How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Montana

Posted on 11/28/22 by Jessica Ravitz, Natalie Missakian

En español | A state court struck down laws that ended same-day registration and introduced new voter ID requirements, but the secretary of state has appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.

The 2022 midterms decided races for the U.S. House, Montana State Legislature, Montana Public Service Commission and various courts. The next statewide elections are in 2024, though there will be some local elections in 2023.

Voters In Montana Head To The Polls In Special Congressional Election

  • Absentee voting: Any registered voter can apply to automatically receive an absentee ballot in the mail, no excuses necessary.
  • Early in-person voting: This can be done by visiting your county elections office to fill out a paper ballot.
  • Voting at the polls: You'll need to show an acceptable ID that includes your name and current address.

A state court struck down 2021 laws that eliminated same-day voter registration and introduced new voter ID requirements, among other changes. An appeal is pending with the Montana Supreme Court.

Montana gained one seat in the U.S. House, as determined by population growth in the 2020 census. The new congressional redistricting plan may affect certain boundaries of your district and which candidates appear on your ballot.

If you miss the deadline to register by mail, you can register late in person by visiting your county election administrator's office through Election Day. Note that a legal battle over same-day voter registration is ongoing. For more information about voter registration and deadlines, visit the secretary of state’s website.

Check your voter registration status and update your information on the secretary of state’s My Voter Page.


No. There’s no party registration in Montana. Voters can choose which party’s primary they wish to vote in, but they can only vote in one. 

All registered Montana voters can request an absentee ballot, and you can opt to automatically receive absentee ballots by mail.

You can request an absentee ballot by mail, by phone or in person:

County election officials must receive your application by noon the day before the election. If you drop off your application, you should be able to pick up your absentee ballot at the same time.

Completed absentee ballots must be received by your election administrator’s office or polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Instructions for returning them will be included with the ballots when they are distributed.

Yes. You can track your absentee ballot at My Voter Page.

Yes. Visit your county election administrator's office during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) to apply for an absentee ballot and cast it in person. Other county-designated locations may be open for early voting and will be listed on the secretary of state’s website once they are available.

Visit the Montana secretary of state's My Voter Page to find your polling place and hours. Check with your county election administrator’s office to confirm hours. If you are in line before the polls close, you’ll be allowed to vote.

To register to vote, you must provide only one of the following forms of ID:

  • A Montana driver’s license number or Montana state ID card number
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number
  • An original version, if in person, or a clear copy, if by mail, of one of the following:
    • Military ID card
    • Tribal photo ID card
    • United States passport
    • Montana concealed carry permit

OR

  • A photo ID with your name and a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that includes your name and current address

If you vote in person, you'll need to present one of the following forms of photo identification:

  • Montana driver's license
  • Montana state ID card
  • Military ID card
  • Tribal ID card
  • United States passport
  • Montana concealed carry permit
  • School district or postsecondary education photo ID (A state court blocked a 2021 law that removed student IDs from this list, but a legal challenge is ongoing)

OR

  • A current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that includes your name and current address


Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Nov. 28, 2022, with information about how to vote in Montana. The guide was first published on Aug. 7, 2020.

 

This story is provided by AARP Montana. Visit the AARP Montana page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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