HELENA – Election officials around Montana are mailing out ballots this month for school and special district elections in May. They are reminding the public that, this year, the rules for returning someone else’s mail ballot have changed.
Last year, Montana voters approved Legislative Referendum 129, known as the “Ballot Interference Prevention Act.” It says only a family member, household member, caregiver or acquaintance can directly deliver another voter’s ballot to election offices, and that anyone who does drop off another person’s ballot must register.
The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices and the Montana Association of Clerk and Recorders and Election Administrators have released new guidelines. If you are going to collect someone else’s ballot, they ask you to print off a registry form first. You must mark the name, address and relationship to you for every voter whose ballot you deliver.
A person can only collect and deliver up to six ballots per election. Violating the new law may lead to a $500 fine for each ballot improperly collected.
LR 129 does not apply to ballots sent in by mail, and you do not need to register to drop off your own ballot.
Story by Jonathon Ambarian, MTN News