Republican leadership still trying to suppress MT voters

In Thursday’s House Judiciary hearing on Senate Bill 305, Republican leadership dug in their heels about suppressing voter turnout while countless other Republicans, Democrats and everyday citizens voiced their support for voter access.

SB 305 is the Republican-sponsored legislation introduced to make sure this spring’s special Congressional election is conducted as a mail-ballot one in order to increase voter access and save county election officials more than $500,000 this spring.

SB 305 has bipartisan support. However, Republican leaders like Rep. Jeff Essmann and House Speaker Austin Knudsen are trying to kill the bill.

Even Secretary of State Corey Stapleton has moved to the extreme right on this bill and doesn’t care that he’s creating extra expenses for the 56 county elections officials charged with conducting this special election. During testimony on SB 305 on Thursday he called their estimated cost “hypothetical.”

“There is nothing hypothetical about county election officials — both Republicans and Democrats — trying to save taxpayers at least half a million dollars,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Republican leaders, including our own statewide election administrator Corey Stapleton, are only interested in suppressing voters’ voice. That’s not how democracy works in Montana.”

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