Montana Public Radio

voting

The Montana Supreme Court today overruled a lower court order and restored the state’s Jun. 2 mail-in ballot receipt deadline for the upcoming primary.

The high court’s order means voters must get their mail-in ballots to their local election office or other drop off locations by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Campaign Beat: Big Money Is Pouring In To Montana's Elections

May 22, 2020

Outside PAC money is pouring into Montana's races for Senate and governor - one indication of how competitive those races are. But money isn't the only factor, which gives some underdogs hope. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney gets criticized for participating in a campaign call in his state office. Absentee ballot collection remains a contentious issue. And Montanans likely aren't as leery as the president when it comes to voting by mail.

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

Montana counties have sent ballots for the Jun. 2 primary to every single active voter across the state. Elections administrators have embraced the so called all mail election because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Trevellyan with Yellowstone Public Radio news asked various county officials how they’re handling the abrupt shift. He shares his reporting with Nicky Ouellet.

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

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's June 2 primary will be conducted by mail in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Same-day registration and voting will still be allowed while a new law could mean election results will be available earlier than usual, officials said.

Election sign reading 'polling place' on a door at a Missoula polling place.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton plans to wait for more information about the coronavirus outbreak before deciding whether to change to the state's June 2 primary elections

In a video posted on Twitter Tuesday, Stapleton said people have asked him whether the primaries should be canceled, postponed, or conducted by mail because of the effort underway to stem the spread of the virus.

Election sign reading 'polling place' on a door at a Missoula polling place.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana will receive more than $3 million from the federal government to improve state elections. Much of the money will be given to local governments as part of the federal Help America Vote Act.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.
Courtesy Montana Secretary of State.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton is in Israel this week with a bipartisan delegation of top state elections officials from across the United States. Officials say the trip aims to strengthen U.S.- Israel relations.

Stapleton is among 11 state officials from the U.S. traveling in the National Association of Secretaries of State delegation.

Voters in Clinton, Montana, cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch / UM School of Journalism

Starting in 2020, Lewis and Clark County will no longer have partisan elections for leadership offices, an idea that voters from a different southwest Montana county are opposed to.

Voters in Clinton, Montana, cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch / UM School of Journalism

The Montana Secretary of State's Office has decided how to distribute $750,000 in federal grant money to upgrade voting equipment across the state's 56 counties.

A statement by Secretary Corey Stapleton Tuesday shows the amount of each sub-grant will range from $3,500 for the smallest counties to nearly $46,000 for Missoula County. The money is matched by an equal amount contributed by the counties.


Candidates for statewide offices in Montana are gearing up for next year’s primaries. Republican State Senator Scott Sales announced in March he’s running for Secretary of State. He recently spoke with YPR News’ Jess Sheldahl about election security and his plans to develop communication with the County Clerks and Recorders.

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