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Key Votes

HB 130 - Expansion of Elections that Can Be Conducted By Mail - Key Vote

Montana Key Votes

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Legislation - Bill Failed (House) (42-57) - (Key vote)

Title: Expansion of Elections that Can Be Conducted By Mail

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that requires all elections to be conducted by mail, with some exceptions, and specifies election procedures for elections occurring after January 1, 2012.

Highlights:
  • Requires all elections to be conducted by mail, with the exception of elections conducted by a school district clerk (Sec. 11).
  • Specifies that school district elections may be conducted either by mail or by means of polling place elections (Sec. 17).
  • Authorizes the election administrator to utilize other governmental address files including, but not limited to, tribal government files (Sec. 3).
  • Requires ballots to be mailed to voters 25 days prior to the election (Sec. 21).
  • Specifies that if a mail ballot is returned as undeliverable without a forwarding address, the election administrator shall (Sec. 33):
    • Attempt to contact the voter using the most expedient means possible to determine the reason for the return;
    • Mail a confirmation notice to the voter; and
    • Place the voter on the inactive list if the voter does not respond to the confirmation notice or update his or her address with the county election office.
  • Authorizes the issuance of a replacement ballot upon request by a voter (Sec. 26).
  • Requires each mailed ballot to include a signature envelope (Sec. 10).
  • Defines "signature envelope" as an envelope containing a secrecy envelope which allows election officials to verify that the person submitting the ballot is a qualified voter and has not already voted (Sec. 10).
  • Requires all signature envelopes to contain a warning stating that any person who unduly influences another person to vote in a particular manner or to refrain from voting commits a misdemeanor and may be subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both (Sec. 13).
  • Requires voters to affix postage on ballots returned by mail (Sec. 13).
  • Requires all ballots to be received at the election office, designated place of deposit, or official drop by 8:00 pm on election day (Sec. 13).
  • Specifies that ballots returned to counties other than the county of issuance must be sent by the county in receipt of the ballot to the county from which the ballot was issued, and that (Sec. 27):
    • If the ballot is received by the county of issuance by 8:00 pm on election day, it shall be counted as a regular ballot; and
    • If the ballot is received by the county of issuance after 8:00 pm on election day, it shall be handled as a provisional ballot.
  • Specifies that a vote placed in an official drop box shall be counted as a valid vote (Sec. 1).
  • Defines "official drop box" as a secure ballot container designated by the election administrator (Sec. 1).
  • Authorizes the use of the county election office as one of the required locations for a staffed place of deposit (Sec. 28).
  • Requires the following numbers of staffed places of deposit (Sec. 28):
    • 3 places of deposit for counties with 6,000 or more active voters;
    • 2 places of deposit for counties with less than 6,000 active voters but more than 3,000 active voters; and
    • 1 place of deposit for counties with less than 3,000 active voters.
  • Requires the following numbers of official drop box locations (Sec. 28):
    • For each county, 1 official drop box location in addition to the county election office for every 15,000 active registered voters;
    • For each county, 1 official drop box location that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for every 30,000 active registered voters;
    • For each town or city with 400 or more active registered voters, 1 official drop box location;
    • For each Native American reservation, at least 1 official drop box location in addition to the county election office; and
    • For each public or private college or university, 1 official drop box location in addition to the county election office for every 10,000 enrolled students.
  • Requires all places of deposit and official drop box locations to be available for at least 8 hours and until 8:00 pm on election day (Sec. 28).
  • Requires the election administrator to publicly display notices of places of deposit and official drop box locations at least 30 days prior to election day (Sec. 28).
  • Requires election administrators to make reasonable accommodations for voters with disabilities, and that requests for accommodations must be made before 12:00 pm on election day and must allow sufficient time for the election administrator to provide the requested assistance (Sec. 28).
  • This act is effective January 1, 2012 (Sec. 38).
Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Expansion of Elections that Can Be Conducted By Mail

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