Republicans Announce First Post-Election Policy Priorities

With vote counting nearly concluded Montana Republicans eagerly announced their first policy priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

As the Billings Gazette reports, the agenda is focused around making it more difficult to vote.

TEA Party Republican Rep. Tom McGillvray, who is the county campaign chair for failed governor candidate Rick Hill, said he sees a problem with the “crush of Election Day voter registration.”  McGillvray says same day registration isn’t fair.  Rather, he believes it “makes it difficult ‘to have a fair, orderly election.’”

Joe Bailey, vice chair of the Yellowstone County Republicans also proposed  “cutting off voting at 10 p.m., regardless of how many people are still in line.”

Posted: November 8, 2012 at 7:07 am

41 thoughts on “Republicans Announce First Post-Election Policy Priorities

  1. JohnC

    Why on earth would anyone but a Republican claim that registration of voters makes it difficult to have a decent, orderly election? Do we have yet another do-nothing legislature to look “forward” to? I still think that instead of meeting every two years for 90 days, the Montana “legislature” should meet every ninety years for two days. They’d probably still cause the same amount of damage and confusion.

    1. Paul

      Republican proposals are a lot like raw hamburg. It might look good at first, but let it sit around for a few days.

  2. Vern Rutter

    Thanks for sending Tester back to the Senate!

    Montana (actually all states) should consider vote by mail-in ballot as in Washington and Oregon.

    It takes a little longer to count, but it’s cheaper, eliminates teahadist suppression tactics and provides a paper trail in the event of any irregularities. Washington’s “turnout” will be in the high 80% range this cycle. Which means your local wingnuts will hate it and a ballot initiative is probably required.

    1. Rob Kailey

      You’re welcome!

      Though no form of voting is completely tamper proof, I very much like the idea that my ballot is numbered, placed in my hand, and it doesn’t leave me again until I pass it through the reader which simply tallies the blacked ovals.

      The other thing I like about voting on election day is that new information cannot affect early balloting, but can effect choices made on the day. The story of WTP/ATP’s chicanery broke at the beginning of last week. I have to wonder if it would have changed any choices made by those who mailed in their ballots 3 weeks ago. I know personally of two people who would have changed votes after the Frontline story, but had already voted.

      1. James Conner

        When we vote in person on election day, surrounded by our friends and neighbors, their presence reminds us one last time that we are all in this together, that our votes affect others. I think our humanity is more likely to prevail in those circumstances than when we are sitting at a table at home, alone except for our property tax notice.

        1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

          James, I rarely disagree with you, but on this one I do. For you see, SOMEtimes the ballots are so damn complicated and long that I have to friggin’ THINK about the damn thing before I mark! And I prefer to do that at my beautiful American Drew rosewood desk over a couple’a shots of brandy, and maybe a few beers! It’s just easier for me. I have been doing it this way for a long time now, and I really like it.

            1. Drunks for Denny

              I agree with Larry and disagree with James. Only I think you should be drinking in the tavern, with whiskeys purchased by your candidate’s henchmen, before you vote. That’s the way our ancestors voted. That’s the American way.

              At least we don’t have silly laws closing the bars on Election Day, as was in the past.

              Sigh. Now I will have to get a new politician to support. Somehow, “Drunks for Koopman” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

              1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

                I’ll miss’im TOO, Drunk dude! Hell, we lost judy mars, cornhole burns, and now Dopey Reeburp! WE LOST THE TRIFECTA! And it hurts! The rest of the country has gotten USED to us sending at least ONE moron to D.C., or having a governor SO stupid that she was considered a national treasure from the treasure state!

                But not to worry. I think that Mini Mitt Daines will be the next comedy act from Montana. He is heeLARious! The dude’s a natural. You just wait. He’s a sissified Dopey! Where’as Dopey actually LOOKED like a Montanan, Mini Mitt looks a nerd who carries an Aynus Rant book around in his pocket! With a STICK up his ass for good measure! The dude is every bit the moronic walking talking talking point that Dopey was. He’s an idiot too!

                So, I think we’re still in luck.

                But near as I can tell, though, he don’t have Dopey’s prediliction to drink. But I don’t TRUST a man that don’t drink! Prolly sumthin’ ELSE wrong with the dude that we haven’t discovered yet! Only time will tell.

                But yeah, I agree. I think our boat wreckin’, fallen off horses, suin’ the fire dept. days are behind us. And that makes me REAL sad!

        2. Rob Kailey

          Since our precinct was moved to a large voting venue, I’ve noticed something. Those who enjoy being surrounded by friends and neighbors when they cast their ballots are often gleeful, and tend to vote for the civil rights of others and often Democratic. The folks who often vote for Republicants look constipated, angry or annoyed that they share the space with the young girls who were dancing and hip-bumping in line. My wife took great amusement at the man who looked like Daddy-Warbucks sneering that a woman of color was two spots away from him in the line.

          I don’t think those latter folks want to know that we’re all in this together.

          1. James Conner

            The Flathead’s neighborhood precincts are gone, too. Now we vote with a dozen other precincts in a huge building at the fairgrounds. The intimacy is gone. I’m sure it’s party of a plan by the elections administrators to make voting in person so unpleasant that voters will give in and agree to a system of voting only by mail. I’ll never give in.

