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Jan 14, 2013 8:11 PM by Jamie Leary

Gallatin County Clerk & Recorder says same day registration needs to stay

The long lines at the polls during the past election season has prompted a Bozeman Representative to nix same day voter registration.

Rep. Ted Washburn said he believes the integrity of polling is being challenged because of all of the voters registering and filing provisional ballots on Election Day.

Washburn's bill would push the registration deadline back 5 days before the election.

This past election season, just under 800 voters registered on the day of the election in Gallatin County.

Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder Charlotte Mills, believes the proposed legislation would likely not diminish the lines seen here in Gallatin County.

What it would do, according to Mills, is lighten the work load for election administrators. But Mills says she can handle the normal work load. She sees a need for same day registration because of complications that can occur when voters register. Many times, Mills said, voters register on time but are in a hurry and check the wrong box and have to register same day.

"There are a lot of people who have very valid reasons why they need to be able to vote on Election Day. I think the voter's right to vote is more important than the election administrator's load on what we do," said Mills.

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