How to Vote in Montana’s 2022 Elections

Posted on 03/15/22 by Jessica Ravitz

En español | Montana’s June 7 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for the U.S. House, Montana State Legislature, Montana Public Service Commission and various courts.

Voters In Montana Head To The Polls In Special Congressional Election

What's new this year:

A redistricting plan may affect the boundaries of your district and which candidates run there.  

Essential info:

  • 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.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, June 7, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are generally open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with some exceptions.


How do I register to vote?

  • In person:  Visit your county election office to drop off or fill out a registration form. Offices are generally open Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., though they close for holidays. Hours may be extended during the election season. Call your county election office if you have questions about hours. You can also register to vote when you apply for or renew your driver’s license or state-issued ID card at a Motor Vehicle Division office.

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

The voter registration deadline is May 9, for the primaries and Tuesday, Oct. 11, for the general election. Registration forms postmarked by these dates and received within three days are acceptable. You can also late register in person by visiting your county election office by noon the day before the election: Monday, June 6, for the primaries and Monday, Nov. 7, for the general election.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?

Montana has open primaries, which means you don’t need to be a member of a party to vote in that party’s primary. But you can only vote using one party’s primary ballot.

How can I research the candidates and download a sample ballot?

The Montana Secretary of State's office maintains a Voter Information Service called My Voter Page where you can find your candidates and download a sample ballot.

How can I get a mail-in absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

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

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

  • In person:  Visit your county election office to drop off or fill out an application form. Offices are generally open Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., though they will be closed for holidays and hours may be extended during the election season. Call your county election office if you have questions about hours.

Applications must be received by county election officials by noon the day before the election, Monday, June 6, for the primary election and Monday, Nov. 7, for the general election. If you drop off your application, you should be able to pick up your absentee ballot at the same time, assuming the ballots are available.

Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters starting on May 13 for the primaries and Oct. 14 for the general election.

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

Can I track my absentee ballot?

It depends. You can track your absentee ballot for federal primary and general elections, which include statewide races, at My Voter Page. But ballots for school, municipal and special district elections cannot be tracked.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes. You can cast an absentee ballot in person starting on Monday, May 9, for the primaries and Tuesday, Oct. 11, for the general election. Visit your county election office to fill out the necessary paperwork, obtain a paper ballot and vote during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Other county-designated locations may be open for early voting, too, and will be listed on the secretary of state’s website once they are available.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The state’s primary election is Tuesday, June 7; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Poll hours vary across the state. While most are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., some in smaller counties may not open until noon.

Where is my polling place?

Visit the Montana Secretary of State's My Voter Page to find your polling place and hours.

Do I need identification 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

OR

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


What races are on the ballot in 2022?

  • U.S. House: 2 seats; Montana gained one seat in the House, as determined by population growth in the 2020 census.
  • State Senate: 26 out of 50 seats
  • State House: all 100 seats
  • State Supreme Court: 1 seat
  • District Court: 10 seats
  • Public Service Commission: 2 seats


How to Vote in Montana Video Series

AARP Montana explains how to register and vote in Big Sky Country.

How to Register to Vote in Montana -- 2022 Primary Election


How to Vote by Mail in Montana -- 2022 Primary Election


How to Vote In-Person in Montana -- 2022 Primary Election



Editor’s note: This guide was updated on March 15 to highlight essential information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on Aug. 7, 2020.

 

Also of Interest:

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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