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How to Vote in Montana’s 2024 Elections

Important dates and election information

Key dates

  • Primary: Tuesday, June 4
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Scroll down to view our How to Vote video series

Voters In Montana Head To The Polls In Special Congressional Election
Voters line up outside of a polling station in Missoula.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Voting at a glance

  • Absentee voting: Any registered voter can apply to automatically receive an absentee ballot in the mail; no reason is necessary.
  • Voting at the polls: Most polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but some polling places with small numbers of registered voters may open as late as noon. Bring an acceptable form of ID that includes your name and current address.

Voting in Montana

What to know about recent changes

New state legislative maps take effect in 2024 that may change the boundaries of your districts and affect which candidates appear on your ballot.

A 2023 law requires voters who were previously registered in another county or state to show their prior registration information when registering. It makes it a crime to register in Montana while “purposefully” registered in another state. The law is being challenged in court.

A state court struck down 2021 laws that eliminated same-day voter registration, introduced new voter ID requirements and barred third parties from collecting absentee ballots. Litigation is ongoing. Check back for updates.

Voter registration

Register to vote by mail or in person.

Mailed registration forms must be postmarked by Monday, May 6, for the primary but will be accepted if received by Thursday, May 9. If you miss the deadline, you can register late in person by visiting your county election administrator's office until noon on Monday, June 3, and on Election Day until 8 p.m. Litigation over Election Day registration is ongoing.

Check your voter registration status and update your information on the secretary of state’s voter portal.

Registering to vote on Election Day

You can register to vote until 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, June 4, for the primary) by visiting your county election administrator’s office. Same-day registration is being challenged in court. Check back for updates.

Primary voting and party affiliation

There is no party registration in Montana. Voters can choose which party’s primary they wish to vote in, but they can only vote in one.

Ways to vote

Requesting an absentee ballot

All registered Montana voters can request an absentee ballot, and you can opt to automatically receive absentee ballots by mail for all future elections.

County election officials must receive applications by noon the day before the election (Monday, June 3, for the primary). If you drop off your application, you should be able to pick up your absentee ballot at the same time.
Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters starting Friday, May 10, for the primary.

Returning your absentee ballot

Completed absentee ballots must be received by your county election administrator’s office or polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Instructions for returning your absentee ballot will be included with the ballot. Be sure to sign the affirmation on the provided return envelope.

Track your absentee ballot on the secretary of state’s website.

Voting in person before Election Day

You can vote by absentee ballot in person from Monday, May 6, through Monday, June 3, for the primary. Visit your county election administrator’s office during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays) to apply for and cast an absentee ballot in person.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

The primary is Tuesday, June 4. Find your polling place on the secretary of state’s website. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but some polling places with small numbers of registered voters may open as late as noon. Check with your county election administrator’s office to confirm times. If you are in line before the polls close, you’ll be allowed to vote.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

To vote in person, you’ll need to show either a photo ID, such as a Montana driver’s license or Montana ID card OR a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check, or government document that includes your name and current address.

Find more information on voter ID requirements, including a list of acceptable forms of identification, at the secretary of state’s website. If you’re having trouble obtaining ID, contact soselections@mt.gov.

Litigation over Montana’s voter ID requirements is ongoing, so check back for updates.

Voting with a disability 

Montana’s Electronic Ballot Request System (EBRS) allows voters with disabilities to apply for, receive and cast an absentee ballot electronically. Find more information and answers to frequently asked questions on the secretary of state’s website.

If you prefer to vote in person, every polling place in Montana has at least one accessible voting terminal. If you can’t enter a polling place, curbside voting is available.

If you have a physical disability or are unable to read or write, you may ask an election judge to help you mark your ballot. You may, with an election judge’s permission, choose someone else to help you, as long as that person is not your employer or an agent of your employer or your union.

Find more information about voting with a disability on the secretary of state’s website.

More information about candidates

Key races:

  • U.S. President
  • U.S. Senate: one seat
  • U.S. House: two seats
  • Governor
  • State Senate: 25 seats
  • State House: All 100 seats

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Jan. 31, 2024, with new information about voting in the 2024 presidential and state primary.

Natalie Missakian covers federal and state policy and writes AARP’s Fighting for You Every Day blog. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and daily newspapers in Ohio. Her work has also appeared in the AARP Bulletin, the Hartford Business Journal and other publications.

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Also of Interest:

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