HELENA — One of the priority bills requested by Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, Senate Bill 170, was signed into law by Gov. Greg Gianforte this week. The bill, which will require annual maintenance of Montana’s voter rolls, will protect the integrity of elections.
Sen. Doug Kary (R, SD-22) sponsored the bill.
Annual maintenance of the voter list will have a significant impact on improving the accuracy, as well as protecting the integrity, of Montana’s elections. The new law will require annual voter registration list maintenance, while previous maintenance was held only in odd-numbered years.
Over the past 10 years, Montana’s registered voter counts increased from nearly 640,000 to 752,000. During that span, records for undeliverable ballots increased from 927 in the June 2010 election to more than 33,000 in the June 2020 primary.
Annual maintenance of the voter list will reduce the cost for taxpayers, while also improving efficiency for election administrators.
“Accuracy in our elections is something all Montanans can agree on,” said Secretary Jacobsen.
“With the cleaning of our voter rolls each year, Montana can have a more accurate number of registered voters, better addresses and the ability to cleanse those names from the rolls who have passed away or moved as required in the National Voters Registration Act,” said Sen. Kary.