Montana Public Radio

Donald Trump

A 2020 Montana primary absentee ballot
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s campaign and the national and state GOP argued in federal court Tuesday against Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s directive allowing for all-mail ballot voting this November. They made their case in U.S. District Court in Missoula for why they believe the directive should be blocked. The governor’s legal counsel dismissed their claims and argued that the directive needs to stay in place.

Montana Public Radio’s Shaylee Ragar shared her reporting on the case with MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney.

Montana absentee ballot for the 2017 special congressional election.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

As of Friday, 45 of Montana’s 56 counties have filed plans to hold all-mail elections this November after Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive in August allowing counties to do so. However, some people are pushing back against the measure and Republican officials have filed a lawsuit trying to stop it.

President Donald Trump.
(PD)

A Montana man was fined for taking flags in support of President Donald Trump from the porch of a Three Forks home and burning them.

Opposition to Obamacare Becomes Political Liability for GOP Incumbents

Sep 1, 2020

In the 2014 elections, Republicans rode a wave of anti Affordable Care Act (ACA) sentiment to pick up nine Senate seats, the largest gain for either party since 1980. Newly elected Republicans such as Cory Gardner in Colorado and Steve Daines in Montana had hammered their Democratic opponents over the health care law during the campaign and promised to repeal it.

Six years later, those senators are up for reelection. Not only is the law still around, but it’s gaining in popularity. What was once a winning strategy has become a political liability.

Campaign Beat: Sports, Mail Voting And 'Fawning Adulation'

Aug 28, 2020

The pandemic response remains an issue in Montana's Senate race. Postal service cuts may factor in the governor's race. New ads in the House race feature candidates filleting a fish and changing a tire. The Greens are, once and for all, off the ballot. and "Trumptana" debuts at the Republican National Convention.

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

A 2020 Montana primary absentee ballot
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

The U.S. Postal Service says it lost $2.2 billion in the three months that ended in June as the beleaguered agency — hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic — piles up financial losses that officials warn could top $20 billion over two years.

But the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, disputed reports that his agency is slowing down election mail, or any other mail, and said it has “ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on time” for the November presidential contest, when a significant increase in mail-in ballots is expected.

MMIW Cold Case Office Opens In Billings

Aug 7, 2020

A federal office to investigate cold cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people opened in Billings on Aug. 6.

The office is part of the Trump Administration’s Operation Lady Justice Task Force.

Montana is one of seven states to get a Cold Case Task Force office aimed at solving the high number of cases involving missing and murdered Native American people. It’s the latest step in slow moving systemic change spurred by grassroots efforts in communities with significant Native American populations, like Billings.

Gov. Steve Bullock annonces his Coronavirus Task Force on March 3, 2020 in response to the growing number of cases reported in the United States. Bullock says the task force is a multi-agency group that will coordinate public health response.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Bradshaw Sumners watched throughout February as COVID-19 hot spots developed in major American cities, waiting to see when the coronavirus pandemic would manifest in Montana. When it finally did, life for the Livingston resident and father of two changed dramatically. His daughters, 8 and 4 years old, were suddenly home from school. The restaurant group where Sumners works maintenance shut down, thrusting him onto unemployment alongside legions of workers nationwide.

The weeping wall on Glacier Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road.
David Restivo, NPS (PD)

President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday that will devote nearly $3 billion a year to conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands following its overwhelming approval by both parties in Congress.

Officials in Montana’s second-most populated county support holding an all-mail ballot general election in November.

Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman says voting by mail is the logical choice amid a worsening coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve worked closely with the Board of County Commissioners and think having an all-mail election would be a beneficial way to help ensure great voter turnout, help provide the best services we can while keeping everybody safe," Seaman said.

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