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44.3.101   INTRODUCTION, SCOPE, AND INTENT

(1) The purpose of these rules is to establish minimum guidelines to be used in determining whether facilities used for voting in certain elections are accessible to electors with disabilities and elderly electors pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12132, and the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ee, et seq.

(2) It is the intent of the secretary of state's office that county governing bodies and election administrators work together and proceed in good faith to fully comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

(3) For the purpose of clarity and throughout these rules, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act shall be referred to as the Voting Accessibility Act. The Americans With Disabilities Act will be referred to as the ADA.

(4) These rules shall only apply to federal elections conducted under 13-1-104 and 13-1-107, MCA.

History: 13-1-202, 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-3-205, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.102   ROLE OF SECRETARY OF STATE

(1) The Secretary of State is empowered under the Voting Accessibility Act, 13-1-202, MCA, and these rules to:

(a) establish guidelines that define and determine accessibility at the polling place;

(b) prescribe the forms and materials necessary to ensure uniformity in the surveying of polling places;

(c) determine what constitutes an emergency that allows an exemption from accessibility status;

(d) grant exemptions to the requirement that a polling place shall be accessible to the elderly and individuals with disabilities;

(e) establish procedures to ensure that any individual with a disability or elderly voter assigned to an inaccessible polling place will be provided with an alternative means for casting a ballot on election day;

(f) provide public notice, calculated to reach individuals with disabilities or elderly electors in a timely manner, of the:

(i) availability of aids under the Voting Accessibility Act;

(ii) assistance under section 208 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 aa-6); and

(iii) procedures for voting by absentee ballot; and

(g) report to the applicable federal agency, in a manner to be determined by the agency:

(i) the number of accessible polling places in the state;

(ii) the number of inaccessible polling places; and

(iii) the reasons for each instance of inaccessibility.

(2) These are the rules adopted to establish and maintain uniformity in the implementation of the Voting Accessibility Act.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-205, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08.

44.3.103   DEFINITIONS

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-3-202, MCA; IMP, 13-3-202, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; REP, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.104   GUIDELINES FOR POLLING PLACE ACCESSIBILITY

(1) Polling places approved on or after October 1, 2005, must comply with the accessibility standards in the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq. Completed forms prescribed by the Secretary of State pursuant to ARM 44.2.102(1)(b) are the method by which an election administrator must demonstrate the compliance of each polling place with this subchapter.

History: 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-205, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10.

44.3.105   SURVEY PROCEDURE TO DETERMINE ACCESSIBILITY

(1) Unless specified otherwise, the election administrator shall conduct an on-site survey in each polling place 45 days prior to utilizing that facility, as provided in ARM 44.3.109, to determine whether such facilities are in compliance with the criteria set forth in these rules.

(2) Election administrators should encourage county commissioners, election judges, members of the election administrator's staff, and a voting accessibility advisory committee to participate in the survey procedure.

(3) The survey shall be conducted in such a manner as to represent the actual path of travel an elector would take upon arrival at the polling place on election day.

(4) A form prescribed by the Secretary of State shall be used as a checklist for each polling place surveyed. Copies of the survey shall be made available for public inspection and to the Secretary of State upon request, except as provided in (5).

(5) If an existing polling place fails to satisfy the criteria for accessibility and cannot be permanently or temporarily altered in a safe and reasonable manner to satisfy the criteria before the date of the election, it will be designated "inaccessible" and shall not be used unless an exemption is granted by the Secretary of State in accordance with the provisions of ARM 44.3.106.

(6) A copy of all survey forms for polling places shall be forwarded to the Secretary of State 45 days prior to the election for which the survey was conducted.

(7) A request for exemption form, as prescribed by the Secretary of State, and defined in ARM 44.3.106, shall be attached to the survey for those polling places designated as "inaccessible".

History: 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-206, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.106   EXEMPTION PROCEDURE

(1) If an existing polling place has been surveyed and designated as "inaccessible," the election administrator shall make a reasonable effort to seek and survey for accessibility other potential sites with comparable utility as a polling place.

(2) If potential polling place facilities have been surveyed and no accessible facility is available and the facilities which are available cannot safely and reasonably be made temporarily accessible, the election administrator shall request in writing to the secretary of state that the existing polling place be exempt from the criteria set forth in these rules.

(3) A separate request for exemption shall be submitted for each polling place not in compliance. The request shall identify the polling place, how it is not in compliance, the efforts being made to bring it into compliance, and the efforts to locate an alternate site.

(4) Within 30 days following the receipt of a request for exemption, the secretary of state may grant a certification of exemption to the election administrator for that polling place. Such exemption, if granted, shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of issuance.

(5) The secretary of state may grant an exemption pursuant to this subchapter if all potential polling places have been surveyed and the election administrator has certified that:

(a) an accessible polling place is not available and the county or school district cannot safely or reasonably make a polling place temporarily accessible in the area involved; or

(b) the location is designated inaccessible because it is a rural polling place and designation of an accessible facility as a polling place will require excessive travel or impose other hardships for the majority of qualified electors in the polling place.

(6) If the secretary of state has reason to believe such an exemption would not be in the best interest of the majority of the individuals with disabilities, the secretary of state shall deny the exemption and:

(a) report to the election administrator and the county governing body the secretary's reasons for the denial.

(7) A polling place designated 45 days prior to an election as inaccessible because it is rural shall be exempt from the on-site survey procedure provided in ARM 44.3.108

(8) If one or more individuals with disabilities contact the election administrator or the secretary of state concerning a specific exemption, the secretary of state shall work in cooperation with the election administrator and the individuals with disabilities in locating an available facility that is accessible or providing an acceptable alternative method of voting according to the provisions in ARM 44.3.110


History: 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-207, 13-3-212, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 839, Eff. 5/28/22.

44.3.107   EMERGENCY EXEMPTION

(1) If a polling place designated "accessible" becomes unavailable for reasons such as loss of lease, fire, snow, or other natural disasters less than ten days prior to an election, an emergency exists and an alternate polling place shall be selected.

(2) The alternate polling place shall be considered temporary and shall be exempt from the procedures established by these rules, except for the provisions provided by ARM 44.3.111 and 44.3.112.

(3) The alternate polling place shall not be used in the next ensuing election unless it is subject to the procedures provided in ARM 44.3.105 and 44.3.106.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-211, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08.

44.3.108   POLLING PLACE DESIGNATION

(1) As the result of an on-site survey, or current voter registration reports, a polling place shall be designated as:

(a) "accessible"; or

(b) "inaccessible".

(2) A polling place that has been surveyed pursuant to this subchapter need not be surveyed again unless the conditions of accessibility change.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-206, 13-3-207, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08.

44.3.109   VOTING ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(1) An election administrator may establish one or more voting accessibility advisory committee(s) (V.A.A.C.).

(2) Each committee shall consist of a minimum of three members, two of which shall represent an organization of elderly persons or an organization of individuals with disabilities.

(3) The committee may assist in surveying polling places for compliance with accessibility guidelines.

(4) The election administrator shall provide the Secretary of State with a list of the members of each voting accessibility advisory committee, including addresses and telephone numbers.

(5) Each member of the committee may be compensated for the number of hours worked and reimbursed for actual travel expenses incurred while participating in the conduct of an on-site survey.

(6) The election administrator may pay each member the same compensation and certify amounts due in the same manner as for an election judge as provided by 13-4-106(1), MCA.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-205, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08.

44.3.110   ALTERNATIVE MEANS FOR CASTING BALLOT

(1) The election administrator shall provide an alternative method of voting for those electors who are unable, because of disability, to access their regular polling place. Those methods are limited to the following:  

(a) the practice, commonly referred to as "curbside voting," as provided by 13-13-118, MCA;

(b) absentee balloting, as provided by 13-13-222 and 13-13-246, MCA; and

(c) prearranged assignment to an accessible polling place within the county. An elector, prevented from voting at the elector's own polling place on election day because it has been exempt from meeting the accessibility criteria set forth in these rules, shall:

(i) notify the election administrator, in writing at least two business days preceding the election, of the elector's desire to vote on election day at an accessible polling place;

(ii) be assigned to the nearest accessible polling place for the purpose of voting in that election;

(iii) sign the elector's name on a special addendum to the official precinct register, as required by 13-2-601, MCA; and

(iv) receive the same ballot to which the elector is otherwise entitled.

(2) For the purposes of this rule, the ballot shall be processed and counted in the same manner as an absentee ballot.  

 

History: 13-3-205, 13-13-246, MCA; IMP, 13-3-213, 13-13-246, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2015 MAR p. 1286, Eff. 10/1/15; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 839, Eff. 5/28/22.

44.3.111   THE ELDERLY ELECTOR
(1) The Voting Accessibility Act defines "elderly" as 65 years of age or older.

(2) The following requirements are intended to benefit elderly electors and shall be implemented by the 1986 June primary election:

(a) Election administrators shall conspicuously display instructions for voting, printed in over-size type, preferably 18 point type, or larger, at each polling place for every election and instructions for registering at each permanent registration facility.

(b) Each polling place shall have a desk, table, or other surface no more than 36 inches in height, with room to accommodate a chair or a wheelchair to permit physically feeble or mobility-impaired electors to vote in a seated position. Adequate privacy shall be provided to ensure the seated elector the same degree of ballot secrecy enjoyed by other electors.

(c) In all polling places in which a stylus is used to mark voting device ballots, at least one stylus shall have a large, easily graspable handle. At least one pen or pencil in each polling place shall be over-sized and easily graspable.

(d) Extra seating shall be provided for elderly electors to rest while waiting their turn to vote. Election judges shall ensure that the seating is available for those for whom it is intended.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-1-202, 13-13-111, 13-13-112, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-13-111, 13-13-112, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86.

44.3.112   THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
(1) Visually impaired persons can range from those with slight visual problems, not correctable by normal means, to the totally blind. In addition to the large-type printing requirements, as provided by ARM 44.3.111(2)(a), requirements and suggestions for the visually impaired electors include the following:

(a) adequate lighting shall be provided in both the voting booth and the polling place;

(b) a magnifying glass may be provided in those polling places where the election administrator's common knowledge indicates a need; and

(c) a plastic or cardboard card with a space cut out for a signature may be provided as a guide for signing a precinct register.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-1-202, 13-13-111, 13-13-112, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-13-111, 13-13-112, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86.

44.3.113   TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICE FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED

(1) Sixty days prior to each election, the Secretary of State shall install and advertise access to a toll-free telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) for the purpose of providing:

(a) information on registration;

(b) voting aids available for the handicapped;

(c) assistance under section 208 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and

(d) procedures for voting by absentee ballot.

(2) The Secretary of State shall advertise the TDD number wherever possible.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-3-205, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08.

44.3.114   COMPLAINTS
(1) Within five working days following the receipt of a written notification from the United State's Attorney General or a person who is personally aggrieved by the noncompliance of his polling place with the Voting Accessibility Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and/or these rules, the Secretary of State shall transmit a copy of the notification to the appropriate election administrator.

(2) Upon receipt of the notification, the election administrator shall forward to the Secretary of State a copy of the survey form concerning the polling place in question.

(3) Within 30 days of receipt of the notification, the Secretary of State shall cause an independent survey of the polling place to be conducted. A report of that survey shall be provided to the complainant and the election administrator.

(4) If the complainant requests, in writing, that further action be taken, the Secretary of State may call for a hearing in which the complainant, election administrator, representatives of the county governing body, affected groups and his office may be represented.

(a) The purpose of the hearing is to show cause why the particular polling place facility should be:

(i) denied exemption from meeting the criteria established for accessibility by these rules;

(ii) be denied an "accessible" rating; or

(iii) be declared unacceptable for use as a polling place facility and no longer utilized for that purpose.

(5) At any time before, during, or after this process the complainant retains the right to file an action in any court of appropriate jurisdiction or to withdraw the complaint. No exhaustion of this administrative remedy is required.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be considered a correct interpretation of the law. 13-1-202, 13-3-205, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-3-205, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 462, Eff. 3/28/86; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.115   CRITERIA AND PROCESS FOR A PERSON TO BECOME A DESIGNATED AGENT FOR AN ELECTOR WITH A DISABILITY

(1) Consistent with 13-1-116, MCA, an elector with a disability who is unable to provide a signature may apply to the election administrator to have another person designated as an agent for purposes of providing a signature or identifying mark required pursuant to Title 13, MCA, and for delivering the disabled elector's absentee ballot application to the county election administrator, as provided in 13-13-213, MCA. 

(2) An application for designation of an agent by an elector under this rule:  

(a) must be made on a form prescribed by the secretary of state which shall state the authorization of the elector, the purpose of the agency, and shall require that the authorization be witnessed by two disinterested witnesses and signed by the designated agent;

(b) may be obtained from local election officials, from the office of the Secretary of State, and from any other entity that provides the form; and

(c) must be completed in its entirety.

(3) An agent chosen under this rule must not be the elector's employer, an agent of the elector's employer, or an officer or agent of the elector's union. 

(4) An election official must ask if the person being designated an agent is the elector's employer or employer's agent or officer or agent of the elector's union. If the proposed agent is one of those individuals, the elector must choose another person to be the elector's agent.

(5) An agent must be chosen by the elector with a disability.

 

History: 13-1-116, MCA; IMP, 13-1-116, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 839, Eff. 5/28/22.

44.3.116   ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF VOTING MATERIALS

(1) County election administrators shall allow electors with disabilities, as defined in 13-3-202, MCA, to receive election materials electronically as long as the security of transmission and identity of each elector is confirmed and facilities are available to maintain the accuracy, integrity, and secrecy of the ballot process. The following procedures shall be followed, wherever applicable, in regard to the transition of election materials from the election administrator to electors electronically:

(a) A county election administrator must use a system that is secure from unauthorized access.

(b) When an election administrator receives a valid application for electronic transmission of a ballot from an elector with disabilities, the election administrator shall, subject to (1), e-mail the elector the ballot, instructions to the elector, and a transmittal cover sheet that includes an elector affirmation. A ballot secrecy envelope or page and a ballot signature envelope shall be provided either electronically or through the mail to each elector with a valid application for electronic ballot.  The original ballot shall be retained in a secure absentee envelope or container for that purpose.

(c) The election administrator shall keep an official log of all ballots transmitted electronically.

(d) After the voted ballot and affirmation are received at the office of the election administrator, the transmittal cover sheet with affirmation must be retained in a sealed envelope or container separately from the ballot.

(e) If the received ballot is acceptable pursuant to the requirements of 13-13-246, MCA, the election administrator shall:

(i)  if the ballot was returned in a secrecy envelope, without opening the secrecy envelope containing the voted ballot, log in the receipt of the ballot and place it in the secure absentee envelope or container with the original ballot; or

(ii)  if the ballot was returned using a secrecy page, to ensure the ballot is not revealed to anyone, place the printed electronically submitted ballot and secrecy page into an appropriate envelope and then place it in the secure absentee envelope or container with the original ballot.

(f) On the day before election day or on election day, the election administrator shall have the returned ballots transcribed using the procedure prescribed below.

(g) The voted ballot must be transcribed in a manner that ensures that no one transcribing the ballot has access to the name of the elector who voted the ballot.

(h) No less than three election officials shall participate in the transcription process to transfer the elector's votes from a received ballot, as applicable, to the standard ballot used in the precinct.

(i) An electronically transmitted ballot identifying number shall be written on the original transcribed ballot, the envelope containing the voted ballot and the electronically transmitted ballot, and in the official transcription log.

(j) The election officials who transcribed the electronically transmitted ballot shall sign the log for each ballot they transcribe.

(k) No one participating in the electronic ballot transmission or transcription process may reveal any information about the elector's identity or the votes on the elector's ballot.

 

History: 13-13-246, MCA; IMP, 13-13-246, MCA; NEW, 2015 MAR p. 1286, Eff. 10/1/15; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 839, Eff. 5/28/22.

44.3.117   PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR ACCESSIBLE VOTING TECHNOLOGY DEVICES

(1) At a minimum, a voter interface device must meet the Election Assistance Commission's (EAC) standards for Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) version 1.0 adopted by the EAC on December 13, 2005, for accessible voting technology for electors with hearing, vision, speech, or ambulatory impairments. However, in lieu of meeting VVSG version 1.0, a voter interface device may meet VVSG versions greater than 1.0 that were adopted by the EAC on or before September 6, 2019.

