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As most of you must know, the majority of Montanans vote by mail and in addition, a small percentage take advantage of the right to register and then vote on election day. There has been no evidence of voter fraud in Election Day registration here or in the 20 other states that offer this option.

For example, Minnesota, which has had EDR since 1974, uncovered only two instances of attempted fraud over several elections. Yet, Republicans in our state Legislature can’t help themselves by once more trying to abolish Election Day registration.

I suspect their motives are driven by the perception that EDR voters may often be younger and first time voters. Hum! Could be Democrats! In 2014 they sponsored Legislative Referendum 126 to abolish EDR and it was roundly rejected by the voters of Montana. Now, it is a straight bill.

House Bill 176 will close registration at noon on the Friday before the general election. It quietly passed the House (all Gallatin County Republicans voting yes) and is now before the Montana Senate. Write or call your Senators, Chris Pope and Walter Sales, and tell them you strongly oppose this bill and tell them to vote no, and if they won't do that, demand that they offer an amendment to the bill to make it a legislative referendum and send it back to the House for another vote so that we can decide this issue in the next election.

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Jerry Calvert