Upon request, the Secretary of State shall furnish to any individual, for noncommercial use available extracts and reports from the statewide voter registration system. 13-2-122, MCA. If you need legal advice on the definition of noncommercial use, please consult with an attorney.
The statewide voter registration system is a live system and data changes constantly as county election officials maintain the data. Each extract is static information that is current as of the time the extract is pulled. Additionally, routine list maintenance is done by the counties at various times. A requestor of data extracts is responsible for their own analysis of the information provided, and is responsible for choosing the time period of purchase.
The fee structure and additional information about the statewide voter registration system extracts is below.
Q. Who are the contacts for questions about the Statewide Voter File?
A. About the Service – Montana Interactive, 449-3468 or [email protected]
Technical Questions – Secretary of State IT, 444-4775 or [email protected].
General Questions – Secretary of State Elections Division, [email protected]
Q. What is the fee structure for the statewide voter file or available extracts?
A. The fee for a single copy of the complete voter file or for an extract of the voter file such as the Absentee Ballot Report is $1000.00. The fee for a one-year (365-day) subscription to the voter file service is $5000.00. This subscription entitles you to unlimited downloads of any of the available extracts and copies of the complete voter file. Visa and MasterCard are accepted for payment.
The fees for customized files vary by selection. They are as follows: $200.00 for a County file, $150.00 for a Legislative Senate District file, and $100.00 for a Legislative Representative District file. The fee for the Petition Signers Report is $200 per ballot issue. The fee for the available late registrant reports is $200. See also https://app.mt.gov/voterfile/fees.html.
Q. What is included in the purchase of the Statewide Voter File?
A. The Statewide Voter File (and customized county and legislative district files) includes two spreadsheets – one spreadsheet includes a list of all registered voters, and the other includes the voting history of each currently registered voter.
Q. What are the fields in the statewide voter file and voter history report?
Q. If a person purchases a subscription, does that entitle the person to all extracts and reports, including the Absentee Ballot Report, the Petition Signers Report, and available late registrant reports?
A. Yes – an annual subscription entitles the customer to unlimited downloads of any available extracts or copies of the complete voter file. In order to purchase a subscription, a customer must sign up for an Okta account — see https://app.mt.gov/voterfile.
Q. How far back do the records go?
A. Records go back to at least 2006 for all counties. Some history may exist before 2006, depending on what the counties provided when records were converted to the statewide system.
Q. How often is information updated? How often will the customer get updates?
A. Information is updated by the counties as they process ballots, registrations, etc. A subscriber can request updates as often as they want. SOS IT sends a daily file of the previous day’s business to the vendor early each morning. Updates to the main voter file are provided on CD or electronically through the state file transfer service upon request. The Absentee Ballot Report is available for download directly from the site https://app.mt.gov/voterfile at the time it is purchased.
Q. Which report(s) include voter history?
A. The statewide voter file and the county and legislative extracts of the statewide voter file include voter history. The Absentee Ballot Report, Petition Signers Report, and late registrant reports do not include voter history.
Q. Does the voter file include information about whether or not a voter is on the absentee list?
A. Yes. The voter file includes an indicator (True/False) of whether or not a voter is absentee, in the field titled “Absentee.”
Q. Is municipal, school, and/or special election information included in the file?
A. Although most municipal, school, and special district elections’ history are included in the voter history spreadsheet, in certain cases the history will not be included. The user should check with the county or with the Secretary of State’s office if the user is looking for history for a specific local election. The voter history spreadsheet is included with purchase of the Statewide Voter File (and customized county and legislative district files).
Q. Why do some residential addresses just contain what appears to be township, range and section information rather than street addresses?
A. Some counties use legal descriptions for residential addresses in certain instances. These descriptions may appear in a format such as the following: 1 S 2 E 3. The descriptions are especially common in areas in which many voters reside in areas that do not have street addresses.
Since voters in the file also have a mailing address, the mailing address may be the most useful address in cases in which the township, section, and range are listed for the voter’s residence address.
Specific questions about the Statewide Voter File can be directed to (406) 444-9608 or [email protected].
