Today’s Billings Gazette features an opinion piece from Representatives Doug Kary (HD48) and Don Roberts (HD56) defending their decision to vote against all mail ballots. Roberts and Kary’s defense rests on the idea that we need to preserve the democratic process that allows voters every choice possible:
While brought forward with the best of intentions, any bill that mandates Montanans vote a certain way threatens the very core of our democratically held elections — the ability to choose.
They also worry that voters won’t remember to return ballots:
Further, the last month of an election is typically jam-packed with political advertisements, phone calls and door-to-door canvassing. At a chaotic time like this, expecting folks to remember their mail ballots under a growing mound of electioneering materials seems like a problem in search of a solution.
Neither is an especially compelling argument, but each represents a fair point of disagreement on the issue. It’s harder, however, to accept the fact that these champions of democratic choice who worry about the chaotic election season also voted to end same day registration in Montana, a process that has preserved the very principles they claim to believe in for 16,000 Montanans since 2006.
The only fraud that has taken place in Montana elections hasn’t come from same-day registration; it’s come from the Republican Party’s shameful effort to suppress votes. There’s not justification for eliminating the choice of thousands of voters to register and vote on the same day.