(2) The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was created for the purpose of helping states implement the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).  The EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements and adopting VVSG. The VVSG are a set of specifications and requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards.  Some factors examined under these tests include basic functionality, accessibility, and security capabilities.  HAVA mandates that the EAC develop and maintain these requirements.

(3) VVSG copy of VVSG 1.0 may be found at: https://www.eac.gov/documents/2017/03/15/vvsg-10-vol-1-voluntary-voting-system-guidelines-vvsg/.  
 

History: 13-17-103, MCA; IMP, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 2019 MAR p. 1884, Eff. 10/19/19.

44.3.1001   NUMBER OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED FOR PETITIONS FOR NOMINATION IN CERTAIN INSTANCES
(REPEALED)
History: 13-1-202, MCA; IMP, 13-10-502(3), MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1692, Eff. 12/28/79; REP, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96.

44.3.1002   DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Elector" means an individual qualified and registered to vote under state law.

(2)  "Legislative district" means a representative district as provided in Article V, section 14(1) of the Montana Constitution.

(3)  "Verify" with respect to the signature of an elector means that the elector's signature on the petition, when taken as a whole, bears sufficient similarity to the signature on their voter registration and that the signatures are substantially the same. If one signature uses an elector's first, middle, and last names, the use of an initial instead of either the first or middle name, but not both, in the other shall not, by itself, result in a non-verified signature. 

 

History: 13-10-613, MCA; IMP, 13-10-601, 13-10-607, 13-10-608, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1092, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.1003   FORM AND SUBMISSION OF PETITIONS TO NOMINATE A POLITICAL PARTY'S CANDIDATES BY PRIMARY ELECTION

(1)  Any elector, regardless of party affiliation, may present a petition to qualify a political party that does not already qualify to hold a primary election under 13-10-601(1), MCA, to nominate its candidates by primary election. Presented petitions must: 

(a)  be completed in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State;

(b)  be signed by a number of electors equal to the lesser of five percent or more of the total votes cast statewide for the successful candidate for governor at the last general election or 5,000 electors;

(c) be signed by at least 150 electors in at least one-third of legislative house districts; and

(d)  have attached to each sheet of the petition a completed verification affidavit for the petition's signatures in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State; and be submitted with original signatures and their verification, as provided in (3), to the official responsible for registration of electors in the county in which the signatures were obtained no sooner than one year and no later than 123 days before the date for the next primary election.

(2)  Petitions may be submitted to the county official responsible for registration in whole or in individual sheets or portions of petitions. The petitioning elector shall notify the county official responsible for registration when the final sheet or portion of the petition has been submitted. After this notification, no elector may withdraw their signature from the petition. 

(3) The form prescribed by the Secretary of State for petitions under this subchapter shall include at the top of each page a title that identifies the petition as follows:  "Petition to Qualify the [Insert Name] Party as a Political Party Eligible to Nominate its Candidates by Primary Election in Montana." The petition shall include a separate, numbered line extending across the entire page for each elector's signature and identifying information all of which must be entered in ink. The first underlined space on each numbered line shall be labeled as and used for the signature of the elector.  The second underlined space on each line shall be labeled as and used for the date of the elector's signature. The third underlined space on each line shall be labeled as and used for the elector's present legal address or phone number. The fourth space on each line shall be labeled as and used to identify the elector's county of residence. The fifth space on each line shall be labeled as and used for the printed last name and first and middle initials of the signer.  The end of each page of the petition form shall have the affidavit of circulation required under 13-10-607, MCA, to be completed by the signature gatherer(s). 

 

History: 13-10-613, MCA; IMP, 13-10-601, 13-10-606, 13-10-607, 13-10-609, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1092, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.1004   VERIFICATION OF ELECTOR SIGNATURES BY COUNTY ELECTION OFFICIALS, TALLY REPORTING, AND RECORDS RETENTION

(1) Upon receipt of each petition sheet submitted on the petition form prescribed by the Secretary of State and containing a completed affidavit of circulation required under ARM 44.3.1003(1)(c), the county official responsible for registration of electors, or their designee, shall: 

(a) determine whether each signatory on the petition sheet is a registered voter in the county, and if so which legislative district that elector is registered;  

(b) verify the signature of each elector signing the petition by comparing each elector's petition signature with the signature of that elector as it appears in the records of the county election office; and

(c) determine the total number of verified electors in the county who have signed the petition and how many of the electors reside in each legislative district contained in whole or in part within the county.


History: 13-10-613, MCA; IMP, 13-10-608, 13-10-609, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1092, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.1005   WITHDRAWAL OF ELECTOR SIGNATURES FROM PETITIONS

(1) Any time prior to the notification of a final submission of a petition to a county's election official under ARM 44.3.1003(2), an elector may request to withdraw their signature from a petition submitted under this subchapter. 

(2) The county election administrator may withdraw an elector's signature after the identity of the requesting elector has been verified using the same manner the identities of applicants for regular voter registration are verified. 

 

History: 13-10-613, MCA; IMP, 13-10-606, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1092, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.1101   SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR STATEWIDE VOTER DATABASE LISTS AND EXTRACTS

(1) Upon written request, the secretary of state through its vendor shall furnish, for noncommercial use to private individuals or entities, a list of registered electors as compiled and maintained in its statewide voter registration system. For the statewide list or available extracts from the statewide list the charge is $1,000.00. For a legislative representative district list the charge is $100.00, for a legislative senate district list the charge is $150.00, for a county list the charge is $200.00, and for the petition signers report the charge is $200.00. For a subscription for ongoing access to the statewide voter registration system and all other available extracts or lists the charge is $5,000.00 for one year.

History: 2-15-404, MCA; IMP, 13-2-122, MCA; NEW, 1998 MAR p. 1283, Eff. 5/15/98; AMD, 2002 MAR p. 1667, Eff. 6/14/02; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.1102   STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM

(1) In addition to the procedures specified under (2) and (3) and ARM 44.3.2001, election officials authorized to use the statewide voter registration system must, as applicable, comply with the following procedures specified in the instruction manuals, user guides, and technical manuals as provided by the system vendor and the secretary of state (except in cases in which those materials conflict with state laws or rules, in which case the laws or rules shall apply):

(a) maintenance procedures, including new data entry, updates, registration transfers, and other procedures for keeping information current and accurate;

(b) proper maintenance and use of active and inactive lists;

(c) proper maintenance and use of lists for legally registered electors and provisionally registered electors and late registrants;

(d) technical security of the statewide voter registration system;

(e) information security with respect to keeping from general public distribution driver's license numbers, whole or partial social security numbers, and address information protected from general disclosure pursuant to 13-2-115 and 13-21-228, MCA, effective January 1, 2014; and

(f) quality control measures for the system and system users.

(2) Consistent with (1)(d), as soon as a county election administrator enters voter registration information into the statewide voter registration system, the system will automatically make that information available to the secretary of state.

(3) Consistent with (1)(e):

(a) the driver's license numbers, whole or partial social security numbers, and address information protected from general disclosure pursuant to 13-2-115, MCA, and 13-21-228, MCA, effective January 1, 2014, may not be provided unless required by a court order; and

(b) all identifying information about an individual protected from disclosure may not be provided, unless required by a court order.

History: 13-2-108, MCA; IMP, 13-2-108, 13-21-228, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD and TRANS, from 44.3.2016, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.1301   SUBMISSION OF VOTER INFORMATION PAMPHLET ARGUMENTS AND REBUTTALS
(1) The secretary of state is empowered under section 13-27-410 , MCA, to prescribe by rule the format and manner of submission of the arguments concerning the ballot issue.
History: Sec. 13-27-401, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-27-406, 13-27-407, MCA; NEW, 1993 MAR p. 3064, Eff. 12/24/93.

44.3.1302   DEFINITIONS
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) "VIP" refers to the Voter Information Pamphlet which contains the arguments for and against ballot issues.

(2) "Graphics" refers to anything other than letters, numbers used with sentences, grammar or punctuation marks.

(3) "Oversize type" and "undersize type" refer to any typesetting that is not consistent with the uniform size of the argument.

(4) "Columns" refers to any of the vertical sections of printed matter lying side by side on a page and separated by a rule or blank space.

History: Sec. 13-27-401, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-27-406, 13-27-407, MCA; NEW, 1993 MAR p. 3064, Eff. 12/24/93.

44.3.1303   FORMAT OF VOTER INFORMATION PAMPHLET ARGUMENTS AND REBUTTALS

(1) Format of arguments and rebuttals:

(a) The argument must be of a uniform typesetting; use of oversize or undersize type is prohibited.

(b) Use of graphics, tables, or graphs is prohibited.

(c) Use of columns is prohibited.

(d) Bold, italics, and underlined words are acceptable.

(e) Hyphenated words will be counted as one word.

(f) A number such as 303 will be counted as one word; however, three hundred and three will be counted as four words.

(g) Arguments submitted for publication in the VIP must be limited to 500 words; arguments in excess of this limit will only be printed through the 500th word. Rebuttals submitted for publication in the VIP must be limited to 250 words; rebuttals in excess of this limit will only be printed through the 250th word.

History: 13-27-401, MCA; IMP, 13-27-406, 13-27-407, MCA; NEW, 1993 MAR p. 3064, Eff. 12/24/93; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08

44.3.1401   REQUIRED MARKINGS

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-214, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-214, MCA; NEW, 1984 MAR p. 394, Eff. 3/1/84; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1403   FACSIMILE REQUESTS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS

This rule has been transferred.

History: 13-1-202, MCA; IMP, 13-13-212, MCA; NEW, 1989 MAR p. 1343, Eff. 9/15/89; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD and TRANS, to ARM 44.3.2205, MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.1501   FACSIMILE MACHINE ACCESS

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1502   HANDLING OF FACSIMILE BALLOTS

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1503   BALLOT TRANSMISSION

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1504   RECEIVING BALLOTS

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1505   BALLOT LOG

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1506   ELECTOR AFFIRMATION

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1507   BALLOT ACCEPTANCE

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1508   TRANSCRIPTION OF BALLOTS

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1509   ELECTION JUDGES AND BALLOT SECRECY

This rule has been repealed.

History: Sec. 13-13-278, MCA; IMP, Sec. 13-13-277, MCA; NEW, 1992 MAR p. 1870, Eff. 8/28/92; REP, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.1701   EXAMINATION OF VOTING MACHINES AND DEVICES

(1) The Secretary of State is empowered under 13-17-101, MCA, to approve voting machines and devices.

(2) Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Applicant" means any person, county governing body, or business entity which has applied for inspection of a voting machine or device under these rules.

(b) "Automatic tabulating equipment" means and includes apparatus necessary to automatically examine and count votes as designated on ballots and data processing machines which can be used for counting ballots and tabulating results.

(c) "Ballot" includes paper ballots.

(d) "Device" means a "voter interface device" as defined in 13-1-101, MCA.

(e) "Engineering change order" means a change to the voting system that does not affect the current federal certification, form, fit, or function of the voting system.

(f) "Examiners" means any or all persons having authority to conduct the examination under ARM 44.3.1701.

(g) "Interested party" includes all persons charged with any duty under the election laws of Montana, any manufacturer of or dealer in mechanical voting machines, voting devices or components thereof and agents of such manufacturer or dealer and any person otherwise affected by these rules.

(h) "System" means a "voter interface device" and "voting system" as defined in 13-1-101, MCA.

(i) "Voting machine" means a "voting system" as defined in 13-1-101, MCA.

(3) Such examination shall be conducted by the Office of Secretary of State, who may choose at least two Montana electors to assist with the examination.

(4) The examination shall be held on a day to be agreed upon by the applicant and the Secretary of State.

(5) The place of examination shall be in the city of Helena, county of Lewis and Clark, state of Montana, at such location as may be agreed upon by the applicant and the Secretary of State.

(6) Examination of voting machines and devices shall be made only upon application to the Secretary of State. Such application shall be in writing on the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall contain the information prescribed by the Secretary of State.

(7) No application may be submitted to the Secretary of State later than 90 days prior to the date of the election at which the machines are proposed to be used.

 

History: 13-1-202, 13-17-103, 13-17-107, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-17-101, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 1089, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.1702   CONDUCT OF EXAMINATION
(1) The following materials shall be provided by the applicant at the place agreed upon for the examination:

(a) At least one fully operative system unit or set conforming to the description of the same contained in the application.

(b) At least one copy of any brochures, pamphlets, and descriptive or sales material of any kind intended for use in promoting the same for use of such system in Montana.

(c) Samples of any training aids supplied by the applicant for the use of election officials.

(d) Where applicable sample ballots suitable for use in the system substantially in the form required by Montana law for a primary and general election in a year in which a president of the United States of America is to be elected. Such ballots for the general election sample shall also contain a ballot issue to be voted upon.

(e) Where applicable a set of programmed ballots having a known count for each office or ballot issue listed thereon, which count shall be declared before any test tabulation of said ballots is made.

(f) Copies of any other material required by law to be displayed at the polls, or useful for the instruction or information of electors at the polls.

(g) If not contained in other materials, data on the extent of use and length of use of the system being examined in other jurisdictions.

(h) Available data pertinent to ARM 44.3.1703(2) .

History: 13-17-107(1), MCA; IMP, 13-17-101, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79.

44.3.1703   CRITERIA OF CONSTRUCTION

(1) Voting machines or devices shall meet the following requirements:

(a) They shall permit and require an elector to vote in secret.

(b) They shall prevent an elector from voting for any candidate or upon any ballot issue more than once and is also prevented from voting on any office or ballot issue for which he is not entitled to vote.

(c) They shall permit an elector to secretly select the party for which he wishes to vote in a primary election and the machine or device will count only votes for the candidates of that party by the elector in the primary election.

(d) They shall permit an elector to vote a split ticket in a general election if he desires.

(e) They shall register and record every valid vote cast.

(f) They shall be constructed so that they cannot be tampered with for a fraudulent purpose.

(g) They shall also be constructed so that during the progress of the voting no individual can see or know the number of votes registered for any candidate or on any ballot issue.

(h) They shall allow write-in voting.

(i) They shall provide that the ballot may be rotated as provided in 13-13-205, MCA, without substantially impairing the efficiency or accuracy of the tabulation of such rotated ballots.

(j) The applicant shall guarantee to provide training and assistance to election officials included in each contract for purchase of a machine or device.

(k) They shall comply with all other requirements of the election laws, so far as they are applicable.

(2) Voting machines or devices shall be constructed of materials sufficiently durable to withstand normal wear and tear due to usage, storage and transportation. It is the intent of this rule that the system shall have a useful life of ten years or more without major mechanical or electronic failure due solely to normal use, storage and transportation. Applicant shall submit data pertinent to this rule, if available.

(3) Such system shall be fully guaranteed as to parts and workmanship for a period of not less than two years from date of purchase, and the manufacturer shall be prepared to provide maintenance and repair service for such system at a rate to be agreed upon by the manufacturer, dealer or agent of either and the purchasing entity.

(4) Each system or each component of any system shall remain operative and unimpaired in efficiency and accuracy in the physical and electrical environment normally found in polling places and other places used for election purposes, including places to which ballots are taken for purposes of tabulation.

(a) The system shall be so constructed as to operate in atmospheric temperatures ranging from 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

(b) The system shall be so constructed as to operate without being affected by variations in the voltage or amperage of the power supply normally found in places where it is to be used.

(c) Any system utilizing photoelectric or photosensitive components shall be so constructed that it will operate in the presence of light intensity on the order of that caused by the use of flashbulbs or other lighting, whether intermittent or continuous, used for photographic purposes.

(5) The system shall provide a mechanical or procedural means whereby an elector may cast a write-in vote for any person for any office, and whereby such elector shall be prevented from voting for another person for such office on the regular ballot.

(6) Automatic tabulating equipment shall provide a visible or audible signal to the operator thereof in the following cases.

(a) If a ballot cannot be tabulated by the system due to a physical defect in the ballot, the machine shall signal rejection of the ballot.

(b) If a ballot or part thereof has been overvoted because the elector has recorded vote intentions for a number of persons for an office in excess of the number he is entitled to vote for, the ballot tabulation program and hardware shall have the ability to so record and display a summary of the ballot overvote conditions.

(7) Where applicable no device shall be approved if the act of voting by an elector does not produce a visible effect upon the ballot by application of a visible substance to the ballot.

