Bill 530, which went to governor’s office last week, contained an amendment that could impact groups like Western Native Vote which has been instrumental in collecting registrations and ballots across the country. Montana Indian in the last election. While giving the Secretary of State the power to make rules regarding election security, the bill also prohibits anyone from collecting or handing over ballots for “monetary benefit.”
The amendment imposing a penalty of $ 100 on any ballot ordered, collected or delivered illegally follows the Senate’s postponement of a bill earlier in the month that would limit the collection of ballots to members of the family, election official, or U.S. Postal Service employee.
In September 2020, a Yellowstone County District Court judge ruled that a similar law was unconstitutional, saying it violated voting rights and free speech in the Indian country.
“Collecting the ballots is a lifeline to democracy for many Indigenous voters,” Running Wolf said in a social media post this week.
In late March, the Montana State News Bureau reported that the House had rejected a bill that would have required the county to maintain a satellite office with reservations they overlap a month before election day. Governor Greg Gianforte has already enacted two bills that end up allowing Montanais to register and vote on the same day, and require government-issued ID at the polls, or two other forms of identification. The Montana Democratic Party challenged the two bills in state district court, alleging they violated the franchise of seniors, people with disabilities and Native Americans.