Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch - who also serves as the and state's chief elections officer - announced this week the establishment of several additional early voting offices on Montana’s American Indian reservations for the upcoming 2016 elections.
This will bring the total number of locations to 13. They will be located across nine counties and will serve six Tribal Nations, and will be providing early voting and late registration on select days in the month leading up to election day.
Although election day polling locations have long existed to serve American Indians, satellite offices allow for late registration and early voting in the month preceding the election day.
McCulloch noted that in the absence of such offices, an American Indian might otherwise need to make a long and potentially costly trip to the county headquarters.
“For many rural and low income Tribal members, the distance for such a visit can be expensive and a serious burden,” McCulloch said. “These voting offices help solve this problem. With them, Montana has become a leader, nationally, in providing access to the ballot for American Indians in areas where expanded access was requested and deemed necessary. I’m committed to ensuring there are no barriers to the elections process for any Montanan, and I applaud each of Montana’s county election administrators for the work they do to keep our elections secure, accurate and accessible to all voters.”
The Flathead reservation elected not to have a satellite office, and instead wanted an additional polling location on election day, which Lake County granted. It will be located in Elmo.