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How to Vote in Montana’s 2024 Elections

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Important dates and election information

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  • Regular voter registration deadlines: Monday, Oct. 7 (postmarked, must be received by Oct. 10)
  • Late registration (in person only), Monday, Nov. 4, at noon
  • Election Day registration, Tuesday, Nov. 5, by 8 p.m.
  • Early in-person voting: Monday, Oct. 7, through Monday, Nov. 4, at noon
  • Last day to apply for an absentee ballot: Monday, Nov. 4, at noon
  • Election Day; deadline for absentee ballot to be received: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Voter registration: Check your voter registration status on the secretary of state’s voter portal.

  • 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.

Recent Voting Changes in Montana

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 federal judge has temporarily blocked a 2023 law that requires voters who were registered in another county or state to show their prior registration information when registering. The law also made it a crime to register in Montana while “purposefully” registered in another state. Litigation is ongoing.

The state Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision striking down laws that eliminated same-day registration, introduced new voter ID requirements, and prohibited paid efforts to collect absentee ballots.

How to register to vote

Register to vote by mail or in person.

Military and overseas voters have different registration deadlines and instructions.

Registering to vote on Election Day

You can register to vote until 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 5) by visiting your county election administrator’s office.

Check your voter registration status

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

How to request 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.

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

County election officials must receive applications by noon the day before the election (Monday, Nov. 4). 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 who request them starting Friday, Oct. 11.

Returning an 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.

Military and overseas voters have different absentee ballot deadlines and instructions.


Voting in person before Election Day

You can vote by absentee ballot in person from Monday, Oct. 7, through Monday, Nov. 4, at noon. You can apply for and cast your ballot at your county election administrator’s office during normal business hours — weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Voting at the polls on Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. 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 by 8 p.m., 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.

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.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published on Jan. 31, 2024. It has been updated with new information about the 2024 elections.

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. She has also written for the AARP Bulletin, the Hartford Business Journal and other publications.

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