History: 13-17-107, MCA; IMP, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.1704   CRITERIA OF EXAMINATION
(1) The examination of a mechanical voting machine shall be conducted by the examiner or examiners to ensure that the machine meets the criteria set out in ARM 44.3.1703(1) as well as:  

(a) It shall be determined that if levers or buttons of any description are used as the method of casting a ballot that such levers or buttons will produce a positive vote regardless if they are fully depressed or not.

(b) If the system includes its own voting booth or compartment provision shall be made for a larger voting area which will accommodate a wheelchair and/or persons named to assist a handicapped elector.

(c) It shall be determined, in the judgment of the examiners whether or not the system complies with all other applicable requirements of the election laws.

(2) The examination of a voting device shall be conducted by the examiner or examiners as follows:

(a) It shall be determined that the criteria in ARM 44.3.1704 are met.

(b) By tabulation of the preprogrammed materials supplied under ARM 44.3.1702(1)(e), it shall be determined whether the tabulating apparatus will count accurately on no less than two nor more than five tabulations of the materials so supplied. Any difference in count on any tabulation of preprogrammed material shall be deemed a material cause for rejection of the system.

(c) A set of sample ballots, not less than 25 nor more than 100 in number, shall be marked or pierced at the site of the examination by a person present other than the applicant or his agent. Such set shall be tabulated no less than two nor more than five times. The failure of any subsequent tabulation to agree completely with the initial tabulation shall be deemed a material cause for rejection of the system.

(d) At least two of the ballots marked or pierced under ARM 44.3.1703(1)(b) shall contain a vote for one office in excess of the number of votes which an elector would be entitled to cast for such office. Failure of the machine to reject such ballot shall be deemed a material cause for rejection of the system.

(e) The manufacturer or his agent shall demonstrate the extent to which bending, folding or otherwise abusing a ballot or ballot card is possible without causing said ballot or ballot card to be unusable in the tabulating equipment. If more than one per cent of the ballots marked or pierced at the site of the examination shall be rejected by the tabulating equipment for such cause, such rejection shall be deemed a material cause for rejection of the system.

(f) If the system being examined uses a paper ballot which is to be marked with ink or other visible substance, the manufacturer or his agent shall demonstrate the extent to which a mark may fail to cover the voting space, or fail to be in ideal position before the vote shall fail to be counted by the tabulating equipment.

(g) Failure of the tabulating equipment to count a vote cast because of the condition of the mark made thereon shall be deemed a material cause for rejection of the system, if, in the opinion of the examiners, such mark would have been counted for the person voted for if the ballots were manually tabulated.

(h) Engineering change orders considered to be de minimis changes to voting systems shall be reviewed and approved by the Secretary of State upon written application.

History: 13-17-103, 13-17-107, MCA; IMP, 13-17-101, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.1705   COSTS OF EXAMINATION

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(1), MCA; IMP, 13-17-102, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; REP, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96.

44.3.1706   NOTIFICATION TO APPLICANT

(1) Within 30 days after completion of such examination, the Secretary of State or the deputy or deputies shall prepare and file in the office a report of the findings with respect to the system examined.

(2) A copy of such report shall be forwarded to the applicant at the address shown in the application for such examination.

(3) If the report approves the system, the Secretary of State shall mail a copy of said report to each election administrator of the state of Montana.

History: 13-17-107, MCA; IMP, 13-17-101, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.1707   APPEAL FROM DISAPPROVAL

(1) If upon examination any system shall have been disapproved by the Secretary of State under these rules, the applicant may appeal by requesting reconsideration of the system so disapproved, under the following conditions:

(a) Such request for reconsideration shall be made within 60 days after applicant has been notified of the disapproval of the system presented for examination.

(b) Such request shall be in writing.

(c) Such request shall be limited to the grounds of disapproval as stated in the notification of the Secretary of State. The discovery or further explanation of advantages of the system not pertinent to the grounds upon which the system was disapproved shall not constitute an adequate cause for reconsideration.

(2) If the Secretary of State approves such request for reconsideration, he shall notify the applicant therefore in writing, and shall state the time and place fixed for reexamination of the system, if, in his opinion, reexamination is required. If reexamination is not required, he shall so state, and the matter of reconsideration may be consummated by mail, or by a hearing to be held at such time and place as the Secretary of State may fix. If a hearing is held, the Secretary of State shall make a full report of the same, shall file the same in his office and transmit a copy thereof to the applicant at the address stated in his application for reconsideration.

(3) If such reexamination, correspondence or hearing results in the approval of a system, the Secretary of State shall proceed to give notice of such approval in the manner provided in ARM 44.3.1706.

History: 13-17-107, MCA; IMP, 13-17-101, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.1708   WAIVER OF CONDITIONS
(1) The Secretary of State may vary the time and place of examination fixed by ARM 44.3.1701(4) and (5) and may waive any informality in the form of application or procedure followed in examination, if, in his opinion, such informality does not substantially affect the validity of his conclusions with respect to the system examined.
History: 13-17-107(1), MCA; IMP, 13-17-101, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96.

44.3.1709   EXPERIMENTAL USE OF VOTING MACHINES OR DEVICES

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(1), MCA; IMP, 13-17-105, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; REP, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96.

44.3.1710   EXTENSION OF PREVIOUS APPROVAL OF VOTING MACHINES OR DEVICES

(1) Any system having been approved under rules previously promulgated by the Secretary of State under prior citations of law shall continue to have approval under the application of these rules without reexamination. However, any contracts for purchase drawn after December 28, 1979, must contain the guarantees as provided in ARM 44.3.1703(3).

History: 13-17-107, MCA; IMP, 13-17-101, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1693, Eff. 12/28/79; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.1711   BENCHMARK PERFORMANCE STANDARD FOR VOTING SYSTEMS PRIOR TO CERTIFICATION
(1) The benchmark performance standard for voting systems approved under 13-17-101 , MCA, is based on commonly accepted industry standards for readily available technologies. These standards shall at the time of certification conform to all applicable federal requirements, as well as state requirements listed in the Montana Code Annotated and Administrative Rules of Montana.
History: 13-17-103, MCA; IMP, 13-17-103, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1712   PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATION OF VOTING SYSTEMS PRIOR TO ELECTION

(1) No more than 30 days prior to an election in which a voting system is used, the election administrator shall publicly test and certify that the system is performing properly.

(2) The Secretary of State shall ensure that at least 10% of all voting systems in the state, including each model of each type of voting system, have been randomly tested and certified at least once every calendar year. This rule shall be implemented through review by the Secretary of State of its prescribed voting system testing and certification forms completed by the county.

History: 13-17-211, MCA; IMP, 13-17-212, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08.

44.3.1713   UNIFORM PROCEDURES FOR USING VOTING SYSTEMS

(1) For each voting system approved under 13-17-101, MCA, the system must comply, as applicable, with the following procedures specified in the instruction manuals, user guides, and technical manuals provided by the manufacturer and distributor of the system, as well as the election judge handbook provided by the office of the secretary of state (except in cases in which those materials conflict with state laws or rules, in which case the laws or rules shall apply):

(a) performance certification under 13-17-212, MCA;

(b) how electors ensure the proper disposition of a ballot pursuant to 13-13-117(2), MCA;

(c) the procedures to be followed if the comparison under 13-15-206(2)(b), MCA, reveals discrepancies;

(d) how to operate and test the system during counts or recounts;

(e) the security measures necessary to secure the voting system before, during, and after an election, including security following a recount under 13-16-417, MCA; and

(f) testing and certification of voting systems pursuant to 13-17-212, MCA.

(i) Except when (ii) is applicable, a random test must be conducted by a county election administrator or designee of 10% of each type of voting system, a minimum of one per county, on election day, to validate the accuracy of voted paper ballots with the voting system results.

(ii) County election administrators choosing to start automatic tabulation the day before the election pursuant to 13-13-241(7), MCA, must test all used central count vote tabulation machines the day before the election, before counting begins.


History: 13-17-211, 13-17-212, MCA; IMP, 13-17-211, 13-17-212, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 167, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.1714   HANDLING VOTING MACHINE ERROR DURING COUNT

(1) During a count of paper ballots in which votes are being automatically tabulated by a voting machine, if the election administrator or counting board has reason to believe that the voting machine is not operating correctly, the count must be halted and the machine must be tested, as applicable, in accordance with the procedures specified in the instruction manuals, user guides, and technical manuals provided by the manufacturer of the voting system, as well as the election judge handbook provided by the office of the secretary of state, except in cases in which those materials conflict with state laws or rules, in which case the laws or rules shall apply.

(2) If the test does not show any errors, the count must proceed using the voting machine.

(3) If the test shows errors and the errors cannot be corrected or if a majority of the counting board agrees that the machine may not be functioning correctly:

(a) if no other tested voting machine is available, votes cast on paper ballots must be counted manually in accordance with 13-15-206, MCA; and

(b) the vote-counting machine involved in the discrepancy in that county may not be used in another election until it has been examined and tested by a computer software expert in consultation with a voting machine vendor and approved by the secretary of state.

History: 13-15-206, 13-17-211, MCA; IMP, 13-15-209, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.1715   METHOD OF CORRECTION OF BALLOT

This rule has been transferred.

History: 13-12-204, MCA; IMP, 13-12-204, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; TRANS, to 44.3.2407, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.1716   REJECTED BALLOTS

This rule has been transferred.

History: 13-15-108, MCA; IMP, 13-15-108, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD and TRANS, to 44.3.2206, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.1717   SEALING BALLOTS AND VOTING SYSTEMS

(1) When a recount of paper ballots that was conducted using a voting system has been finished, ballots must again be sealed in the same package or envelope (unless the package or envelope is unusable), in the presence of the election administrator and the county recount board and must be delivered to the election administrator for custody.

(2) All voting systems must be secured as provided in accordance with the procedures specified in the instruction manuals, user guides, and technical manuals provided by the manufacturer of the voting system, as well as the election judge handbook and testing and security procedures provided by the office of the Secretary of State, except in cases in which those materials conflict with state laws or rules, in which case the laws or rules shall apply. All such procedures must ensure to the greatest degree possible the security of the voting systems from intentional and unintentional misuse.

(3) All other materials used in the recount that are required to be sealed must be resealed in the same manner and delivered to the election administrator for custody.

History: 13-1-202, 13-17-211, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-16-417, 13-17-211, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.1718   DEFINITIONS
(1) "Blind count" means that the members of the county audit board do not know the vote totals in the precinct(s) being audited prior to conducting the postelection audit.

(2) "Board" is defined as the state board of canvassers consisting of the attorney general, the state auditor, and the superintendent of public instruction.

History: 13-17-503, MCA; IMP, 13-17-503, MCA; NEW, 2010 MAR p. 918, Eff. 4/16/10.

44.3.1719   SELECTION PROCESS FOR RANDOM-SAMPLE AUDIT

(1) Within seven to nine days after a federal election, the Secretary of State shall call a public meeting of the board to randomly select the races, ballot issues, and precincts to be audited pursuant to the Postelection Audit Act. Such public meeting will be posted no later than five days prior to the meeting date on the Secretary of State's web site.

(2) A county exempt from the postelection audit requirements because it does not use a vote-counting machine or has a race that is within the margins of a recount pursuant to Title 13, chapter 16, part 2, MCA, shall notify the Secretary of State of its exemption no later than seven days after the election by submitting a notice for exemption on the form approved by the Secretary of State.

(3) Pursuant to 13-17-503, MCA, at least 5% of the precincts in each county, or a minimum of one precinct in a county, shall be audited, whichever is greater. The board shall utilize current official precinct information provided by the counties to the Secretary of State to determine the number of precincts to be audited per county. Three additional precincts in each county will be selected pursuant to 13-17-505, MCA, in case a discrepancy in vote tallies occurs that necessitates further auditing.

(4) To select the specific races and precincts to be audited, the board shall use ten-sided dice with numerals from 0 to 9 as the method of random selection. One, two, or three dice shall be used as specified below. The dice shall be red, white, and blue in color where red is the first number, white is the second number, and blue is the third number, if necessary.

(a) The precincts shall be numbered with consecutive numbers from 00 up to the actual number of precincts for counties having from 11 to 100 precincts, i.e., precinct 1 is numbered 01, precinct 2 is numbered 02 and so on until all the precincts in a county have been numbered. Precinct 100 will be numbered 00. For counties with 101 or more precincts, the precincts shall be numbered with consecutive numbers from 101 up to the actual number of precincts.

(b) One or two ten-sided dice shall be used to select one statewide office race, if any, one federal office race, one legislative office race, and one statewide ballot issue, if any, by assigning a number to each district or race based on its order of placement on the ballot.

(c) One ten-sided die shall be used to select the precinct to be audited for counties consisting of ten or less precincts, with 0 representing precinct 10.

(d) Two ten-sided dice shall be utilized to select the precinct or precincts to be audited for those counties consisting of 11 to 100 precincts.

(e) Three ten-sided dice shall be utilized to select the precincts to be audited for any counties consisting of more than 100 precincts.

(f) The board may decide to assign a number range of equal intervals to each precinct to reduce the number of dice throws needed, e.g., 0 – 2 = precinct 1, 3 – 5 = precinct 2, 6 – 8 = precinct 3, etc.

(5) The board shall determine the order in which board members will throw the dice. Board members will rotate dice throwing after each 30-minute interval. A ribbed tumbler and dice tray shall be utilized to accomplish the dice throw. The Secretary of State shall record the results on the prescribed form.

(6) Once the races and the precincts to be audited have been selected, the Secretary of State shall notify each county election administrator of the race and precinct selections and post the selections on the Secretary of State's web site.

(7) The Secretary of State in collaboration with the counties will provide guidance to the counties as to the method the counties will use to ensure all individual precinct ballots, including but not limited to each precinct's absentee ballots, are accounted for in a manner that will correlate to a specific vote-counting machine. The method will ensure that the postelection audit is a blind count.

History: 13-17-503, MCA; IMP, 13-17-503, 13-17-504, 13-17-505, 13-17-506, 13-17-507, MCA; NEW, 2010 MAR p. 1548, Eff. 4/16/10.

44.3.1720   REPORTING PROCESS FOR RANDOM-SAMPLE AUDIT

(1) Once the county audit committee has performed the random-sample audit pursuant to the procedures specified in 13-17-503 and 13-17-504, MCA, the county election administrator shall notify the secretary of state of the results by submitting the information on a form approved by the secretary of state.

(2) The secretary of state shall post the results of the state board of canvassers' random-sample audit selections on its web site.

History: 13-1-202, 13-17-503, MCA; IMP, 13-17-505, 13-17-506, 13-17-507, MCA; NEW, 2010 MAR p. 918, Eff. 4/16/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.1730   USE OF VOTING MACHINES AND DEVICES

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-101, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 1996 MAR p. 3221, Eff. 12/20/96.

