Youth Groups File to Stop New MT Election Laws Before 2022 Primary
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Groups representing young people in Montana hope to stop a slate of election laws from going into effect before the state's primary in June.
The Forward Montana Foundation, Montana Public Interest Research Group and Montana Youth Actionan end to election-day registration and stricter voter ID laws that require another form of identification with a student ID. Rylee Sommers-Flanagan, founder and executive director of Upper Seven Law, is representing the group.
"When you have a bunch of laws that restrict voting - or that even nominally make voting more difficult - those laws will interact with one another to land most heavily on youth populations," she said, "so you're just going to see a natural reduction in youth turnout because you've made it more complicated for them."
The groups also are challenging a law that prohibits ballots from being sent out to voters before their 18th birthday, even those who will be 18 by Election Day. Montana lawmakers and Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen have said these laws are necessary to ensure the integrity of the state's elections, a top concern for Republicans.
The youth civics groups have filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop these laws from being enforced before the Montana primary on June 7. Sommers-Flanagan called it it unfortunate that the Montana Legislature has set up these impediments to voting for young people.
"They're disappointing in the sense that I wish that we didn't have to bring them," she said, "but they're exciting in the sense that especially the youth voting case is one that talks about young people caring a lot about being involved in politics, and being involved in elections, and having a role in the way that democracy unfolds."
A hearing is scheduled for March 10. The court also will hear other challenges to election laws, including a suit from Native American groups on the law ending election-day voter registration.
Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
get more stories like this via email
Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …
This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …
Health and Wellness
With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …
As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …
The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…
Health and Wellness
One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …
New York state lawmakers are weighing two bills which would grant utilities more vertical market power, a move proponents argued will help the state …