League of Women Voters

Montana Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Election Day
By Mail:
Received by Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election)
Secretary of State
PO Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801
(406) 444-2023

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Montana you must be:

  • Registered as required by law
  • At least 18 years old on or before Election Day
  • A U.S. citizen
  • A resident of Montana and of the county in which you intend to vote for at least 30 days
  • Not convicted of a felony, serving a sentence in a penal institution
  • Not judged in a court of law to be of unsound mind

ID Needed for Voter Registration

When filling out the registration form, you must provide either a driver's license number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you have neither a driver's license or Social Security number, provide (in-person) or enclose (by mail) a copy of one of the following:

  • Any photo ID with your name
  • A current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check
  • Other government document that shows your name and current address

ID Needed for Voting?

Before you receive your ballot you must present a current photo ID, such as a driver's license or US passport.

If you do not have a photo ID, you can show any of the following to cast your ballot. All must have your name and current address in order to be valid.

  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Voter confirmation notice
  • Government check or other government document

If you do not have any of these forms of ID, you can still vote by requesting and filling out a Polling Place Elector ID form. Or you can vote a provisional ballot.

Registration Deadline

Regular registration closes at 5pm 30 days before election day. Voters can late-register at the county election office beginning 29 days through the close of the polls on election day.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, please utilize your state resource.

Absentee Ballot Process

If you are a registered voter, you may vote by absentee ballot, even if you are able to vote in person on Election Day. To vote absentee, you must first apply for an absentee ballot. Applications are available during a period beginning 75 days before Election Day and ending at 12:00 pm on the day before the election.

You may pick up an application at your local election office or at the secretary of state's Office, or you may call either office and ask to have an application mailed to you. Mail the application or drop it off at your local elections office. Once you have submitted your application, your absentee ballot will be mailed to you, unless you indicate on the application that you would prefer to have someone pick it up for you. Once you have marked your ballot, return it to your local election office before the polls close on Election Day in the secrecy envelope provided.

You can track your absentee ballot on your state's website.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.=https:>

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

Montana does not have true early voting, but does have in-person absentee voting that allows electors, as soon as absentee ballots are available, to receive, mark and submit an absentee ballot in person at the election office or by mail to the election office. However, ballots are not counted until election day. Early-in person absentee voting does not require a reason and starts as soon as ballots are available – by not later than 30 days before an election. For more information about times and locations please contact your local election officials.

Election Dates

The next election date is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General). The regular registration deadline is Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Late registration is available in most locations through election day.

Check your state's resource for more information on local election dates and information.


Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Montana:

  • You must be registered to vote in Montana
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be a resident of the precinct
  • You must complete required training

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Poll hours of operation vary. Polling places open between 7:00 am and 12:00 pm and close at 8:00 pm. Contact your local elections official for exact times.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Montana state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

You will be asked to vote a provisional ballot for at least one of the following reasons:

  • Your name is not in the precinct register
  • The precinct register indications that you are provisionally registered, which has not been resolved
  • You have claimed registration with Motor Vehicle Division or other agency, which could not be immediately confirmed
  • You swore that you were eligible to vote due to not receiving or destroying your absentee ballot
  • Your right to vote was challenged at the polls
  • Your ID was insufficient and/or did not include a valid form of ID
  • You failed to sign the register
  • You are a late registrant who voted provisionally

If necessary, you must provide clear and convincing evidence either on Election Day or by 5pm the day after the election in order to verify your identity and/or eligibility to have your provisional ballot counted. You may provide this information in person, by fax, by email or by mail postmarked by the day after election day.

Voting Machines

The voting systems used in Montana are optical scan and paper ballot.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used in a few places on Election Day. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

If you have a physical disability or are unable to read or write, you may ask an election judge to help you mark your ballot for you. With the permission of the election judge, a friend or relative can go into the voting booth with you and help you vote. Every polling place in Montana will be required to have at least one specialized voting machine enabling people with disabilities to vote independently.If you would like to designate an agent to assist you with the voting process, contact your local elections office to ask for an application for the designation of an agent.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.

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Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)


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