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2 House bills will disenfranchise voters

2 House bills will disenfranchise voters

  • Updated

As the world's leading democracy, the most treasured value we hold is that every eligible citizen has the right and responsibility to vote. Two bills have been introduced in our Legislature which would significantly restrict the ability of large numbers of Montanans to vote: HB30 would roll back Election Day voter registration, and HB108 would require IDs that many Montanans must pay for and renew frequently.

Under current law, voters can present identification from a school, tribe, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows the voter's name and address. HB108 would only allow a current Montana or tribal lD card in order to vote. Montanans most affected by this requirement would be the poor, elderly, young, Native American and those with disabilities.

If passed, HB108 could have a significant fiscal impact on Montana counties, costing taxpayers many dollars to implement — costs for voter education to avoid voter confusion and making sure qualified electors are not turned away from the polls, and costs associated with training election judges to examine IDs.

Montana voter ID laws are already stronger than federal requirements. We should come together to make sure that every eligible Montanan can participate equally in our elections. Voting is something all Montanans can do to help strengthen our communities.

Both of these bills will disenfranchise voters; therefore, the Montana League of Women Voters opposes HB 30 and HB 108.

Nancy Detrick, president

Montana League of Women Voters

Billings

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