State of Montana

Montana Voter Registration Penalty Challenge (State Court)

League of Women Voters of Montana v. Knudsen

Lawsuit filed on behalf of League of Women Voters of Montana against Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R), Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen (R) and Commissioner of Political Practices Chris Gallus challenging House Bill 892. H.B. 892 establishes a “Deregistration Requirement” that requires voters to deregister from their previous county or state before registering to vote in Montana and criminalizes those who fail to do so even though there is not a standard process to do this.The plaintiffs also challenge a provision — the “Omission Provision”— of the law that requires a person who was previously registered to vote in another county or state to provide their previous registration information when completing the Montana voter registration application. 

The plaintiffs argue that while the law claims to target “double voting,” the provisions “do not serve any anti-fraud or election administration purpose.” The plaintiffs allege that H.B. 892 violates the plaintiff’s rights to free speech, association and due process, while also encumbering voting rights in violation of the Montana Constitution. The plaintiffs ask the court to block the enforcement of the challenged provisions.

STATUS: On April 29, 2024, the court denied the motion for preliminary injunction. The judge found the motion moot in light of a federal preliminary injunction in a related case.

Case Documents

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