44.3.1731   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF IES (SHOUP) VOTING MACHINES - BEFORE THE POLLS OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-12-201 through 13-12-208, 13-13-115, 13-17-206, MCA; NEW, 1979 MAR p. 1520, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1732   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF IES (SHOUP) VOTING MACHINES - WHILE THE POLLS ARE OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-10-209, 13-13-114, 13-13-115, 13-17-305, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1733   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF IES (SHOUP) VOTING MACHINES - AFTER THE POLLS CLOSE

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-13-115, 13-13-117, 13-13-241, 13-13-242, 13-15-101, 13-15-201, 13-15-202, 13-15-204, 13-15-205, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1734   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF AVM (AUTOMATIC VOTING MACHINES) - BEFORE THE POLLS OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-12-201 through 13-12-208, 13-13-115, 13-17-206, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1735   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF AVM VOTING MACHINES - WHILE THE POLLS ARE OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-12-209, 13-13-114, 13-13-115, 13-17-305, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1736   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF AVM VOTING MACHINES - AFTER THE POLLS CLOSE

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-13-115, 13-13-117, 13-13-241, 13-13-242, 13-15-101, 13-15-201, 13-15-202, 13-15-204, 13-15-205, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1737   DEFINITIONS - COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS VOTOMATIC (CES)

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1737A   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS VOTOMATIC - (CES) PRIMARY ELECTION

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-206, MCA; IMP, 13-17-206, MCA; NEW, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1738   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS VOTOMATIC - (CES) - BEFORE THE POLLS OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-12-201 through 13-12-208, 13-13-115, 13-17-206, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1739   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS VOTOMATIC - (CES) - WHILE THE POLLS ARE OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-12-209, 13-13-114, 13-13-115, 13-15-103, 13-17-305, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1740   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS VOTOMATIC - (CES) - AFTER THE POLLS CLOSE

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-13-115, 13-15-101, 13-15-201, 13-15-202, 13-15-204, 13-15-205, 13-17-117, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1741   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER FOR TABULATION OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS - VOTOMATIC (CES) BALLOTS

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1742   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND BOARD DUTIES - OBSERVATION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1743   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - RECEIVING BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1744   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - INSPECTION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-13-117, 13-15-203, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1745   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - DUPLICATION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1746   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - WRITE-IN TALLY BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-13-117, 13-15-202, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1747   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - BALLOT TABULATION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-1-303, 13-15-202, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1748   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - BALLOT SEALING BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-1-303, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1749   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - ELECTION RESULTS BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-15-101, 13-17-107, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1750   CENTRAL COUNTING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - CLOSING OF COUNTING CENTER

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-1-303, 13-17-101, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 434, Eff. 2/1/80; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1703, Eff. 10/17/86; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1760   DEFINITIONS - AMERICAN INFORMATION SYSTEMS (AIS-315)

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1761   BALLOT PREPARATIONS - AMERICAN INFORMATION SYSTEMS (AIS-315)

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1568, Eff. 10/18/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1762   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF AMERICAN INFORMATION SYSTEMS (AIS-315) - CENTRAL TABULATING SYSTEM - BEFORE THE POLLS OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1763   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF AMERICAN INFORMATION SYSTEMS (AIS-315) - CENTRAL TABULATING SYSTEM - WHILE THE POLLS ARE OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1764   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF AMERICAN INFORMATION SYSTEMS (AIS-315) - CENTRAL TABULATING SYSTEM - AFTER THE POLLS CLOSE

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1765   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1766   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND BOARD DUTIES - OBSERVATION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1767   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - RECEIVING BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1768   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURE AND DUTIES - STAGING BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1769   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - BALLOT TABULATION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1770   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - DUPLICATION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1771   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - RESOLUTION BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1772   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - WRITE-IN TALLY BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1773   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - BALLOT SEALING BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1774   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - ELECTION RESULTS BOARD

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1775   CENTRAL TABULATING CENTER PROCEDURES AND DUTIES - CLOSING OF TABULATING CENTER

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1249, Eff. 8/30/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1781   USE AND SCOPE - COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEM OPTECH I

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 2040, Eff. 12/27/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1782   DEFINITIONS - COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS OPTECH I

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 2040, Eff. 12/27/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1783   BALLOT PREPARATION - COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS - OPTECH I

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 2040, Eff. 12/27/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1784   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS OPTECH I - ACCURACY TESTING AND CERTIFICATION

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 2040, Eff. 12/27/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1785   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS OPTECH I - BEFORE THE POLLS OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 2040, Eff. 12/27/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1786   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS OPTECH I - WHILE THE POLLS ARE OPEN

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 2040, Eff. 12/27/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.1787   PROCEDURES FOR USE OF COMPUTER ELECTION SYSTEMS OPTECH I - AFTER THE POLLS CLOSE

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-17-107(2), MCA; IMP, 13-17-107(2), MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 2040, Eff. 12/27/85; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.2001   VOTER REGISTRATION VERIFICATION
(1) Consistent with 13-2-109 , 13-2-110 , 13-2-205 , 13-2-207 , and 13-2-304 , MCA, the rules in this subchapter shall be used to determine whether information provided is sufficient to be accepted and processed, for verifying accuracy, establishing procedures for provisional and legal registration and effect on ID requirements, and notifying electors of their status.
History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-109, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.2002   DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Current address" means residence address or mailing address. For the purposes of this subchapter, an address is presumed to be current unless proved otherwise.

(2) "Election official" means an election administrator, election deputy, or election judge.

(3) "Election worker" means an individual designated to perform election support duties.

(4) "Elector" means an individual qualified to vote under state law.

(5) "Identification" for the purposes of registration means the following:

(a) a Montana driver's license number, Montana state identification card number issued pursuant to 61-12-501, MCA, or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number;

(b)  if unable to provide the items in (5)(a), the following alternative forms of identification:

(i)  military identification card, tribal photo identification card, United States passport, or Montana concealed carry permit; or

(ii) a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows the individual's name and current address and photo identification that shows the individual's name.  The photo identification may include a school district photo identification, postsecondary education photo identification, or any other identification that includes the name and photo of the individual.

(6) "Legally registered elector" means an elector who was properly registered prior to January 1, 2003, or one who registered on or after that date whose application for voter registration was accepted, processed, and verified as provided by law.

 

History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-110, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2003   APPLICATION FOR VOTER REGISTRATION
(1) Applicants for voter registration may apply by the procedures specified in 13-2-110 and 13-2-304 , MCA:

(a) in person;

(b) by mail; or

(c) as may otherwise be provided by law.

History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-110, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.2004   VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATION

(1) Election administrators shall use the voter registration application substantially in the most updated form prescribed by the secretary of state.

(2) Only registration applications substantially in the form prescribed by the secretary of state after June 1, 2003, shall be used by election administrators.

(3) Election administrators may print registration applications for their county use as long as the applications are substantially in the most updated form prescribed by the secretary of state.

(4) If an applicant submits an outdated registration application that does not contain all of the required information, the election administrator may obtain that information and process the registration according to ARM 44.3.2005.

History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-110, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2005   VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATION INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS

(1) An applicant for voter registration must provide all required information on the voter registration application, and county election officials shall enter the information from each completed voter registration application into the statewide voter registration system as provided in this chapter. 

(2) An election official processing and entering the information from an application for voter registration into the statewide voter registration system shall:

(a)  enter the Montana driver's license number, Montana state identification card number, or the last four digits of the social security number when provided by the applicant on the voter registration application into the voter registration system maintained by the election administrator in a field provided for the number; or

(b)  if the applicant was unable to provide one of the numbers in (2)(a), select the description of the form of identification required in ARM 44.3.2002, provided by the applicant on the voter registration application, in the voter registration system maintained by the election administrator; and

(c) with respect to confidential or private numbers or information protected from disclosure under ARM 44.3.1102(1)(e) and (3), ensure the numbers or information provided pursuant to (2)(a) and (b) remain accessible only by county or state election officials in the discharge of their official duties and, when applicable, by the authorized staff of the Office of the Secretary of State.

(3) An election official shall utilize the applicant's Montana driver's license number, Montana state identification card number, or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number when provided in the voter registration application as a unique identifier in addition to the voter registration number assigned to the elector.

(4)  An applicant for voter registration who does not complete all required fields on the application or does not provide identification, as defined in ARM 44.3.2002, shall be registered as a provisionally registered elector.

(a)  If a provisionally registered elector's incomplete application does not contain the current residential address or other geographic information from which the location of the provisionally registered elector's residence can be easily identified, the applicant shall be entered as "pending – incomplete" in the statewide voter registration system until the required information is provided.

(b)  If a provisionally registered elector's incomplete application does contain the provisionally registered elector's current residential address, or it can be easily ascertained from the information provided on the incomplete application, an election official shall use best efforts to contact the provisionally registered elector and request the information or documentation missing from the voter registration application.

(c)  Upon receipt and verification as required under ARM 44.3.2011 of the information or documentation missing from a provisionally registered elector's voter registration application, the election administrator shall complete the registration as provided in this subchapter and shall change the elector's status to active.

 

History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-110, 13-2-208, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2010   APPLICANTS INELIGIBLE DUE TO AGE OR RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

(1) An applicant for voter registration who is ineligible to register because of residence or age requirements, but who will be eligible on or before election day, may apply for voter registration pursuant to 13-2-110, MCA.

(2) For any applicants who are ineligible to register because of age requirements, an election official shall register them with a vote-eligible date that matches the individual's 18th birthday.

(3) For any applicants who are ineligible to register because of residency requirements, an election official shall register them with a vote-eligible date that matches the date the applicant will meet residency requirements.

(4) Upon satisfying the voter registration qualifications in 13-1-111, MCA, a registered elector may obtain and cast a ballot pursuant to 13-2-205, MCA.

 

History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-110, 13-2-205, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2021 MAR p. 1685, Eff. 11/20/21.

44.3.2011   PROVISIONAL REGISTRATION PENDING VERIFICATION

(1) All applicants for voter registration who apply under this subchapter shall be registered provisionally pending verification by an election administrator or their designee of the applicant's Montana driver's license number, Montana state identification card number, or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number. If the applicant is unable to provide a Montana driver's license number, Montana state identification card number, or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number, the applicant shall provide a form of identification required under 13-2-110, MCA, and shall be registered provisionally until the identification information provided by the applicant is verified by an election administrator. 

(2) Identification information is verified for registration if it is a Montana driver's license number, a Montana state identification card number, or the last four digits of a social security number validated through the statewide voter registration system.  Other forms of identification allowed for voter registration in ARM 44.3.2002 are verified if an election administrator determines that the identification information identifies the applicant, satisfies the requirements of ARM 44.3.2002, and appears to be genuine and authentic.

(3)  If an election administrator or their designee cannot verify the identification information submitted by an applicant, the election administrator shall notify the applicant as provided by ARM 44.3.2013(2). 

 

History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-110, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2012   VERIFICATION OF VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION

(1) If the information provided by an applicant for voter registration in ARM 44.3.2011 is verified and the applicant meets all other legal requirements for registration, an election official shall register the applicant as a legally registered elector.

(2) Throughout the election process, an election administrator shall, as necessary, work in conjunction with the office of the Secretary of State, the Department of Justice's Motor Vehicle Division, the Social Security Administration and any additional agencies to ensure the verification of the accuracy of the information provided in ARM 44.3.2011.

History: 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-2-110, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2013   NOTICE TO APPLICANT OF STATUS OF APPLICATION FOR VOTER REGISTRATION

(1) An election official shall confirm an elector's registration by a confirmation notice required under 13-2-207, MCA, which is substantially in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State.

(2) An election official shall provide notice by the most expedient method available to an applicant for voter registration whose voter registration is not confirmed.

History: 13-1-202, 13-2-109, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-2-110, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2014   MAINTENANCE OF ACTIVE AND INACTIVE VOTER REGISTRATION LISTS FOR ELECTIONS

(1) Election administrators shall follow the procedures in 13-2-220, MCA every year. 

(2) An election administrator performing the procedures outlined in 13-2-220(1)(a), MCA, in the month of January also satisfies the requirements of 13-13-212(4)(b), MCA.

 

History: 13-2-108, MCA; IMP, 13-2-220, 13-13-212, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 83, Eff. 1/15/22.

44.3.2015   LATE REGISTRATION PROCEDURES

(1) In addition to and consistent with the procedures specified in the Montana Code Annotated, and due to administrative necessity, the following shall apply to late registration: 

(a) Any prospective elector may register or change the existing elector's voter information after the close of regular registration and be eligible to vote in the election if the election administrator in the county where the elector resides receives and verifies the elector's voter registration information prior to noon the day before the election.

(b)  After the close of late registration, an elector may:

(i)  update their residence to a different county within Montana but may only vote in their previous county of residence pursuant to 13-2-514, MCA.

(ii)  update their residence to a different precinct within the county and may vote a ballot from the former precinct or new precinct. The elector may obtain the former precinct ballot at their former precinct or either ballot at a central location designated by the county election administrator.

(iii)  change their name and may vote under the elector's former name unless the registration was cancelled.

(iv)  reactivate their registration pursuant to 13-2-222, MCA, but may only vote on election day at the county election administrator's office or a central location designated by the county election administrator.

(2) Except as provided in (3)(a), an elector who registers or changes the elector's voter information pursuant to this rule may vote in the election only if the elector obtains the ballot from and returns it to the location designated by the county election administrator. For the purposes of this rule, returning the ballots to the location designated by the county election administrator includes:

(a)  immediately after registering under the procedures of this rule, receiving and casting an absentee ballot at the location designated by the county election administrator; and

(b) at any time after registering under the procedures of this rule, receiving in person from the election administrator and returning an absentee ballot directly to the location designated by the county election administrator, either in person or by mail, subject to applicable deadlines.

(3) An elector who changes residence to a different county within Montana 30 days or less before an election may:

(a)  vote in person or by absentee ballot in the precinct and county where previously registered; or

(b)  update the elector's registration information and vote in the elector's new county of residence, subject to the late registration provisions of 13-2-301 or 13-2-304, MCA. 

(4) If a late transfer registration applicant who is registered in another county appears in the county election office in order to transfer the applicant's registration, an election official shall, if the county from which the applicant is transferring registration has already printed precinct registers, but not yet printed supplemental registers:

(a) subject to 13-2-304(2), MCA, move the voter's registration from the current county into the new county of registration; and

(b) issue the applicant a regular ballot.

(5) If a late transfer registration applicant who is registered in another county appears in the county election office in order to transfer the applicant's registration, an election official shall, if the county from which the applicant is transferring registration has already printed supplemental registers:

(a) subject to 13-2-304(2), MCA, move the voter's registration from the current county into the new county of registration;

(b) issue the applicant a provisional ballot; and

(c) after the election, contact the county from which the applicant is transferring the applicant's registration in order to determine whether the applicant voted in the other county, and follow all other applicable requirements specified in laws and rules for provisional electors.

 

History: 13-2-108, MCA; IMP, 13-2-304, 13-2-512, 13-2-514, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2016   STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM

This rule has been transferred.

History: 13-2-108, MCA; IMP, 13-2-108, 13-21-228, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD and TRANS, to 44.3.1102, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2101   VOTER IDENTIFICATION AND PROVISIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES AT THE POLLING PLACE - GENERAL
(1) An election administrator shall follow 13-13-114 , 13-13-301 , 13-13-601 , 13-15-107 , MCA, and these rules in regard to voter identification and provisional voting at the polling place.
History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-603, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.2102   DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Current address" means residence address or mailing address. For the purposes of this subchapter, an address is presumed to be current unless proved otherwise.

(2) "Election official" means an election administrator, election deputy, or election judge.

(3) "Election worker" means an individual designated to perform election support duties.

(4) "Elector" means an individual qualified to vote under state law.

(5) "Identification" for the purposes of voting at the polling place, means the following:

(a) Montana driver's license, Montana state identification card issued pursuant to 61-12-501, MCA, military identification card, tribal photo identification card, United States passport, or Montana concealed carry permit; or

(b) a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows the elector's name and current address; and

(c) photo identification that shows the elector's name, including but not limited to a school district or postsecondary education photo identification.

(6) "Legally registered elector" means an elector who was properly registered prior to January 1, 2003, or one who registered on or after that date whose application for voter registration was accepted, processed, and verified as provided by law.

(7) "Polling place elector identification form" means a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and printed by the election administrator that:

(a) requires an elector to provide the elector's current Montana residential address, current mailing address, date of birth, signature, and date;

(b) requires an elector to provide the elector's Montana driver's license number, Montana state identification card number, or the last four digits of the elector's social security number; and

(c) is permitted to be used by an elector at the polling place as a government document, if the number provided under (7)(b) is validated through the statewide voter registration system by an election official and the elector's information is consistent with the information provided pursuant to (7)(a).

(8) "Polling place greeter" means an election official or election worker who assists electors with voting procedures as they enter the polling place.

(9) "Polling place manager" means an election official who is responsible for polling place procedures. 

(10)  "Reasonable impediment declaration form" means the form allowed by 13-15-107(4), MCA, and prescribed by the Secretary of State.  

 

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-114, 13-13-601, 13-15-107, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2103   PRINTING OF IDENTIFICATION AND PROVISIONAL VOTING MATERIALS

(1) Election administrators shall provide materials for identification and provisional voting in sufficient numbers for each election. These materials shall include at least the following, in forms prescribed by the secretary of state:

(a) provisional ballot instructions;

(b) provisional ballot outer envelopes;

(c) provisional ballot secrecy envelopes (colored and/or hole-punched for ease of identification);

(d) verified and unverified provisional ballot labels;

(e) displays of instructions for electors under 13-13-112, MCA;

(f) polling place elector identification forms as defined in ARM 44.3.2102; and

(g) at the option of the election administrator, postings for inside or outside of the polling place.

