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Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

Gov. Bullock Allows All-Mail Voting for June Primary

For Montana counties that opt in for an all-mail primary this June, ballots must go out by May 8. (Scott Van Blarcom/Adobe Stock)
For Montana counties that opt in for an all-mail primary this June, ballots must go out by May 8. (Scott Van Blarcom/Adobe Stock)
March 27, 2020

HELENA, Mont. - In response to the new coronavirus pandemic, Montana counties will have the option to conduct the June primary completely by mail.

Gov. Steve Bullock has issued an order expanding mail-in ballots and early voting for the June 2 election, in order to help slow the spread of the virus.

Executive Director of the group Montana Conservation Voters, Aaron Murphy, says it's an important decision that will ensure the integrity of the state's election.

"Despite the setbacks that we are all facing and struggling with together, the ability to vote transcends all of that," says Murphy. "And so, it's important for us to make sure that our democracy and our elected representatives are chosen appropriately."

Murphy says virtually every county will pursue voting by mail. Bullock has issued a stay-at-home order starting on Saturday.

Postage won't be necessary for Montanans to return their ballots. Counties that opt in to all-mail elections must send ballots out by May 8.

Murphy says Gov. Bullock has acknowledged that voting by mail can be hard for some communities, such as on reservations where folks may not have a mailing address.

"There are native communities where ensuring that everybody has access to vote by mail is a challenge," says Murphy. "And so, the governor looked at that challenge and ensured that, if anybody is missing a ballot, they can certainly go in and vote in person, still."

Early in-person voting is scheduled to begin on May 4.

Disclosure: Montana Conservation Voters & Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT