Last year, the legislature updated laws so that Montana is better able to serve the disability community. In the past, we have had the ability for individuals to vote absentee, have a designated agent help assist them with the voting process, and to independently cast a secret ballot by using the AutoMARK Voting machine.
The AutoMARK is a tool that can be used to assist an individual with a disability to cast a ballot without the assistance from another. However, it can be hard for people to make it to and into some polling locations. Normally, the best tools to assist a voter with a disability are already being used in the individuals’ home. Many will already have their personal computer set up to meet their specific needs. So, this year the legislature made it possible for individuals with a disability to request to have a ballot sent to them electronically.
Individuals with a disability can do so by using the Electronic Ballot Request System or ERBS. They will complete an Application for Electronic Absentee Ballot form to request to use this system. sos.mt.gov/elections/disabilities/index.asp
Once election time comes, a copy of an electronic ballot will be emailed for completion on the computer set up with the technology that best assists the voter. The voter will complete the ballot on the computer and print the completed ballot. The local election office will mail a packet for returning the ballot including instructions, secrecy envelope, and affirmation envelope.
Hopefully, this process enables more voters to complete their ballot in secrecy and in the most convenient way possible.
Please contact the Missoula County Elections office with additional questions and concerns.
(406) 258-4751 or firstname.lastname@example.org
4 ways to vote:
1. At the poll
2. At the poll with AutoMARK
3. Absentee balloting
4. Electronic absentee ballot
More on voting: sos.mt.gov/ELECTIONS/Vote/index.asp