov. 3.

In a separate case last week, Yellowstone County District Judge Jessica Fehr found BIPA unconstitutional. She issued a permanent injunction against the law.

Copyright 2020 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kevin is a UM Journalism graduate student and reporter for MTPR.
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content