(2) Election officials shall use regular ballots for provisional voting.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-112, 13-13-603, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/30/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2104   ARRANGEMENTS FOR IDENTIFICATION AND PROVISIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES - BEFORE THE ELECTION
(1) Election administrators shall arrange for a secure location for ballots cast provisionally, in the same or similar location as for voted regular ballots.

(2) Election administrators may at their option arrange for:

(a) polling place greeters who will inform electors of voting procedures;

(b) polling place managers to ensure ease of identification and provisional voting processes; and

(c) delivery and setup of educational materials to polling places for education of electors on voting procedures.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-603, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.2109   PROCEDURES FOR CHALLENGES

(1) An elector's right to vote may be challenged at any time by any registered elector. The challenger must fill out and sign an affidavit stating the grounds of the challenge and providing any evidence supporting the challenge to the election administrator or, on election day, to an election judge.

(2) A challenge may be made on the grounds that the elector:

(a) is of unsound mind, as determined by a court;

(b) has voted before in that election;

(c) has been convicted of a felony and is serving a sentence in a penal institution;

(d) is not registered as required by law;

(e) is not 18 years of age or older;

(f) has not been, for at least 30 days, a resident of the county in which the elector is offering to vote, unless the elector is exempt under 13-2-514, MCA, and has been a resident of the state for at least 30 days; or

(g) is a provisionally registered elector whose status has not been changed to a legally registered voter.

(3) When a challenge has been made under this rule:

(a) prior to the close of registration under 13-2-301, MCA, the election administrator shall question the challenger and the challenged elector and may question other persons to determine whether the challenge is sufficient or insufficient to cancel the elector's registration under 13-2-402, MCA; or

(b) after the close of regular registration or on election day, the election administrator or, on election day, the election judge shall allow the challenged elector to cast a provisional paper ballot, which must be handled as provided in 13-15-107, MCA.

(4) In response to a challenge, the challenged elector may fill out and sign an affidavit to refute the challenge and swear that the elector is eligible to vote.

(a) If the challenge was not made in the presence of the elector being challenged, the election administrator or election judge shall notify the challenged elector of who made the challenge and the grounds of the challenge and explain what information the elector may provide to respond to the challenge. The notification must be made pursuant to 13-13-301(4)(b), MCA.

(b) The election administrator or, on election day, the election judge shall also provide to the challenged elector a copy of the challenger's affidavit and any supporting evidence provided.

(5) The Secretary of State shall provide standardized affidavit forms for challengers and challenged electors.

(6) Any challenge made under this rule shall be decided in favor of the challenged elector, unless it is demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenged elector should not be permitted to vote.

History: 13-13-301, MCA; IMP, 13-13-301, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1417, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2109   PROCEDURES FOR CHALLENGES

(1) An elector's right to vote may be challenged at any time by any registered elector. The challenger must fill out and sign an affidavit stating the grounds of the challenge and providing any evidence supporting the challenge to the election administrator or, on election day, to an election judge.

(2) Any challenge made under this rule shall be decided in favor of the challenged elector, unless it is demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenged elector should not be permitted to vote.

History: 13-13-301, MCA; IMP, 13-13-301, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1417, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11.

44.3.2110   PROCEDURES AT THE POLLING PLACE FOR DETERMINING THE SUFFICIENCY OF IDENTIFICATION - PRIOR TO CASTING A BALLOT

(1) Consistent with 13-13-114, MCA, before an elector is permitted to receive a ballot or vote, the elector shall present to an election judge one of the forms of required identification defined in ARM 44.3.2102.

(2) An election official shall allow an elector whose name appears on the precinct register, but who does not provide a required form of identification, to do the following:

(a) return to the polling place with a required form of identification; or

(b) cast a provisional ballot.

(3) An elector who is otherwise eligible to vote and who provides a form of identification shall be permitted to vote as follows:

(a) if the information on the form of identification provided is determined to be sufficient by an election official while the elector is at the polling place, the elector shall be provided a regular ballot to vote;

(b) if the information on the form of identification provided is determined to be insufficient by an election official while the elector is at the polling place, the elector shall be provided a provisional ballot to vote; and

(c) consistent with 13-13-114, MCA, if the identification provided differs from information in the precinct register, but an election judge determines that the information provided is sufficient to verify the voter's identity to vote pursuant to 13-2-512, MCA, the elector may sign the precinct register, complete a new registration form to update or correct the elector's voter registration information, and vote. An election judge shall write "registration form" in the register beside the name of any elector submitting a form.

(4) Consistent with 13-13-114 and 13-1-116, MCA, if the elector is not able to sign the elector's name to the precinct register, a fingerprint or other identifying mark may be used, or the elector may have an election administrator or election judge, or another person who has been designated by the elector as the elector's agent, provide a signature or identifying mark. If the elector fails or refuses to sign the elector's name or, if unable to write, fails to provide a fingerprint or other identifying mark, the elector may cast a provisional ballot as provided in 13-13-601, MCA, and these rules.

 

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-1-116, 13-13-114, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2111   PROCEDURES AT THE POLLING PLACE FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE - PRIOR TO CASTING A BALLOT

(1) An individual who provides sufficient identification specified in ARM 44.3.2102, but whose name does not appear on the precinct register, shall be permitted to:

(a) provide information to an election official at the polling place to verify the individual's registration, subject to the following:

(i) an individual whose name is erroneously omitted from a precinct register or other election register may secure from the election administrator or designee a certificate of the error, stating the precinct in which the individual is entitled to vote, and present the certificate, which will entitle the individual to vote a regular ballot, to an election judge;

(ii) the certificate shall be marked "voted" by the election judges and returned by them with the precinct register. The individual shall sign the back of the precinct register or in a location specified by the county election administrator;

(iii) if the individual is for any reason unable to secure a certificate of error from the election administrator, the individual may vote by signing an oath that the individual's name was erroneously omitted, if the chief election judge of the precinct confirms such omission by contacting the election administrator or designee. The oath shall be marked "voted" by the election judges and returned by them with the precinct register. The individual shall sign the back of the precinct register or in a location specified by the county election administrator; or

(b) if the election official is unable to verify the individual's eligibility while the individual is at the polling place, sign the precinct register and cast a provisional ballot.

(2) Consistent with 13-13-114, MCA, if the information provided by the elector differs from information in the precinct register, but an election judge determines that the information provided is sufficient to verify the voter's eligibility to vote pursuant to 13-2-512, MCA, the elector may sign the precinct register, complete a new registration form to update or correct the elector's voter registration information, and vote. An election judge shall write "registration form" beside the name of any elector submitting a form.

(3) Consistent with 13-13-114 and 13-1-116, MCA, if the elector is not able to sign the elector's name to the precinct register, a fingerprint or other identifying mark may be used, or the elector may have an election administrator or election judge, or another person who has been designated by the elector as the elector's agent, provide a signature or identifying mark. If the elector fails or refuses to sign the elector's name or, if unable to write, fails to provide a fingerprint or other identifying mark, the elector may cast a provisional ballot as provided in 13-13-601, MCA, and these rules.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-114, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2112   PROCEDURES AT THE POLLING PLACE FOR CHALLENGES - PRIOR TO CASTING A BALLOT

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-301, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; REP, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.2113   PROVISIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES AT THE POLLING PLACE - CASTING A BALLOT

(1) The election administrator shall direct election officials in each precinct to mark, in a location specified by the election administrator in the records maintained by election officials, a notation for each individual who has chosen to cast a provisional ballot or set of provisional ballots, as applicable.

(2) Consistent with 13-13-601, MCA, an election official shall give to an individual who has chosen to cast a provisional ballot the following, in the forms prescribed by the Secretary of State:

(a) provisional ballot instructions, which must be filled out by an election official in the areas specified;

(b) a provisional ballot outer envelope, which must be filled out by an election official in the areas specified;

(c) a provisional ballot secrecy envelope; and

(d) a regular ballot.

(3) The individual shall, upon receipt of the forms in (2):

(a) read the provisional ballot instructions;

(b) fill out the specified areas of the provisional ballot outer envelope; and

(c) allow an election official to review the provisional ballot outer envelope that has been filled out by the individual.

(4) An election official, upon receiving the provisional ballot outer envelope from the individual, shall:

(a) ensure that the individual completed all required information on the provisional ballot outer envelope; and

(b) inform the individual that the individual may provide additional information at the individual's option.

(5) After the individual and the election official complete the requirements in this rule, the election official shall allow the individual to:

(a) sign the precinct register;

(b) vote the ballot;

(c) place the ballot in the provisional ballot secrecy envelope, and in a primary election, place the unvoted party ballot in an unvoted ballot envelope;

(d) place the provisional ballot secrecy envelope in the provisional ballot outer envelope; and

(e) return the provisional ballot outer envelope to an election official, who shall place the provisional ballot outer envelope into an unverified provisional ballot container, and who shall in a primary election, place the unvoted party ballot into an unvoted ballot box or into the provisional ballot outer envelope. The location where the unvoted party ballot is placed must be consistent within a county and must be consistent with direction given by the election administrator.

(6) Consistent with 13-15-107, MCA, an election official shall handle a provisional ballot outer envelope which holds a ballot cast provisionally by an individual whose voter information is verified by the end of election day as follows:

(a) remove the provisional ballot outer envelope from the unverified provisional ballot container;

(b) mark it to indicate the reason(s) why it was verified and removed;

(c) ensure the ballot is removed from the provisional ballot secrecy envelope, deposited with other ballots in a manner that allows for the secrecy of the ballot to the greatest extent possible, and counted as any other ballot;

(d) place the provisional ballot outer envelope in the verified provisional ballot container; and

(e) mark in the location specified by the election administrator that the ballot has been counted as any other ballot.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-114, 13-13-601, 13-15-107, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2113   PROVISIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES AT THE POLLING PLACE AND AT THE ELECTION ADMINISTRATOR'S OFFICE - CASTING A BALLOT

(1) The election administrator shall direct election officials in each precinct to mark, in a location specified by the election administrator in the records maintained by election officials, a notation for each individual who has chosen to cast a provisional ballot or set of provisional ballots, as applicable.

(2) Consistent with 13-13-601, MCA, an election official shall give to an individual who has chosen to cast a provisional ballot the following, in the forms prescribed by the secretary of state:

(a) provisional ballot instructions, which must be filled out by an election official in the areas specified;

(b) a provisional ballot outer envelope, which must be filled out by an election official in the areas specified;

(c) a provisional ballot secrecy envelope; and

(d) a regular ballot.

(3) The individual shall, upon receipt of the forms in (2):

(a) read the provisional ballot instructions;

(b) fill out the specified areas of the provisional ballot outer envelope; and

(c) allow an election official to review the provisional ballot outer envelope that has been filled out by the individual.

(4) An election official, upon receiving the provisional ballot outer envelope from the individual, shall:

(a) ensure that the individual completed all required information on the provisional ballot outer envelope; and

(b) inform the individual that the individual may provide additional information at the individual's option.

(5) After the individual and the election official complete the requirements in this rule, the election official shall allow the individual to:

(a) sign the precinct register;

(b) vote the ballot;

(c) place the ballot in the provisional ballot secrecy envelope, and in a primary election, place the unvoted party ballot in an unvoted ballot envelope;

(d) place the provisional ballot secrecy envelope in the provisional ballot outer envelope; and

(e) return the provisional ballot outer envelope to an election official, who shall place the provisional ballot outer envelope into an unverified provisional ballot container, and who shall in a primary election, place the unvoted party ballot into an unvoted ballot box or into the provisional ballot outer envelope. The location where the unvoted party ballot is placed must be consistent within a county and must be consistent with direction given by the election administrator.

(6) Consistent with 13-15-107, MCA, an election official shall handle a provisional ballot outer envelope which holds a ballot cast provisionally by an individual whose voter information is verified by the end of election day as follows:

(a) remove the provisional ballot outer envelope from the unverified provisional ballot container;

(b) mark it to indicate the reason(s) why it was verified and removed;

(c) ensure the ballot is removed from the provisional ballot secrecy envelope, deposited with other ballots in a manner that allows for the secrecy of the ballot to the greatest extent possible, and counted as any other ballot;

(d) place the provisional ballot outer envelope in the verified provisional ballot container; and

(e) mark in the location specified by the election administrator that the ballot has been counted as any other ballot.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-114, 13-13-601, 13-15-107, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2114   PROVISIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES ON ELECTION DAY AFTER THE CLOSE OF POLLS - THE SIXTH DAY AFTER ELECTION DAY

(1) The election administrator shall direct election officials in each precinct, after the close of polls on election day, to tally the number of electors who have chosen to cast provisional ballots, but whose voter information is not verified by the end of election day, in a location specified by the election administrator in the records maintained by election officials.

(2) All information regarding electors who have chosen to cast provisional ballots shall remain private at all times prior to and during the counting of provisional ballots and shall not be released prior to, during, or after the counting period without a court order.

(3) Election officials shall seal the unverified and verified provisional ballot containers and ensure delivery according to the election administrator's instructions.

(4) The election administrator may open a package containing a precinct register to resolve questions concerning provisional ballots.

(5) The election administrator shall, until 5:00 p.m. on the day after election day, allow electors who cast provisional ballots to verify eligibility to vote, in person, or by sending by facsimile or electronic mail a copy or scanned document.

(6) The election administrator shall allow electors who cast provisional ballots to verify eligibility to vote, by mail postmarked on election day or the day after election day.

(7) If a legally registered elector casts a provisional ballot because the elector failed to provide sufficient identification as required pursuant to 13-13-114(1)(a), MCA, the election administrator or designee shall compare the elector's signature or the signature of an elector's agent designated pursuant to 13-1-116, MCA, on the affirmation required under 13-13-601, MCA, to the elector's or elector's agent's signature on the elector's voter registration card.

(a) If the signatures match, the election administrator shall handle the ballot as provided in 13-15-107(6), MCA.

(b) If the signatures do not match, and the elector or the elector's agent fails to provide valid identification information by the deadline, the ballot must be rejected and handled as provided in 13-15-108, MCA, and this section.

(8) Provisional ballots must be handled consistent with 13-15-107(5), MCA.

(9) After the process in (8) is completed, an election official shall mark the provisional ballot outer envelope with the reason(s) why it was verified and removed and place the provisional ballot outer envelope in the verified provisional ballot container.

(10) Provisional ballots that are not resolved by the end of election day may not be counted until after 3:00 p.m. on the sixth day after the election.

(11) Election officials must not count any provisional ballots cast by electors whose voter information is not verified by 3:00 p.m. on the sixth day following the election.

(12) After the completion of the count of provisional ballots, election officials must assure the secrecy of the ballots. An election administrator shall not release any information regarding any ballot, including provisionally cast ballots, if that information will result in any person being able to determine how an elector voted on any race or issue on the ballot.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-15-107, 13-15-301, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08, AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2114   PROVISIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES ON ELECTION DAY AFTER THE CLOSE OF POLLS - THE SIXTH DAY AFTER ELECTION DAY

(1) Provisional ballots must be handled consistent with 13-15-107, MCA.

(2) The election administrator shall direct election officials in each precinct, after the close of polls on election day, to tally the number of electors who have chosen to cast provisional ballots, but whose voter information is not verified at the polls by the end of election day, in a location specified by the election administrator in the records maintained by election officials.

(3) For verified provisional ballots, an election official shall mark the provisional ballot outer envelope with the reason(s) why it was verified and removed and place the provisional ballot outer envelope in the verified provisional ballot container.

(4) All information regarding electors who have chosen to cast provisional ballots shall remain private at all times prior to and during the counting of provisional ballots and shall not be released prior to, during, or after the counting period without a court order.

(5) Election officials shall seal the unverified and verified provisional ballot containers and ensure delivery according to the election administrator's instructions.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-15-107, 13-15-301, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08, AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2115   PROVISIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES - AFTER FINAL DETERMINATION WHETHER OR NOT TO COUNT PROVISIONAL BALLOTS

(1) Election officials, after making the final determination whether or not to count the ballot(s) of each elector who cast a provisional ballot(s) and separately recording the reason(s) why each ballot was cast as a provisional ballot and why each ballot was counted or not counted, shall:

(a) open the verified provisional ballot container, record on the provisional ballot outer envelope the reason(s) for counting the verified provisional ballots, and seal the verified provisional ballot container, which shall not be opened without a court order; and

(b) open the unverified provisional ballot container, and mark on each provisional ballot outer envelope that the elector's vote was not counted, and the reason why not, and all other applicable information, and seal the unverified provisional ballot container, which shall not be opened without a court order.

