Montana Democrats sue after GOP governor signs into law two bills restricting voting access
April 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2021 file photo Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte speaks with the press in the State Capitol in Helena, Mont. Montana's statewide mask mandate has been lifted by Gianforte. The Republican governor said Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 he made the decision because he thinks enough vulnerable Montana residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP)
Montana Democrats are suing the state over two bills signed into law Monday that add new restrictions to voting in the Big Sky state.
(CNN)Montana Democrats are suing the state over two bills signed into law Monday that add new restrictions to voting in the Big Sky state.
"Montana has a long history of secure, transparent elections, setting a standard for the nation," Gianforte said in a Monday tweet after signing the bills into law.
"This afternoon, Montana's Republican Governor signed two voter suppression bills into law.
"The goal of the lawsuit is to stop Republicans from silencing voters, to protect fair elections, and the freedom to vote for everyone in Montana. "
The bills are the latest to become law amid an Republican-led effort at the state level to restrict voting access in the wake of record turnout in the November 2020 election.
The Republican sponsors of the Montana bills argue that the bills aren't about making it harder for voters, but making the state's election system even more secure and efficient.
Rep. Sharon Greef, who sponsored the bill that repealed same day voter registration, said the legislation is about ensuring clean and fair elections by making sure voters register early.
State Sen. Mike Cuffe, who sponsored the ID bill, acknowledged that Montana has secure elections but said the legislation was about improving the process and ensuring Montana residents are the ones voting in the state's elections.
"What we're looking at here, is attempting to improve on the system, to make a good sense process better, to ensure that all members all around the state can feel very satisfactory that folks who have signed up to vote are Montana citizens. "
As of Tuesday, the secretary of state's website had updated its section for "How to Register to Vote" to match the new law.