State of Montana

Montana Voter Suppression Bills (MDP)

Montana Democratic Party v. Jacobsen

Lawsuit brought by the Montana Democratic Party challenging the passage of three voter suppression bills: House Bill 176 eliminates Election Day voter registration; Senate Bill 169 narrows eligible voter IDs, particularly limiting the use of student IDs; and House Bill 530 bans certain types of ballot assistance. The case claims that the bills violate the Montana Constitution and asks the court to preliminarily and permanently stop the Montana secretary of state from enforcing the bills. Two other cases were consolidated with this one: Western Native Voice v. Jacobsen and Montana Youth Action v. Jacobsen. A hearing on the parties’ three motions for preliminary injunctions against four challenged laws (House Bill 176, Senate Bill 169, House Bill 530 and House Bill 506) was held on March 10. The court granted a preliminary injunction as to all four laws, blocking them as litigation continues. After the trial court declined to pause the preliminary injunction while the state appeals the decision, the state went to the Montana Supreme Court and asked the court to reinstate two of the blocked laws (H.B. 176 and S.B. 169) for the state’s spring primaries while an appeal is litigated; the court granted their request. The other two blocked laws, H.B. 530 and H.B. 506, remain blocked for upcoming elections. Litigation on the merits of these laws is ongoing.

Case Documents (Trial court)

Case Documents (MT supreme court)

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