A month after district court Judge Michale Moses issued an injunction against a series of election reforms passed by the Republican legislature that were designed to strengthen the election integrity, saying that these reforms would “unconstitutionally burden the right to vote,” the Supreme Court ruled otherwise yesterday, giving a win to the governing party and a well-deserved loss to the Democratic plaintiffs.
Months ago, the Democrats brought forward a suite designed to hold up House Bill 530,176 and 506. These bills did things like end the ability to vote on Election day itself- plugging loopholes because otherwise, unregistered voters who had no intention to vote might hurriedly run to the polls and cast their ballot if exit polls showed their preferred candidate was losing.If you want to vote, you need to register by noon the day before. They also banned paid ballot collection and questions surrounding nearly 18-years olds’ ability to get a ballot.
They also tried to kill Senate Bill 169, which tweaked voter ID requirements by ensuring those without a valid photo ID such as a passport, driver’s license or tribal photo ID had to present at least one form of alternate photo ID (like a Costco card,) and then something else which had their name or address on it, like a phone bill or a bank statement.
The Democrats claimed that four bills passed by the GOP were, according to their Executive Director Sheila Hogan:
“blatant and cynical attack on Montanans’ constitutional right to vote, specifically impacting young voters, Native voters, elderly and disabled voters, and voters who have trouble getting to the polls…You cannot pick and choose who can vote in a democracy.”
Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, the defendant who was instrumental in supporting the laws in the first place and seeing them passed, expressed her delight in the win, writing “I am grateful that the Supreme Court recognized the importance of orderly, safe, and secure elections.”