PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2021 


A new study finds big gains in living-wage jobs under Biden Infrastructure Plan; U.S. House passes major protections for LGBTQ Americans.


2021Talks - February 26, 2021 


A $15 minimum wage is out for now; Capitol Police on past and current threats; House passes major milestone for equality; and voting rights targeted across the nation.

MT Measure Would Halt Same-Day Voter Registration

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Montana has allowed same-day voter registration since 2005. (jccain/Adobe Stock)
Montana has allowed same-day voter registration since 2005. (jccain/Adobe Stock)
January 25, 2021

HELENA, Mont. -- A bill in the Montana Legislature could build barriers to voting, opponents of the measure contended.

House Bill 176 would end same-day voter registration and close late, in-person registration by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before election day.

Ruthie Barbour, issue advocacy organizer at Forward Montana, said it creates a transportation challenge, especially for Indigenous communities who live far from their local elections office.

"That would be driving to that county elections office twice," Barbour observed. "And then, of course, many of us work full time, various jobs. So many full-time students, businesspeople, ranchers and parents; single-parents especially."

Same-day voter registration was approved in 2005 and about 60,000 Montanans utilized it between 2006 and 2018. Statistics on its usage in 2020 have not yet been released.

Supporters of the bill claimed it will cut down on voter fraud and long lines on election day.

Barbour pointed out there is no evidence of voter fraud in the state in the past two decades.

She recognized county election officials have stressful jobs, but doesn't believe this is the right fix.

"To limit somebody's right to vote because of an administration issue?" Barbour protested. "Maybe there's some other way we can be solving that besides just ending these services that so many people use."

A public hearing for HB 176 was held last week and many commenters noted a legislative referendum from 2014 nearly identical to this bill.

Barbour pointed out 57% of Montanans voted that measure down.

"It's frustrating for us to see this come up again in the Legislature as something that Montanans have already spoken about and have already decided," Barbour commented.

The House State Administration Committee will vote on the bill Tuesday.

Disclosure: Forward Montana contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Environment, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT