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Gov. Bullock reacts to ruling upholding vote-by-mail directive

Gov. Bullock reacts to ruling upholding vote-by-mail directive
Posted at 3:05 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 17:05:21-04

Governor Steve Bullock says he's "pleased" with a Wednesday ruling upholding Montana's option for counties to vote-by-mail in November.

US District Court Judge Dana Christensen refused to block the plan in a suit brought by the Trump Campaign and other Republican interests in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

He said the idea the election would be "ripe with fraud" was "fiction". Christensen also upheld Bullock's authority to issue a directive in August giving counties the option to vote-by-mail.

“There is nothing more sacred in our democracy than the right to vote and no duty of government more important than to keep its citizens safe,” said Gov. Bullock. “I’m pleased that today’s decision will enable hundreds of thousands of Montanans to vote safely – in person or by mail – this coming election. Montanans can rest assured that our local election administrators will preserve the security and integrity of the election process.”

Forty-five of Montana's 56 counties will mail ballots to voters in early October, although most are making provisions for some limited in-person voting, or the ability to drop off ballots.



Read Gov. Bullock's full statement below:

Governor Steve Bullock today issued the following statement regarding a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Montana that affirms the decisions by local counties to expand vote by mail and early voting in Montana for the November election.

“There is nothing more sacred in our democracy than the right to vote, and no duty of government more important than to keep its citizens safe,” said Governor Bullock. “I’m pleased that today’s decision will enable hundreds of thousands of Montanans to vote safely – in person or by mail – this coming election. Montanans can rest assured that our local election administrators will preserve the security and integrity of the election process.”

The Court’s decision is the first in the country that follows a full trial on efforts to undermine mail ballots. The Court rejected all of the claims against Montana’s early voting and mail ballot option.

In August, Governor Bullock issued a directive to ensure all eligible Montanans can safely vote in the 2020 November election by allowing counties, at their discretion, to expand vote by mail and early voting. Forty-six of Montana’s fifty-six counties opted to do so, and all counties are required to offer in person voting and take precautions to protect from COVID-19. This was the same directive issued for the June primary election.