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LWV of Montana Files to Intervene in Vote by Mail Challenge

UPDATE: LWV's motion to intervene was denied, so we filed an amicus brief in the case on September 17.

Read the amicus brief.

HELENA, MT—Today, the League of Women Voters of Montana filed a motion to intervene in Donald J. Trump for President v. Bullock, which challenges Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s August 6 Executive Directive allowing counties to conduct the general election primarily by mail at their discretion. The League was supportive of this Directive as a measure to preserve voters’ safe access to the ballot during the ongoing pandemic. 

“We clearly saw how voters were protected from COVID-19 when Montana conducted our primary election by mail in June,” said Nancy Leifer, president of the League of Women Voters of Montana. “The COVID-19 pandemic does not show signs of stopping before November, threatening the health and safety of all Montana voters, especially the most vulnerable voting communities: Native Americans, communities of color, the elderly, and disabled individuals. The governor’s vote by mail Directive was the common-sense choice to protect voters’ health and their access to the ballot. The League seeks to intervene to protect the rights of voters this November.” 

The governor’s August 6 Directive mirrored his earlier Directive allowing counties to conduct the state’s June 2 primary election by mail. As a result of that Directive, all 56 Montana counties chose to conduct their elections by mail.  

“We stand with Montana leadership, who did the right thing by allowing vote by mail for its elections this year, as proven by the state’s successful all-mail primary election in June,” said Celina Stewart, senior director of advocacy and litigation at the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Now, outside actors want to prevent the state from conducting the elections by mail and protecting Montana voters. States should be encouraged to follow Montana’s lead and make the right decision to protect their voters and the accessibility of their elections.” 

The League of Women Voters is represented in this motion by Campaign Legal Center and Drake Law Firm. 

“Montana counties should not be prevented from allowing their citizens to vote safely during the pandemic,” said Jonathan Diaz, legal counsel, voting rights, at Campaign Legal Center (CLC). “The ability to conduct elections by mail proved critical during this year’s primary elections in Montana, and the counties should not be prohibited from doing so again this fall. Vote by mail is safe and secure, and the existing directive allows local officials to conduct their elections in a safe and secure manner that best fits their communities and benefits all Montanan voters.” 

Donald J. Trump for President v. Bullock is scheduled to be heard on September 22. 

Read more about the case.

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PRESS CONTACT: Kayla Vix | 202-809-9668 | [email protected]