Montana has defeated several bills aimed at suppressing the vote, thanks in large part to vetoes by Governor Schweitzer. In Montana, citizens have the right to register and vote at county clerks’ offices on Election Day and the preceding 30 days, and Schweitzer vetoed HB 180, by Rep. Champ Edmunds, which would have cut off this right starting after 5pm on the Friday before the election. Schweitzer also vetoed HB 152, by Rep. Ted Washburn (R-Bozeman) which would have placed severe restrictions on the types of identification that voters could show in order to register to vote and cast a ballot.
Unfortunately these bills would have become law if the GOP had it’s way, and Schweitzer’s vetoes make Montana one of only a few states in a position to combat a concerted Republican plan to make voting much more difficult in states across the country.
In a New York Times editorial from last week, the Advancement Project, a civil rights advocacy group, described this rash of Republican-sponsored legislation as “the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.”
That’s why a Montana legislator, Rep. Ellie Hill, (D-Missoula) who is also the Vice President of the Young Democrats of America, is announcing a campaign this week focusing on ending this attack on young peoples’ voting rights.
Kudos to Hill for getting involved. You can sign up here to find out more. If we don’t protect our voting rights, we won’t be able to fight back by un-electing the politicians behind the GOP attacks on women and the poor.