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Lawmakers end same-day voter registration

2011-04-05T08:34:00Z Lawmakers end same-day voter registrationThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 05, 2011 8:34 am  • 

HELENA - The Montana Legislature has passed a bill that would end same-day voter registration and moving the last day voters could register to the Friday before Election Day.

The Senate gave final approval to House Bill 180 with a 28-22 vote on Friday. The House had passed it 67-33 in February.

Republican sponsor Rep. Champ Edmunds of Missoula argued the current system of allowing people to register on Election Day opens the system to fraud. Election officials in Gallatin County told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle same-day registration led to delays in the 8 p.m. poll closure time.

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch opposed the bill, saying nearly 19,000 people have registered on Election Day since it became legal in 2006 and it has not led to voter fraud.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) Comments

  1. Helena Pedestrian
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    Helena Pedestrian - April 06, 2011 1:56 pm
    Here's another example of the Republican policy summed up as "if it ain't broke, break it. If it is broke, do everything you can to prevent fixing it or if possible make it worse." Restricting citizens' legitimate right to vote is the most un-American thing I can think of. Justifying that anti-American position with conspiracy theories and lies is as low as politics can get. Veto it Governor.

    What did people think would happen when they elected a bunch of anti-government cranks to the legislature? Of course they've set about to prove with their own ineptitude just how ineffective government can be.
  2. BigT25
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    BigT25 - April 06, 2011 9:03 am
    Steeline - I'm not sure how exactly I am dependent on others? I've voted in every single election for the last 18 years including voting absentee a few times in college. My point was that sometimes even the most dedicated voters make mistakes. It's not like I never registered, I was just registered somewhere else. Thanks to same day voter registration I was able to vote at my current location.
  3. Purple
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    Purple - April 06, 2011 2:22 am
    Amazing isn't it how the left openly embrasses the likelyhood of voter registration fraud and the high probability of actual voter fraud. They object to having to show a photo ID when voting, a mandate which ensure the integrity of the election system.

    But then again, dems and libs have proven over the years they don't care about the integrity of our election system - THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS - to ensure they win an election no matter what. It was on full display in Seattle/King County several years back when there were 5,000 more ballots cast than there were registered voters. Then there was the matter of nearly 600 convicted felons, sitting in prison, casting ballots. By federal election laws, convicted felons unless their right to vote has been restored by the courts, are INELIGIBLE TO VOTE.
  4. steeline
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    steeline - April 05, 2011 11:33 pm
    Big T25 sounds like you are too dependent on someone else to see to it that you got registered. That is a problem we have in the USA these days. Big brother will take care of us. Not. In addition I think it should be damn hard for fraudulent voters to vote. Those who are honest legal Americans no problem. We have to get America Right with legal votes.
  5. Joe Montana
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    Joe Montana - April 05, 2011 7:19 pm
    NORML will need to call all their supporters say about two weeks prior to the deadline, and remind them to sober up a bit, and get down to register to vote. The problem is, they'll forget to vote when the time comes, or be so high they just don't care. Anyway, let's see how it goes!

    Obama is not going to like this!
  6. mtbiker
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    mtbiker - April 05, 2011 5:29 pm
    This is a political power grab. The republicans, like Edmunds, say that this is to prevent voter fraud. But have they presented any cases of voter fraud? I haven't seen any. No, this is a smoke screen of an argument.

    The real, and fairly transparent, reason that they want to end election-day registration is to make voting more difficult for those who are less familiar with the voting process, i.e., the poor and the young. These people tend to vote democrat.

    The republicans are using "no same day registration" as a proxy for a "landed, white, male" voting requirement. It is no different than the literacy tests that the south used to use to disenfranchise black voters: there, "literacy" served as a proxy for "white." And now Montana republicans are hauling out the same platitudes to support narrowing the electorate: and I quote: "A legal citezen [sic] who is serious about voting will not wait until the day of the election to register." This is merely an echo of the argument for literacy tests, "If some one is not literate, they have no business voting."

    Restrictions on the right to vote were shameful in the south, and they are a shame in Montana today.

  7. TrustButVerify
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    TrustButVerify - April 05, 2011 5:14 pm
    The current system was not broken, why fix it? There was no outcry from election officials lobbying for the change. I am an election judge and there were never that many who had to register on election day. Why deprive anyone of the right to vote? Hope this is one of those changes that is within the power of the Governor to veto and if so, that he considers laying on the veto iron!
  8. BigT25
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    BigT25 - April 05, 2011 12:52 pm
    steeline said: "A legal citezen who is serious about voting will not wait until the day of the election to register. registered."

    I'm a legal citizen who is serious about voting (and can spell citizen) and due to an error on my part was not registered in the last election. I moved across the state in October, changed my address with the DMV (new license), and thought that I had been registered in my new location. Turns out that I wasn't and had it not been for same day voter registration I would have been unable to vote. My point is that these things happen and we have the technology in place to be able to give everyone the chance to vote.

  9. abodox33
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    abodox33 - April 05, 2011 11:32 am
    Making the voting process more complicated is certain to help the democratic process, thanks lawmakers!
  10. abcdef
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    abcdef - April 05, 2011 11:30 am
    Making it more difficult to vote.. . what’s next specially certified birth certificate and literacy tests? Guys with three cornered hats and guns guarding our election process seeing that the right outcomes occurs?

    Working harder for less, sending our children to war after war.. . lets make that more difficult.
  11. steeline
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    steeline - April 05, 2011 10:11 am
    A legal citezen who is serious about voting will not wait until the day of the election to register. Those who wait until the of the election are most likely the ones that some political supporter has cornered and assisted in the registration to get a vote for their candidate. Most un-registered voters on election day wouldn't even know where to to vote. There is too much chance that an unauthorized occupant of American soil could fraudulently get registered. It is happening all the time. I say if you haven't registered to vote a month or longer before the elections too bad. We have to get America Right.

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