Q. What is the Absentee Ballot Report and what is included in that file? Is voter history contained in the Absentee Ballot Report? Does the Absentee Ballot Report contain information on individuals who are on the Absentee List?
A. The Absentee Ballot Report is a statewide report that includes information on voters who have been sent an absentee ballot for an upcoming federal election, and includes the status of the absentee ballot. It is updated early each morning with the previous day’s business. The fee for a single copy of the extract of the voter file such as the statewide Absentee Ballot Report is $1,000.00.
The Absentee Ballot Report includes an indicator (True/False) of whether or not a voter is on the Absentee List, in the field titled “Absentee.”
A list of the fields in the report is available online at https://app.mt.gov/voterfile/about.html.
A sample report is available at: Absentee Ballot Report Sample.
The Absentee Ballot Report is available for download for $1,000 directly from the site https://app.mt.gov/voterfile at the time it is purchased. A purchaser who has an annual subscription can download the file as often as needed.
Voter history is not included in the Absentee Ballot Report. For more information, see https://app.mt.gov/voterfile/about.html under the “Absentee Voter File” heading.
Q. What is the earliest date that absentee information will be available for an election?
A. When county election officials begin sending absentee ballots to voters, the names of those voters will appear on the Absentee Ballot Report. Generally this will occur no later than 45 days before an election for absent active duty military and overseas citizen voters with active absentee requests, 25 days for voters on the absentee list, and 30 days and less for election-specific absentees. Names will show up in the Absentee Ballot Report the day after ballots are mailed in each scenario above.
Q. Is the Absentee Ballot Report cumulative? Will it show everyone who has been sent a ballot and the ballot status for the election, or does each subsequent report only include voters since the last report?
A. The report is cumulative. It will show everyone who has been sent a ballot for the most recent federal election and the ballot status for each such ballot. For a list of fields in the report, see Absentee Ballot Report Sample.
Q. How often is the Absentee Ballot Report updated, and what does each day’s file include as far as ballot activity?
A. Information is sent to the vendor early every morning, inclusive of the previous day’s business.
Additional specific questions about the Absentee Ballot Report can be directed to (406) 444-9608 or [email protected].
Q. What is the Petition Signers Report, and what is included in that file?
A. The Petition Signers Report is generated based on the specific petition requested, so it is not available for download immediately. The report will be provided directly to the customer by the vendor in the format requested (CD, email, file transfer).
The Petition Signers Report is unofficial and represents totals for petitions that county election officials have processed and entered into the system. It does not represent what the Office of the Secretary of State has received, reviewed, tabulated, and certified. Certified totals may differ from that which is reflected on the report.
The Petition Signers Report is a county-by-county record of a specific petition’s signers.
By default, it is in county order and in order of when the signatures were processed by the county election officials.
The field names are County, Submittal Number, Sheet, Line, Voter ID, Name, Residence, Status, Verification Reason (if the signature was rejected, the rejection reason selected by the county is included ), House District, and Circulator. A sample report is available at: Petition Signers Report Sample.
The fee for the Petition Signers Report is $200 per report.
Additional specific questions about the Petition Signers Report can be directed to (406) 444-9608 or [email protected].
Q. What are the 2008-Current Late Registrant Reports and the Most Recent Available Federal Election Late Registrant Report, and what are included in those files?
A. These reports, once purchased, are available for download immediately. They are not generated until after each federal election.
The field names are: Election, Voter ID, Last Name, First Name, Middle Name, Name Suffix, DOB, County, House District, Senate District, Precinct, Before/On Election Day, New/County-to-County/Precinct-to-Precinct. The reports do not contain voters’ addresses. Sample reports are available at: 2008-Current Late Registrant Reports Sample and Most Recent Available Federal Election Late Registrant Report Sample.
The fee for the 2008-Current Late Registrant Reports is $1,000 and the fee for the Most Recent Available Federal Election Late Registrant Report is $200.
Additional specific questions about the late registrant reports can be directed to (406) 444-9608 or [email protected]