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Gallatin County Election Office encourages voters to register now to avoid delays

Avoid long waiting lines by registering to vote early
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The Gallatin County Elections Department is encouraging people to register to vote sooner rather than later to avoid long election lines.

“Lines get quite long here at the courthouse, and we want to try to alleviate that as much as possible,” says Election Administrator Eric Semerad.

Semerad shares that he expects long lines for federal elections, and one Bozeman resident expresses the importance of voting in local elections.

“It's very important, vitally important in a way," says one Bozeman resident, "Even though in Montana, you can register the day of the election.”

The 2021 Montana Legislature passed a law ending same-day registration, but the Montana Supreme Court recently reinstated Election Day registration within the state. However, registering to vote the same day as an election may not be as convenient as one may think.

“We're using the fairgrounds as our polling place, and so we don't have a satellite office there," says Semerad. "And so everybody that needs to do same-day registration would need to come here to the courthouse.”

Montana residents can go to the Gallatin County Elections Department or fill out forms on its website until the end of the day on October 11 to register to vote. On October 12, the late voter registration period begins. Individuals can registster and update their registration in person at the Elections Department. Late registration ends on November 7 at noon, but it will reopen on November 8 from 7 AM to 8 PM for in person registration and updates. And don't forget to vote on November 8!