April 8, 2014
CONTACT: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807
Montana Outscores Majority of States in Overall Election Performance
Data by The Pew Charitable Trust's Election Performance Index
HELENA, MT – Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch today announced that Montana continues to rank in the top 25% of the nation in overall election performance. A report released by The Pew Charitable Trusts applauds the strides Secretary McCulloch has made to enhance elections in Montana, and recommends the state further improve voters’ experience by implementing an online voter registration system.
“We continue to raise the bar for other states,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Being at the top comes with the responsibility to review our policies and procedures, and implement change where it’s needed. Montana’s Election Administrators do a great job running our elections, but there is always a way to increase efficiencies.”
Montana has ranked in the top of the nation for the past two federal election cycles. Under Secretary McCulloch’s leadership, the state has been recognized for expanding its use of electronic voter information tools, implementing a post-election audit requirement, and increasing the accessibility and accuracy of military and overseas citizen ballots.
In the latest report, which scores states’ performances in the 2012 elections, Montana lost points for not providing voters the benefits of online voter registration.
“When you’re number eleven on a list, it’s natural to question why you aren’t in the ‘top ten’,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Montana is past-due for online voter registration, and I will continue to urge the legislature to implement a secure and efficient system that meets voters’ expectations.”
McCulloch’s proposal to implement online voter registration has been repeatedly blocked by the Montana Legislature. Twenty states have authorized or implemented an electronic system, and Secretary McCulloch vows to add Montana to the growing list.
She concludes, “Online voter registration increases access while minimizing administrative costs, congestion at polling places and inconsistencies in the statewide voter registration system. I will again bring the issue before the Legislature when it reconvenes in 2015.”