A Republican lawmaker in Montana is pushing legislation to restrict voter identification in the state to driver licenses and tribal ID cards. State Rep. Ted Washburn (R-Bozeman) told The Huffington Post that his proposal would prevent out-of-state residents from coming into the state with the purpose of registering to vote. He said by moving to the use of a driver license as the primary form of identification, anyone registering to vote would need to have lived in the state for at least 60 days, since state law requires residents to obtain a Montana driver license within that time frame. Under current law, residents can register within 30 days of moving and can present a utility bill as proof of residency.
“We thought that the basic right to vote is better than being in the state for 30 days and having a utility bill,” Washburn said. “We have a lot of seasonal residents, and we have thousands of college students who come from out of state and want to vote in Montana.”
Under Washburn’s proposal, which will be considered by the state legislature when the biennial session starts in January, the only forms of ID that could be used to register to vote are Montana driver licenses, state ID cards for non-drivers and tribal ID cards. He said passports, along with military, veteran and college ID cards would not be on the list.