Organization : Montana Secretary of State
Facility : Voter FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
State : Montana
Country : United States
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General Questions :
Q.What are the dates of the federal primary and general elections?
A: A Federal primary election is held every even-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June. The 2016 federal primary election will be held on June 7, 2016. A Federal general election is held every even-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The 2016 federal general election will be held on November 8, 2016. Presidential elections are combined with the congressional, statewide, state district, and county elections.
Q. What are the dates of municipal primary and general elections?
A. A municipal primary election, if necessary, is held every odd-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in September. A municipal general election is held every odd-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
Q. Where can I find out information about school elections?
A. Visit the Office of Public Instruction website at opi.mt.gov/Finance&Grants/schoolfinance/Index.html#gpm1_7.
Q. What are the deadlines for the close of regular registration for the federal primary and general elections?
A. Regular registration closes 30 days before any election. Late registration begins the next day, and ends at the close of polls on election day (except from noon until 5:00 p.m. on the day before election day). Late registration can only be done at the county election administrator’s office or the location designated by the election administrator.
Q. Do I have to vote in a primary election in order to vote in the general election?
Q. Which parties are qualified for primary access in Montana? Is there party registration in Montana? Can people in a primary election vote for more than one party’s candidates?
A. The list of Montana’s qualified parties is available on our website at sos.mt.gov/Elections/Parties. There is no party registration in Montana. Individuals who vote in a primary election are given all the parties’ ballots, and can choose in private which party ballot they wish to vote. Voters in a primary election cannot vote more than one party’s ballots.
Voter Registration :
Q. How do I register, update my registration, find out if my registration is still on file, or find out the location of my polling place?
A. For information about registering to vote, visit sos.mt.gov/Elections/Vote. You may also contact your county election administrator to register or update your registration or visit My Voter Page to find out if you are registered to vote, where you are registered to vote, the location and directions to your polling place, the status of your absentee ballot, and to view a sample ballot.
Q. What is late registration and what are the dates that it opens and closes?
A. Late registration is an option for people who miss the regular registration deadline. It is available starting the day after the close of regular registration, up until the close of polls on election day, and must be done at the county election office (or at the location designated by the election administrator), not at a polling place.
Late registration is closed from noon to 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Although you can drop off a registration card during this time, you will not receive your ballot unless you return to the election office on Election Day. If you wish to avoid the possibility of long lines, register by the close of regular registration or as soon as possible after the start of the late registration period.
Absentee Voting :
Q. Does Montana have “early voting”? Does Montana have in-person absentee voting before election day? When does it start?
A. Montana does not have true early voting, but does have in-person absentee voting that allows electors, as soon as absentee ballots are available, to receive, mark and submit an absentee ballot in person at the election office or by mail to the election office. However, ballots are not counted until election day. Early-in person absentee voting does not require a reason and starts as soon as ballots are available – by not later than 30 days before an election.
Q. Who can vote absentee in Montana?
A. Since October 1,1999, anyone who wishes to vote absentee in Montana may do so, without having to specify a reason.
Q. How do I request an absentee ballot?
A. Request to be placed on the Absentee List to receive all ballots for which you are eligible by mail, or print an Application for Absentee Ballot from the Secretary of State website, fill it out, and drop it off at the county election office or fax or mail the form to your county election office.
Q. When are the first and last days to request an absentee ballot?
A. There is no earliest day to apply for an absentee ballot. An application for absentee ballot must be received by the election office by noon the day before election day.
Q. What if I become ill and will not make it to the polls on election day?
A. If you request an absentee ballot because of a sudden illness or health emergency occurring between 5 p.m. of the Friday preceding the election and before close of polls on election day, you may ask your county election administrator to have a special absentee election board bring an absentee ballot to you.
Q. Can people request to be placed on an absentee list?
A. Yes. The Application for Absentee Ballot/Absentee List includes the option to receive ballots for subsequent elections. In order to stay on the list, citizens must respond to confirmation mailings that will be sent in January of each even-numbered year.
Voting Systems :
Q. What kind of voting systems are available in Montana?
A. Voting systems must be certified to meet certain standards before they can be used in Montana. Most counties use either precinct level tabulators called M100s or DS200s or central tabulators, called M650s or DS850s. Some small counties do not use a vote tabulating system, but instead count ballots by hand. All counties have available voter assist terminals called AutoMARKs for use by individuals with vision or mobility impairments.