Big Sky Roundup

Bill to limit absentee ballots tabled

By: - February 24, 2021 11:33 pm

San Francisco, California attorney Paul More answers voter?s questions at the Stupak Community Center polling place on November 2, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

A bill to place significant restrictions on absentee voting was tabled Tuesday in committee — and vocally slaughtered by a couple of lawmakers.

“This bill is just probably the worst bill I’ve seen all session if you want the truth of the matter,” said Rep. Geraldine Custer, R-Forsyth. “It just needs to die.”

The bill would have made it so people couldn’t receive absentee ballots at post office boxes, affecting much of rural Montana and reservations. It would have shortened the time military members serving overseas have to vote. And, it would have taken away an accessible voting option for people with disabilities.

“It’s like going back 100 years with the election law,” Custer said.

Rep. Gregory Frazer, R-Deer Lodge, said he couldn’t fathom that military members were providing the ultimate sacrifice so lawmakers in the room could restrict their right to vote.

“I think this is a terrible bill, and we need to kill it,” Frazer said.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, R-Great Falls, and introduced by Tony Rausch, of the Great Falls Pachyderm Club.

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Keila Szpaller
Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller is deputy editor of the Daily Montanan and covers education. Before joining States Newsroom Montana, she served as city editor of the Missoulian, the largest news outlet in western Montana.