Montana | Voting Guide
Registration Deadlines and Election Dates
Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before Election Day.
In 2020, the Voter Registration deadline is 8 days before Election Day.
If you miss the 30-day deadline, you can late register at your county election office, up through the close of polls on Election Day. However, you cannot late register between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. the day before the election.
Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home
Students have a choice about where to register to vote.
Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.
You may only be registered and vote in one location.
What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?
Montana’s voter registration form asks for your Montana driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.
If you do not have a Montana driver’s license, Montana ID card, or a Social Security number, you must include a copy of a photo ID that shows your name, or another acceptable ID that shows your name and current address.
Acceptable documents include:
bank statement, or
a government document
What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?
If voting in person, you must present a current photo ID (including a driver’s license, state ID, a student photo ID, or a tribal photo ID).
If you do not have a valid current photo ID, you must present a document that shows your name and current address. Acceptable documents include:
Current utility bill
Notice of confirmation of voter registration
Government check or other government document that contains your name and current address.
If you vote in person and do not have a form of ID, you will be required to fill out a “Polling Place Elector ID” form.
Where Do I Vote?
How Can I Vote?
Due to an executive order and directive issued by the governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, counties have additional flexibility in determining how elections will be conducted in each county.
Some counties may elect to conduct the election by mail with expanded early voting options or to open polls on Election Day with traditional early voting and absentee ballot options. You can read the governor’s directive at https://covid19.mt.gov/Portals/223/Documents/2020-08-06_Directive%20-%20November%20Elections.pdf?ver=2020-08-06-112431-693
If your county opts for a mail-in election then you can still vote in person during the Early Voting Period at an election administrator’s office or another designated voting location starting October 2 until Election Day on November 3.
Any registered voter may vote absentee by filling out the application and mailing it or dropping it off at their county election office.
Contact your local election officials to request an absentee ballot or access the application at: http://sos.mt.gov/elections/absentee. Applications must be received by the county election office by noon on the day before the election.
Registered voters may also elect to become a permanent absentee voter by joining the absentee list.
Absentee ballots must be received at the election office or a polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
As soon as absentee ballots are available, an individual can receive, mark and submit an absentee ballot in person at their county’s election office.
Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. In polling places with fewer than 400 registered voters, the polls must be open from at least noon to 8 p.m. If you are in line by the closing time then you have a right to vote.
Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:
Federal Financial Aid
Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.
Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes
Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.
Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.
Will registering to vote in Montana affect my driver’s license or car registration?
If you intend to drive in Montana for more than 60 days, you must get a Montana driver license within that period of time. For more information, contact the Motor Vehicle Division of the Montana Department of Justice. As a full-time student in Montana you may use your student ID to vote as long as it’s current and valid.
Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Montana legal professional.
Last updated August 2020