(2) Election officials or election workers shall notify each elector who cast a provisional ballot, by the most expedient means possible, whether or not the elector's vote was counted, and the reason(s) why or why not.

 

History: 13-1-202, 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-15-107, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2201   FORM OF ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION AND ABSENTEE BALLOT TRANSMISSION TO ELECTION ADMINISTRATOR - GENERAL
(1) Election officials and election workers shall follow Title 13, chapter 13, part 2, MCA, and these rules in regard to absentee applications.
History: 13-13-212, MCA; IMP, 13-13-212, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.2202   DEFINITIONS
As used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply: (1) "Election official" means an election administrator, election deputy, or election judge.

(2) "Election worker" means an individual designated to perform election support duties.

(3) "Elector" means an individual qualified to vote under state law.

History: 13-13-212, MCA; IMP, 13-13-212, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.2203   ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION AND ABSENTEE BALLOT TRANSMISSION TO ELECTION ADMINISTRATOR

(1) An elector or an agent designated pursuant to 13-1-116, MCA, may apply for an absentee ballot following the procedure in 13-13-212, MCA. If the election administrator can independently obtain the applicant's birth date, the application shall not be rejected for lack of the applicant's birth date. The request must be submitted to the election administrator of the applicant's county of residence within the time period specified in 13-13-211, MCA.

(2) The minimum acceptable prescribed form for an application for an absentee ballot must include a written request for the absentee ballot, the elector's birth date, and the elector's or the elector's agent's signature. Additional recommended statements include the election for which the elector is requesting an absentee ballot and the address to which the elector wants the ballot mailed. Electors are strongly encouraged to use the form available at the county election office or on the secretary of state's web site.

(3) An election administrator who receives a request pursuant to 13-13-212, MCA, shall determine whether the elector's or the elector's agent's signature on the request matches the elector's or the elector's agent's signature on the elector's voter registration application, prior to placing the elector on a list of individuals who wish to receive absentee ballots in subsequent elections.

(4) In order for an elector to be sent an absentee ballot for an election under the procedures and during the period specified under 13-13-212, MCA, the elector shall return the confirmation form to the election administrator within the time period specified for receipt of absentee ballot applications under 13-13-211, MCA.

History: 13-1-202, MCA; IMP, 13-13-211, 13-13-212, 13-13-213, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 1741, Eff. 7/7/06; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 917, Eff. 4/16/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2203   FORM OF ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION AND ABSENTEE BALLOT TRANSMISSION TO ELECTION ADMINISTRATOR

(1) Consistent with 13-13-212, MCA, an elector may apply for an absentee ballot by using a standardized form provided by rule by the Secretary of State, or by making a written request which must include the applicant's birth date and must be signed by the applicant or by an agent designated pursuant to 13-1-116, MCA, except that if the election administrator can independently obtain the applicant's birth date, the application shall not be rejected for lack of the applicant's birth date. The request must be submitted to the election administrator of the applicant's county of residence within the time period specified in 13-13-211, MCA.

(2) The minimum acceptable prescribed form for an application for an absentee ballot must include a written request for the absentee ballot, the elector's birth date, and the elector's or the elector's agent's signature. Additional recommended statements include the election for which the elector is requesting an absentee ballot and the address to which the elector wants the ballot mailed. Electors are strongly encouraged to use the form available from election administrators, which appears in the forms booklet that is provided by the Secretary of State to each election administrator.

(3) Consistent with 13-13-213(1), MCA, and except as provided in 13-13-213(4), MCA, all absentee ballot application forms must be addressed to the appropriate election official. The elector may mail the application directly to the election administrator, deliver the application in person to the election administrator, or transmit it by facsimile pursuant to ARM 44.3.1403. An agent designated pursuant to 13-1-116, MCA, or a third party, may collect the elector's application and forward it to the election administrator.

(4) When applying for an absentee ballot under 13-13-212, MCA, or at any other time by written request of the elector, an elector may also request to be mailed an absentee ballot, subject to the procedures in (5) and (6), as soon as the ballot becomes available, for each subsequent election in which the elector is eligible to vote or only for each subsequent federal election in which the elector is eligible to vote for as long as the elector remains qualified to vote and resides at the address provided in the initial application.

(5) An election administrator who receives a request under (4) shall determine whether the elector's or the elector's agent's signature on the request matches the elector's or the elector's agent's signature on the elector's voter registration card, prior to placing the elector on a list of individuals who wish to receive absentee ballots in subsequent elections.

(6) The election administrator shall mail a forwardable address confirmation form, prescribed by the Secretary of State in January of each year to each elector who has requested an absentee ballot for subsequent elections. The annual address confirmation form is for elections to be held between February 1 following the mailing through January of the next year. The form shall, in bold print, indicate that the elector may update the elector's mailing address using the form. The elector or elector's agent shall sign the form, indicate the address to which the absentee ballot should be sent, and return the form to the election administrator. If the form is not completed and returned, the election administrator shall remove the elector from the register of electors who have requested an absentee ballot for subsequent elections.

(7) In order for an elector to be sent an absentee ballot for an election under the procedures and during the period specified under (4) through (6), the elector shall return the confirmation form specified under (6) to the election administrator within the time period specified for receipt of absentee ballot applications under 13-13-211, MCA.

(8) An elector who has been removed from the register of electors who have requested an absentee ballot for each subsequent election may later request to be mailed an absentee ballot for subsequent elections.

History: 13-1-202, MCA; IMP, 13-13-211, 13-13-212, 13-13-213, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 1741, Eff. 7/7/06; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 917, Eff. 4/16/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2204   PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES FOR EARLY PREPARATION OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS

(1) The processes and procedures for early preparation of absentee ballots are conducted after completion of or in conjunction with the processes and procedures in 13-13-241(1) through (7), MCA.

(2) The following processes and procedures, when implemented by the election administrator, are intended to ensure the security of ballots and secrecy of votes during the early preparation of ballots not sooner than one business day before election day. The election administrator shall ensure that the early absentee ballot preparation area:

(a) permits observers to view all procedures;

(b) is arranged to ensure that observers do not interfere with the procedures,

view the votes cast on individual ballots, or knowingly or unintentionally compromise the secrecy of the ballots;

(c) subject to (2)(a) and (2)(b), allows observers to be located not less than 10 feet or more than 20 feet from the boundaries of the area, or a distance determined by the election administrator based on space constraints if these distances are not feasible; and

(d) only allows access by the following, after they have taken and subscribed the official oath prescribed under Article III, section 3 of the Montana constitution:

(i) officials preparing absentee ballots, who must have identifying badges so that observers can clearly identify who is authorized to prepare ballots; and

(ii) staff authorized by the election administrator.

(3) The election administrator shall maintain the security of the observation area as specified in (2) and by:

(a) ensuring that all individuals in the observation area sign in before being permitted to be present;

(b) prohibiting electronic recording devices in the observation area; and

(c) contacting local law enforcement officials upon the occurrence of any potential or actual breach of security.

(4) The election administrator shall maintain the secrecy of votes during the early preparation of absentee ballots by:

(a) following the procedures specified in (2) and (3);

(b) requiring that election officials open signature envelopes and secrecy envelopes in a manner to ensure that the identity of the voter cannot be connected to the voter's ballot, either by observers, by election officials, or by any authorized staff participating in the early preparation process;

(c) directing election officials to place the ballots in secure containers sealed with numbered security seals as necessary and when the early preparation process is completed;

(d) handling the ballot as provided in 13-15-201, MCA, for an elector who provides identifying information on the elector's ballot and announcing that an elector has provided identifying information, but not providing the elector's identity; and

(e) instructing election officials to secure all absentee voting materials consistent with the procedures specified in 13-15-205, MCA.

(5) An absentee ballot early preparation reconciliation form:

(a) must be in the form prescribed by the secretary of state;

(b) must be provided upon request to any observer;

(c) must be completed as specified on the form; and

(d) when completed, must be posted in the early preparation area at the conclusion of early preparation procedures.

(6) Immediately after early preparation of absentee ballots and until ballot counting begins on election day, the prepared absentee ballots in secure containers with numbered security seals:

(a) must be placed in a secure location that prevents unauthorized access;

(b) must not be accessed except by at least two election officials acting together who:

(i) are authorized by the county election administrator;

(ii) have each taken and subscribed the official oath prescribed under Article III, section 3 of the Montana constitution; and

(iii) sign a log sheet each time that they access the secured ballots.

(7) Election administrators shall maintain and make available for public inspection a security log in a form prescribed by the secretary of state that accurately tracks seals placed on and removed from any early preparation absentee ballot container.

(8) Nothing in this rule shall be construed to permit an election official to count absentee ballots or other ballots before election day.

History: 13-13-241, MCA; IMP, 13-13-241, MCA; NEW, 2011 MAR p. 2427, Eff. 11/11/11.

44.3.2205   FACSIMILE REQUESTS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS

(1) An election administrator may treat a facsimile copy request for an absentee ballot as a mail request if all other requirements of 13-13-212, MCA are met.

(2) A facsimile copy may be accepted under (1) if it is legible.

History: 13-1-202, MCA; IMP, 13-13-212, MCA; NEW, 1989 MAR p. 1343, Eff. 9/15/89; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD and TRANS, from 44.3.1403, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2206   REJECTED BALLOTS

(1) All rejected absentee ballots, the absentee ballot applications, and all absentee ballot signature envelopes must be enclosed in an envelope or container marked "REJECTED BALLOT(S) OF ABSENTEE ELECTORS."

History: 13-15-108, MCA; IMP, 13-15-108, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD and TRANS, from 44.3.1716, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2301   VOTER IDENTIFICATION AND PROVISIONAL VOTING BY ABSENTEE AND MAIL BALLOT - GENERAL

(1) Election officials and election workers shall follow 13-1-116, 13-13-201, 13-13-204, 13-13-241, 13-13-602, and 13-15-107, MCA, and these rules in regard to voter identification and provisional voting by absentee and mail ballot.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-603, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06.

44.3.2302   DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Current address" means residence address or mailing address. For the purposes of this subchapter, an address is presumed to be current unless proved otherwise.

(2) "Election official" means an election administrator, election deputy, or election judge.

(3) "Election worker" means an individual designated to perform election support duties.

(4) "Elector" means an individual qualified to vote under state law.

(5) "Identification" for the purposes of voting by absentee and mail ballot means any of the following:

(a) the elector's Montana driver's license number, the elector's Montana state identification card number issued pursuant to 61-12-501, MCA, or the last four digits of the elector's social security number; or

(b) a readable copy of the elector's military identification card, tribal photo identification card, United States passport, Montana concealed carry permit, or a photo identification card issued to the elector by a Montana college or university; or

(c) any other form of readable photo identification with the individual elector's name together with a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, notice of confirmation of voter registration issued pursuant to 13-2-207, MCA, government check, or other government document that shows the elector's name and current address.

(6) "Legally registered elector" means an elector who was properly registered prior to January 1, 2003, or one who registered on or after that date whose application for voter registration was accepted, processed, and verified as provided by law.

 

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-201, 13-13-214, 13-13-241, 13-13-602, 13-15-107, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2303   ABSENTEE OR MAIL BALLOT ELECTOR IDENTIFICATION FORM

(1) An election official or election worker shall enclose with the materials sent to each provisionally registered elector instructions in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State notifying the elector of the requirement to provide one of the forms of required identification defined in ARM 44.3.2302.

 

History: 13-1-202, 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-13-201, 13-13-603, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 1741, Eff. 7/7/06; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2304   PROCEDURES FOR ABSENTEE AND MAIL BALLOT VOTING - DETERMINING THE SUFFICIENCY OF IDENTIFICATION OF PROVISIONALLY REGISTERED ELECTORS

(1) After completion of the signature verification procedures in 13-13-241 or 13-19-309, MCA, as applicable, the election administrator shall determine prior to an election whether a provisionally registered absentee or mail ballot elector has enclosed in the outer signature envelope, together with the voted ballot in the secrecy envelope, sufficient identification as defined in ARM 44.3.2302 to allow the ballot to be counted.  

(a) If the identification enclosed in the outer signature envelope is insufficient, an election official or election worker shall follow procedures described in 13-13-241, MCA, and these rules to allow a provisionally registered absentee or mail ballot elector who failed to provide proper identifying information in the outer signature envelope to verify eligibility to vote:

(i) a ballot cast by an elector whose voter identification information is insufficient or whose name does not appear on the precinct register must be handled as a provisional ballot under 13-15-107, MCA;

(ii) an election official or election worker shall notify the absentee or mail ballot elector by mail or by the most expedient method available that the elector's identification was insufficient and that the elector's ballot will be treated as a provisional ballot until the elector provides sufficient identification under ARM 44.3.2302;

(iii) if the elector is notified by mail, an election official or election worker shall provide a self-addressed signature envelope along with a description in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State of the identification necessary for the absentee or mail ballot elector to reclassify the provisional ballot as a regular ballot; and

(iv) to the extent applicable, an election official or election worker shall handle absentee and mail ballot elector provisional ballots in the same manner as specified under the procedures for provisional ballots cast at the polling place in ARM 44.3.2113, 44.3.2114, and 44.3.2115.

(b) Upon receipt of one of the forms of required identification defined in ARM 44.3.2302, if the identification provided is verified through a voter verification process or another form of identification provided in ARM 44.3.2302 is sufficient:

(i)  an election official or election worker shall mark on the absentee or mail ballot signature envelope that sufficient identification was provided by the elector; and

(ii) the county election administrator or designee shall register the elector as a legally registered elector.

(c) An election official or election worker who receives identification information shall retain in a sealed package the copy of identification provided by the provisionally registered absentee or mail ballot elector. The sealed package containing the copy of identification may not be opened without a court order. 

 

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-114, 13-13-201, 13-13-241, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 1741, Eff. 7/7/06; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2428, Eff. 11/11/11; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 169, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2305   PROCEDURES FOR ABSENTEE AND MAIL BALLOT VOTING - PRINTING ERROR OR BALLOT DESTROYED - FAILURE TO RECEIVE BALLOT

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-13-603, MCA; IMP, 13-13-204, 13-13-603, 13-15-107, 13-19-313, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; REP, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2401   BALLOT FORM AND UNIFORMITY

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-12-202, MCA; IMP, 13-12-202, 13-13-205, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1417, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; REP, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2401   BALLOT FORM AND UNIFORMITY

(1) The following shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State in the forms booklet and election judge handbook, as applicable, that are provided to each election administrator:

(a) the manner in which each type of ballot may be corrected under 13-12-204, MCA;

(b) what provisions must be made on the ballot for write-in candidates;

(c) the size and content of stubs on paper ballots, except as provided in 13-19-106(1), MCA;

(d) how unvoted ballots must be handled;

(e) how the number of individuals voting and the number of ballots cast must be recorded; and

(f) the order and arrangement of ballots.

(2) The names of all candidates to appear on the ballots must be in the same font size and style.

(3) Notwithstanding 13-19-106(1), MCA, when the stubs are detached, it must be impossible to distinguish any one of the ballots from another ballot for the same office or issue.

(4) The ballots must contain the name of each candidate whose nomination is certified under law for an office and no other names, except that the names of candidates for president and vice president of the United States must appear on the ballot as provided in 13-25-101(2), MCA.

(5) Consistent with 13-14-212, MCA, provision must be made for a voter to indicate a "yes" or "no" vote in regard to retaining unopposed incumbent judicial officers.

(6) Consistent with 13-13-205, MCA:

(a) Except as provided in (6)(c), the election administrator shall ensure that ballots are printed at least:

(i) 30 days prior to an election for those elections held in compliance with 13-1-107(1), MCA;

(ii) 20 days prior to an election for those elections held in compliance with 13-1-104(2) and (3) and 13-1-107(2), MCA;

(b) 45 days prior to an election held in conjunction with a federal general election in compliance with 13-1-104(1), MCA;

(c) A ballot requested pursuant to Title 13, chapter 21, MCA, must be sent to the elector as specified in 13-13-205(2), MCA; and

(d) If paper ballots are sent more than 30 days before an election, the election administrator shall include a notice that the voter information pamphlet, when required to be distributed, will be provided pursuant to 13-27-410, MCA.