            1. colleen browne

              Butte votes at the Civic Center and it is a great atmosphere. I don’t just know people in my neighborhood. By the way, Butte usually has the best turnout in the state. This year it was around 75%

  3. shocked

    Every other county in the state had absentee ballots that had been folded. They had them counted two days ago. What is going on in Billings?

  4. jim smith

    The 1972 ConCon had an interesting debate on same day voter registration. The ConCon ended up ‘punting’ to the Montana Legislature. And there it sat.

      1. Elizabeth

        Wrong – it was not 75 or 76.

        The 1972 Constitution was adopted by the 100 delegates to the Constitutional Convention on March 22, 1972, and was ratified by the citizens of Montana on June 6, 1972, through Referendum No. 68.

  5. Steve

    I like that we have the option now of voting either in person or by mail. It’s the best of both worlds. I vote by mail, but I waited longer than many to see what last minute developments might come up. Didn’t change my vote, but I could see a situation where it might. Like some scandal was revealed about a candidate or something like that.

  6. Luke Brandon

    Good thing we have Bullock as a back stop to the crazy legislature again this year. Somehow I doubt he will bust out the branding iron, but at least he will be ready with the stamp. One more session of bat crap crazy to look forward too and then maybe people will see the light and boot some of these do nothing, government hating, nullifying, obstructionists. I must say though, I will miss Alan Hale and he passionate pleas for driving drunk. lol

    1. colleen browne

      I absolutely agree. I was afraid Bullock was going to lose and I was going to start packing to move to a more sane state.

      1. Thomas Kent

        Since many right wing extremists are encouraging like minded folk to move here to Montana, Progressives like you need to STAY here, and encourage progressive relatives and friends to move here.

  7. Ben Tully

    I agree with Luke. We’re about to get a giant pile of crazy dumped on us and without Steve Bullock to stop it we’d be in serious trouble.

    I do wonder who the new bat crappers are going to be. Guessing that Jennifer Fielder from the Sanders County Militia will be one. Also Wylie Galt – think Derek Skees with facial hair.

      1. Ben Tully

        You raise a good point here–that the legislature will raise holy hell, then ask the Attorney General to weigh in and certify that what they are doing is perfectly legal. Fox will be holding press conferences declaring Bullock’s every move to be wrong. Whomever made the decision not to put more resources into winning the AG race did a real screw job on our next Governor.

  8. susan butler

    Obviously these guys didn’t get the memo about how the electorate reacts to voter suppression. ozo

  9. Jan Thomas

    We are so lucky that Steve Bullock won. It’s already apparent that his veto will be invaluable this session. And you are right Susan, why on earth would they still be pushing voter suppression–before all the votes are even counted even in this election!

  10. Old Line, Democrat

    This is one of the most crucial issues of our political lives. These SOB’s will follow the ALEC and Rove/Koch billlionaire line because they get to feel empowered. We can’t let them do it to us. It’s just like Montana getting stuck with term limits as a result of Conrad Burns BS campaign way back when.

    Every thinking Montanan should challenge their representatives on this stuff, hey will fold when confronted and not sucking on the kool-aid from the internet.

  11. Publius II

    CITIZENS BE READY TO CHALLENGE AND TEST YOUR LEGISLATORS IF THEY’LL BE RIGHTEOUS AND JUST AND WE MUST SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER AND TELL EM THAT BY
    MESSAGE, E-MAIL AND BEST YET, VISIT
    AND TESTIFY AT LEAST ONCE BEFORE THEM.

  12. Dave

    I always thought the trouble with same day voting is that people are not prepared to vote on the issues, nor have they looked at the candidates. Too many outside groups getting people to vote a certain way on election day shouldn’t happen. Just have the cutoff the Friday before the election so people who would like to vote do. Then maybe we can stop this election day madness of people getting in line after the polls close.

    1. The Polish Wolf

      The problem with that, Dave, beyond the fact that the time frame someone decides to vote is only loosely correlated to their information level, is that that leaves a large number of people stranded if they thought they were registered to vote but for one reason or another are not. That means tactics like fake voter drives, where activists throw out voter registrations from the opposite party after making people believe they are registered, go from being annoying to being highly destructive. Add to that the errors naturally occurring in the voter registration process (numerous people believed the DMV had registered them when it had not), and you get a situation where you give out a lot of exceptions or you block a lot of people from voting. And those people disenfranchised are not a random sampling – they are going to tend to be people who move a lot, are students, and people in rural counties for whom registering to vote takes a bit more than a quick jaunt down the street.

      1. Lynn

        Most of the cases of Same Day registration I saw were, exactly that, people who were sure they were registered but were not….

  13. Publius II

    We’ve had American Warriors DIE in Iraq and Afghanistan defending polling stations and we can’t expect election
    fairness and integrity here? Do we need to federalize the National Guard or bring in the 82nd Airborne Division (like GOP President Eisenhower did in the fifties on ending segregation) to insure the Tea Baggers don’t compromise
    our rights?

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