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(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 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 as soon as possible 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 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. If the challenge is made more than five days before an election, "as soon as possible", as used in this section, means no later than five days after the challenge.

(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.

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