History: 13-12-202, MCA; IMP, 13-12-202, 13-13-205, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1417, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2402   DETERMINING A VALID VOTE IN MANUALLY COUNTING AND RECOUNTING PAPER BALLOTS

(1) Before being counted, each questionable vote on a paper ballot set aside under 13-15-206, MCA, must be reviewed by the designated board. The board shall evaluate each questionable vote according to the rules below:

(a) If a majority of the designated board members agree that under the rules the voter's intent can be clearly determined, the vote is valid and must be counted according to the voter's intent.

(b) If a majority of the designated board members do not agree that the voter's intent can be clearly determined under the rules, the vote is not valid and may not be counted.

(2) The following general rules shall apply in a count or recount of paper ballots:

(a) more than one designated voting area has been marked and at least one mark has been erased, but residue is or is not left. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the designated voting area that has been marked;

(b) one designated voting area is marked and at least one other designated voting area is marked with a heavy mark and no erasure has been attempted. The election officials shall cause this to be designated as an overvote;

(c) the designated voting area has been marked for one candidate or ballot issue choice and a partially completed mark is made in at least one other designated voting area. The mark may or may not have some erasure, although for the purpose of this rule erasure is not required. If an erasure is present and it is not sufficient to make the intent of the elector clear, the election officials shall cause this to be designated as an overvote. If no erasure attempt is made, the election officials shall cause this to be designated as an overvote;

(d) the designated voting area has been marked for one candidate or ballot issue choice and a hesitation mark is present within at least one other designated voting area. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the designated voting area that has been marked;

(e) the designated voting area has not been marked according to instructions, but the designated voting area, candidate, or ballot issue choice is circled, underlined, checked, or otherwise clearly marked. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the marked choice;

(f) the designated voting area has not been marked according to instructions, but there is a connective line or arrow between the candidate or ballot issue choice and the designated voting area to indicate the vote. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the marked designated voting area;

(g) more than one designated voting area has been marked, but no clear mark is used to indicate the intended candidate or ballot issue choice. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, instances in which more than the allowable choices are marked, and an "X" has been marked in either or both of the designated voting areas. The election officials shall cause this to be designated as an overvote;

(h) more than one designated voting area has been marked, but a clear word, mark, or statement is used to indicate the intended vote. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the designated voting area indicated as the intended vote;

(i) a word or statement has been used to indicate the intended vote instead of marking the designated voting area according to instructions. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the designated voting area indicated as the intended vote;

(j) all of the designated voting areas are crossed out. The election officials shall cause this to be designated as an undervote;

(k) a mark is made outside the designated voting area but close enough to the designated voting area to determine voter intent, and the designated voting area is not marked. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the designated voting area determined as the intended vote;

(l) a ballot is marked with different colors or types of marking instruments. The election officials shall cause votes to be counted as marked by the voter unless it is determined that the ballot is otherwise not valid.

History: 13-15-206, MCA; IMP, 13-15-206, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2403   DETERMINING A VALID WRITE-IN VOTE IN MANUALLY COUNTING AND RECOUNTING PAPER BALLOTS

(1) Before being counted, each questionable write-in vote on a paper ballot set aside under 13-15-206, MCA, must be reviewed by the designated board. The board shall evaluate each questionable vote according to the rules below:

(a) If a majority of the designated board members agree that under the rules the voter's intent can be clearly determined, the vote is valid and must be counted according to the voter's intent.

(b) If a majority of the designated board members do not agree that the voter's intent can be clearly determined under the rules, the vote is not valid and may not be counted.

(2) Except as provided in (3), only votes for declared write-in candidates shall be counted. Except as provided in ARM 44.3.2405, a write-in vote may be counted only if the write-in vote identifies an individual by any of the designations filed pursuant to 13-10-211, MCA, and the oval, box, or other designated voting area on the ballot is marked. The following rules shall apply to determining a valid write-in vote in a count or recount of paper ballots, and must be read in conjunction with ARM 44.3.2402:

(a) a name is written in, but the designated write-in voting area is not marked, and no other candidate is selected. The election officials shall cause this to be designated as an undervote;

(b) no candidate name or office is written in, but the designated write-in voting area is marked and no other candidate is selected. The election officials shall cause this to be designated as an undervote;

(c) a printed candidate is selected by marking of the designated voting area, and no name is written in, but the designated write-in voting area is marked. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the printed candidate;

(d) a printed candidate is selected by marking of the designated voting area, any individual's name is written in, and the designated write-in voting area is marked. If the name written in is different from the name of the printed candidate selected, the election officials shall cause this to be designated as an overvote. If the name written in is the same as the name of the printed candidate selected, the election officials shall cause a vote to be counted for the printed candidate selected.

(e) the designated voting area for a printed candidate is marked and the same name is written in, but the designated write-in voting area is not marked. The election officials shall cause a vote to be counted as a vote for the marked designated voting area;

(f) comments are written in which do not indicate a clear vote and no candidate is marked. The election officials shall cause this to be designated as an undervote;

(g) the designated voting area for a printed candidate is marked, a comment is written in, and the corresponding designated write-in voting area is or is not marked. The election officials shall cause this to be counted as a vote for the printed candidate unless the comment creates uncertainty about who the choice is or directs the election official not to count the vote for the printed candidate selected. In the latter case, the election officials shall cause this to be designated as an undervote;

(h) at least one printed candidate appears as a candidate for the office and the designated voting area is not marked for any printed candidates, but a name is written in that is not the name of a declared write-in candidate and the corresponding designated write-in voting area is or is not marked. The election officials shall cause this to be designated as an undervote.

(3) Consistent with 13-10-211, MCA, votes for undeclared write-in candidates may be counted if:

(a) an election is held;

(b) a person's name is written in on the ballot;

(c) the person is qualified for and seeks election to the office for which the person's name was written in; and

(d) no other candidate has filed a declaration or petition for nomination or a declaration of intent.

History: 13-15-206, MCA; IMP, 13-10-211, 13-15-206, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 916, Eff. 4/16/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2404   DETERMINING A VALID VOTE ON AN ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM

(1) A vote on an electronic voting system consists of a voter's selection of a candidate or answer to a ballot question appearing on the voting surface of the device, followed by the voter activating the cast vote indicator.

(a) All electronic voting system equipment shall provide for the use of a device for the voter to enter the name of a write-in candidate where applicable. Except as provided in ARM 44.3.2405, a write-in vote may be counted only if the write-in vote identifies an individual by any of the designations filed pursuant to 13-10-211(1)(a), MCA, and the oval, box, or other designated voting area on the ballot is marked.

(b) If a voter does not mark a candidate, judicial retention choice, or issue choice, the valid votes for other candidates or issues on the same ballot shall be counted.

History: 13-15-206, MCA; IMP, 13-15-206, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 916, Eff. 4/16/10.

44.3.2405   DETERMINING A VALID VOTE ON A FEDERAL WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT

(1) A covered voter voting a federal write-in absentee ballot for a federal general election may designate a candidate by writing in the name of the candidate or by writing in the name of the political party for which the elector is voting. A written designation of the political party must be counted as a vote for the candidate of that party. A vote may not be voided for reasons of misspellings, abbreviations, or other minor variations of the candidate's name.

(2) Except as provided in (2)(a), a covered voter may vote in any election for a public office other than for a federal office by using the addendum provided in the federal write-in absentee ballot.

(a) If the elector is voting in a primary election, the elector shall identify the elector's political party affiliation as provided for in the appropriate section of the ballot. A vote cast by writing in the name of a candidate who is not affiliated with the elector's identified party is void and may not be counted.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-223, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2406   APPLICABILITY TO ELECTIONS ALLOWING VOTES FOR MORE THAN ONE CANDIDATE FOR A POSITION
(1) The rules in this subchapter shall be applied consistently with necessary adjustments for elections in which electors may cast votes for more than one candidate for a position.
History: 13-15-206, MCA; IMP, 13-15-206, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04.

44.3.2407   METHOD OF CORRECTION OF BALLOT

(1) If an appointment has been made to replace a candidate, as provided in 13-10-326, 13-10-327, or 13-10-328, MCA, or if a candidate for lieutenant governor has been advanced to the candidacy for governor, as provided in 13-10-328, MCA, after the ballots have been prepared but before the election, the election administrator may:

(a) correct the ballot in a manner consistent with the following:

(i) if the ballot is a paper ballot that is not produced for use with a voting system, follow the procedures in (1)(b) or (c);

(ii) if the ballot is a paper ballot that is produced for use with a voting system, correction of the ballot shall be in accordance with the procedures specified in the instruction manuals, user guides, and technical manuals provided by the manufacturer of the voting system, as well as the election judge handbook provided by the office of the secretary of state, except in cases in which those materials conflict with state laws or rules, in which case the laws or rules shall apply;

(b) have the entire ballot redone; or

(c) have a separate ballot prepared only for the office for which the new candidate is a candidate.

History: 13-12-204, MCA; IMP, 13-12-204, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; TRANS, from 44.3.1715, 2013 MAR p. 1628, Eff. 9/6/13.)

44.3.2408   BALLOT FORM AND UNIFORMITY

(1) The secretary of state adopts and incorporates by reference the document entitled "Ballot Form and Uniformity Pursuant to 13-12-202 MCA Layout Instructions and Sample Ballots," which is available on the secretary of state's web site at the following link: http://sos.mt.gov/Elections/Officials/Forms/index.asp, updated March 20, 2012.

(2) The document incorporated by reference is provided to each election administrator and contains guidelines that prescribe the ballot form for each type of ballot used in this state, giving guidelines as to font, spacing, and printed instructions, to conform to the requirements of 13-12-202, MCA.

History: 13-1-202, 13-12-202, MCA; IMP, 13-1-202, 13-12-202, MCA; NEW, 2013 MAR p. 1699, Eff. 9/6/13.

44.3.2501   COVERED VOTERS

(1) The following rules shall be followed, consistent with the Montana Absent Uniformed Services and Overseas Voter Act, Title 13, chapter 21, MCA, in regard to covered voters:

(a) pursuant to 13-21-223, MCA, there is no limit on the earliest date that a covered voter may request an absentee ballot;

(b) covered voters must be given priority to be sent ballots as soon as they are available, if possible before the deadline for making them available;

(c) in elections for which a voter information pamphlet is required, election administrators must notify covered voters that the voter information pamphlet is available online, which can be accomplished through either:

(i) the absentee instructions; or

(ii) a special insert in materials provided to the absentee elector.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-104, 13-21-223, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2502   FACSIMILE MACHINE ACCESS

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-207, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2503   HANDLING OF FACSIMILE BALLOTS

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-207, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2504   BALLOT TRANSMISSION

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-207, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2505   RECEIVING BALLOTS

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-207, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2506   BALLOT LOG

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-104, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2507   ELECTOR AFFIRMATION

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-104, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2508   BALLOT ACCEPTANCE

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-104, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2509   TRANSCRIPTION OF BALLOTS

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-104, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2510   ELECTION JUDGES AND BALLOT SECRECY

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-104, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; REP, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14.

44.3.2511   ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF VOTING MATERIALS

(1) County election administrators shall allow covered voters to receive and transmit election materials electronically, as long as the security of transmission and identity of each elector is confirmed and facilities are available to maintain the accuracy, integrity, and secrecy of the ballot process. The following procedures shall be followed, wherever applicable, in regard to the receipt and transmission of election materials electronically:

(a) A county election administrator must use the secretary of state's electronic absentee system or the election administrator's own system that is secure from unauthorized access.

(b) When an election administrator receives a valid request for electronic transmission of a ballot from a covered voter, the election administrator shall, subject to (1), e-mail instructions to the elector on how to access the Secretary of State's electronic transmission system if the system is available for the election, or send a ballot electronically along with instructions to the elector, and a transmittal cover sheet that includes an elector affirmation. The original ballot, as applicable, shall be retained in a secure absentee envelope or container for that purpose.

(c) The election administrator shall keep an official log of all ballots transmitted and received electronically.

(d) If the received ballot is acceptable, the election administrator shall log in the receipt of the ballot and place it in the secure absentee envelope or container with the original ballot, if applicable, until the ballots are ready to be transcribed. The transmittal cover sheet with affirmation must be retained in a sealed envelope or container separately from the ballot.

(e) The receipt of electronically submitted ballots must be entered into the statewide voter registration system and a ballot shall be issued from the statewide voter registration system, if applicable, within three business days of receipt so that the covered voter may track the receipt of their ballot as required by federal law on the system designed for that purpose.

(f) On or before election day, the election administrator shall have the returned ballots transcribed, as applicable, using the procedure prescribed below.

(g) The voted ballot must be transcribed in a manner that ensures that no one transcribing the ballot has access to the name of the elector who voted the ballot.

(h) No less than three election officials shall participate in the transcription process to transfer the elector's votes from a received ballot, as applicable, to the standard ballot used in the precinct.

(i) An electronically transmitted ballot identifying number shall be written on the original transcribed ballot, the electronically transmitted ballot, and in the official transcription log.

(j) The election officials who transcribed the electronically transmitted ballot shall sign the log for each ballot they transcribe.

(k) No one participating in the electronic ballot transmission or transcription process may reveal any information about the elector's identity or the votes on the elector's ballot.

(2) Nothing in this rule shall prohibit a county election official from participating in any secure program for facilitating voting by covered voters which is sponsored by an agency of the federal government.

History: 13-21-104, MCA; IMP, 13-21-104, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1700, Eff. 1/1/14; AMD, 2015 MAR p. 1286, Eff. 10/1/15.

44.3.2601   ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

This rule has been repealed.

History: 13-1-202, MCA, Public Law 107-252; IMP, 13-1-202, MCA, Public Law 107-252; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 93, Eff. 1/16/04; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2671, Eff. 10/27/06; REP, 2010 MAR p. 1545, Eff. 6/25/10.

44.3.2701   INITIATION OF USE IN MULTICOUNTY DISTRICT

(1) Some special districts authorized to conduct elections using the mail ballot procedure are not confined within the boundary of a single county. When such a district desires to conduct an election by mail ballot, these are the procedures to be followed in initiating such an election.

(2) If the initiative is taken by the applicable governing body, it shall proceed as provided by law, except that the requesting resolution shall be addressed to the election administrator in each affected county.

(3) Each election administrator involved may make their own independent judgment as to whether the mail ballot election will be used for that election in the portion of the district which lies within their county.

(4) Unless each affected election administrator agrees, the mail ballot option may not be used to conduct the election in that district or any portion thereof.

(5) The election administrators may cooperate in the initiation and conduct of an election under the mail ballot procedures in a multicounty district. They shall designate one person as the chief election administrator for the conduct of that single election in that district.

(6) If the initiative for the use of the mail ballot option in a multicounty district is taken by the election administrators, then they shall proceed as provided by law, except that some form of concurrence to both the written plan and the designation of a chief election administrator shall be made by each election administrator involved and accompany the written plan.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-201, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.201, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2702   PLAN SPECIFICATIONS

(1)  The plan for the conduct of an election or elections held on the same election day must include: 

(a)  a statement indicating the type of jurisdiction involved including sufficient information to demonstrate that it is in fact one of the jurisdictions for which the mail ballot option is available;

(b)  a description of the type of election to be conducted;

(c)  the estimated number of eligible electors in the jurisdiction at the time the plan is written;

(d)  if the jurisdiction is a multicounty district, a listing of the other election administrators involved and a statement designating which one will function as the chief election administrator for that specific election;

(e)  if the election is for school district purposes designate who will conduct the election--school district clerk (election administrator) or county election administrator;

(f)  if proportional voting is required, a reference to the applicable statute and a complete description of the method to be used to satisfy the statutory requirements for proportional voting;

(g) if voting is permitted by electors who are eligible but otherwise not registered, a description of the eligibility requirements;

(h)  the total number of "places of deposit," other than the election office contemplated, if any, together with the address of each and a description of its nature;

(i)  a written timetable for the conduct of the election prepared in accordance with the specifications set forth in ARM 44.3.2703;

(j)  procedures to ensure that the voter interface devices required in 13-3-208, MCA are available at locations appropriate to provide accessibility for disabled electors;

(k)  an indication of how postage will be handled for:

(i)  returned as undeliverable (e.g., "return postage guaranteed"); and

(ii)  returns (e.g., elector to apply own postage or postage pre-paid, how);

(l)  if the election is for school district purposes, a brief narrative of the procedures to be followed from the time the ballots are received from the electors until they are tabulated, including arrangements made for transfer of ballots from/to the school district clerk and the county election administrator for verification of signatures;

(m)  a description of the procedures to be used to ensure ballot security at all stages of the process.

