Montana Politics

Republican Secretary of State Candidates Oppose Voting

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Three of the four Republican candidates for Secretary of State would like to restrict votingballot-box-thumb1 rights in the state of Montana by eliminating the same-day registration that has seen thousands of Montanans legally exercising their right to vote in elections since 2006. According to a story by Charles Johnson, candidates Scott Aspenlieder, Brad Johnson, and Drew Turiano cited fear of “voter fraud” as a reason to keep Montanans from the polls.

Former Secretary of State Brad Johnson is running against same day registration despite the fact that he supported it during his tenure in the office. Johnson also bizarrely took credit for “implementing a paper ballot system,” something I believe Montana has used for a century or so.

Fundraising leader Scott Aspenlieder’s opposition is perhaps the least coherent thing I have had the misfortune to read:

The current late voter registration places (an) unnecessary burden on county election officials and subjects voters to different levels of scrutiny to establish where and how they should count their ballot or whether they have voted in elections in another state.

Wow.

Finally, Drew Turiano muttered something about the UN and spaceships, I assume. He may also have switched to running for another office by the end of the article. I couldn’t make it through to the end.

The truth is, of course, that Republicans oppose same-day registration not because they worry about fraud, but because many of the people who register late are likely to vote for Democrats. They’re younger, more mobile, and have less established polling places. Republicans keep raising the spectre of fraud in American elections, despite little evidence of its existence, to keep “undesirable” voters from exercising their right to vote.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-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.

1 Comment

  • HEY, which leads me to my next bumper sticker.

    I’M AN UNDESIREABLE AND I VOTE!

    Like it? Me too! I think it’s time that we undesireables form our own voting block! We’re kinda like the untouchables in India.

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