Montana: Officials advocate for voting by mail as COVID-19 calls election processes into question | Tom Lutey/Billings Gazette

Shifting to a mail-ballot only primary might be the safest option for Montana counties, said State Senate President Scott Sales, who is asking Gov. Steve Bullock to apply emergency powers to make it possible. Sales, a Bozeman Republican, said mail ballots would protect from coronavirus Montana seniors who are not only reliable voters, but who also staff polling stations as volunteers. Sales is also one of six GOP candidates for secretary of state, which oversees elections. “The people who come to vote on election day are my age or older, They’re the older generation. They’re the most reliable voters and our election judges and the people who work at the polls are even older than that,” Sales said. “They’re typically in their 70s and 80s. And whether you think this thing is going to get a lot of legs, or not, that is the most vulnerable segment of our society, those folks in that age group.” Sales made his pitch for a primary mail election on Monday. Tuesday, state Sen. Democrat Bryce Bennett, who is also a secretary of state candidate, called for Bullock to make a mail-ballot primary happen.  The decision whether to switch to an all-mail primary should be up to individual counties, Sales said, but the governor would have to apply emergency powers to give counties the option. Sales said he spoke to Bullock, a Democrat, about the decision after consulting with legislators and county-level election officials.

Full Article: Montana officials advocate for voting by mail as COVID-19 calls election processes into question | 406 Politics | billingsgazette.com.

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