Vote By Mail
What is a mail ballot election?
Mail ballot elections are common in Montana. For years, many city and school elections have been conducted via mail ballot. The June primary was also a mail ballot election.
What’s the difference between absentee voting and a mail ballot election?
Mail ballot elections send mail ballots to ALL registered active voters in the area. Since polling places are closed during mail ballot elections, active voters who normally vote in person at a local school or event center receive their ballot at home.
Are mail ballot elections secure?
Yes! All Montanans want secure elections. That’s why Montana’s election officials have multiple well-refined processes in place to prevent voter fraud from happening - including in mail ballot elections.These procedures confirm voters’ identities and ensure only one ballot is cast per registered voter.
Can someone cast two ballots?
No! Only one ballot is counted per person. There is no way to override the system and accept multiple ballots for the same person.
Can someone use another identity to vote?
Can a pet vote?
No. Pets do not receive Social Security Numbers, drivers licenses or any other form of identification necessary to register to vote. Only registered active voters receive ballots in a mail ballot election, so Fido or Fluffy will not be able to vote.
Can someone use a deceased person's identity to vote?
Election administrators crosscheck their list of registered active voters with a list of deceased individuals. Voters on the list of deceased individuals are NOT mailed a ballot.
Can someone cast a ballot that was incorrectly sent to their home?
Montana law says that the USPS should return incorrectly addressed ballots to the county elections office. If a ballot is not returned, a new resident cannot simply fill out and submit another voter’s ballot. The signature on the ballot MUST match the one on file.
Registering to Vote
I'm a student who pays out-of-state tuition. Can I vote in Montana?
The state has different residency rules than the universities. You only need to be living here 30 days before the election to participate.
Can I change my address or my name using the voter registration form?
Yes. You can update your address (which you need to do even if you move across the street) as well as register under your new name. You even need to update your registration if your signature changes!
Can I register using my dorm address?
Absolutely! Just put your dorm name and room number followed by the city, state and zip.
Does registering to vote put me on the list for jury duty?
When you get your Montana driver’s license the state registers you for jury duty. If you have your MT driver’s license you are already on the list.
I go to school in another county. Can I register to receive my ballot from my hometown while I'm attending school?
Yes! Just put your residence address from the county you want to vote in under "Montana Residence Address" and the address that you would like to receive your mail at under "Mailing Address."
I don't have a Montana driver's license. Can I still register to vote?
Sure! The last 4 digits of your security number will work too.
I'm a student and I'm already registered to vote at home. Can I register at my school address too?
No. You can only be registered to vote at one address at a time. You can receive a ballot from your home county in the mail, but you will not receive two ballots.
Can I vote if I am a convicted felon?
As long as you are not behind bars or under house arrest, you can vote in Montana.
What is the last day that I can register to vote?
You can register to vote in-person through Monday at 12 pm (the day prior to Election Day). Due to recent legislation, you can no longer register to vote on Election Day itself.
What precautions will be in place to protect voters from COVID?
Each county is setting their own policies on health and safety. These policies may include mask wearing, social distancing, and more.
Which counties will open polling places? (2020)
Eleven of Montana's 56 counties decided to open polling places on Election Day (11/3). Those counties are listed below. Click on any county to learn more about polling place locations and other election services.
Which counties are holding a mail ballot election? (2020)
Forty-five of Montana's 56 counties decided to hold mail ballot elections. Those counties are listed below. Want to learn more about voting by mail? Check out the Vote By Mail section of the FAQs.
I haven't gotten my ballot yet. What should I do?
If you haven’t received your ballot by October 16th, log in to the Secretary of State's My Voter Page. Then, you’ll want to check three things:
If it says ACTIVE, move on to check your address.
If it says INACTIVE, contact your county’s elections office. You are still registered to vote, but inactive voters are not automatically sent a ballot in counties that opted for a mail-ballot election. You will need to request that your county elections administrator mail you a ballot.
If this line does not list your current mailing address, you may need to update your voter registration. You can update your voter registration up until - and even on - Election Day in Montana. Find more information on registering to vote here.
If your ballot was mailed to the correct address, move on to Step 3.
If this line says UNDELIVERABLE, your ballot was mailed but returned to your county elections office. Don’t worry, this happens! If you have an undeliverable ballot, you should contact your county elections office to make arrangements to receive your ballot.