The day before the election marks the end of late voter registration, giving election officials a brief break before same day registration and voting begins early Tuesday. However, a referendum on the ballot this November could push late registration back. Legislative referendum 126 would end late voter registration on the Friday before election day and eliminate election-day registration all together. We spoke to Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder Charlotte Mills on how the move might impact her office.
“Procedurally it would just move the busy day to Friday, and then Friday we would probably have the long line,” said Mills. She says it could ease some of stress on election day. “In one aspect, free up my trained clerks, so they could be of more assistance to the people at the polling places,” said Mills.
If the ballot measure sounds familiar, that’s because the Republican-controlled Montana House and Senate passed a bill ending late voter registration in 2013, but the bill was vetoed by Gov. Steve Bullock. To get around the veto, lawmakers decided to put the measure to a vote of the people.