The Montana Senate voted to pass a bill on Wednesday that would limit the collection of absentee ballots in Montana, with some Republicans joining Democrats who oppose the bill for creating unnecessary barrier to mail voting.
House bill 406 seeks to bypass the rule of law a method commonly used by voting groups, in which the organizations send mail ballots collected from voters. Under this measure, voters can still let family members and legal guardians submit votes for them, but they will be required to enter their personal information into the state registry under law. public information.
Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, pointed out that an amendment to the bill on Friday by a Senate panel went further than just banning voting groups from collecting voters’ votes. Caregivers with voters with disabilities, mobility restrictions or medical problems will also be barred from submitting those ballots.
“This measure is not just unconstitutional, because I’m sure the courts will find it. It’s cruel, ”said Bennett.
The bill failed with 23-27 votes on its second reading, with eight Republicans along with all 19 Democrats voting against it. Senator Chester, Russ Tempel, was one of two Republican members to oppose the bill, saying that although “some of this work needs to be done”, district officials in his county worry it will create a substantial cost for them. Democratic Sen. Jen Gross, of Billings, echoed that view, saying that the Yellowstone County election administrator estimated HB 406 would add $ 640,000 in costs per election.