(n) sample written instructions shall be consistent with 13-19-205, MCA.

 

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-205, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1987 MAR p. 2394, Eff. 12/25/87; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.202, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 839, Eff. 5/28/22.

44.3.2703   TIMETABLE SPECIFICATIONS

(1) The election administrator shall prepare a timetable for the conduct of the mail ballot election. The timetable shall be in data entry form. It may contain additional activities and may be arranged in a different chronological order but otherwise shall be in substantially the following form:

 

CALENDAR DATE ACTIVITY

______________ Copy of plan to governing body.

______________ Last day for governing body to opt out.

______________ Submission of plan to secretary of state's office.

______________ Publish notice specifying close of registration as provided
by 13-2-301, MCA.

______________ Close of registration as provided by 13-2-301, MCA.

______________ Ballots mailed.

______________ Election day.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-205, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1987 MAR p. 2394, Eff. 12/25/87; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.203, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2704   PROPORTIONAL VOTING

(1) Some of the special districts authorized to conduct elections using the mail ballot procedure require votes to be cast and/or counted in proportion to property ownership or some factor other than one vote per person. When such is the case, the election administrator shall:

(a) make a determination as to whether the particular proportional voting requirements can be satisfied using the mail ballot procedures; and

(b) if so, include in the written plan the specific methods and procedures which will be used to implement the statutory requirements for proportional voting in that election.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-302, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; TRANS, from 44.9.204, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2707   VOTING BY NONREGISTERED ELIGIBLE ELECTORS

(1) Some elections authorized to use the mail ballot procedure do not require an otherwise qualified elector to be registered. Certain provisions must therefore be made to allow any such qualified electors to participate in that election.

(2) When such an individual appears in person or contacts the election administrator by mail, facsimile, or electronic means, and provides materials demonstrating that the individual possesses the qualifications required for voting as provided in 7-13-2212, 7-33-2106, 85-7-1710, and 85-8-305, MCA, or a similar section, the individual must be allowed to vote, by following 13-19-304, MCA, either:

(a) voting in person at that time, provided the ballots are available, and in the manner provided in 13-19-304, MCA; or

(b) completing and signing, or providing the signature of the individual's agent designated pursuant to 13-1-116, MCA, for subsequent signature verification purposes, an absentee request as provided in Title 13, chapter 13, part 2, MCA.

(3) In each case of voting by a nonregistered but otherwise eligible elector, officials shall:

(a) duly note the elector's nonregistered status on the signature envelope, either at the time of voting if in person, or prior to mailing; and

(b) enter the elector's name in the register, on an addendum page provided for that purpose, and include all names so entered in their register reconciliation.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-304, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.303, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2710   DISPOSITION OF BALLOTS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE

(1) The election administrator follows the procedures in 13-19-313 and 13-13-245, MCA, for mail ballots returned by the post office as undeliverable and files and securely retains said ballots.

(2) Whenever election officials are notified by an elector that the elector has not received a ballot, they may:

(a) check the ballots which have been returned as undeliverable;

(b) if the elector's ballot is found there, then deliver it to the elector, either in person or by mail, after the elector updates the elector's address by submitting a new voter registration card or other written update of the elector's address, either in person or by mail; and

(c) document the action taken in a log maintained for that purpose or in the statewide voter registration system.

(3) Redelivery of a ballot which had been returned as undeliverable is not synonymous to providing a replacement ballot.

(4) The retention and disposition of undeliverable ballots shall be as provided by law for all election materials.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-313, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.306, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2711   PLACES OF DEPOSIT – ELECTION OFFICIAL DUTIES

(1) Election officials, as designated in 13-19-307, MCA, shall:

(a) be duly appointed as provided by 13-19-307, MCA;

(b) take and subscribe to the appropriate oath of office;

(c) serve for the duration of the conduct of that specific election;

(d) be duly trained by the election administrator;

(e) be personally available at such place of deposit as specified in 13-19-307, MCA;

(f) permit one poll watcher from each political party to be stationed in a location at each place of deposit during the days and times that the place of deposit is open that is near enough to observe the depositing ballots but does not interfere with those deposits;

(g) under the conditions specified in (f), permit additional poll watchers at the request of a candidate, a group of candidates, or any group having an interest in the election so long as the number of poll watchers at the place of deposit does not interfere with the depositing of ballots;

(h) personally insure that all required procedures are adhered to; and

(i) personally ensure that all ballots and other official materials in their possession are and remain secure at all times.

 

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-13-120, 13-13-121, 13-19-307, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.307, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2021 MAR p. 1684, Eff. 11/20/21.

44.3.2714   PROCEDURES TO SECURE BALLOTS

(1) Ballots and related materials must be secure at all times, including during necessary transport times.

(2) The procedures to secure ballots and materials, including during necessary transport times, shall be substantially similar to procedures used to secure ballots in a regular election.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-105, 13-19-307, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.310, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2715   RECORDS OF BALLOTS RECEIVED

(1) The election administrator shall record in a log or in the statewide voter registration system maintained for that purpose the number and source of all ballots received at the processing center including:

(a) the number of ballots received daily from the post office;

(b) the number of ballot packets returned as undeliverable each day;

(c) the number of ballots returned or voted in person each day; and

(d) the number of ballots received from any place of deposit on the day they are transported to the processing center.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-105, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.311, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2716   SIGNATURE VERIFICATION PROCEDURES

(1) For the purpose of school district elections conducted by the school district clerk (election administrator) signature verification shall be conducted by the county election administrator. This is accomplished as follows:

(a) arrangements shall be made by the school district clerk (election administrator) for the transport of ballots to and from the county election administrator for signature verification in compliance with ARM 44.3.2714;

(b) unopened signature envelopes shall be counted by the school district clerk (election administrator) placed in transport boxes and the number of signature envelopes recorded on the ballot transport logs which are to be sealed inside the transport boxes;

(c) the county election administrator shall break the seal on the transport boxes and verify signatures on the signature envelopes;

(d) the county election administrator shall record on the transport box logs the number of signatures verified as valid and the number of those not validated. Such numbers must balance with the school district count recorded on the transport logs;

(e) the unvalidated signature envelopes shall be banded together, marked "to be voided and not counted" and placed in the transport boxes with the valid signature envelopes. The transport boxes shall be resealed and returned to the school district clerk (election administrator) for counting or disposition as provided by law;

(f) for a ballot not validated, the school district clerk (election administrator) shall designate it as a provisional ballot, give notice to the elector as provided in 13-19-313, MCA;

(g) cost of verifying signatures shall be charged to the school district at a rate to be agreed upon by the school district clerk (election administrator) and the county election administrator.

(2) The ultimate test in signature verification is whether or not officials are convinced that the individual signing the affidavit is the same as the one whose name appears on the registration card. In making their determination, officials may include consideration of factors like:

(a) whether the capital letters match;

(b) whether letters tail off similarly;

(c) whether letter spacing is similar;

(d) whether the overall appearance is substantially similar; and

(e) whether the relationship of the signature to the signature line is similar.

(3) Signatures are not required to be identical in either form or content. It is sufficient if a substantial similarity exists, so long as officials can determine that the signatures are the same individual. So, the use of a common name abbreviation, or substituting an initial in place of a first or middle name, will not necessarily invalidate the signature.

(4) The official shall check and initial each envelope if so required by administrative procedures, as the signature is verified.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-304, 13-19-312, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1987 MAR p. 2394, Eff. 12/25/87; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.312, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2720   TRANSMITTAL ENVELOPE

(1) The transmittal envelope shall be in substantially the same form as prescribed by the secretary of state.

History: 13-1-202, 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-105, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 1285, Eff. 5/15/98; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.401, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2721   SIGNATURE ENVELOPE

(1) The signature envelope is used by the elector to mail or return the voted ballot to the proper election administrator and it shall be in substantially the same form as prescribed by the secretary of state.

History: 13-1-202, 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-105, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 1285, Eff. 5/15/98; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 1329, Eff. 6/27/08; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.402, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2722   SECRECY ENVELOPE

(1) The ballot secrecy envelope shall be of a size to fit within the signature envelope and shall be in substantially the same form as prescribed by the secretary of state. The words "BALLOT SECRECY ENVELOPE" should be printed on the face.

(2) The envelope used as the secrecy envelope should be of sufficient paper weight to conceal the contents.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-105, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 308, Eff. 2/9/90; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.403, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2723   INSTRUCTIONS TO ELECTORS

(1) Instructions, as approved by the secretary of state pursuant to 13-19-205, MCA, shall be included with the ballot, the secrecy envelope, and the signature envelope as part of the packet mailed to the elector. The instructions shall detail the mechanical process which must be followed in order to properly cast the ballot. The instructions shall also:

(a) advise the elector that the election is to be by mail ballot only, that the elector must provide postage, if necessary, and that regular polling places will not open;

(b) list the location where the elector may obtain a replacement ballot if the elector's ballot is not received, or is destroyed, spoiled, or lost;

(c) list the location(s) where the elector may deposit the elector's ballot if the elector chooses not to mail it; and

(d) advise the elector that in order for the elector's ballot to be counted, it must be received in the election administrator's office no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election, except as provided in 13-21-206 and 13-21-207, MCA; and

(e) include the information specified under ARM 44.9.202.

History: 13-19-105, MCA; IMP, 13-19-105, 13-19-205, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1020, Eff. 7/26/85; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1319, Eff. 5/28/10; AMD and TRANS, from 44.9.404, 2012 MAR p. 760, Eff. 4/13/12.

44.3.2801   REGISTRATION OF EMPLOYERS OF PAID SIGNATURE GATHERERS

(1) A person who employs a paid signature gatherer shall submit a complete registration form to the Secretary of State's Office prior to collecting signatures on a ballot issue. The registration form is available at sosmt.gov or upon request from the Secretary of State's Office. 

(a) A separate registration form is required for each ballot issue.

(b) The registration form must contain contact information for the employer and a list of all persons employed to gather signatures for that ballot issue. If additional persons are employed after the registration form is submitted, an amended form must be submitted.

(c)  The filing fee for registration is $0.

 

History: 13-27-202, MCA; IMP, 13-27-202, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 175, Eff. 1/29/22.

44.3.2901   DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply:

(1)  "Election security" means the process of implementing and maintaining protective measures that preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the election process. This includes network and information security as well as physical security.

(2)  "Endpoint detection and response tool(s)" or "EDR tool(s)" means a software that continually monitors end-user devices to detect and respond to cyber threats.

(3)  "Qualified assessor" means a security professional who, at the time of engagement, is certified and in good standing with at least of one of the following security credentials which require passing an exam covering related security subject matter and possessing the required amount of relevant information security work experience (based on certification requirements in effect on April 15, 2022):

(a)  Certified Authorization Professional (CAP).  The requirements to obtain a CAP credential can be found at https://www.isc2.org;

(b)  Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).  The requirements to obtain a CISM credential can be found at https://www.isaca.org;

(c)  Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). The requirements to obtain a CISA credential can be found at https://www.isaca.org;

(d)  Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).  The requirements to obtain a CISSP credential can be found at https://www.isc2.org;

(e)  Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC).  The requirements to obtain a CRISC credential can be found at https://www.isaca.org;

(f)  GIAC Critical Controls Certification (GCCC).  The requirements to obtain a GCCC credential can be found at https://www.giac.org;

(g)  GIAC Security Leadership Certification (GSLC).  The requirements to obtain a GSLC credential can be found at https://www.giac.org; or

(h)  GIAC Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA). The requirements to obtain a GSNA credential can be found at https://www.giac.org.  


History: 13-1-205, MCA; IMP, 13-1-205, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1089, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.2902   ANNUAL SECURITY ASSESSMENTS

(1) Election security practices performed at county election offices shall be annually assessed based on controls derived from one of the following frameworks that detail security best practices for mitigating security risks to an organization: 

(a)  the National Institute of Standards and Technology's "Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," Version 1.1, published April 16, 2018, found at https://www.nist.gov; 

(b)  the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Special Publication 800-53 Revision 5 titled "Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations," published December 10, 2020, found at https://www.nist.gov;

(c)  the Center for Internet Security's "CIS Critical Security Controls," Version 8, published May 2021, found at https://www.cisecurity.org; or

(d)  the Center for Internet Security's "A Handbook for Elections Infrastructure," version 1.0, published February 2018, found at https://www.cisecurity.org.

(2)  Assessments shall be performed according to the following schedule:

(a)  at least once every three years, the security assessment shall be performed by an independent, third-party, and qualified assessor; and

(b)  during all other years, the security assessments may be performed using a self-assessment conducted through the Nationwide Cybersecurity Review (NCSR) based on requirements as of April 15, 2022, and found at https://www.cisecurity.org/, or the Election Infrastructure Assessment Tool (EIAT) based on requirements as of April 15, 2022, and found at https://www.cisecurity.org/.  These tools detail the security best practices for mitigating security risks to an organization.

(3) County election administrators shall maintain storage of security assessment results according to the local government records retention schedule.

(4) County election administrators shall provide the results of the assessments to the Secretary of State in January of each calendar year.  The results provided to the Secretary of State will include a management description detailing the controls assessed and the effectiveness of each control. The management description shall include the name and qualification of the assessor including their security credential's verification, certification, or identification number.

(5)  Security assessments are considered confidential information as defined in 2-6-1002(1), MCA.  Security assessment results and supporting security information are prohibited from disclosure to the public. 

 

History: 13-1-205, MCA; IMP, 13-1-205, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1089, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.2903   ANNUAL SECURITY AWARENESS TRAINING

(1) All county and state elections staff shall complete security awareness training at least once per year.  

(2) The security awareness training will be provided by the Secretary of State.  The Secretary of State may approve equivalent security awareness training on a case-by-case basis.  

(3) The county election administrator shall maintain records of their election staff's completion of the security awareness training in accordance with the local government records retention schedule.

(4)  The county election administrator shall provide the Secretary of State with records of their election staff's completion of the security awareness training within two weeks after the end of each annual training cycle.

 

History: 13-1-205, MCA; IMP, 13-1-205, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1089, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.2904   PHYSICAL SECURITY

(1) Any type of component that is used within a voting system as defined in 13-1-101, MCA, shall be physically secured using tamperproof seals and access control to prevent unauthorized tampering or use. 

(2) County election administrators shall maintain a record and a chain of custody for any type of component that is used within a voting system as defined in 13-1-101, MCA, and any keys, cards, fobs, or other controls used to access election-related equipment or storage locations. 

(a) County election administrators shall document records and chains of custody on forms prescribed by the Secretary of State and located on the Secretary of State website.

(b) The chain of custody shall be documented every time there is a change in custody of the items or a removal of a tamperproof seal.

(c) The chain of custody records shall be maintained according to the local government records retention schedule.

(3)  For each election, county election administrators shall perform a reconciliation comparing the number of ballots printed to the number of issued, voided, or unissued ballots.

(a)  Ballot reconciliations shall be completed prior to the start of the county canvass.

(b)  Ballot reconciliations shall be maintained according to applicable federal or local government records retention schedules.

(4) Based on security best practices, it is recommended that the room or other areas where ballots are opened, processed, tabulated, or hand-counted be surveilled during the time that such activities are performed.

(a) Surveillance devices should be positioned to view and record all activities related to opening, processing, and tabulating or hand-counting ballots except that the devices must be positioned so that ballot secrecy is maintained.

(b) The storage of surveillance device footage shall be maintained according to applicable federal or local government records retention schedules.

 

History: 13-1-205, MCA; IMP, 13-1-205, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1089, Eff. 6/25/22.

44.3.2905   OTHER ELECTION SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

(1) Any type of component that is used within a voting system as defined in 13-1-101, MCA, shall not be connected to a computer network at any time. 

(2) Workstations, desktops, laptops, or other computing devices used by county election departments and connected to a computer network shall have endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools or anti-virus software installed, operating as recommended by the vendor and updated with the latest signatures or other version as required and supported by the vendor.


History: 13-1-205, MCA; IMP, 13-1-205, MCA; NEW, 2022 MAR p. 1089, Eff. 6/25/22.