Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 3. Challenges


13-13-301. Challenges. (1) An elector's right to vote may be challenged at any time by any registered elector by the challenger filling out and signing an affidavit stating the grounds of the challenge and providing any evidence supporting the challenge to the election administrator or, on election day, to an election judge.

(2) A challenge may be made on the grounds that the elector:

(a) is of unsound mind, as determined by a court;

(b) has voted before in that election;

(c) has been convicted of a felony and is serving a sentence in a penal institution;

(d) is not registered as required by law;

(e) is not 18 years of age or older;

(f) has not been, for at least 30 days, a resident of the county in which the elector is offering to vote, except as provided in 13-2-514;

(g) is a provisionally registered elector whose status has not been changed to a legally registered voter; or

(h) does not meet another requirement provided in the constitution or by law.

(3) When a challenge has been made under this section, unless the election administrator determines without the need for further information that the challenge is insufficient:

(a) prior to the close of registration under 13-2-301, the election administrator shall question the challenger and the challenged elector and may question other persons to determine whether the challenge is sufficient or insufficient to cancel the elector's registration under 13-2-402; or

(b) after the close of regular registration under 13-2-301, the election administrator or, on election day, either the election administrator or an election judge shall allow the challenged elector to cast a provisional paper ballot, which must be handled as provided in 13-15-107.

(4) (a) In response to a challenge, the challenged elector may fill out and sign an affidavit to refute the challenge and swear that the elector is eligible to vote.

(b) If the challenge was not made in the presence of the elector being challenged, the election administrator or election judge shall notify the challenged elector of who made the challenge and the grounds of the challenge and explain what information the elector may provide to respond to the challenge. The notification must be made:

(i) within 5 days of the filing of the challenge if the election is more than 5 days away; or

(ii) on or before election day if the election is less than 5 days away.

(c) The election administrator or, on election day, the election judge shall also provide to the challenged elector a copy of the challenger's affidavit and any supporting evidence provided.

(5) The secretary of state shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section and shall provide standardized affidavit forms for challengers and challenged electors.

History: (1)En. Sec. 34, Ch. 368, L. 1969; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 365, L. 1977; Sec. 23-3015, R.C.M. 1947; (2)En. Sec. 111, Ch. 368, L. 1969; amd. Sec. 33, Ch. 365, L. 1977; Sec. 23-3611, R.C.M. 1947; R.C.M. 1947, 23-3015(3), 23-3611; amd. Sec. 132, Ch. 571, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 33, Ch. 475, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 586, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 26, Ch. 297, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 43, Ch. 242, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 39, Ch. 336, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 244, L. 2021.