Montana Politics

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Republican

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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.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • “The only fraud that has taken place in Montana elections hasn’t come from same-day registration…”

    Nonsense. The democrat in the governor’s mansion even bragged about interfering with an election. People have given fraudulent addresses during same day registration. The MSU political science dept gave inducements in the form of extra credit to students who went down and same day registered and voted. The Gallatin county democrats gave out sandwiches and bottled water with campaign literature as inducements to people doing same day registration, , inside the courthouse.

    • I think if those are your best examples of voter fraud, you may want to concede the point.

      Most aren’t fraud, and none would be prevented by the bill that was passed by the House.

      Republicans know that turnout hurts them, so they want to hurt turn out. That simple.

  • Your first word is your most convincing. Nonsense! You’re farting in the wind. There is nothing but nonsense in what you’ve written.

  • I agree with Larry. What is wrong with encouraging people to go and register and vote on the same day? That sounds to me like encouragement to exercise their civil rights. And what stops people from giving false addresses if they register in advance? Nothing a little advance planning can’t solve. This may come as a shock to you, Mr. Benson, but some dishonest people plan ahead…

  • “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.”

    I refuted your point, quoted above. Your post was not accurate or truthful. Mine, at least, has those advantages, however else you find them wanting.

    As far as “encouraging people”, offering inducements to vote, like “extra credit” or sandwiches with campaign stickers on them inside the polling place, is illegal, blatantly, flatly illegal. That is “what’s wrong with it”.

    But it was a simple post. You, Pogie, said the ONLY FRAUD THAT HAS TAKEN PLACE IN MONTANA was by the republicans. I appreciate your willingness to admit that you were wrong in that assertion.

  • What law does offering extra credit to vote violate?

    What proof do you have for your claims? Did the Republican party file a complaint with local law enforcement? An election official?

    You’ll have to do better than that.

  • Inducements to vote, are inducements to vote and certainly "extra credit" is an inducement to vote. The stickers on the sandwiches are the subject of the Commissioner of Political Practices. And who gives a rip what the Republican party did as far as "complaints". Is that the limit of your world, what the Republicans did or didn't do? It seems to be.

    Introspection and self reflection is a good thing, you, at least, should try it.

  • You might consider some self-reflection. It would seem that if these violations you allege were happening, some action would have been taken. Instead, it's the paranoid fantasies of right-wingers who scream about voter fraud when they actively try to disenfranchise voters.

    To believe that Democrats were breaking the law at polling places, as you allege, and Republicans did nothing strains credibility. I suspect they would have tried to intervene.

    Jake Eaton. Voter caging. Misleading voting information. Look it up–and see which party really does it.

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