Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

Purchase Voter File

The Secretary of State provides extracts of public information from the statewide voter registration system. Because the statewide system is a live system, data changes from hour to hour, day to day, etc. as county election officials are entering and updating information.  Similarly, numbers may change based on voter moves and other updates.  Each extract is static information that is current as of the time the extract is pulled. 

The fee structure and additional information about the statewide voter registration system extracts is below.

Please note: information from the statewide voter registration system can be used for non-commercial use only. Please consult an attorney if you have questions about whether or not a particular use is non-commercial.

 

Q. Who are the contacts for questions about the Statewide Voter File?

A. About the Service - Montana Interactive, 449-3468 or helpdesk@egovmt.com.

Technical Questions - Mark Van Alstyne, Secretary of State IT Manager, 444-4243 or mvanalstyne@mt.gov.

General Questions - Secretary of State Elections Division, soselections@mt.gov.

Q. What is the fee structure for the statewide voter file or available extracts?

A. The fee for a single copy of the complete voter file or for an extract of the voter file such as the Absentee Ballot Report is $1000.00. The fee for a one-year subscription to the voter file service is $5000.00. This subscription entitles you to unlimited downloads of any of the available extracts and copies of the complete voter file.  Visa, MasterCard, and eChecks are accepted for payment. 

The fees for customized files vary by selection.  They are as follows: $200.00 for a County file $150.00 for a Legislative Senate District file $100.00 for a Legislative Representative District file. The fee for the Petition Signers Report is $200 per ballot issue. See also https://app.mt.gov/voterfile/fees.html.

Q. What is included in the purchase of the Statewide Voter File?

A. The Statewide Voter File (and customized county and legislative district files) includes two spreadsheets – one spreadsheet includes a list of all registered voters, and the other includes the voting history of each voter.

Q. What are the fields in the statewide voter file and voter history report?

A. A list of the fields in the reports is available online at  https://app.mt.gov/voterfile/about.html.   Sample reports are available at: Statewide Voter File Sample and Voter History Report Sample.

Q. If a person purchases a subscription, does that entitle the person to all extracts and reports, including the Absentee Ballot Report, the Petition Signers Report, and the 2012 General Election Late Registrant Report?

A. Yes – an annual subscription entitles the customer to unlimited downloads of any available extracts or copies of the complete voter file. In order to purchase a subscription, a customer must sign up for an ePass account -- see https://app.mt.gov/voterfile

Q. How far back do the records go?

A. Records go back to 2006 for all counties. Some history may exist before 2006, depending on what the counties provided when records were converted.

Q. How often is information updated? How often will the customer get updates?

A. Information is updated by the counties as they process ballots, registrations, etc. A subscriber can request updates as often as they want. SOS IT sends a daily file to the vendor early each morning. Updates to the main voter file are provided on CD or electronically through the state file transfer service upon request.  The Absentee Ballot Report is available for download directly from the site https://app.mt.gov/voterfile at the time it is purchased.

Q. Which report(s) include voter history?

A. The statewide voter file and the county and legislative extracts of the statewide voter file include voter history.  The Absentee Ballot Report and Petition Signers Report do not include voter history.

Q. Does the voter file include information about whether or not a voter is on the absentee list?

A. Yes. The voter file includes an indicator (True/False) of whether or not a voter is on the annual absentee list, in the field titled “Is_Permanent_Absentee” .

Q. Is municipal election information included in the file?

A. Municipal, school, and special district election history is included in the voter history spreadsheet only. The voter history spreadsheet is included with purchase of the Statewide Voter File (and customized county and legislative district files).

Q. Why do some residential addresses just contain what appears to be township, range and section information rather than street addresses?

A. Certain counties use non-standard legal descriptions.  These descriptions may appear in a format such as the following: 1 S 2 E 3.  The descriptions are especially common in areas in which many voters reside in areas that do not have street addresses. 

Since all voters in the file also have a mailing address, the mailing address may be the most useful address in cases in which the township, section, and range are listed for the voter’s residence address. 

Specific questions about the Statewide Voter File can be directed to (406) 444-5346 or soselections@mt.gov.

 

 

Q. What is the Absentee Ballot Report and what is included in that file? Is voter history contained in the Absentee Ballot Report? Does the Absentee Ballot Report contain information on individuals who are on the Annual Absentee List?

A. The Absentee Ballot Report includes information on voters who have been sent an absentee ballot for an upcoming federal election.

The Absentee Ballot Report includes an indicator (True/False) of whether or not a voter is on the absentee list, in the field titled “Is_Permanent_Absentee” .

A list of the fields in the report is available online at  https://app.mt.gov/voterfile/about.html.  

A sample report is available at: Absentee Ballot Report Sample.

The absentee file is available for download directly from the site https://app.mt.gov/voterfile at the time it is purchased.  A purchaser can download the file directly from the site.  A purchaser who has an annual subscription can download the file as often as needed.

Voter history is not included in the Absentee Ballot Report.  For more information, see https://app.mt.gov/voterfile/about.html under the "Absentee Voter File" heading.

Q. What’s the difference between “vote by mail” and “absentee”?

A. A designation of “vote by mail” means the election was an all-mail ballot election. If the election was a polling place election, the designation will be “absentee”.

Q. What is the earliest date that absentee information will be available for an election?

A. 45 days for absent military and overseas citizen voters with active absentee requests, 30 days for voters on the absentee list, 30 days and less for election specific absentees.  Also, as soon as the absentee ballots are available, individuals may request and receive them in person at county election offices.

Q. Is the Absentee Ballot Report cumulative? Will it show everyone who has been sent a ballot and the ballot status for the election, or does each subsequent report only include voters since the last report?

A. The report is cumulative. It will show everyone who has been sent a ballot for the most recent federal election and the ballot status for each such ballot.

Q. How often is the absentee ballot report updated, and what does each day’s file include as far as ballot activity?

A. Information is sent to the vendor early every morning, inclusive of the previous day’s business.

Specific questions about the Absentee Ballot Report can be directed to (406) 444-5346 or soselections@mt.gov.

 

Q. What is the Petition Signers Report, and what is included in that file?

A. The Petition Signers Report must be generated based on the specific ballot issue requested, so it is not available for download immediately. The report will be provided directly to the customer by the vendor in the format requested (CD, email, file transfer).

The Petition Signers Report is a county-by-county record of a specific ballot issue’s petition signers. By default, it is in county order and in order of when the signatures were processed by the county election officials.

The field names are County, Submittal Number, Sheet, Line, Voter ID, Name, Residence, Status, Verification Reason (if the signature was rejected, this will include the reason selected by the county), House District, and Circulator. A sample report is available at: Petition Signers Report Sample.

The fee for the Petition Signers Report is $200 per ballot issue.

Specific questions about the Petition Signers Report can be directed to (406) 444-5346 or soselections@mt.gov.

 

 

Q. What is the 2012 General Election Late Registrant Report, and what is included in that file?

A. This report, once purchased, is available for download immediately.

The report is a record of individuals who were late registrants in the 2012 General Election.  A similar report for each subsequent Federal General election will be available.   

The field names are: Election, Voter ID, Last Name, First Name, Middle Name, Name Suffix, DOB, County, House District, Senate District, Precinct, Before/On Election Day, New/ County-to-County/ Precinct-to-Precinct.  The report does not contain voters’ addresses.  A sample report is available at: 2012 General Election Late Registrant Report Sample.

The fee for the Report is $200.

Specific questions about the 2012 General Election Late Registrant Report can be directed to (406) 444-5346 or soselections@mt.gov.